Newswise — The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships (MSSRFs).

With ongoing support from Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS, through royalties from the sale of the COHEN™ Bipolar Forceps from Kirwan Surgical Products to the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fund. The NREF was able to award twenty medical student fellowships this year.

“Dr. Cohen-Gadol sets a terrific example for others to follow. His generosity demonstrates how one donor’s commitment can provide meaningful and impactful support for a program,” says NREF Chair Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS.

The MSSRF program offers fellowships in the amount of $2,500 to medical students in the United States or Canada, who have completed one or more years of medical school and wish to spend a summer working in a neurosurgical laboratory, mentored by a neurosurgical investigator sponsor, who is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

Annually, these fellowships go to the brightest and most dedicated students, whose research projects are aimed at the better understanding, treatment and prevention of neurological disorders and improved patient care. “This year’s awardees represent the future of our specialty. It’s an honor to play a role in furthering the NREF mission to support research and educational endeavors,” says Dr. Cohen-Gadol.

The NREF is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been awarded a 2020 Aaron Cohen-Gadol Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

  • Andrew Scott Emmert, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Ashley Dunbar, Yale University
  • Timothy Yushin Kim, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Phillip Kubica, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health
  • Sakibul Huq, Johns Hopkins University

 The following individuals have been awarded a 2020 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

  • Seth Stravers Tigchelaar, PhD, Stanford University
  • Emily Fellows, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Steven Willden, Barrow Neurological Institute
  • Oliver Young Tang, University of Pennsylvania
  • Olgert Bardhi, University of Florida
  • Meghan Price, Duke University
  • Adrian Rodrigues, Stanford University 
  • Manish Paranjpe, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Stephen Ward, University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Nimay Kulkarni, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • John “Jack” Butterfield, University of Minnesota
  • Kristie Liu, BS, MS, Keck School of Medicine - University of Southern California
  • Emre Kiziltug, Yale School of Medicine
  • Stephanie Casillo, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Nicholas J. Contillo, Wake Forest School of Medicine 

The application for the 2021 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships will be available through the NREF Online Grant Portal beginning November 1, 2020. For information about grant and fellowship programs, contact the NREF at 847.378.0500 or [email protected].

About the NREF

The 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.

The NREF is dedicated to providing education to neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers, as well as funding research into new and existing neurosurgical treatments, to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes in patient care. 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

About Kirwan

Kirwan Surgical Products LLC is dedicated to creating and developing superior products for demanding microsurgical specialties such as neurosurgery, ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and orthopaedic surgery.  Our mission is to provide innovative high quality products at competitive prices. We continue to be an innovator in the field of electrosurgery, and hold a number of patents on groundbreaking product designs and manufacturing techniques associated with the field. For information about the COHEN™ Bipolar Forceps from Kirwan Surgical Products, please visit forceps/cohen-bipolar-forceps.aspx.