Child Neurologist (protected time for research)
- Neurology - Pediatric, Neurology - Research, Pediatrics - Neurology
- Minneapolis, MN
The University of Minnesota Department of Neurology is seeking a board eligible/certified Child Neurology Physician/Scientist, to contribute to the advancement of pediatric neurology research taking place at various inter-departmental research facilities located on the campus of the University of Minnesota and at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The incoming physician/scientist will be appointed as qualified, at the academic rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor in the Department of Neurology with a secondary appointments as applicable.
Dr. Vitek is the Head of the Neurology Department and the Director of the Neuromodulation Research Program at the University of Minnesota. He previously served as the Neuromodulation Research Center Director at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation developing functional surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS) techniques for the treatment of neurological disease. He has also held faculty positions at Emory University and The Johns Hopkins University, where he assisted in the development of the functional neurosurgery programs and conducted research on the pathophysiology of movement disorders and mechanism(s) underlying the beneficial effects of DBS.
Dr. Raymond is a pediatrician, a geneticist, and a neurologist with a special interest in developmental and neurogenetic disorders affecting children and adults. He focuses on the study of X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and other neurogenetic conditions. He works in close collaboration with the Pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, the Center for Orphan Drug Research, the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and others, to develop new tools to diagnose, manage, and treat all aspects of ALD. His activities are at the interface between clinical neurology and basic sciences which provide a unique opportunity to understand the developing brain, the biological basis of disease and to develop new strategies for prevention and therapy.
Dr. Karachunski has extensive training in clinical neurology with special expertise in pediatric neurology. He specializes in “translating novel therapeutic approaches” for the treatment of different muscular dystrophies. He is the Clinical Director of the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center at the University of Minnesota and a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Dr. Karachunski is the Director of the interdepartmental Neuromuscular Center which includes 6 neuromuscular trained attending physician faculty who treat all forms of neuromuscular disorders including general and peripheral neuropathy, adult and pediatric Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, ALS and CMT Neuropathy.
A minimum of 80% of the physician/scientist’s time will be dedicated to research with a maximum of 20% of time allocated to clinical interaction which will be directly associated the research programs.
Candidates with well-established research programs of any focus and concentration within the full spectrum of the pediatric neurosciences are urged to consider the advantages and points of leverage that the University of Minnesota offers, including:
- Participation in the Human Connectome Project
- Access to the world’s largest Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
- Interaction with established interdisciplinary research centers, dedicated to
- Orphan Drugs associated with pediatric neurological disorderS
- Neurobehavioral development
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation (world leader)
- Utilization of resources that promote collaboration and efficiency, including
- Institute for Translational Neuroscience
- Clinical and Translational Science Institute
The University of Minnesota has a long-standing dedication to clinical and translational research as evidenced by a uniquely large aggregation of NIH funding dedicated to the disciplines of Neurosciences, Pediatrics and Neurology.
According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the University of Minnesota receives approximately $38m in annual NIH funding for the Neurosciences, Pediatrics and Neurology; the 3rd largest aggregation of this sort in the country.
The convergence of these massive research organizations was causal to the University of Minnesota being selected as one of the eleven separate institutions to participate in the landmark Human Connectome Project (HCP).
Child Neurology Inpatient Service & Call Specifics
The incoming Child Neurologist should expect to work as an attending neurologist on the inpatient service at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for a total not to exceed 3 full months per year, based on 7-10 day blocks of service. The inpatient pediatric neurology census averages 1-2 patients, with general ward consults typically limited to 5-6 patients most frequently admitted into Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program.
Residents and fellows are present at night, thus reducing most nightly interaction to infrequent telephone calls. Faculty on call very rarely travel in to the hospital at night.
University of Minnesota Pediatric Neurology faculty do not take trauma call at the nearby Level 1 Trauma Service located at the Hennepin County Medical Center, an academic affiliate of the University of Minnesota. However, stabilized pediatric trauma patients are frequently transferred to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Department of Neurology Overview
The Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota is led by Dr. Jerrold L. Vitek, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and nationally recognized physician/scientist from the standpoint of both non-human primate and human clinical studies on the neurophysiology of movement disorders and neuromodulation mechanisms.
Since its inception in 1946, the Department has been dedicated to high quality clinical care and internationally recognized research oriented accomplishments, obtained in large measure due to the effective embracement of interdisciplinary/interdepartmental collaboration.
Today, interdisciplinary collaboration crosses all major disciplines including Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Psychology, Pharmacy, Radiology/Neuroradiology, ENT, Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. A new program in vestibular and balance disorders is being developed and will interdisciplinary oriented.
The Department also collaborates with colleagues in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), the Institute of Human Genetics, the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health (School of Public Health), and the Brain Sciences Center and Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Minneapolis VA Medical Centers.
Division of Child Neurology Overview
Dr. Gerald Raymond, Chief of Pediatric Neurology
Gerald V. Raymond, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Chief of Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Raymond is a pediatrician, a geneticist, and a neurologist with a special interest in developmental and neurogenetic disorders affecting children and adults. He focuses on the study of X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and other neurogenetic conditions. He works in close collaboration with the Pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, the Center for Orphan Drug Research, the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and others, to develop new tools to diagnose, manage, and treat all aspects of ALD.
Dr. Raymond’s work combines careful clinical analysis with technological advances in neuroimaging, genetics and neuroscience to permit delineation and characterization of neurogenetic disorders. His activities are at the interface between clinical neurology and basic sciences which provide a unique opportunity to understand the developing brain, the biological basis of disease and to develop new strategies for prevention and therapy. He has completed an FDA-funded study of the treatment of peroxisome assembly disorders using the compound docosahexaenoic acid with arachidonic acid and is presently principal investigator of a study examining Adrenomyeloneuropathy, the adult form of the condition Adrenoleukodystrophy.
Dr. Peter Karachunski, Director of the Neuromuscular Center
Dr. Peter Karachunski, Director of the interdepartmental Neuromuscular Center which includes 6 neuromuscular trained attending physician faculty who treat all forms of neuromuscular disorders including general and peripheral neuropathy, adult and pediatric Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, ALS and CMT Neuropathy.
The University of Minnesota is ranked in the top 20% of US Medical Schools in terms of total NIH funding, thus demonstrating a clear institution wide commitment to research. Highlighted below are specific research programs at the University of Minnesota which create powerful points of leverage for pediatric neurologists with near and longer term clinical and translational research.
Human Connectome Project (HCP)
The Human Connectome Project, or HCP, has brought the combined brainpower of 36 investigators — including six from the University of Minnesota —from 11 different institutions to bear on the challenges of understanding the human brain.
In 2010, the National Institutes of Health awarded almost $40 million in grants to support brain mapping and imaging research efforts by two consortia. The largest grant — $30 million over five years — was awarded to a consortium led by Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota.
The WU-Minn. consortium was tasked with optimizing MRI scanners, related technologies, and data acquisition methods to capture the most advanced images ever of the brain’s anatomical wiring (using diffusion-weighted MRI) and its activity (using functional MRI or fMRI), both in resting state and while the subject is performing various tasks.
In total, the WU-Minn Connectome Project will acquire high-resolution MRI brain scans from 1,200 healthy adults. This group will include 300 sets of four siblings — each set consisting of a pair of twins and two non-twin siblings. In addition to brain scans, the project will collect genetic information and behavioral data for each subject. Washington University is conducting the majority of the scans, but the University of Minnesota will conduct even higher-resolution scans — both 7T and 10.5T — of a subset of the larger group. The researchers believe that by comparing these different scans of the same individuals, they will be able to learn more about how various parts of the brain interact.
A second consortium, led by Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University and UCLA, received an $8.5 million grant to perform similar studies using diffusion MRI technology for imaging the brain’s structural connections.
Both research groups will make their data freely available to neuroscientists and other researchers around the world. The WU-Minn. consortium has begun releasing data from the scans acquired to date.
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR)
Established in 1991, the CMRR is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides state-of-the-art instrumentation, expertise, and infrastructure to carry out biomedical research utilizing the unique capabilities provided by high field MRI and MRS methodology.
The central aim of the research conducted in CMRR is to non-invasively obtain functional, physiological, and biochemical information in intact biological systems, and use this capability to probe biological processes in health and disease. Which focuses on the development of unique magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy methodologies and instrumentation for the acquisition of structural, functional, and biochemical information non-invasively in humans, and utilizing this capability to investigate organ function in health and disease.
Funded by the NIH as a Biotechnology Research Resource for High field Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy, and supported by numerous governmental and private foundations, CMRR core faculty have made significant and pioneering contributions in biological applications of magnetic resonance techniques, and possess unique expertise in very high field uses of this methodology.
CMRR faculty conducts research in a variety of areas including:
- High field functional brain mapping in humans; methodological developments, mechanistic studies, and neuroscience applications
- Metabolism, bioenergetics, and perfusion studies of human pathological states (tumors, obesity, diabetes, hepatic encephalopathy, cystic fibrosis, and psychiatric disorders
- Cardiac bioenergetics under normal and pathological conditions
- Automated magnetic field shimming methods that are critical for spectroscopy and ultrafast imaging at high magnetic fields
- Development of high field magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy techniques for anatomic, physiologic, metabolic, and functional studies in humans and animal models
- Radiofrequency (RF) pulse design based on adiabatic principles
- Development of magnetic resonance hardware for high fields (e.g. RF coils, pre-amplifiers, digital receivers, phased arrays, etc.)
- Development of software for data analysis and display for functional brain mapping.
- 10.5 Tesla / 89 cm Bore system for human studies (world’s largest)
- 16.4 Tesla for animal model studies
- 9.5 (2) Tesla for animal model studies
- 7 Tesla (shielded MR System for Human Studies; eye tracking)
- Cyclotron – Siemens PETNET
- 17.0 Tesla 5cm Vertical Bore
- 4 Tesla for human studies
- Siemens Inveon preclinical microPET/CT
- 3 Tesla (multiple, w/advanced imaging)
17 Tesla 5cm Vertical Bore
Neuromodulation Research Center and Lab (NRCL)
The NRCL develops multi-scale computational neuron models to further understanding of the biophysical and physiological mechanisms of neuromodulation. In partnership with the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, the NRCL couples finite element models of electric fields generated in neural tissue with computational neuron models built from sets of mathematical equations that replicate the biophysical properties of membrane and synapse dynamics.
The NRCL also investigates the therapeutic mechanisms of neuromodulation experimentally through multi-channel electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques in animal models of movement disorders. The NRCL is particularly interested to determine how neurons encoding movement are modulated during deep brain stimulation, how stimulation at different therapeutic efficacies influences these neurons, and how the modulation of neuronal firing patterns changes during chronic stimulation.
The NRCL is developing new types of implants and stimulation strategies that are inspired by the underlying neuroscience. The NRCL evaluates these technologies with the goal of leveraging industrial partnerships to translate these therapies from the laboratory to the clinic.
Dr. Jerrold Vitek, M.D. PhD, Professor and Chair of Neurology directs a large interdisciplinary neuromodulation research program at the NRCL which is primarily centered on understanding the pathophysiology of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and dystonia as well as the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effect of deep brain stimulation.
Center for Orphan Drug Research (CODR)
Since its inception in 2005 within the College of Pharmacy, the CODR has been improving the care of individuals suffering from rare diseases through research, increased education efforts, and by taking an active role in shaping public policy applicable to rare diseases and orphan drug development (conditions with less than 200k affected people). The focus of CODR research is on rare pediatric neurological disorders.
CODR projects are focused on identifying new therapies for
- Seizure Disorders, including
- Infantile Spasms
- Seizure Control in Neonates
- Canine Epilepsy
- Seizure Emergencies
- Neurodegenerative Disorders, including
- Late-state Adrenoleukodystrophy
- Gaucher’s and Parkinson’s Diseases
- Baclofen withdrawal
- Improving Orphan Product Development
- Post-PharD Fellowship in Clinical Pharmacotherapy
- Pharmacogenetics of Inherited Metabolic Disease
Center for Neurobehavioral Development (CNBD)
The Center for Neurobehavioral Development is a research center that houses over thirty studies about children's cognitive and neurobehavioral functioning.
The mission of the CNBD is to understand how brain development affects the way children think, learn and express emotions. CNDB research focuses on typically developing, atypically developing, and at-risk children. The goal is to understand brain and behavioral development throughout childhood, from infancy through adolescence. The work conducted at the CNBD revolves around three thematic cores:
- Investigating the neural underpinnings of cognitive and emotional development in typically developing children.
- Examining the neurobiological effects of early adversity (e.g. perinatal complications, malnutrition, and institutionalization) on the developing brain in at-risk children.
- Undertaking the clinical neuroscience approach to intervention and prevention in children diagnosed with or at risk for developing neuro- and psychopathology.
The CNBD provides the administrative support, educational tools and physical space needed to support researchers from many different fields. University departments involved in the Center include Departments of Pediatrics, Neuroscience, Psychology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Educational Psychology, Kinesiology, Speech and Language Hearing Sciences, the Medical School, the School of Nursing, and the Institute of Child Development.
The Institute for Translational Neuroscience (ITN)
It was established in 2007 as a presidential university-wide initiative in order to promote the transfer of discoveries in the basic neurosciences to clinical practice. The institute is charged to enhance basic science discovery with new knowledge leading to subsequent clinical trials and establishment of new therapeutic principles or tools. The institute aims to attract and recruit top scientists to shape discoveries that will lead to tomorrow's cures. The ITN exemplifies how different disciplines, departments and centers can work together in partnership to evolve neurological disease research at the University of Minnesota.
The founding centers of the ITN, include
- Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR)
- Center for Neuroengineering
- Center for Neurodegenerative Disease
- N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care
Center for Neuroengineering (CNE)
The Center for Neuroengineering (CNE) was established in 2007 to enhance neuroengineering research at the University of Minnesota as part of the Institute for Translational Neuroscience. The CNE is now also affiliated with the Institute for Engineering in Medicine. Bridging neuroscience and engineering, neuroengineering is an emerging field that translates research discoveries into neuro-technologies that provide new and powerful tools for basic and clinical neuroscience research and lead to enhanced patient care. For example, developments in brain-machine interface (BMI) technology exemplify the dramatic progress and potential of neuroengineering. Another successful example is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), in which functional electrical stimulation has been demonstrated to treat patients with Parkinson's disease and a host of other nervous system disorders. These two examples demonstrate the feasibility of translating neuroscience findings into technologies that can directly impact patient care.
The University of Minnesota has strong, highly recognized research groups in engineering and neuroscience that provide the underpinning for an initiative in neuroengineering. Coupled with the strong medical device industry in Minnesota such as Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical and Cyberonics, the University is uniquely positioned to seize this opportunity to enhance neuroengineering research and translate findings into new technologies and products. The CNE is aimed at bringing together and building upon the rich existing strengths at the University of Minnesota to address the unique opportunity in the emerging field of neuroengineering. The CNE has identified thrust areas of interdisciplinary research and training in neural interfacing and modulation, neuroimaging, and neural computation. The CNE will offer an opportunity to foster on-campus collaborations among faculty in the basic sciences, engineering, and clinical departments as well as collaborations with the biomedical industry.
Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (CND)
The overarching goal is to bring together researchers that have synergistic strengths in basic movement disorder-oriented neuroscience research, and clinical neurosciences. In addition, these researchers collaborate with several different groups including the NINDS Institutional Center Core grant, the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center and the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center.
The Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC) at the University of Minnesota is a comprehensive program for basic science research, clinical studies, and education in the disease of the nervous system that causes ataxia and related disorders.
In April 2003, the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center (MD Center) was created to facilitate development of clinical, translational, and basic research on muscular dystrophy, to enhance and support clinical care of patients with muscular dystrophy, to improve educational experience for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students interested in the fields of basic and clinical muscle research, and to increase interaction and support from the regional community of patients and families concerned about muscular dystrophy.
MD Center faculty members have 20 NIH grants, 2 NIH training grants and more than $25 million in total direct costs for muscle related research. A prominent couple are:
- Training Program in Muscle Research, Dave Thomas, PhD-Principal Investigator, ongoing NIH NIAMS Sponsorship since May 2001.
- Muscular Dystrophy Center Core Laboratories, James Ervasti, PhD-Principal Investigator, ongoing NIH NIAMS Sponsorship since August 2009
MD Center collaborates with other educational institutions, government agencies, private sectors and non-profit organizations to facilitate research, education, and service activities related to muscular dystrophies:
- One of only two NIH P30s for muscular dystrophy research (the other at UCLA).
- One of only two NIH P01s for muscular dystrophy (the other at University of Washington).
- One of 5 MDA Centers of Excellence for Duchenne Clinical Research (the others at UC-Davis, Washington University St. Louis, Ohio State, and Boston Children’s Hospital).
The largest T32 training program in the country for muscle research, supporting predoctoral, postdoctoral, and both clinical and basic trainees
Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Minnesota is supported through the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. The institute is one of approximately 60 medical research institutions working together to improve the way clinical and translational research is conducted nationwide, enhancing its efficiency and quality.
The CTSA consortium aims to accelerate the process of translating laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, to engage communities in clinical research efforts, and to train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers.
The CTSI has five main offices, including
- Office of Discovery and Translation: Supports researchers in the early stages of translational research by funding projects, offering consultations, and connecting investigators to translational technologies and experts.
- Clinical Translational Research Services: Provides comprehensive services and support for planning, implementing, conducting, and analyzing clinical studies.
- Populations and Community Engagement: Enables investigators and the community to collaborate on research by matching partners, providing expert consultations, funding projects, and offering resources, tools, and training.
- Biomedical Informatics: Drives the integration of clinical data across the University and Fairview, and gives researchers a one-stop-shop for the data, tools, and information technologies they need to accelerate their research.
- Education, Training, and Research Career Development (CTSI-Ed): Advances the research careers of faculty, staff, and students through education, training, and career development programming.
Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program
In 1968, University of Minnesota physicians completed the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant. Since then, other “world’s firsts” have followed, including:
- The first transplant to treat a patient with lymphoma (1975)
- The first transplant to treat an inherited metabolic disease (1982)
- The first double umbilical cord blood transplant (1999)
- The first umbilical cord blood transplant performed using pre-implantation genetic testing to ensure a perfect tissue match (2000)
- The first reported success in using Natural Killer (NK) cells to successfully treat advanced myelogenous leukemia.
The University of Minnesota Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program has more experience treating inherited metabolic storage diseases, including Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), than any other center in the world. To date, the program has treated hundreds of ALD patients with a blood or marrow transplant.
Research Collaboration Towards New Treatments
With world-class expertise, a culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration, and a proven track record of successfully bringing therapies from the lab to patients, our physicians and researchers are leading the field in developing treatments and cures for childhood cancers and rare diseases.
We continue to push the boundaries of science to increase the understanding of pediatric cancers and other diseases that can be treated with blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). Together, we challenge the status quo and help to change the practice of medicine.
Our research is focused in three areas; finding treatments and cures for the incurable; how to make transplant more successful and improving the long-term health and outcomes for our patients.
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
Established in 1905, The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Minnesota that is part of an academic health center, and is home to one of one of the nation’s top 20 pediatric research programs.
Innovative approaches and affiliation with the University of Minnesota has led to several medical firsts, including
- Minnesota’s first infant heart transplant
- Minnesota’s first pediatric robotically-assisted surgical procedure
- World’s first bone marrow and cord-blood transplant0
- Minnesota’s first pediatric cochlear ear implant surgery
- World’s first Berlin Heart device implantation
In 2011 a newly constructed 257-bed facility opened with a 49 bed Level IV NICU and a dedicated pediatric emergency department. The hospital provides patient and family centered care for children in more than 50 pediatric specialties as well as maternal-fetal services.
The facility includes private patient rooms, a 24/7 pediatric-only emergency department with 10 treatment rooms and 2 trauma bays and a children’s dialysis center (the only one in Minnesota).
The latest U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best for the seventh consecutive year. The hospital also ranks in the top 50 hospitals in three medical specialties:
- 36th in Nephrology
- 38th in Neonatology
- 36th in Diabetes and Endocrinology (new ranking this year)
The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is further distinguished as being among the world’s largest pediatric kidney transplant programs, a world leader in bone marrow transplant and metabolic disease, and contains the state’s only inpatient behavioral unit.
The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital NICU presently has 49 beds, and will expand to 63 in 2015. Two additional NICU’s are located in the North and South Metro suburbs with an average census of 12-18 beds each.
Location – Minneapolis, MN
The University of Minnesota is located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the birth place and headquarters of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The quality of life in the Twin cities is very high with multiple regions in the area consistently ranked as some of the best places to live in the US. The Twin Cities is the 16th largest metro area in the US, with a population of approximately 3.3 million people. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is the 2nd largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago. Minneapolis proper contains the 5th highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country. The presence of the corporate headquarters for companies such as Target, US Bancorp, Xcel Energy and Ameriprise Financial provide a growing economy with great job opportunities for a candidate’s spouse or family.
Notable accolades for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area include:
- Hottest travel destinations in 2013 by Leisure and Travel Magazine (Minneapolis listed first)
- 2013 Top Ten Cities to Live in the U.S.by Top10sTop.com
- Monster.com ranks Minneapolis as 4th best for career advancement
- Minneapolis is 3rd most literate city according to USA Today
- MSP Airport is the 4th best for business travelers according to the Wall Street Journal
- Minneapolis is one of America’s cleanest cities according to a top travel deals publisher
- Minnesota ranks 3rd for quality of life in the U.S. according to Minnesota Public Radio
- Minnesota leads in VC for health care startups according to PR Newswire
- Minneapolis 4th Best in Nation for Health Care according to the Commonwealth Fund
- Twin Cities best placed in U.S. to find employment according to Finance & Commerce
- MSP Airport is #1 Best Airport in America according to Leisure and Travel Magazine