UCLA Steve Tisch – Sports Neurology and Neurotrauma Fellowship
The Sports Neurology - Neurotrauma Fellowship is a two-year program that involves intensive clinical and research training in the fields of sports neurotrauma and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Now Accepting Applications for 2023-2025 Fellowship
The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program is a multidisciplinary center aimed at providing the world's best sports-concussion care for youth athletes. We have relationships with various professional and collegiate athletic programs and also close partnerships with the U.S. Military and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, through UCLA Operation Mend. In our two-year clinical and research fellowship, trainees will work closely with clinic attending neurologists and neuropsychologists. The fellowship exposes trainees to pediatric sports related concussion, preseason sports neurology examination, sideline concussion management, mTBI military patients, and some more severe TBI patients. Under the mentorship of leading scientists, fellows will be expected to design and carry out a research project investigating neurotrauma, sports neurology, or another related topic of their choice.
Applicants must have completed a residency in child neurology, adult neurology, or PM&R prior to the start of the fellowship and be eligible for a license to practice medicine in the state of California.
How To Apply:
To apply, please send the following materials to:
Alejandra Corona, Pediatric Neurology Administrative Assistant ([email protected])
II. Personal Statement (Can be up to 1.5 pages single spaced)
III. Three Letters of Recommendation (One letter should come from your residency program director)
For more information, please contact:
Meeryo Choe, MD
Tisch Fellowship Director
Associate Director, UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program
Past Tisch BrainSPORT Fellows
Kevin Bickart, MD, PhD
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘21
Kevin Bickart grew up playing football from the age of 9 where he had some of his most formative and inspiring experiences. In that time, he also saw first-hand many devastating sports-related injuries, including many head injuries and repetitive head impacts that could have been prevented or more optimally managed. Kevin went on to earn his undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Quinnipiac University and MD/PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine because of his interest in the brain’s role in optimal health, performance, and human cognition, mood, and behavior. During his PhD studies, and as a cofounder and consultant of health technology startup businesses, he investigated the neuroanatomy of social networks in healthy people and social impairments in people with frontotemporal dementia as well as the neurophysiology of team chemistry in Division I team sports. Kevin completed his residency in neurology from Stanford University where he also studied the neuroimaging biomarkers of traumatic brain injury, particularly the vulnerability of brain networks to trauma as well as the genetics of these networks. He is excited to combine his interests by specializing in both Sport and Behavioral Neurology at UCLA. Here, he will continue dedicated clinical care of patients with brain injury and dementia while also carrying forward his research on the brain networks, genetics, and novel therapeutics relevant to these conditions.
Dorothy Harris, MD, PhD
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘19
Dr. Harris is a California native who received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She returned to California and completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UCLA studying molecular mechanisms of brain repair in the adult brain. She remained at UCLA to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Services Research. Her postdoctoral work exploring challenges to management of dementia in primary care was used by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 to develop national guidelines for dementia care. After completing a successful postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Harris entered medical school and completed her medical degree and intern year at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She returned to UCLA and completed residency training in Neurology in June 2018. Dr. Harris is the second UCLA Neurology resident to enter a dual fellowship in the Tisch BrainSPORT and Goldberg Migraine programs, and is excited to combine her clinical training, scientific curiosity, and passion for community service to address community-based disparities and challenges in concussion and headache.
Julia Kerrigan, MD
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘18
Dr. Julia Kerrigan grew up in Minnesota before traveling to California to play basketball at Santa Barbara's Westmont College where she was a four year starting center and All-American scholar athlete. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she accepted a clinical research position in Oslo, Norway where she investigated the influence of antibiotics on long term complications related to otitis media and presented her findings at an international conference in Paris, France in 2005. While in Europe, she was recruited to play Women's basketball and had the opportunity to play professionally while continuing her research. Dr. Kerrigan obtained her medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School where she remained active in research, community service, and athletics. In 2016, she completed her Adult Neurology Residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center and thereafter joined the Tisch Fellowship Program where Dr. Kerrigan is able to combine her love for sports and medicine to help those with acute and chronic complications following concussion.
Rachel Pearson, MD (2019-2021)
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘21
Dr. Rachel Pearson grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and received her B.A. in History from Washington University in Saint Louis. During this time she studied abroad in Israel and interned at the Center for Familial Dysautonomia at Hadassah Medical Center. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her M.D. There, she researched parental understanding of abnormal newborn screening results and was deeply involved in community outreach, developing patient education curricula for the Saturday Free Clinic for the Uninsured, the Teen Crisis Center, Milwaukee Women’s Center, and Milwaukee Public Schools. After medical school she completed residency training in Pediatric Neurology at UC Irvine and Children’s Hospital Orange County, where she developed a special interest in pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) and published research on pediatric posttraumatic headache. Additional research interests include the role of sleep in recovery after TBI and autonomic dysfunction after TBI. She is excited to further pursue her clinical and research interests as a fellow in the Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. Outside of medicine, her interests include dance, baking, and travel.
Rafael Romeu-Mejia, MD
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘19
Dr. Rafael Romeu-Mejia was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he completed his undergraduate and medical school degrees while being involved in community service and academics. He recently graduated from Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System in San Juan, P.R. His experience with sports and personal injuries at a young age drove him to PM&R specialty, where he immediately grew interest in brain injury and multidisciplinary neuro-rehabilitation. By joining the Steve Tisch Sports Neurology-Neurotrauma Fellowship, Dr. Romeu-Mejia is able to combine his passion for community outreach, sports, and his background in rehabilitation medicine to help patients with complications following concussion.
Tara Sharma, DO
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Fellow ‘20
Dr. Tara Sharma grew up in La Canada, California where she spent most of her early years as a competitive figure skater competing in regional and national level competitions. She continued her love for sports in High School and College as a Cross Country and Track runner and still holds many records at her High School. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Biology at Claremont Mckenna College, Dr. Sharma worked in a molecular neurology lab at the Huntington Medical Research Institute in Pasadena, CA on a project targeting enzymes involved in pathways implicated in the transmission of migraine pain. She subsequently pursued further educational training in New York, where she completed her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She remained in New York and completed her medical school training at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. During her time there she was active in community outreach and provided healthcare to local communities in Ghana, Africa. After that she completed her residency training in Neurology at Cleveland Clinic Foundation where she focused on research in Headache, Dementia, and Small Fiber Neuropathy. Given her sports background, clinical training, research, and community service experience, Dr. Sharma knew she wanted to combine her passion for all of these aspects in her fellowship training.