Newswise — The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships (MSSRFs). With support from Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS, and the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation (SBTF), the NREF is awarding 22 medical student fellowships this year.

“Dr. Cohen-Gadol sets a terrific example for our specialty. His generosity in donating royalties from the sale of the COHEN™ Bipolar Forceps from Kirwan Surgical Products demonstrates how one person’s commitment can provide meaningful and impactful support for neurosurgery,” says NREF Chair Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS. “The NREF is also happy to welcome the SBTF to the program. We are delighted they recognize the promise and potential of these medical students focused on finding a cure for brain tumors.” 

The MSSRF program offers fellowships in the amount of $2,500 to medical students in the United States, Canada or Mexico who have completed one or more years of medical school. The fellowship includes 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 neurosurgery. The SBTF is honored to join with the NREF in furthering the mission to support research that will one day improve the quality of life for brain tumor patients,” says SBTF Executive Director Geri Shaffer. 

The NREF is pleased to announce the 2021 NREF & Aaron Cohen-Gadol Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship recipients: 

  • Tara Dalton, Duke University
  • Rachel Gologorsky, NYU Langone Health
  • Katherine Link, NYU Langone
  • Patrick Ng, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Alexandra J. White, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute

The following individual has been awarded a 2021 NREF & Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation (SBTF) Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

  • Troy Patrick Carnwath, University of Cincinnati

The following individuals have been awarded a 2021 NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

  • Oluwaseyi Adeuyan, The Neurological Institute at NYP/Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Jonathan Bao, Albany Medical College
  • Megan Bauman, Mayo Clinic
  • Eric Chalif, University of California, San Francisco
  • Sung Min (Jane) Han, MS, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
  • Marita Ann John, Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Aditi Kulkarni, University of Minnesota
  • Bennett Levy, University of Buffalo
  • Alice Liu, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Ian Mandybur, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Danielle McAuliffe, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University / National Institutes of Health
  • Anthony Piscopo, University of Iowa
  • Je Yeong Sone, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences
  • Yohannes Tsehay, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Bradley Wilhelmy, The University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Daniel Yang Zhang, Rush Medical College


For information about NREF grant and fellowship programs, please contact the NREF at 847.378.0500 or [email protected].




About the NREF The 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.

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, in order 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