A Tradition of Exploration
For decades the University of Rochester Medical Center has been a leader in the biomedical sciences with a wide range of high impact discoveries. In addition to having eight faculty receive the Nobel Prize, URMC has been the home to a number of transformative medical breakthroughs including the medical use of surfactant, the discovery of Cox-2, and the development of the HiB and HPV vaccines.
In recent years, the University of Rochester has invested substantially in research infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art facilities and multidisciplinary collaboration for all phases of investigation and implementation across the translational spectrum.
- For over 30 years, the Center for Health + Technology (CHeT) at the University of Rochester has been an international leader in all stages of implementation and analysis of large multi-center clinical research studies. CHeT has been involved in over 135 clinical trials, leading to FDA approval of 7 therapies for neurological disorders. Under the current leadership of UR neurologists Chad Heatwole (Director) and Jamie Adams (Associate Director), CHeT’s innovations in technologies and outcome measurement continue to reimagine how research is conducted and how therapies are evaluated.
- The Cerebrovascular and Neurocognitive Research Group (CNRG) combines basic science and clinical researchers in the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Microbiology and Immunology, and Vascular Biology to advance the study of the prevention and treatment of cerebrovascular diseases using advanced imaging modalities.
- Maiken Nedergaard M.D., D.M.Sc. and Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D. at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine are using cell and gene therapies to enhance structural repair within the central nervous system, leading to advancement of novel treatments for patients with devastating neurological diseases.
Together, these support our compassion-driven ambition to translate cutting-edge neuroscience innovation into meaningful real-life assistance for our patients with neurological conditions.
Neuroscience remains a consistent strength of the University of Rochester’s research portfolio. From fundamental research on mechanisms of nervous system function and disease, to therapy development and translation from bench to bedside and from bedside to the greater community, the scope of our research is broad and its influence life-changing. In 2022, Neurology at the University of Rochester ranked #20 and Neurosciences #23 for total awards from the National Institutes of Health.
In 2023, Emma Ciafaloni, MD was appointed the Associate Chair for Research in the UR Department of Neurology. She oversees the Department’s research operations, and in a few short months has reinvigorated our collective passion to keep moving the needle forward for the benefit of patients and their families, with a focus on collaboration and equity.
She is a nationally and internationally recognized neurologist, a pre-eminent scholar and clinical trialist, a world authority on integrated care delivery for pediatric neuromuscular disorders, and a leading educator of the next generation of clinician-investigators. She has played a leading role on issues relating to gender in neurology and neurologic disorders affecting women.
Dr. Ciafaloni is the Director of the Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders Program, one of the most exciting, academic programs at the University. She is passionate about mentoring and to pay it forward by developing career pathways for our residents and junior faculty.
Resident Research Opportunities
The philosophy of the Department of Neurology is that research must be an important part of each resident’s education and career development at the University of Rochester. Residents are encouraged at every step by our highly engaged faculty, leading to exciting poster presentations, publications, research awards and grants, new quality improvement initiatives, and curricular enhancements.
Under the leadership of vascular neurologist Ania Busza, MD, PhD, we are transforming the research experience for our Neurology trainees. Dr. Busza is a visionary in the field of neurorecovery and serves as Director of the Movement and Plasticity Laboratory (MAPL) at the University of Rochester, where her research focuses on creating personalized therapies to improve the lives of post-stroke patients with motor impairments. She also co-directs the T32-funded Experimental Therapeutics fellowship at URMC, a proud graduate herself of this unique training program. Dr. Buszia’s enthusiasm for resident engagement in scholarly pursuits is infectious, and we have implemented a variety of new and improved opportunities to help residents embrace lifelong learning and research as part of their future careers:
- Research for Residents seminar series: As part of the weekly resident Academic Half-Day, residents receive lectures covering topics including:
- “How to include Research and other Scholarly Activities into your Career”
- “How to write a literature review”
- “Basic BioStats”
- Research “Speed Dating” session: Faculty pitch their ideas for potential resident research projects, to help match interested residents with the many ongoing research projects in the department.
- Research tract for Residents: Residents interested in a more in-depth research experience can apply to join the Research Track, with additional educational opportunities about clinical research methodology and dedicated time for mentored research
- Grand Rounds presentations: PGY2 and PGY3 residents present interesting clinical cases at our monthly “Double Trouble” Grand Rounds, and also have the opportunity to participate in other Grand Rounds presentations focused on DEI, quality and safety, and education throughout the academic year.
- Assisting with patient recruitment for faculty clinical trials: Interested residents have the opportunity to become sub-investigators in local and multicenter clinical trials, to gain experience in patient enrollment, data collection, and how clinical trials are run.
- Schwid Research Symposium: An annual conference for residents, fellows, and medical students to present their scholarly activities through oral and poster presentations, with prizes awarded for the best work from each group.