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Department News

William D. Snider, MD
William D. Snider, MD

William Snider, MD, professor of neurology and founding director of the UNC Neuroscience Center, retired from the UNC School of Medicine, effective February 1. He continues to teach two courses this semester that he developed for the new undergraduate neuroscience major at UNC-Chapel Hill. Read more about Dr. Snider’s career at UNC.

Chon Lee, MD, joined the Division of Child Neurology in March. Dr. Lee received her MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1987. After an internship in general surgery at USC, she completed residencies in child neurology and pediatrics, and fellowships in clinical neurophysiology and pediatric infectious disease from UNC. Dr. Lee is board certified in child neurology, pediatrics, epilepsy, and epilepsy monitoring. Welcome back, Dr. Lee!

We are pleased to introduce our nine incoming adult and child neurology residents as well as our six fellows in neuro-critical care, sleep, epilepsy and vascular disorders. Meet our new team members >

Amalia Peterson, MD, and Victor Lin, MD, have been selected as Adult Neurology’s Chief Residents for 2019 – 2020. Current chiefs, Katie Moore, MD, and Luke Barr, MD, will pass along their responsibilities beginning on June 24.

NCBC recently awarded a grant proposal submitted by Ian Shih, PhD, for a cryoprobe. The instrument, to be received in FY20, will enhance the capacity and infrastructure in the BRIC small animal imaging core.

The UNC Hospitals Neurology Clinic was officially recognized as a Partner in MS Care through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Partners in MS Care program. This formal recognition honors the clinic’s commitment to providing exceptional, coordinated MS care; and a continuing partnership with the Society to address the challenges of people affected by MS. Learn more >

MS team award
Partner in MS Care award

The UNC Stroke team underwent a successful onsite survey on February 11 and 12.  The program anticipates full recertification as a comprehensive stroke center this month.


Todd Cohen, PhD, and Jonathan Schisler, PhD
Todd Cohen, PhD, and Jonathan Schisler, PhD

Todd Cohen, PhD, and Jonathan Schisler, PhD, (UNC Department of Pharmacology), received a $3.1-million grant award from the National Institute on Aging to investigate new ideas related to the regulation of the Tau protein, which plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more >

In addition, Dr. Cohen and Youjun Chen, PhD, showed that therapeutic approaches that inhibit SG formation may be effective at suppressing TDP-43–mediated toxicity in patients with ALS and related TDP-43 proteinopathies in an article published in the Journal of Biochemistry.

Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD; Casey Olm-Shipman, MD, MS; and other researchers from UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy published, “Enhanced Renal Clearance in Patients with Hemorrhagic Stroke” in Critical Care Medicine.

Irena Djumovic Basuroski, MD, and other researchers published, “Brain and cord imaging features in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders,” in Annals of Neurology.


Dan Kaufer, MD:

  • Directed a symposium on cholinergic networks in neuropsychiatry as part of the 30th annual meeting of the American Neuropsychiatric Association on  March 20 in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Gave a lecture on dementia at the NC Neurological Society meeting in February.
  • Spoke at the 2nd Annual Seminar on Primary Progressive Aphasia on January 25 at the Davis Center in RTP. 130 people attended the conference including speech language pathologists, social workers, and caregivers of patients diagnosed with PPA and other forms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration.
  • Participated in a closed workshop held in Denver, Colorado on culinary medicine on December 1, 2018, presenting on the beneficial effects of the MIND diet for preserving cognitive abilities in seniors.

Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, presented “Are we different? Gender and Parkinson’s” at the Parkinson’s Foundation National Caregiver Summit on December 1 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, at the Caregiver Summit
Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, at the Caregiver Summit

In addition, Ms. Shurer and Megan Feeney, MPH, from the Parkinson’s Foundation discussed the Foundation’s Women and PD Initiative – the first national effort addressing gender disparities in Parkinson’s research and care in a Podcast released in March.

Todd Cohen, PhD, presented a lecture on Alzheimer’s disease to 200 members of the North Carolina Continuing Care Residents Association at Galloway Ridge in Pittsboro in April.


Dan Kaufer, MD, was featured in this WRAL video: “Lesser-known dementias and the difficulty of diagnosing them: A Q & A with Woody Durham’s neurologist.” Dr. Kaufer was also interviewed for a second WRAL story, “Woody Durham’s widow now his voice in raising awareness of PPA.”

Dr. Kaufer - WRAL video

In addition, Dr. Kaufer was quoted in a UNC Health Talk article: “One Couple’s Journey with Primary Progressive Aphasia.”

Zheng (Jane) Fan, MD, and Yael Shiloh-Malawsky, MD, discuss the life-changing effects of the drug Spinraza on pediatric patients with spinal muscular atrophy in this touching patient story and video produced by UNC Health Care.

Drs. Fan & Shiloh-Malaski - Spinraza video

Bradley Vaughn, MD, was selected by Reader’s Digest as the best sleep doctor in North Carolina in this recent article, “Best sleep doctor in every state.”

David Huang, MD, PhD, answers important questions about stroke in a UNC Health Care article, “What Happens When You Have a Stroke.”

William Powers, MD, and David Huang, MD, PhD, were featured in a newsletter article on stroke published by the UNC Medical Foundation.

James Howard, MD, was quoted in an article published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in January.


UNC Neurology and the UNC Division of Physical Therapy teamed up to raise $3,100 for Walk MS – Raleigh 2019 on Saturday, March 23. The event brought together a community of passionate people to connect and raise funds for people affected by multiple sclerosis.

MS Walk 2019   MS Walk 2019


The 2019 Southeast Family Conference, sponsored and organized by CurePSP and the UNC Movement Disorders Center, will be held on June 6 at the Embassy Suites – Raleigh Durham Airport. The conference will provide opportunities for patients and caregivers to learn more about PSP, CBD, and MSA. Learn more >

CurePSP event - 6-7-2019