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Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

The Experimental Therapeutics fellowship (NS-07338) at the University of Rochester is looking for a post-doctoral fellow to begin July 1, 2019. The Bazarian Lab at the UR is in a position to serve as primary research mentor for the successful candidate with an interest in mild traumatic brain injury.

Under the guidance of the faculty of the Experimental Therapeutics fellowship, the postdoctoral fellow will carry out research that advances knowledge focused on the development and assessment of objective biochemical, neuroimaging, and physiologic indicators of disrupted brain structure and function after mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) and repetitive head impacts. The UR Experimental Therapeutics fellowship is an NIH-funded fellowship specifically aimed at developing clinical and translational researchers in neurology.

The development of effective therapies for mild TBI has been limited by reliance on subjective and non-specific symptoms to identify injury and determine recovery. Researchers in the Bazarian Lab have pioneered the use of advanced neuroimaging and blood-based biomarkers to determine the presence of injury and predict recovery. These researchers played a key role in the FDA’s approval in 2018 for the first blood-based biomarker of TBI in the US.

Job Description

The fellowship, which can be completed in any field of neurology or neuroscience, has four principal components:

  1. Clinical Training: While the fellowship’s focus is research, you will receive excellent clinical training in the subspecialty of your choice. The University of Rochester has national and international leaders in neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, epilepsy, HIV, dementia, multiple sclerosis, neuro-oncology, neurocritical care, vascular neurology, and pediatric neurology. The Concussion Clinic within Child Neurology (staffed in part by members of the Bazarian Lab) provides a unique opportunity to combine a research interest in mild TBI with clinical care.
  2. Course Work: Training in biostatistics, clinical trial design, bioethics, and grant writing, is tailored to the needs and interests of the fellow. Fellows have increasingly chosen to pursue a master in translational research or clinical investigation, offered through the NIH-funded University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute, as part of the fellowship. The fellowship provides funds to cover the cost of the master’s programs, which can be completed during the two-year fellowship.
  3. Experimental Therapeutics: The heart of the fellowship is training and first-hand experience in experimental therapeutics. You will be actively involved in the design and conduct of clinical trials, funded by NIH, foundations, and industry, as a fellow. Many fellows serve as a clinical monitor, responsible for assuring the safety and welfare of research participants, for multi-center and often multi-national, clinical trials. Through that role, fellows are members of steering committees comprised of the leading researchers in their discipline. Fellows, depending on the interest, can work with investigators on designing first in human studies to translate therapies from animal models to humans, serve as site investigators, and help plan phase III clinical trials or all of the above.
  4. Independent Research Projects: Fellows may come with their own research projects that they want to continue, or during the course of their fellowship, fellows develop new research interests. To help pursue these ideas, fellows are mentored and expected to write their own grants. Fellows in the program have successfully competed for NIH career development (K) awards, American Academy of Neurology fellowships, American Heart Association awards, NIH Loan Repayment awards and foundation awards. The Bazarian Lab at the UR is in a position to serve as primary research mentor for the successful candidate with an interest in mild traumatic brain injury.

Available cohorts include:

  • Collegiate athletes and adult Emergency Department (ED) patients with concussion
  • Adolescent and young adult concussion clinic patients
  • Collegiate athletes with repetitive head hits without concussion
  • ED control patients without concussion
  • Non-contact collegiate athlete controls without concussion
  • Contact collegiate athlete controls without concussion
  • Collegiate non-athletes without concussion

Available data to be mined from these cohorts include:

  • Serum/plasma values of multiple brain and inflammatory protein biomarkers
  • Serum mRNA expression
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional MRI
  • Computerized measures of attention and memory
  • Computerized measures of eye movements (eye tracking)
  • Head impact accelerometer metrics
  • Body impact sensor measures
  • Quantitative EEG

Required Education and Experience

  1. M.D., D.O., or MD-Ph.D. degree
  2. Completed training in neurology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, neurosurgery, or related field. Training in neuropsychology will also be considered
  3. Able to commit to two years of fellowship training related to clinical neuroscience.
  4. NIH funding for the program requires that applicants either be U.S. citizens or have a green card.

To apply for the program, please provide the following:

  1. A brief statement of your interest in the program and your subspecialty of interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Three letters of recommendation (Ideally, one from your Program Director and one from your Department Chair)
  4. A photo (optional)

Please mail the materials to the attention of:

Dr. Robert C. Griggs
Department of Neurology
Channelopathy and Muscle Study Projects
265 Crittenden Blvd., CU 420669
Rochester, NY 14642-0669

OR email:

Contact Information

For additional information about the fellowship, please contact:

Robert C. Griggs, M.D., 585-275-3707