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Staffing Announcements

New Interim Department Chair

Lawrence Marks, MD

On May 1, Lawrence “Larry” Marks, MD, assumed the role of Interim Chair of the Department of Neurology. During his time as the Neurology Chair, he will retain his current titles as Dr. Sidney K. Simon Distinguished Professorship of Oncology Research, and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, where he has served since 2008. His clinical and research interests include breast and lung cancer, and he is a national leader in studying the frequency and causes of “human-errors” in the clinic. Read more >

Department Retirements

Two members of the Department of Neurology, Drs. Tennison and Mann, have officially retired from the Department, but will continue their work at UNC on a part-time basis. Two other faculty members, Drs. Powers and Greenwood, recently started a three-year phased retirement process and will also begin working part-time.

Douglas Mann, MDJohn Douglas Mann, MD

Dr. Mann received his undergraduate bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1965 and his medical degree from Cornell in 1969. After completing a residency in neurology and a fellowship in neurochemistry at the University of Virginia he joined the UNC faculty in 1976, beginning a career in academic medicine spanning 42 years.

Dr. Mann has received many awards for outstanding teaching and clinical care throughout his years at UNC with particular emphases on brain chemistry, chronic pain and complementary medical practice. He has received major funding for his research which most recently has included the impact of dietary alterations in essential fatty acids on pain characteristics in subjects with chronic headache. Read more >

Michael Tennison, MDMichael Tennison, MD

Dr. Tennison trained at UNC from 1978-81 and was then in private practice for two years prior to returning to UNC and joining Robert Greenwood, MD. They were a division of two people for many years. Dr. Tennison was the director of the clinical neurophysiology laboratory until entering phased retirement.

Dr. Tennison has always been active in the clinic caring for children with neurological disorders.  Although he has had a focus on epilepsy, he has also been a generalist, fascinated by all aspects of child neurology. Read more >

William Powers, MDWilliam J. Powers, MD

Dr. Powers, entered the three-year phased retirement program and stepped down as Chair of the Department of Neurology on April 30. Dr. Powers was recruited to UNC from Washington University School of Medicine in 2007 to chair the Department.

Dr. Powers will continue as attending neurologist in the Neurology inpatient services and will participate in the educational programs of the Department. Over the past eleven years, Dr. Powers has presided over significant clinical and research advancement during his time as Chair, including the opening of the 16-bed Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit in 2010 and the opening of UNC’s first Epilepsy Monitoring Units. UNC Hospitals has also become a nationally recognized leader in stroke care.  Read more >

Robert Greenwood, MDRobert Greenwood, MD

Dr. Greenwood completed a pediatric and neurology residency and a research fellowship in neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and joined the Department of Neurology in 1977.

Dr. Greenwood’s accomplishments over the past 40 years are extensive. He served as the Child Neurology Division Chief and Child Neurology Program Director for 33 years and feels privileged to have trained many academic and practicing child neurologists through the Department’s ACGME residency program. In addition to his leadership roles, Dr. Greenwood also has had many productive years in research ranging from bench epilepsy research to translational work in neurocutaneous disorders. Read more >

Welcome new Faculty and APP’s

Babu Subramaniam, MD, joined us as an Assistant Professor in General Neurology in June. Dr. Subramaniam received his MD at the University of Madras, completed his residency at the University of Washington and his fellowships at the St. Louis University School of Medicine and the University of Florida. He is board certified in Neurology.

Darcy Subramaniam, DNP, FNP-C, APRN, joined the Epilepsy team in June. Ms. Subramaniam received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Doctorate as a Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Mary.

Hannah Dimsdale Johnson, MSN, AGACNP-BC, started with the Neuro ICU last December. She was previously a nurse in Duke’s Cardiac ICU. Hannah received her MSN from Duke and her BSN from East Carolina University.


Stroke award 2018 logoStroke Awards

Five UNC Health Care Hospitals (UNC Hospitals, UNC REX, Nash, Pardee and Wayne) received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. In addition, a sixth UNC hospital – UNC Lenoir – received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. These awards recognize the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded on the latest scientific evidence. Read more >

CurePSP Center of Care

Cure PSP Center of CareThe UNC Movement Disorders Center has been named a CurePSP Center of Care by the non-profit organization, CurePSP. CurePSP created this new network to help patients with atypical Parkinsonism disorders including progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal syndrome and multiple system atrophy (MSA) to locate the best possible care and other resources. Miriam Sklerov, MD, will be the director of the center. Read more >

Lewy Body Dementia Research Center of Excellence

Lewy Body RCOE logoUNC Neurology has been named a LBDA Research Center of Excellence (RCOE) by the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), the leading advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and advancing research about Lewy body dementia (LBD). This collaboration features 24 preeminent academic medical research centers across the United States, coordinated by Mayo Clinic. The LBDA RCOE program provides a centralized, coordinated research resource, supporting an expanded effort in conducting clinical trials related to LBD while helping to provide expert clinical care for patients, families and caregivers. Dan Kaufer, MD, is the director of the UNC Memory Disorders Program and UNC’s Lewy Body clinic.

New EEG equipment

The Clinical Neurophysiology Lab has completed the upgrade of EEG monitoring equipment for the Pediatric services to Natus. The upgrade will give the Pediatric EMU the ability to monitor up to six inpatients at a time and provide a better functional recording and review platform. The Clinical Neurophysiology labs as well as the UNC Sleep Center are currently in planning for the replacement of their equipment for all adult services in the coming months.

Awards / Recognition / Grants

Todd J. Cohen, PhD, and his research lab have recently received three separate foundation grants for a total of $460,000 over three years to study rare neurodegenerative diseases. The grants include: the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD): $60,000; the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA): $100,000/year for three years; and CurePSP: $50,000/year for two years. Read more >

In addition, Dr. Cohen received the Pierre Morell Neuroscience Mentor of the Year Award in acknowledgement of his effort and passion for teaching others.

The School of Medicine named Yen-Yu Ian Shih, PhD, as one of three recipients of the Yang Family Biomedical Scholars Award. Recipients will receive a generous grant to be used at their discretion for biomedical research.

Physicians Nina Browner, James Howard, Richard Murrow, Daniel A Roque and nurse practitioner Nansi M. Greger-Holt received the 2018 UNC Health Care and UNC Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence. Learn more

Jane Fan, MD was appointed as the Division Head of Child Neurology.

Yiting Yang and Diana Cejas received board certification in child neurology.

Will Coleman, PGY3 resident, received the Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Teaching Award from the UNC medical student class.


BrainWilliam Powers, MD:

  • Keynote Address: “A Look Beyond the Velvet Rope: A behind the scenes look into the creation of the 2018 AIS Guidelines” Georgia Stroke Professional Alliance, Atlanta, GA, May 15, 2018
  • “Highlights from the 2018 ASA/AHA Guidelines for Acute Ischemic Stroke” 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Los Angeles CA, April 23, 2018
  • Keynote Address, “Cerebral Oxygen Extraction Fraction and Stroke Risk in Patients with Carotid Artery Occlusion” 15th China Forum on Cerebrovascular Disease, Beijing China, April 14, 2018

James F. Howard, MD:

  • Betty Heath Baldwin Memorial Distinguished Lectureship in Myasthenia Gravis, “Emerging Therapeutics in Myasthenia Gravis.” University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, April 2, 2018
  • Invited lecturer at 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology Clinical Trials Plenary Session, “A double-blind placebo-controlled study to evaluate safety and efficacy of FcRn-antagonist ARGX-113 (efgartigimod) in generalized myasthenia gravis” in Los Angeles, April 24, 2018
  • Invited speaker at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology, “Complement inhibition in the treatment of myasthenia gravis” in Sapporo Japan, May 24 where he also co-moderated one of the scientific sessions

Bradley V. Vaughn, MD:
At the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Los Angeles, CA:

  • Co-chair of the Platform session on “Sleep” with a brief talk at the end on “Sleep Disorders and Cognitive Function – From Biomarkers to Therapy Targets,” April 23
  • Lecture – “Sleep Related Epilepsies,” April  24
  • Course Chair – “Using Sleep to Solve Difficult Neurologic Cases,” April 26

Gary W. Jay, MD:

  • Abuse-Deterrent Formulations Summit, March 13 and 14, in Silver Springs, MD
    Talk: “The Impact of the CDC guidelines On Pain Patients and the Physicians who Try to Treat them”
  • Panelist: “Provider Networks and Current and Desired Paths for Treating Addiction and Abuse”

Presenters at the Mid-Atlantic Stroke Quality Summit, April 23-27, Raleigh, NC:

  • David Huang, MD, PhD, “Adapting stroke systems of care” panel discussion
  • Nicole Burnett, BSN, RN, CNRN, SCRN, CCRN-K co-presented “Building the quality bridge from primary to comprehensive stroke centers: Caring for patients undergoing endovascular stroke treatments”
  • Susan Wilson, DNP, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, “Implementation and evaluation of a post-stroke depression improvement program”


James F. Howard, MD, along with other researchers published:

  • “Distinct representation of muscle weakness in QMG and MG-ADL” – Authors’ reply. Lancet Neurology
  • “IL-10 paradoxically promotes autoimmune polyneuropathy through S1pr1-dependent T cell migration,” Journal of Immunology
  • “Correlation between MG-ADL and QMG assessments of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive refractory generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) in the phase 3 REGAIN study,” Muscle Nerve
  • “A checklist for clinical trials: obstacles and anticipatory actions,” Trials. May 2018

Dr. Howard also presented 14 scientific papers and posters at six conferences around the world. Read more >

Miriam Sklerov, MD; Nina Browner, MD, and neuroscientist Eran Dayan, PhD, published research in Neurology: “Disrupted hypothalamic functional connectivity in patients with PD and autonomic dysfunction” May 2018

Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, was the UNC site PI of the clinical trial, “Serum GFAP and UCH-L1 for prediction of absence of intracranial injuries on head CT (ALERT-TBI): a multicentre observational study” and co-author on the published trial results in Lancet Neurology.

In addition, Dr. Jordan and the Neurocritical care research group collaborated with the School of Pharmacy for research published in Neurocritical Care: “The Impact of Capping Creatinine Clearance on Achieving Therapeutic Vancomycin Concentrations in Neurocritically Ill Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury.”

David Huang, MD, PhD, was part of a research team that published, “Strategies for improving outcomes in the acute management of ischemic stroke in rural emergency departments: a quality improvement initiative in the Stroke Belt” in Dove Press, May 2018


Implant offers options, normalcy for epilepsy patientsHae Won Shin, MD, and neurosurgeon Eldad Hadar, MD, discussed RNS (responsive neuro stimulation) therapy in a WRAL interview: “New implant offers options, normalcy for epilepsy patients”

Dan Kaufer, MD, was interviewed for several articles:

  • HealthDay, “Tough Times Can Leave Their Mark on the Older Brain”
  • Everyday Health, “New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Promise in Trial”
  • Everyday Health, “Common Drugs May Raise Dementia Risk”
  • UNC Health Talk, “Lesser-Known Dementias and the Difficulty of Diagnosing Them
  • UNC Health Talk, “Want to Stay Sharp? Maintain Your Social Brain”

Thomas DeMarse, PhD, was quoted in a article, “The Birth of Wetware” that profiles Koniku, a startup company.

Gary Jay, MD, was interviewed for three articles:

  • UNC Health Talk, “Will This New Drug Mean Relief for Migraine Sufferers”
  • UNC Health Talk, “Can Eating Hot Peppers Give You a Thunderclap Headache?”
  • UNC Health Talk, “Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug Available at Pharmacies”

William Powers, MD, was quoted in a UNC Health Talk article, “People Having a Stroke Now Have More Options for Treatment.”

Richard Murrow, MD, was interviewed for a UNC Health Talk article, “How Deep Brain Stimulation Helps Parkinson’s Patients.”

Bradley Vaughn, MD, shared what feeling sleepy versus feeling fatigued might indicate and how to minimize groggy mornings in an article for Tonic.

Todd Cohen, PhD, was interviewed on Radio In Vivo about new research discoveries for Alzheimer’s, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Jessica Shurer, LCSW, wrote a blog for the Parkinson’s Foundation, “The Expert Care Experience: The role of a social worker in caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease.”


Retiree Reception

At a Carolina Inn reception on June 29, the Department honored Drs. Douglas Mann and Michael Tennison on their retirement, and Drs. Bill Powers and Robert Greenwood on their three-year phased retirement. Fortunately, we don’t have to say goodbye since all four will continue with us on a part-time basis. More photos >

     Retirement Reception 2018

Family Day

On June 23, the Neurology Department shared of a day of community, food and fun at Southern Community Park. It was beautiful day to gather together and meet the families. More photos >

    Family Day 2018

EMS Symposium

UNC Stroke and Chest Pain Centers hosted a symposium for local EMS providers on May 15. This year’s event focused on: stroke, STEMI, shock, spinal cord injury and sepsis.

Stroke EMS symposium 2018

Upcoming Event – When Stroke Strikes

The Carolina Nursing Center for Lifelong Learning and the UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center will present a new educational program, “When Stroke Strikes: An Update on the Care of Patients with Acute Stroke” on September 7. The program is designed for nurses and other healthcare providers who would like to learn more about caring for stroke patients. More information >

When Stroke Strikes

Special Thanks

Stop Soldier SuicideAdministrative Coordinator Rosemary Reynolds would like to express her sincere gratitude to everyone who made a donation in memory of her daughter to the 501(c)3 organization, Stop Soldier Suicide. The $805 collected will provide 12 months of case management and support for a service member or veteran. If you would like to make a contribution, please visit the Stop Soldier Suicide website.