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, MD, PhD

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