Dr. Sunil Sheth
Dr. Sunil Sheth

The American Academy of Neurology awarded Dr. Sunil Sheth, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at McGovern Medical School, with the Clinician-Scientist Development Award in Interventional Neurology.

The three-year award, funded by the American Brain Foundation and the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, is designed to support a clinician-scientist’s research related to interventional neurology, and consists of an annual salary of $75,000 plus a $5,000 per year stipend to support education and research-related costs. Sheth will be using the funds for researching stroke treatments.

In a press release, Sheth said treatments that remove blood clots with minimally invasive techniques were initially reserved for stroke victims who could be treated within 6 hours of their symptoms, however two research studies have shown that for select groups of patients these treatments remain highly beneficial even 24 hours later. The brain imaging techniques and analysis technologies used in those studies, however, are currently only available in large referral hospitals, meaning that the majority of patients won’t have access to these treatments at their local hospitals.

Sheth’s project will define how patient characteristics and brain imaging techniques that are widely available at hospitals across the country can perform just as well as the advanced techniques used in those two studies.

“The goal of my work is to ensure that everyone who might benefit from these life-saving stroke treatments gets a fair shot,” Sheth said.

Sheth said receiving the award “is an absolute honor.”

“The support and prestige that comes with this award will allow me work towards accomplishing what I have always wanted to do – identifying ways to improve the lives of patients suffering from stroke,” Sheth said.

Sheth received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was enrolled in the Health Sciences and Technology Program. He graduated magna cum laude and was also awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship. He completed his residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco where he served as the chief resident, and fellowships in Vascular Neurology and Interventional Neuroradiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. For his research work he has been awarded grants from the American Heart Association (AHA), Society for NeuroInterventional Surgery Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.