UNC Health Care Panther Creek
UNC Health Care Panther Creek

UNC Neurology is now providing general neurology, stroke and headache services at the new UNC Health Care Panther Creek facility in northwest Cary. The clinic is located at 6715 McCrimmon Parkway, at the corner of N.C. Highway 55. Learn more >

The Child Neurology Division is now offering services at the UNC Hospitals Children’s Specialty Services clinic at Raleigh located at 2801 Blue Ridge Road. Neurosurgery services are also offered.

The Bodford Family Transverse Myelitis Center opened its doors on October 31 in Hillsborough. The Center offers a multidisciplinary team of experts who develop individualized treatment strategies for each patient.


Welcome new Faculty and APP’S!

FACULTY

James Pham Ho, MD, is an assistant professor of stroke and vascular neurology. He is also an adjunct professor of neurointerventional radiology and neurosurgery. He received his MD from Drexel University College of Medicine followed by an internship in internal medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital and an adult neurology residency at Stanford University School of Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Ho finished a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of California in San Diego followed by a neurointerventional radiology fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill.

Clio Rubinos, MD
Clio Rubinos, MD

Clio Rubinos, MD, is an assistant professor of neurocritical care and epilepsy. She received her MD at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia followed by an internship in internal medicine and a residency in adult neurology at Loyola University Medical Center. In 2017, she finished a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology – EEG at New York University Langone Medical Center followed by a fellowship in neurocritical care at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2019.

ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDERS

Savannah Corey, LCSW, joined UNC last fall to provide support to the Bodford Family Transverse Myelitis Center within the Division of MS and Neuroimmunology. Savannah graduated from UNC Wilmington with a BSW. In 2016, she completed a MSW from East Carolina University.

Nikki Currence, MSM, RN, FNP-BC, started with the Division of Headache this January. She received a BA in 2008, and a MS in 2019 from UNC Chapel Hill.

Draia Garavito, MSN, AG-ACNP, CCRN-CSC, recently joined the NSICU team. She received an Associate’s degree in nursing from Western Piedmont Community College followed by an MS in nursing from UNC Chapel Hill. She later received post-graduate certification from Duke as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Sheila Munday, MSN, RN, AGNP started last March in General Neurology, but recently transitioned to the Stroke team and will be based at the UNC Panther Creek site. Sheila received a BS in business administration from San Jose State University and a BS in nursing from Johns Hopkins University. In 2016, she received an MS in nursing from UNC Chapel Hill.


Honors, Recognition and Awards

The Neurosciences ICU team were recipients of UNC Medical Center’s inaugural Quality and Safety Award. Through their dedication, Dr. Casey Olm-Shipman, the Stroke fellows (Drs. Richard Gandee, Mandy Hatfield, Uttam Verma Adam Waddell, and Dena Little) and the amazing NSICU APP’s all contributed to make this award possible.

NICU team
Neurosciences ICU Team Members

Drs. Daniel Kaufer, William Powers, Daniel Roque, Hae Won Shin, Bradley Vaughn, Nina Browner, Albert Hinn and David Huang were named to the North Carolina’s Best Doctors of 2019 list.

Nina Browner, MD, received the American Academy of Neurology’s 2020 A.B. Baker Teacher Recognition Award.

The Scientist magazine recognized Todd Cohen, PhD, as one of eight “Rising Stars in Neuroscience” for his research to understand protein quality control in neurodegenerative diseases.

MicroscopeIn addition, Todd Cohen, PhD, and Graham Diering, PhD, in Pharmacology won a $25,000 UNC NeuroSpark grant for their research project, “Targeting Sleep Disruption in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Matthew Field Sharrock, MD, received a $100,000 NIH subaward to develop a clinical trial neuroinformatics platform in collaboration with the Trial Innovation Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Ian Shih, PhD, received a $100,000 NIH supplement to upgrade the gradient amplifier of the 9.4T MRI system. In addition, Dr. Shih served as an NSF National High Magnetic Field Laboratory Review Panelist.

James F. Howard, Jr., MD, received an appreciation award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association for 40 years of loyal and dedicated service. The award was presented to Dr. Howard at the 2019 MDA Myasthenia Gravis Symposium held in Durham on November 2, 2019.

David Huang, MD, was assigned as Physician Lead for the Neuroscience Specialty Program at UNC Health Care.

Daniel Roque, MD, was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor of Neurology.

Adult PGY2 resident, Dr. Carolyn Tsai, was selected to participate in the AAN’s 18th annual Neurology on the Hill  from February 24-25. Dr. Tsai will travel to Washington DC to meet face-to-face with lawmakers to educate them about the critical role of neurologists in health care and the need for reform.

Betty Allen, RN, was last November’s Employee of the Month. Betty has played a vital role with UNC Neurology as a pediatric nurse for many years. Note: The monthly employee award is transitioning to a quarterly award; stay tuned for future announcements.


Publications and Research

Parkinsons GuideNina Browner, MD, and Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, wrote a book, Living Your Best Life: A Guide to Parkinson’s, published by the Parkinson’s Foundation and released on January 23. Tens of thousands of copies will be distributed both nationally and internationally.

Timothy Gershon, MD, PhD; Kirk Wilhelmsen, MD, PhD; their lab researchers; and a multidisciplinary team of scientists from UNC, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Colorado, University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada published research in Nature Communications: “scRNA-seq in medulloblastoma shows cellular heterogeneity and lineage expansion support resistance to SHH inhibitor therapy.” December 2019.

Tim Gershon, MD, PhD; Jennifer Ocasio, PhD; Rolf Bates and Carolyn Rapp published “GSK-3 modulates SHH-driven proliferation in postnatal cerebellar neurogenesis and medulloblastoma.” Development, October 2019; Lineberger article.

William Powers, MD, co-authored two papers:

  • “Guidelines for the Early Management of Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke: 2019 Update to the 2018 Guidelines for the Early Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke, A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.” Stroke, December 2019.

In addition, Dr. Powers spoke with the Neurology Times about updated guidelines from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for the early management of acute ischemic stroke.

Genetic sequencingKirk Wilhelmsen, MD, PhD, was a co-author of a research article published in Genetics in Medicine, “An approach to integrating exome sequencing for fetal structural anomalies into clinical practice.” January 2020.

Hae Won Shin, MD; Eldad Hadar, MD, and several other UNC researchers published “Network-Targeted, Multi-site Direct Cortical Stimulation Enhances Working Memory by Modulating Phase Lag of Low-Frequency Oscillations” in Cell Reports, November 2019.

James F. Howard, Jr., MD, co-authored “Long-term efficacy and safety of eculizumab in Japanese patients with generalized myasthenia gravis: A subgroup analysis of the REGAIN open-label extension study.” Journal of the Neurological Sciences, December 2019. (Drs. Howard & Chopra are members of the REGAIN Study Group.)

Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD, and a team of researchers from around the world published,Long-term outcome and prognosis in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders from Serbia.” Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, November 2019.

Steven P. Trau, MD, co-authored, “PURA syndrome and myotonia: a case report.” Pediatric Neurology, September 2019.

Dedrick Jordan, MD, and neurosurgery residents, Drs. Michael Catalino and Brice Kessler, published “Reducing the Reported Mortality Index within a Neurocritical Care Unit through Documentation and Coding Accuracy.” World Neurosurgery, January 2020.

David Huang, MD, PhD, was quoted in a Neurology Today article: “Endovascular Recanalization Is Safe and Effective for Pediatric Stroke, Study Finds.” November 21, 2019.


Presentations

Get With The Guidelines - Stroke 2019William Powers, MD, presented “Highlights of the 2019 Update of AHA/ASA Acute Stroke Management Guidelines” at the Indiana Neurological Society Annual Meeting in Carmel, Indiana on November 1.

Ian Shih, PhD, presented on the neurophysiological basis of fMRI signals in the striatum during the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago last October.

James F. Howard, Jr., MD, gave multiple presentations nationally and abroad:

  • 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), Glasgow, Scotland, October 8-9, 2019:
    • “Imaging Viscoelasticity of Control and Dystrophic Vastus Lateralis using Quantitative Viscoelastic Response (QVisR) Imaging”
    • “Texture in Quantitative Viscoelastic Response (QVisR) images reflects compositional differences in control versus dystrophic muscle, in vivo”
  • Myasthenia Gravis FoundationAnnual Scientific Session of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Austin, Texas, October 16, 2019.
    • “In-depth immune profiling of treatment-naïve myasthenia gravis patients”
    • “PROMISE-MG: A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study of the Comparative Effectiveness of Treatments for Myasthenia Gravis: Preliminary Results”
    • “Multicenter study of LRP4 and agrin antibodies in myasthenia gravis”
    • “Long-Term Efficacy of Eculizumab in Refractory Generalized Myasthenia Gravis: Responder Analyses”
    • “Zilucoplan, a Subcutaneously Self-Administered Peptide Inhibitor of Complement Component 5 (C5) for the Treatment of Generalized Myasthenia Gravis: Phase 2”
  • Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, San Antonio Texus, November 14-17, 2019
    • “The cold shoulder: a case report of an unusual cause of shoulder pain and weakness.”
  • Visiting Professor, University of Vermont School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience Grand Rounds, Burlington, Vermont, October 4, 2019
  • Keynote Address at 2019 MDA Myasthenia Gravis Symposium, Emerging Therapies for the Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis, Durham, NC, November 2, 2019
    • Manisha Chopra, MD, was also a speaker at this symposium

Bradley Vaughn, MD, spoke at the North Carolina Academy of Sleep Medicine annual conference on November 2 at the UNC Friday Center.

PGY4 adult neurology resident Victor Lin, MD, presented his research on the implementation of handoffs at the Neurocritical Care Society annual meeting in Vancouver on October 15.


Media

Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MDIrena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD, and Robert Smith, PhD, are featured in this inspiring video about one of our extraordinary MS patients, Victor Texeira, who rides his bike 30 miles per day, five days a week.

Daniel Kaufer, MD, weighed in on a new drug that may help early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. WRAL

Gwenn A. Garden, MD, PhD, was interviewed for an article in Bustle: “Dopamine Fasting Is a Digital Detox to the Extreme.”

Jonathan Schisler, PhD and Todd Cohen, PhD
Jonathan Schisler, PhD and Todd Cohen, PhD (l-r)

Todd Cohen, PhD, was featured in a UNC Endeavors article, “The Head and the Heart,” along with his colleague, Jonathan Schisler, PhD.

Bradley Vaughn, MD, describes how your brain is restored during sleep in this Bustle article: “What Happens to Your Brain When You’re Sleep Deprived.”

Michael Forbes, MD, spoke with Caroline Blair News about how stroke death rates are increasing amongst middle-aged adults.


Events

The UNC Movement Disorders team and the MS team organized two complementary training programs with Eastern AHEC in Greenville, NC last fall:

  • The 4th annual Colloquium on Interdisciplinary Care for Parkinson’s – November 7; and
  • The 1st annual Colloquium on Interdisciplinary Care for Multiple Sclerosis – November 8.

The inaugural MS event this year was an exciting addition since many rural rehabilitation therapists, general neurologists and nursing professionals who work with Parkinson’s also work with MS. Over 80 clinicians attended both days. Kudos to Nina Browner, MD; Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW; Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD; Kayla Moore, MHA; Stephanie Iyer, PharmD, CPP; and Savannah Corey, LCSW, for the many hours that were put into planning, preparing and presenting these events.

Parkinson's Colloquium 2020   MS Colloquium 2020

The UNC Movement Disorders Center hosted two special interest groups for women with Parkinson’s disease in late 2019 to address women’s different care considerations. These two meetings have since grown into a large, self-facilitated group, which recently had its third meeting.

The UNC Parkinson’s specialists and Allied Health Sciences professionals participated at the Parkinson’s Foundation’s NC Triangle Moving Day on November 2.

Moving Day 2020   Moving Day 2020

The UNC Department of Neurology celebrated the holidays with food and merriment at the Carolina Inn on December 14. More photos >

Holiday party 2020   Holiday Party 2020

UPCOMING EVENT

The UNC Health Care Stroke Consortium and UNC Rex are hosting three Advanced Stroke Life Support (ASLS) courses in 2020. ASLS addresses the prehospital, emergency department, and stroke unit management of patients with acute stroke by incorporating interactive discussions, hands-on workshops, video and standardized patients. To register: