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Program Duration: 1–3 years

stroke1 stroke2 stroke3 stroke4

Above: Diffusion-perfusion mismatch; panels one and two display a lack of perfusion, panels three and four are following reperfusion

With a focus on clinical practice and research, the ACGME-accredited Vascular Neurology Fellowship at the NIH/NINDS Stroke Program is designed for neurologists who seek to become experts in the management of cerebrovascular disorders. The program is oriented toward emergency management of stroke with emphasis in neuroimaging, thrombolysis, and other novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. The program offers a one-year ACGME accredited fellowship with the opportunity to extend the fellowship for a research-focused second (and possibly third) non-ACGME accredited year for those interested in an academic or research track.
The clinical and research activities of the NIH Stroke Program take place at the NIH Clinical Center, Suburban Hospital (a 239-bed community hospital and a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine located directly across from the NIH Campus), and Washington Hospital Center (a 926-bed academic medical center located in Washington, DC). This unique program design orients the Fellow to the role of vascular neurology in both academic and community hospital settings while providing access to greater diversity in disease etiology.

Both basic and clinical research experience is available. Bench research addresses both the cellular regulation of ischemic tolerance and the inflammatory and immune mechanisms that are acting in the initiation and progression of strokes. Promising agents or interventions for effective prevention or treatment of stroke that emerge from such studies enter a translational path. The clinical research seeks to make scientific advances toward new stroke therapies by developing, validating and testing imaging markers for use in clinical trials and practice. The overall approach is to: (1) investigate early pathobiological events in the evolving lesion in human stroke; (2) identify candidate imaging biomarkers of disease mechanisms or progression that are linked to clinical outcomes and therapeutic efficacy; and (3) use these markers as a basis for innovative clinical trial designs of novel therapeutic approaches in Phase II “proof of principle” trials. The NIH/NINDS Stroke Program is one of only eight Specialized Program of Translational Research in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS) sites, a national network of centers that perform early-phase clinical projects, share data, and promote new approaches to acute stroke therapy. As members of this network, the Program’s vascular neurology Fellows have access to experts and opportunities for research collaborations that are unparalleled.

Area of Current Research

MRI-guided enhancement of diagnosis and management of Acute Stroke
Supplementary measures to augment the efficacy, safety, and appropriate use of tPA
Translational stroke prevention research
Translational stroke treatment research


John Hallenbeck, M.D., Chief, Stroke Branch,

Walter Koroshetz, M.D., Director, NINDS,

Richard Benson, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Medical Director, Washington Hospital Center, Stroke Center,

Amie Hsia, M.D., Medical Director, Washington Hospital Center, Stroke Center,

Lawrence Latour, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics Section,

Richard Leigh, M.D., Assistant Clinical Investigator, Neuro Vascular Brain Imaging Unit,

John Lynch, D.O., M.P.H., Staff Clinician, Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics Section,

Jose Merino, M.D., Vascular Neurologist, John Hopkins Community Physicians,

Zurab Nadareishvili, M.D., Medical Director, Suburban Hospital Stroke Center

Christine Turtzo, M.D., Staff Clinician, Stroke  Branch,