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Welcome New Faculty and APP’s

Winnie Lau, MD Winnie Lau, MD, joined the Neurocritical Care team this fall. Dr. Lau received her MD from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2012. She then completed her residency in neurology from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2016 and her fellowship in neurocritical care at UNC Chapel Hill in 2018.
Meredith Maguire, PA-C, MPAS Meredith Maguire, PA-C, MPAS, joined Dr. Subramaniam in General Neurology in September. Meredith graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 with a BA in behavioral biology. She completed her MS in Physician Assistant Studies in 2016.
Stephanie Iyer, PharmD, CPP Stephanie Iyer, PharmD, CPP, is a new pharmacist at the Neurology Clinic. Stephanie completed her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science in 2015 and her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2016 from UNC Chapel Hill. She then completed a PGY1 residency in the ambulatory care setting at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast in Concord, NC in 2017.


Beacon AwardThe UNC Neurosciences ICU received the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence reflecting exceptional patient care and healthy work environments. We are the only Neuroscience ICU in the state of NC to hold this award.

A Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Center has been developed under the leadership of Zheng (Jane) Fan, MD.

A Charcot Marie Tooth Neuropathy Center, certified by CMT Association, has been developed under the leadership of Rebecca Traub, MD.

The UNC Neurology MS Center recently became a member of the CMSC (Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers), and is now listed as one of 250 centers in the US and Canada that provide comprehensive MS care. This membership opens up opportunities for multicenter research coordinated by CMSC.

In November, UNC Neurology MS Center began offering an interdisciplinary, once-a-month clinic that offers appointments with an MS specialist, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a speech/cognitive rehabilitation therapist all on the same day.

Miriam Skerlov, MD, and Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, are starting the state’s first support group for multiple system atrophy. The inaugural meeting will be held on December 19th at the Center for Rehabilitation Care and will be offered on a quarterly basis.

Grants / Recognition

Shih Lab 2018
The Shih Lab. Yen-Yu Ian Shih, PhD, back row, center

Yen-Yu Ian Shih, PhD, received a four-year, $3.8-million BRAIN Initiative grant from the NIH ̶ the eighth such grant issued to UNC School of Medicine researchers since the initiative was launched in 2013 and the third for the Shih lab.

The Cohen Lab received a gift of $250,000 from two generous NC donors this fall to support Alzheimer’s disease research.

Dan Kaufer, MD, is co-investigator of a study funded by a $4.7 million grant from the NFL on the long-term effects of concussion on former players. The study is titled, “Mechanisms of and Potential Treatments for Repetitive Concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.”

Tim Gershon, MD, PhD, was awarded his third R01 grant by NINDS to study medulloblastoma.

Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD, was named a Partner in MS Care – Neurologic Care by the National MS Society. In addition, Dr. Basuroski was acknowledged on the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) website for her contribution to NORD’s web content on transverse myelitis.

Casey Olm-Shipman, MD, was awarded a $10,000 Junior Faculty Development Award for her project investigating clinician and surrogate decision-maker communication and the primary factors associated with distinct treatment decisions involving life-prolonging therapies in the ICU for patients with severe acute brain injury.

In addition, Dr. Olm-Shipman was appointed as the director of the UNC School of Medicine Physician Leadership in Quality and Safety Scholars Program for UNC medical students and faculty mentors. Dr. Olm-Shipman also served as the director of the Neurocritical Care Society’s inaugural course: “Building a Quality Improvement Program in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit” at the national meeting in September 2018.

Miriam Sklerov, MD, received an NC TraCS Pilot Award to fund her research, “Functional and Structural Neuroimaging as a Marker of Autonomic Dysfunction in Parkinsons Disease.”

Nina Browner, MD, was featured in Vital SignsCarolina Care Highlight. Dr. Browner was recognized for receiving excellent patient reviews on the Press Ganey patient experience survey.

Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, and Nina Browner, MD, were featured in the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence series that highlighted UNC’s work to host statewide trainings on interdisciplinary care for Parkinson’s.

Adeel Yousaf, MD, is now Board Certified in Neurology with special qualification in Child Neurology. Also passing the Boards: Dr. Thomas Foutz, Epilepsy Fellow, and our most recent residency graduates: Drs. John Herndon, Ameeta Karmarkar, Krzysztof Romanowski, Danushka Tememe, and Venka Veerappan. This year brings us to a successful four-year run of 100% Board passing score for our residency program (with national average at 89 %).


AIDS researchIn November, the AIDS Neurological Center finished accruing the flagship ACTG neurological clinical trial (InMIND, A5324) that enrolled 186 participants with HIV Associated Neurological Disease in 25 US sites, three sites in South Africa, one site in Brazil, and two sites in Thailand. Kevin Robertson, PhD chairs this protocol, which is a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intensification with antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV-associated, neurocognitive disorder. The trial will run for another two years of study treatment follow-up.

Hae Won Shin, MD, along with other UNC researchers, published an article in NeuroImage titled, “Low-frequency direct cortical stimulation of left superior frontal gyrus enhances working memory performance.” Sept.

Miriam Sklerov, MD, and Nina Browner, MD, along with UNC Radiology’s Eran Dayan, PhD, published research in Clinical Autonomic Research titled, “Functional neuroimaging of the central autonomic network: developments and clinical implications.” Nov.

Dan Kaufer, MD, along with other researchers published:

  • “A computerized, self-administered test of verbal episodic memory in elderly
    patients with mild cognitive impairment and healthy participants: A randomized, crossover, validation study.” Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Sept.
  • “Dynamic Hyper-Graph Inference Framework for Computer Assisted Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases.” IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. Aug.
  • Book Chapter with Trey Bateman, MD: “Dorsolateral and cingulate cortex.”  In: The Human Frontal Lobes: Function and Disorders, 3nd, BL Miller, JL Cummings, eds., New York: Guilford, 2018.
  • Book Chapter with Sloane PD: “Alzheimer’s Disease” In: Conn’s Current Therapy 2018, ET Bope, RD Kellerman, eds. Elsevier: 2018.

Gary Jay, MD, along with other researchers, published:

  • “Headache Attributed to TMD Is Associated With the Presence of Comorbid Bodily Pain: A Case‐Control Study.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. Sept.
  • “Perspectives on the Opioid Crisis from Pain Medicine Clinicians.” Disease-A-Month, Oct.
Christine Miller (OE Coach) and Kayla Moore
Christine Miller (OE Coach) and Kayla Moore, MHA (Neurology Clinic Manager)

Neurology Clinic Manager Kayla Moore, MHA, and Christine Miller (OE Coach) presented their team’s research on patient experience at the UNC HealthCare’s Quality Expo on October 25. Other team members included Michael Forbes, MD, Cherrie Colmus-Harper, Rose Maness, Courtney Stewart and Michael Creech (PQI Coach).

Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD, was a co-author of two posters presented at the ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS), held in Berlin, Germany in October.

Susan E. Wilson, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, had research published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners titled: “Ischemic Stroke: Management by the Nurse Practitioner.”

Resident Drs. Steven Palmer, William Coleman, Pola Chojecka, Luke Barr, Matthew Burton and Victor Lin co-authored a poster titled, “Stroke Mimics: A Case of Intravascular Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Presenting as Recurrent CNS Infarctions.”  In October, Drs. Lin and Barr presented the poster during Sheldon Research Day at UNC, and Dr. Coleman presented it at the ANA conference in Atlanta.


James F. Howard Jr., MD, was an invited speaker at the Centennial Celebration of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan Italy.

Miriam Sklerov, MD, M.Sc., presented a poster in October at the American Autonomic Society meeting entitled “Distinguishing multiple system atrophy and Parkinson’s disease using resting state functional MRI: a pilot study.” Co-authors were Nina Browner, MD, and Eran Dayan, PhD.

Brain CircuitsDan Kaufer, MD:

  • Presentation to FDA regarding the clinical significance of REM sleep behavior disorder as an outcome measure for an investigational therapeutic trial.
  • Grand Rounds, Georgetown University Dept. of Neurology, Oct. 4: “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: The Controversial Crossroad of Dementia and TBI.”
  • Grand Rounds, UNC Neurology, Oct. 18: “Assessing Brain Fitness in Aging and Deficit Awareness in AD: Two Sides of the Same Coin.”

Gary Jay, MD:

  • Four talks during PAINWeek, Sept. 4-8: Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas.
  • UNC Campus Health Group lecture, Oct. 3: “Migraine!”
  • Ground Rounds, Dept. of Medicine, Oct. 11: “Pathophysiology of Minor Traumatic Brain Injury, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Post-Traumatic Headache.”
  • 5th Annual Human Abuse Liability and Abuse-Deterrent Formulations, Nov. 5-6, Herndon, VA: “Understand the Impact of CDC Guidelines on Pain Patients and the Physicians Who Try to Treat Them.”
  • Grand Rounds, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Nov. 5: “Headache – One Symptom, Multiple Diatheses.”
  • Lectures in Austin, TX – Nov. 10, St. Louis, MS – Oct.7, and Richmond VA- Oct 27: “Year of the Locusts: The CDC Guidelines Impact on Practitioners and Patients” and “Migraines A-Z.”

Daniel Roque, MD, presented a CME course titled “Parkinson’s Disease Update” to the provider community at FirstHealth in Pinehurst, NC, on October 29.

Robert Smith III, PhD:

  • Conducted a presentation to SOM Information Technology Leadership entitled “Diagnosing Leadership.” Dr. Smith spoke on leadership skill acquisition and maintenance.
  • Serves as an Executive Sponsor for the Health Care System Advanced Leadership Academy.  Presented on the following topics at the kickoff session:
    • Evidence Based Leadership Review
    • Carolina Leadership Models
  • Women PD talk national forum panel 2018Conducted a presentation on negotiation in academia for UNC-SOM Office of Faculty Affairs & Leadership Development.

In October, Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW spoke on a panel entitled “From experience to action: Addressing women’s needs” at the national forum for the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Women and PD Teams to Advance Learning and Knowledge (TALK) held in Houston, Texas. In addition, Jessica presented “The Parkinson’s Journey: More Than a Movement Disorder” at the annual Caregivers Summit in Raleigh on October 30.


The UNC Stroke Center in partnership with the UNC Center for Lifelong Learning hosted an informative daylong conference at the Friday Center on September 2: “When Stroke Strikes: An Update on the Care of Patients with Acute Stroke.” Seventy-two healthcare professionals from across the state attended to learn about stroke-specific updates from the new AHA/ASA guidelines; developments in minimally invasive treatments; the impact of depression on patients after stroke; and pediatric stroke.

The UNC Stroke Center, in partnership with the Health Care System Stroke and Chest Pain teams hosted a regional EMS Symposium on November 2 at UNC Rex. Fifty nurses, paramedics and EMT’s from regional agencies participated in this second annual UNC Health Care Heart & Brain Connection EMS event. The symposium included lectures on myocardial infarction, sepsis, shock, and seizures, and concluded with two interactive laboratories for participants focused on heart and brain dissection and neurologic assessment lab with stroke survivor volunteers.

   EMS 2018

The UNC Movement Disorders Center once again participated in the annual Moving Day NC Triangle Walk for Parkinson’s on November 3 in Raleigh. Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW launched the event in 2013 and served as the coordinator for more than three years. She remained on the planning committee in 2018 and volunteered in the Parkinson’s Positive tent. Drs. Nina Browner, Richard Murrow, Daniel Roque, and Kayla Moore, as well as Parkinson’s-specialized speech therapists from REX staffed the UNC Neurology table. The event raised more $184,000 and drew over 1,000 participants.

Moving Day    Moving Day 2018

On November 10, the UNC Stroke Center hosted their second annual Stroke Survivor and Caregiver event at the Carolina Inn. This free educational event offered a morning of helpful resources, inspirational speakers and an opportunity for fellowship among the 83 stroke survivors and caregivers who attended.

Stroke Survivor Event 2018    Stroke Team 2018

UNC Neurology enjoyed a fun-filled evening on December 1 at the Cloth Mill in Hillsborough where we gathered together as a community to celebrate an eventful 2018.

Holiday party 2018    Holiday party 2018


Timothy Gershon, MD, PhD, was interviewed on WRAL about his children’s cancer research funded by a $100,000 grant that UNC received from St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Neurologist Gary Jay, MD, discussed migraine headaches in October’s Men’s Health Magazine.

Jessica Shurer was interviewed about mood and coping with Parkinson’s on the Parkinson’s Foundation’s podcast series “Substantial Matters,” broadcast on September 25.