research program opportunities at MGH



R25

The Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital has funding from the NIH/NINDS to support research activities of residents. This is one of a very few select group of programs who have received this funding award – an R25 research training award. This award is designed to help residents develop the skills to begin a career in basic, translational or clinical research. Residents generally apply during the summer of their 2nd neurology residency year and begin mentored research after completion of the second year. Residents may chose to devote 6 months of elective time to research, completing the residency in the standard time frame, or they may chose to devote an entire year to research, completing the residency one year later. A second year of funding is provided and is designed to fund a year of research fellowship after completion of the neurology residency. This fellowship funding provides a bridge so that a resident can successfully transition from residency to a K-award or similar funding. The goal of the grant is to provide resources and mentorship to residents in their quest for independence as a researcher in neurology and the neurosciences.



Our Recent R-25 Grant Recipients

Dr. Alessandro Biffi Claire Jacobs, MD PhD is a current senior resident in the Partners Neurology program who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant. Her project is titled "Epigenetic Regulation of Neuroplasticity in Frontotemporal Dementia", and will provide her the opportunity to delve into epigenetics research using patient-derived tissue samples. Her research mentor is Prof. Steven Haggarty, PhD, who is part of the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research. Claire will be doing fellowship training in Epilepsy at BWH, and has a profound interested in the process of transitioning patients from the pediatric to the adult neurology care setting. She plans to combine her clinical interests in epilepsy with her research background in chemical biology and newly acquired skills in epigenetics to investigate the epigenetics of epilepsy, with a particular focus on pediatric epilepsy syndromes.
Dr. Alessandro Biffi Jennifer Kim, MD, PhD is a current Partners Neurology senior resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for her project titled "Identifying EEG Hallmarks for Increased Seizure Risk in SAH: A Quantitative EEG Analysis."  Her research mentors are Sydney Cash, MD, PhD and Brandon Westover, MD, PhD and her research activity will be based at the MGH Cortical Physiology Cash Lab.  Jennifer will be pursuing fellowship training in Neurocritical Care at Partners.  Her research will focus on using quantitative EEG methods to identify EEG markers of increased seizure risk in patients who suffer acute brain injuries.
Dr. Alessandro Biffi Richard Krolewski, MD, PhD is a current Partners Neurology senior resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project titled "Understanding the role of GDF11 as a rejuvenation factor in mouse neurogenesis". His research mentor is Lee Rubin Ph.D., a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and his research activity will be based at the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.  Rich will be pursuing fellowship training in Movement Disorders at MGH/BWH. His research will focus on understanding how the action of growth factors present in the young can be harnessed to develop therapeutics with potential to rejuvenate parts of the brain affected by neurodegenerative conditions.
Dr. Alessandro Biffi Khaled Moussawi, MD, PhD is a current Partners Neurology senior resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project “Role of Neural Circuit Activity and Plasticity in Tau Propagation”. His research mentor is Dr. Bradley Hyman, M.D., Ph.D. at MGH. Khaled will be pursuing a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. 
Dr. Alessandro Biffi Derek Narendra, MD, PhD is a current Partners Neurology senior resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project titled “Mitochondrial proteostatic stress in parkinsonism assessed through the client repertoire of TRAP1.” His research mentor is Susan Lindquist, PhD and his research activity will be based at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT. Derek will be pursuing fellowship training in Movement Disorders. His research will focus on the molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Alessandro Biffi Janice Wong, MD is a current Partners Neurology resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for her project titled "Pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases: double-stranded RNA as a link between genomic changes and innate immunity." Her research mentor is Mark Albers, MD PhD at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease. Janice will be pursuing fellowship training in Neuromuscular Medicine at MGH and BWH. Her research will explore the pathophysiology of degenerative neuromuscular diseases.