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Surgical Movement Disorders Center
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Training Opportunities

UCSF Movement Disorders Fellowship

The UCSF fellowship in movement disorders is a fully funded two-year program, which immerses our fellows in a comprehensive and extraordinarily diverse clinical experience at UCSF, in partnership with the San Francisco VA Parkinson’s Disease and Research Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC). A collegial and supportive spirit of collaboration has been present in our center and in our fellowship from the outset. For well over a decade our fellows have greatly benefited from our seamless integration with functional neurosurgery.

In recent years, the fellowship experience has been enhanced by greater integration with the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC), a world-renowned of behavioral neurology center conducting cutting-edge dementia and neurodegenerative disease care and research. Since 2014, when Dr. Caroline Tanner, MD, PhD joined the faculty at UCSF, fellows have had even greater training in the design and conduct of clinical trials, observational clinical research, and epidemiology. Our fellowship is unique in that it provides a highly integrated multidisciplinary experience where fellows are co-mentored by dedicated movement disorders neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists who specialize in advanced treatments for Parkinson’s disease, including deep brain stimulation (DBS). We continue to build upon this foundation to create an innovative and unique movement disorders fellowship that integrates our strengths in clinical research, epidemiology, basal ganglia physiology, cognitive and behavioral neurology.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation recently recognized our excellence and innovation in fellowship training when it chose UCSF as one of the sites for the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movements Disorders for 2017-2019.

Fellowship Director
Nicholas B. Galifianakis, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
415-353-2311 (change to Janet’s phone)
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

How to Apply
Our fellowship program participates in the national SFMATCH application service for movement disorders fellowships. New application cycles typically begin in April, applications are due by the end of May, and interviews are conducted for select candidates in June/July, a full year (12-15 months) before the start date of the fellowship.

Therefore, interested applicants should apply through sfmatch.org during their PGY3 year of neurology residency, (providing a CV, personal statement and 3 letters of recommendation). Applicants are also welcome to contact the Dr. Galifianakis (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) with any questions.

The University of California is an AA/EEO employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities and women.

The UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center has over 40 active clinical research projects. Fellows receive research mentorship from internationally recognized leaders in the field. In addition to our historically strong neurophysiology research and clinical trials involving DBS (with Dr. Philip Starr’s lab), fellows can now participate in PD biomarker research, epidemiological and field research, cognitive-behavioral research, as well as patient-centered outcomes research in palliative care and telemedicine. Fellows are exposed to the use cutting edge science and technology, including closed-loop stimulation paradigms, chronic recording devices that utilize electro-corticography, novel devices to diminish tremor, and objective motor assessment technology. Fellows have access to data from our clinical research database, and ample protected time in the first and especially the second year of the program to initiate and complete their own research. In addition, UCSF is a Parkinson Study Group (PSG) site and is participating in the MJFF-sponsored PPMI study. The Department of Neurology at UCSF has made an extensive commitment to translational research and is fully committed to providing an outstanding scientific environment for research. It provides individualized support from the central administrative core of the department.

Clinical Care
Our fellows are immersed in a comprehensive and extraordinarily diverse clinical experience. Multidisciplinary collaboration with neurosurgery, behavioral neurology, psychiatry, neuropsychology and nursing is central. The fellows are deeply involved for the entire course of disease management, from early detection of PD through palliative/supportive care. Working in one of most experienced DBS centers in the world, our fellows gain expertise in all aspects of DBS management, from pre-operative candidacy evaluation, to intraoperative physiology, to the use of interventional-MRI (iMRI) technique of implanting DBS electrodes (which was developed at our center), to post-operative programming. Telemedicine, including video care into the home, is routinely used. Fellows participate in the forward thinking PD palliative care clinics (one of three in North America) with neurologists, palliative care physicians, social work, nursing, and chaplain care. Our fellows gain experience in our dystonia center’s botulinum toxin injection clinic, hands-on from the first month, utilizing EMG and ultrasound guidance. They develop additional independence by managing their own patients longitudinally for two years in supervised weekly continuity clinics, at the PADRECC. Fellows benefit from a weekly movement disorders journal club, video rounds, and neurophysiology conferences where they also rotate as presenters, as well as monthly teleconferences and optional fellowship exchanges with other prominent movement disorder centers. Our training program allows for fellows to attend the Aspen Movement Disorders Course and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society Annual Meeting.

The goal of the UCSF Movement Disorders Fellowship is to train the next generation of leading academic clinicians that will advance the understanding and treatment of PD and other movement disorders. Mentoring strong, future junior faculty members provides some of the greatest joy to the faculty and is of the highest priority at our center. Early in the fellowship, each fellow identifies at least one primary faculty mentor to help direct and advise the design and conduct of an individual research project, submission of publications, and presentation at scientific meetings. We have also instituted a formalized evaluation program, where fellows are evaluated every 6 months and are given constructive feedback to ensure continued development and growth. We work with second-year fellows closely to develop where and how they will start their career. Perhaps the strongest evidence of our center’s training excellence, support, and commitment is the success of our former fellows (see below). Many of our graduates are now movement disorders faculty at academic institutions including UCSF, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Emory, Case Western Reserve, and the University of Florida.

Former Fellows: Where are they now?

Svjetlana Miocinovic, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

Jennifer Chen, MD
Clinical Fellow in Sleep Disorders
Stanford School of Medicine
Stanford, CA

Erica Byrd, MD
Movement Disorders Specialist
Sutter Neuroscience Institute
Roseville, CA

Melanie Lising, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Stanford School of Medicine
Stanford, CA

Robert R. Coleman, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Michigan State University, Spectrum Health
Grand Rapids, MI

Kelly Mills, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Associate Director, DBS Center
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

Maya Katz, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
San Francisco, CA

Camilla Kilbane, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

Jennifer Landes Witt, MD
Movement Disorders Specialist
Swedish Neuroscience Institute
Seattle, WA

Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Rima Ash, MD
Movement Disorders Specialist,
Kaiser Permanente
San Francisco, CA

Nicholas B. Galifianakis, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Movement Disorders Fellowship
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
San Francisco, CA

Lauren Schrock, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Medical Director, DBS Program
University of Utah Health Care
Salt Lake City, UT

Ken Nakamora, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
San Francisco, CA

Stacie Daniels, MD
Movement Disorders Neurologist
Kaiser Permanente
Anitoch, CA

Suketu Khandhar, MD
Director, Surgical treatments of PD
Kaiser Permanente
Sacramento, CA

Anthony Mosley, MD
Founder, Movement Disorders Specialist
NW Valley Neurology & Parkinson's Care
Associates Phoenix, AZ

Current Fellows
New Fellows

Cameron Dietiker, MD
University of California, San Francisco

Nijee Luthra MD, PhD
University of California, Davis

Mitra Afshari, MD
Northwestern University

Ethan Brown, MD
University of California, San Francisco

Kyle Mitchell, MD
Washington University

Safra Foundation-funded fellowship
PADRECC-funded fellowship