Newswise — September 6, 2022 (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) – The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships.

The Foundation awarded 13 medical student fellowships this year.

“The NREF is delighted to recognize the promise and potential of these medical students focused on finding a cure for neurosurgical conditions,” says NREF chair, Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS.

The Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship (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, 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.  

The following individuals have been awarded a 2022 NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

  • Talia Wenger, Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Akash Mishra, Northwell Health
  • Nicholas Dadario, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School / Rutgers University
  • Aditya Mittal, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jacob Sperber, Duke University
  • Sam Jiang, University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Shreya Budhiraja, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Andrew Hersh, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Dara Farhadi, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
  • Matt Findlay, University of Utah Health
  • Emily Xu, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Huy Dang, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Lilin Tong, Boston University School of Medicine

Applications for the 2023 NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship are open now through the NREF Online Grant Portal.

For information about NREF grant and fellowship programs, please contact 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