Newswise — ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (Feb. 2, 2017) — The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship Selection Committee has announced Darrin J. Lee, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the 2018 William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship. Dr. Lee, a resident in neurosurgery at the University of California, Davis, will commence his Van Wagenen fellowship in July 2017. The Selection Committee has also announced Kai Joshua Miller, MD as the recipient of the 2019 William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship. Dr. Miller, a resident in neurosurgery at Stanford University, will commence his Van Wagenen fellowship in July 2018.

Dr. Lee will travel to Canada, where he will be hosted by University of Toronto. Under the mentorship of Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD, FAANS, FRCS(C), FRSC, Dr. Lee will pursue his research topic of “Septohippocampal stimulation for cognition in epilepsy.” Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that can result in abnormalities in hippocampal physiology and subsequent impaired cognition. Deep brain stimulation neuromodulation has shown promising results in alleviating cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy.

Dr. Lee said, “I am deeply grateful and honored to be awarded the Van Wagenen fellowship. This fellowship will afford me the opportunity to investigate and develop novel applications for deep brain stimulation neuromodulation for cognition in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to the educational and scientific benefits of this endeavor, this is an ideal opportunity for me to collaborate with world-renowned experts in the field and develop long-lasting partnerships for future research and clinical development.”

Dr. Miller will travel to The Netherlands, where he will be hosted by University Medical Center, Utrecht. Under the mentorship of Peter van Rijen, Nick Ramsey and Pierre Robe, Dr. Miller will pursue his research topic of “Network neurophysiology for implanted closed-loop brain computer interfaces.” The team he will be working with in Utrecht has developed a device for standalone brain computer interfaces (BCIs) using a fully implanted recording device that wirelessly interacts with a tablet. He will spend his Van Wagenen fellowship year learning scientific and surgical techniques for implanting these devices. He will also be learning techniques for electrode implantation in epilepsy patients with research in brain connectivity using paired cortical stimulation and recording in concert with 7-tesla fMRI.

Dr. Miller said, “This is an amazing opportunity and a true honor. I hope to use this as a launching board to create the next generation of cybernetic devices for helping patients with neurological disease.”

Awarded annually since 1968, the Van Wagenen Fellowship is offered for post-residency study in a foreign country for a period of 12 months. The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship was established by the estate of Dr. Van Wagenen, who was one of the founders and the first president of the Harvey Cushing Society, now the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). The Van Wagenen Fellowship was designed to provide freedom in scientific development without the restrictive limitations usually imposed by many research grants and fellowships.

With the application period beginning in July, candidacy for the fellowship is open to all senior neurosurgical residents (PGY 6 and PGY7) in approved neurosurgery residency programs and whose intent is to pursue an academic career in neurological surgery. For additional information on the Van Wagenen Fellowship opportunity or for an application, visit or call the AANS at 847.378.0500.

To support similar research and educational programs, consider a donation to the NREF at

About the NREFThe Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1980 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) to support research and education efforts that enhance and confirm the critical role neurosurgeons play in improving lives.

Through voluntary public donations, corporate support, and donations from allied groups, the NREF supports endeavors that impact the lives of those suffering from epilepsy, stroke, brain tumors, spinal disorders, sports-related head injuries, lower back pain and Parkinson’s disease. For more information about NREF, please visit