The program will enable trainees to become independent
investigators in the design and conduct of clinical studies in MS
and other autoimmune diseases. The Fellowship will be designed as
a two-year program, consisting of the following components:
Clinical diagnosis and management of MS: In the
first 3-6 months, fellows undergo an initiation period during
which their role as a physician in the care of MS patients will
be reviewed by mentors. During this period fellows will learn how
to introduce patients to the concept of clinical trials and
informed consent. Fellows will also be trained in the
comprehensive evaluation of patients with multiple sclerosis,
including the management of relapses and progressive disease, and
the appropriate choice of therapy for each disease stage.
Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials: The
fellow will be expected to participate actively in clinical
trials involving all stages of MS as an examining physician.
He/she will gain experience in the use and interpretation of
clinical outcome measures such as the EDSS, the multiple
sclerosis functional composite (MSFC), and MRI-based outcome
MRI-based Research: Most clinical trials in MS
depend heavily on MRI as an outcome measure. Neuro-radiologists
with special expertise in MRI are responsible for the acquisition
and analysis of imaging studies. A portion of the fellow's
training time will be devoted to the review of the MRIs connected
with the trials. More advanced MRI research activity may be
conducted locally or can be arranged in collaboration with the
MRI units at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston or the MRI
Unit at NINDS, NIH. Two 1.5 T magnets capable of multi-voxel MRS
are currently available, and a 3.0 T magnet is on order.
Formal course work in immunology, epidemiology,
biostatistics, and trial design: Understanding
statistical principles as applied to biomedical investigation is
an important component of the fellowship. Several courses are
available through the UVM College of Medicine in the Departments
of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Epidemiology and
Public Health. In addition a course is offered in Clinical trial
design entitled Designing Clinical Research that the fellow will
be expected to take.
Basic research opportunities: Fellows interested
in basic research will have the opportunity to work in
conjunction with one of the faculty members in the Neuroscience
program. Areas of training include cellular and molecular
immunology, cytokine research, neuropathology, and genetics.
Additional research opportunities can be arranged through
collaboration with the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham
and Women's Hospital, or the Department of Neurology at the
University of Maryland.
Fellows will be encouraged to develop independent research
projects related to MS in one or more of the areas described
above. They will also be expected to participate in seminars to
review their research progress, to interact with other research
groups in clinical or laboratory Neuroimmunology, to prepare a
presentation for Neuroscience Grand Rounds once a year, to
present their research findings at local and national meetings,
and to publish findings in peer-reviewed medical journals.
The Director of the MS Center at UVM Medical Center
and other faculty members of the Departments of Neurology,
Radiology, Pathology, Ophthalmology and the Basic Neurosciences
will assist. In addition, the fellow will work closely with Nurse
Practitioners and Study Coordinators in the conduct of clinical
trials. A reading list of relevant articles and books or book
chapters will be supplied and updated on a regular basis. In
additon, the fellow will be expected to locate and review
publications relevant to MS care and research, and discuss them
with the preceptor on a regular basis.
Eligibility and Application
The program is designed as a post-doctoral fellowship.
Individuals with MD or MD/PhD degrees are encouraged to apply.
Preference will be given to applicants who have completed an
accredited 3-year Neurology residency program. Applicants should be
board-eligible for certification by the American Board of
Psychiatry and Neurology, and qualified for licensure in the State
of Vermont. Fellowships in Neuroimmunology or Multiple Sclerosis
accredited by the ACGME. The following
documentation must be provided at the time of application:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Statement of specific interests and career plans
- Three letters of recommendation from previous preceptors,
program directors, or research collaborators
The fellowship is designed as a two-year program, with the
possibility of further extension.
Stipends will be commensurate with level of post-doctoral
training, generally at the PGY5 and PGY6 levels in accordance
with UVM Medical Center guidelines.
For further information potential applicants should contact:
Angela Applebee, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of Vermont College of Medicine
1 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401