The mission of the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery is to provide the best neurosurgical care to our patients, to lead the world in advancing the art and science of neurosurgery, and to produce the next generation of neurosurgical leaders. To achieve this goal, we have a broad and intensive research program focused on the mechanisms, treatment and cure of neurological disease and injury.

Our research utilizes diverse approaches including molecular, transgenic and electrophysiological techniques, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and support services, allowing biomedical studies, translational research, clinical trials, technology development and assessment. The ongoing projects cover major areas of neurological diseases, including stroke, aneurysm, spinal cord injury, brain tumor, stem cells, neuroprotection, hypoxic encephalopathy, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease. Our projects are supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Vivian L. Smith Foundation for Neurologic Disease, the American Stroke Association, and other granting agencies.

Besides collaborative efforts in our department and inside our institution, we strongly encourage our faculty members to connect scientists worldwide to exchange information and knowledge, to establish effective collaborations to a whole range of disciplines and to necessitate a concerted interdisciplinary and international effort in scientific explorations.

We offer an outstanding milieu for research training at the post-graduate, graduate and resident levels. Postdoctoral fellowship positions are available for post-PhD and post-MD candidates wishing to receive excellent research training in neurological and neuroscience research. Graduate studies towards the PhD degree are also an education component of our department.

Thank you for your interest in our program, and please feel free to contact us.

Learn more about our research program and laboratories:

Will Erwin Headache Research Center
The National Center for Testing Treatments for Chronic Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury (NCTT)
Genetics Research Laboratories

The Krishnan Nanotechnology and Radiation Biology Laboratory
Laboratory of Georgene Hergenroeder, PhD
Laboratory of Spiros Blackburn, MD
Laboratory of Tiffany Chang, MD
Laboratory of H. Alex Choi, MD
Laboratory of John Hagan, PhD
Laboratory of Eunhee Kim, PhD
Laboratory of Tae Jin Lee, PhD
Laboratory of Devin McBride, PhD
Laboratory of Eunsu Park, PhD
Laboratory of Xuefang (Sophie) Ren, M.D., PhD
Research of David Sandberg, MD
Research of John Seymour, PhD
Research of Manish Shah, MD
Laboratory of Nitin Tandon, MD
Laboratory of Jia Qian Wu, PhD