Illinois Neurological Institute

Medical Student Neuroscience 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 Klopfenstein, head of the Neurosurgery Department, and Dr. Jorge 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 provided on a six-month cycle with an application deadline of March 1 for April 1 awards, and a September 1 deadline for October 1 awards. Applications will be reviewed by the INI Research Work Group after recommendation of the neurology or neurosurgery department head and awards made by the INI Research Council.

Submissions are to be made to:

JoAnna Fleckenstein
(309) 655-2700

Office 3635, North Building
OSF 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 Saint Francis Medical Center
530 NE Glen Oak Ave.
Peoria, Illinois 61637


Neuroscience Research Laboratories

Brain Tumor Biology Laboratory
Kiran Velpula PhD and Andrew Tsung MD

Vascular and Brain Injury Laboratory
Krishna Veeravalli PhD, Jeffrey Klopfenstein MD, Dzung Dinh MD and David Wang DO

Brain Degenerative Illness Laboratory
Ken-Ichiro Fukuchi MD, PhD and Julia Biernot MD


Neuroscience Clinical Research

David Wang MD and Jeffrey Klopfenstein MD

Brain Tumor
Andrew Tsung MD

Sarah Zallek MD

Vestibular Disorders
Jorge Kattah MD

Daniel Fassett MD, Dzung Dinh MD and Todd McCall MD

Pediatric Neurosurgery
Julian Lin MD and Anthony Avellino MD, MBA

Neuroscience Simulation
Julian Lin MD and Anthony Avellino MD, MBA

Multiple Sclerosis
Reuben Valenzuela MD

Basal Ganglia Disease
Dronacharya Lamichhane MD

Michael Xu MD, Erhan Ergene MD and Chigolum Eze MD

Predictive Analytics
Anthony Avellino MD, MBA

INI Neuroscience Editorial Office
Medical Editor
Stanca Iacob PhD

Medical Student Research Opportunities

Project: Chelluboina

Project Title:

Effect of Chronic Kidney Disease Severity on Post-Stroke Pathogenesis and Identification of Cerebrorenal Targets

Project Investigator(s):

PI: Bharath Chelluboina

Co-I: Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein

Co-I: Krishna Kumar Veeravalli

Purpose of Study:

This project is aimed at understanding the evidence based molecular mechanisms which mediates the ischemic stroke pathogenesis in the presence of co-morbidities. Specifically, we are evaluating stroke severity in stages of chronic kidney disease in an animal model; and, attempting to determine the stroke pathogenesis in presence of other co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. Outcomes of our research will establish a correlation between the cerebrorenal mechanisms and stroke severity.

Start - End Dates:

Immediate (negotiable) - anticipated January 2018

Stipend Available: 


Estimated Hours:

2-6 hrs/wk or 16 hrs/mo

Benefits to Resident/Student:

Hands-on experience with preclinical animal models and experimental techniques. Based on their involvement, eligible for authorship in international presentations (posters) and publications

Resident / Medical Student Level Requirements:

Any level allowed to apply: Medical Students: M1 - M4 and Residents: PGY1 - PGY7

Pre-requisite Experience Required:

CITI trained or willingness to complete CITI module training prior to start.

Basic knowledge on preclinical animal models; Knowledge on molecular biology experiments; *students with animal exposure allergies are eligible only for molecular biology experiments

Contact Information:

Bharath Chelluboina PhD (University College of Medicine) or 309-361-4941


Neuroscience Clinical Graduate Programs

Neurology Residency

Four residents per year in a four-year residency program
Residency Director Greg Blume, MD

Neurosurgery Residency

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

Vascular Neurology Fellowship

One fellow per year in a one-year program
Fellowship Director David Wang, DO

Neuroradiology Fellowship

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