Medical Student Opportunities

Neuroscience Residency Opportunities Neuroscience is an exciting and rapidly developing field that offers solutions for some of our most serious population health problems.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP) and OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute provide elective experiences, research opportunities and funding, career guidance and mentoring for students exploring a career in neuroscience research or neurological clinical care.

The faculty offer a challenging experience that helps prepare you for placement in competitive graduate programs.

Mentoring and Interest Groups

Our mentor program provides students access to faculty members with extensive experience who can help you design your elective curriculum, evaluate various career opportunities and weigh graduate education decisions.

Our mentors provide guidance regarding neurological career options and the steps involved to pursue those options.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Head of the Neurosurgery Department, and Dr. Jorge C. Kattah, Head of the Neurology Department, can assist you in selecting a mentor appropriate to your interests.

Student neuroscience interest groups provide peer relationships and insights throughout your experience in Peoria.

Neuroscience Clinical Electives Offered:

  • Neurosurgery senior elective
  • Neurology senior elective
  • Movement disorders
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Sleep disorders
  • Neuroradiology
  • Neuropathology

Neuroscience Research at UICOMP and Illinois Neurological Institute

Neurological research enriches the medical student experience.

Research experience is an essential part of the preparation for subsequent graduate preparation in the neurosciences.

INI Medical Student Neuroscience Research Fund

The Illinois Neurological Institute has established the INI Medical Student Research Fund to support neurological research and create opportunities for students to expand their skills through application.

Two types of awards are provided for UICOMP students:

  1. Illinois Neurological Institute Medical Student Fellowship: A three-month award in support of short-term experiences with faculty and residents, with a stipend of $3,000. Funding supports participation in ongoing research activity.
  2. Illinois Neurological Institute Research Scholar: A long-term yearly award of $12,000, with potential for renewal, in support of ongoing research. Funding is in support of a project developed by the scholar with a faculty mentor.

These awards are reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis as funds are available.

Applications are reviewed and awarded by the INI Research Work Group. Submissions should include a brief discussion of the problem to be studied, a tentative plan of work including timeline, and the associated faculty mentor.

Assistance is available from members of the INI Research Work Group.

Submissions are to be made to:

Stanca Iacob, MD, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology

Research Director, OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute

Office 3621, North Building
OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center
530 NE Glen Oak Ave.
Peoria, Illinois 61637

For more information, contact:

Patrick Elwood, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery
(309) 303-4296

Office 3525, North Building
OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center
530 NE Glen Oak Ave.
Peoria, Illinois 61637

Neuroscience Research Laboratories

Neuro-oncology Laboratory
Kiran K. Velpula, PhD and Andrew J. Tsung, MD

Vascular and Brain Injury Laboratory
Krishna K. Veeravalli, PhD, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, MD, Dzung H. Dinh, MD, MBA 

Neuroscience Clinical Research

Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein MD

Brain Tumor
Andrew J. Tsung, MD

Sarah N. Zallek, MD

Vestibular Disorders
Jorge C. Kattah, MD

Daniel R. Fassett MD, MBA, Dzung H. Dinh, MD and Todd D. McCall, MD

Neuroscience Simulation
Julian Lin, MD

Basal Ganglia Disease
Dronacharya Lamichhane, MD

Michael Y. Xu MD, Erhan Ergene, MD 


Medical Student Research Opportunities

Project Title:

Evaluation of the effect of gene silencing and stem cell treatments on post-stroke brain damage and neurological recovery.

Project Investigator(s):

PI: Krishna Kumar Veeravalli, PhD

Co-I: Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, MD

Purpose of Study:

To identify the key molecules that contribute to post-stroke brain damage as well as design and evaluate appropriate therapeutic strategies to attenuate or prevent ischemic brain damage and facilitate neurological recovery of stroke-induced rodents.

Start - End Dates:

This is an ongoing study. We are trying to manipulate several molecules that are believed to be detrimental and contribute to the pathogenesis after ischemic stroke.

Estimated Hours:


Benefits to Resident/Student:

Experience with basic research laboratory techniques as well as the co-author status on the resulting posters/abstracts and publications based on the extent of contribution.

Resident/Medical Student Level Requirements:

Resident/Student at any level can participate in our ongoing study

Pre-requisite Experience Required:

Interest to learn and work. Students/Residents will be trained if they do not have prior basic research experience

Contact Information:

Krishna Kumar Veeravalli, PhD

Assistant Professor of CBP, Neurosurgery & Neurology

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria

email: / Phone: 309-671-8442


Neuroscience Clinical Graduate Programs

Neurology Residency

Four residents per year in a four-year residency program
Residency Director:  Gregory M. Blume, MD

Neurosurgery Residency

One or two residents per year, in alternate years, in a seven-year residency program
Residency Director Julian Lin, MD

Neuroradiology Fellowship

One fellow per year in a one-year program
Fellowship Director:  Jeffery R. DeSanto, MD