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Residents presenting research

Resident Research and Educator Tracks

Scholarly activity is a core component of the neurology residency at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine. All residents are exposed to research opportunities within the hospital’s various academic divisions, the  Brain and Mind Research Institute, the  Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Unit, Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Residents gain valuable experience in research, study design, data analysis, and publication, and are also routinely involved in identifying candidates for our numerous clinical trials. 

All fourth-year residents are supported to attend the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual scientific meeting, and residents are encouraged to present their work at national and international conferences, including the AAN, International Stroke Conference, American Epilepsy Society, American Headache Society, and Movement Disorders Society, among others.

Stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in research conducted by our residents here.

Distinguished Resident Research

Virginia Gao, M.D., Ph.D.
Virginia Gao
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Graduate School: New York University
Residency Year: 2022
Thesis Work: Molecular mechanisms of learning and memory
Mentors: Jacqueline Burre, Claire Henchcliffe, Carl Crawford
Makoto Ishii, M.D., Ph.D.
Makoto Ishii
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College
Graduate School: The Rockefeller University
Residency Year: 2012
Mentors: Costantino Iadecola, M.D.
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Molecular mechanisms underlying the body weight and neuroendocrine deficits in Alzheimer’s disease
Current Position: Faculty, Brain and Mind Research Institute and Department of Neurology Weill Cornell
Alexander Merkler, M.D.
Alexander Merkler
Medical School: New York University
Residency Year: 2014
Mentors: Hooman Kamel
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Risk factors for stroke, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, infectious disease of the nervous system, intracerebral hemorrhage
Current Position: Faculty, Department of Neurology Weill Cornell
Alexandra Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
Alexandra Miller
Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Yale University School of Medicine
Residency Year: 2015
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Glioma metastases and spread
Current Position: Faculty, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Kellyann Niotis, M.D.
Kellyann Niotis
Medical School: Geisinger Commonwealth
Residency Year: 2020
Evan Noch, M.D., PhD
Evan Noch
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Temple University School of Medicine
Residency Year: 2017
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Examining the role of necrosis in regulating glycolytic flux and survival in glioma; combining the ketogenic diet with targeted metabolic drug therapies in glioma
Neal Parikh, M.D., M.S.
Neal Parikh
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College
Graduate School: Columbia University
Residency Year: 2017
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Liver disease and cerebrovascular disease, smoking cessation after stroke
Current Position: Faculty, Department of Neurology Weill Cornell
Kurt Qing, M.D., Ph.D.
Kurt Qing
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Purdue University
Residency Year: 2021
Thesis Work: Optimizing neural response to electrical stimulation and exploring new applications of neurostimulation
Mentors: Peter Forgacs
Bianca Santomasso, M.D., Ph.D.
Bianca Santomasso
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College
Graduate School: The Rockefeller University
Residency Year: 2013
Mentors: Robert Darnell, M.D., Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Neurologic complications of cancer therapies, including CAR T cell therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors; immunotherapies to treat glioblastoma; tumor microenvironment and immune recognition
Current Position: Faculty, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Ulrike Kaunzner, M.D., Ph.D.
Ulrike Kaunzner
Medical School: Friedrich Schiller University
Graduate School: Friedrich Schiller University
Residency Year: 2015
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Imaging of inflammation and myelin in MS patients using new MRI sequences and PET
Brain and Mind Research Institute Positions

With support from the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), our neurology residency program offers one BMRI Research Fellow resident position every four years.  This position enables a resident to establish a research project early in training and provides dedicated mentorship, support for materials, and protected time for research during the PGY-4 year.  Participants are recruited into this program through the neurology residency match. 

Evan Noch, M.D., Ph.D.
Evan Noch, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Temple University School of Medicine
Residency Year: 2017
Graduate and Faculty Focus: Examining the role of necrosis in regulating glycolytic flux and survival in glioma; combining the ketogenic diet with targeted metabolic drug therapies in glioma
Kurt Qing, M.D., Ph.D.
Kurt Qing, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Purdue University
Residency Year: 2021
Thesis Work: Optimizing neural response to electrical stimulation and exploring new applications of neurostimulation
Mentors: Peter Forgacs
McGraw Fellowship in Neurology Research

The McGraw Fellowship in Neurology Research is a one-year award given to a fourth-year neurology resident with great career potential to become an academic clinician. The award helps prepare the McGraw Fellow for a career in academic neurology to be cultivated at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. The broad goal is to advance discovery of diagnostics and innovative treatments to improve outcomes for patients with neurological diseases. The McGraw Fellowship also supports one position in our neurology residency program to further our mission in clinical care, research, and education. 

The McGraw Fellow is chosen based on high-quality, compassionate, and scholarly care for patients during the first three years of residency training as well as the initiative to develop a research interest or preliminary work in clinical, basic, educational, or epidemiological science that has potential to benefit patients with neurological disease and that can be completed during the fourth year of neurology residency training.  The Fellow is selected by the Clinical Research Committee of the Department of Neurology after presentation of candidates’ clinical and scholarly portfolios by the residency program director. The McGraw Fellow is awarded protected research time during the PGY-4 residency year.  The McGraw Fellow is identified as such in peer-reviewed literature publications.

Kellyann Niotis, M.D.
Kellyann Niotis, M.D.
Medical School: Geisinger Commonwealth
Residency Year: 2020
Kurt Qing, M.D., Ph.D.
Kurt Qing, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Graduate School: Purdue University
Residency Year: 2021
Thesis Work: Optimizing neural response to electrical stimulation and exploring new applications of neurostimulation
Mentors: Peter Forgacs
Resident Research Symposium

Our annual Resident Research Symposium features resident posters and platform presentations on work in progress, or work that was previously accepted at various scientific meetings or published in the peer-reviewed literature. This well-attended event gives residents an opportunity to hone their presentation skills, and it serves at the venue for the announcement of the McGraw Fellow in Neurology Research.  Dr. Mary Vo along with the research chief resident organizes this event.

Neurology Resident as Educator Track

Established in 2019, this new initiative led by  Dr. Joseph Safdieh  is an education track that culminates in an education research project. Residents interested in developing careers as neurology educators may apply for selection to this competitive track during their PGY-1 year. Formal teaching, curriculum development, and committee responsibilities are graded by PGY year, with participation in an education research project mentored by our core education faculty.

Aaron Kaplan, M.D.
Aaron Kaplan, M.D.
Medical School: Columbia University
Residency Year: 2023
Susmit Tripathi, M.D., M.S.
Susmit Tripathi, M.D., M.S.
Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency Year: 2023
Moises Dominguez, M.D.
Moises Dominguez, M.D.
Medical School: Yale University
Residency Year: 2022
Sarah Parauda, M.D.
Sarah Parauda, M.D.
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College
Residency Year: 2022

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