Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Clinical Neuroscience Training Program

Research Opportunities

CNST students may participate in neuroscience research throughout their medical school career. The greatest research opportunities occur in the summer between the first and second years of medical school and in the 12- to 24-week period of "Scholarly Pursuit" during the final 18 months of the medical school curriculum. The CNST serves as a conduit for the wealth of research opportunities at Penn by providing CNST students with information on faculty research programs, as well as funding sources for stipend support. CNST mentors also can provide guidance for CNST students to participate in clinical shadowing experiences starting in the first year.

Click here for the Application Announcement for Summer Research 2019
Deadline: Friday, December 21, 2018

Previous CNST Summer Research

If you are interested in CNST Summer Research, you are welcome to contact previous CNST Summer Research students for their guidance.


Savannah Aepli —
Project Title: ICU Patient and Family Experiences of Recovery After Injury
Mentor: Mentor: Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP, Anesthesiology & Critical Care

Prateek Agarwal —
Project Title: Injectable Hydrogel for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration in a Goat Animal Model
Mentor: Neil R. Malhotra, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery

Nadir Bilici —
Project Title: Human Cortical Organoid Transplant into V2 Cortex of the Rat
Mentor: Han-Chiao Isaac Chen, MD, Neurosurgery

Steve Cho —
Project Title: Targeting Folate Receptors to Visualize Pituitary Adenomas
Mentor: John Y.K. Lee, MD, MSCE, Neurosurgery

Makayla McCoskey —
Project Title: Association between Cognitive Impairment and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment
Mentors: Victoria Addis, MD and Joan O'Brien, MD - Department of Ophthalmology

Mark Morales —
Project Title: Measures and Predictors of Varenicline Adherence in the Treatment of Nicotine Dependence
Mentor: Robert Schnoll, MD, Department of Psychiatry

Peter Schwab —
Project Title: Intraoperative Cortical Stimulation and DTI Tractography
Mentors: Dr. Ragini Verma, Radiology and Dr. Timothy Lucas, Neurosurgery


Student:  Michael Chua –
Project Title: “Socioeconomic and Genetic Risk Factors for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma in Philadelphia African Americans”
Mentor:  Joan O’Brien, MD – Professor of Ophthalmology

Student:  Peter Nogueira Hadar –
Project Title:  “Use of Novel GluCEST Neuroimaging Technique in Lateralizing Foci in TLE Patients”
Mentor:  Kathryn Adamiak Davis, MD – Assistant Professor of Neurology

Student:  Lauren Miller –
Project Title:  “Intentional Partial Coiling of Plex Intracranial Anerurysms: Long Term Radiographic and Clinical Outcomes”
Mentor:  Michelle Smith, MD – Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Student:  John Peters –
Project Title:  “Exploring the Pathogenesis of Multiple System Atrophy”
Mentor:  John Trojanowski, MD, PhD  - Professor Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology

Student:  Alan Workman –
Project Title:  “CALHM1-Mediated ATP Release and CBF Modulation in Airway Epithelial Cells”
Mentor:  Noam Cohen, MD, PhD – Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology

Student:  Yingcheng (Elaine) Xu –
Project Title:  “Influences of Short-Term Light Deprivation on Trigeminal Sensory Thresholds”
Mentor:  Richard L. Doty, PhD – Professor of Otorhinolaryngology


Student:  Keisha Dodman –
Project Title: “Remediating Long-Term Effects of Ketamine Exposure in Mice”
Mentor:  Steven J. Siegel, MD, PhD – Professor of Psychiatry

Student:  William Kennedy –
Project Title:  “Assessment of Olfactory Function in Pediatric Patients with Chronic Tracheostomy”
Mentor:  Steven E. Sobol, MD – Associate Professor of Otolaryngology CHOP

Student:  Eric Lin –
Project Title: “Effects of Alpha-synuclein Immunotherapy in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease"
Mentor: Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA  - Professor in Alzheimer’s Research Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Student:  Catherine Norise –
Project Title: “Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Elucidates Mechanisms of Recovery from Non-fluent Aphasia”
Mentor:  Roy Hamilton, MD, MS – Assistant Professor of Neurology

Student:  Andrew Olsen –
Project Title: “Use of Topical Vancomycin Powder Prophylaxis in Craniotomy: A Retrospective Review of X Cases”
Mentor: Timothy H. Lucas, Jr., MD, PhD – Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Student:  Stephen Tsaur –
Project Title:  "Response Inhibition and Smoking Urges in Smoking Cessation Study”
Mentor:  Becky Ashare, PhD – Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry