Research Opportunities

With UVA Neurosurgeons and Neuroscience researchers pursuing research in most all areas of neuroscience, we have many opportunities for residents to pursue research in areas that interest them.

The Department of Neurosurgery in 2010 partnered with the NIH and NINDS to create the  joint NIH-UVA Neurosurgical Residency Program, which has the goal of training and educating future academic neurosurgical leaders with the ability to perform world-class neuroscience research. NIH-UVA residents spend half of their 7 year residency at UVA participating on the very active clinical service, and the other half at NIH pursuing research in a setting as creative, innovative, and well-equipped as one can imagine.

Drs. Jeff Elias and Wynn Legon, Phd are leading the development of high-intensity focused ultrasound technology, which has exciting potential for drug delivery and to treat tumors, stroke, and movement disorders non-invasively. Dr. Elias’s clinical trial to treats patients with Essential Tremor is believed to have been the first intracranial therapeutic application of the technology in the world, and its favorable results have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Elias is currently enrolling patients in a trial to treat Parkinson’s and multiple other focused ultrasound trials are enrolling or in development.  The Legon lab also researches non-invasive neuromodulation techniques in humans and animal preparations including transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

The neuro-oncology, neurovascular and spine areas are involved in most all major national clinical trials.  Our clinical trials page has links to information about clinical trials led by our doctors and doctors across UVA.

We are also active in other areas of research including Epilepsy, stroke, and more.  Dr. Petr Tvrdik’s lab researches neurovascular conditions such as stroke, aneurysm and vascular malformations in animals and humans, including identification of RNA biomarkers and understanding neural stem cells and regeneration.

The $1.5M Microsurgical Training Lab shared between the departments of neurosurgery and otolaryngology-head & neck surgery, where our residents have hands-on monthly cadavaric training on all neurosurgical approaches.