Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program


Our ACGME-accredited vascular neurology fellowship has been training outstanding clinicians and academic leaders in vascular neurology for more than 20 years. We accept 3 clinical fellows each year, and fellowship training may last for one or two years depending on the individual career plans and needs of the fellow.

The Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania has a long and storied history. Our accomplishments include:
  • First JCAHO certified primary stroke center in Philadelphia and the first JCAHO certified comprehensive stroke center in the Philadelphia region
  • National Institute of Health-funded Philadelphia Regional Stroke Trials Network Coordinating Center
  • National Institute of Health-funded Neurology Emergency Treatment Trial Network (NETT) Hub
  • Published hundreds of original manuscripts and are currently participating in more than a dozen trials studying all aspects of stroke including prevention, acute intervention, and rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Multiple faculty members have received national awards and commendations from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the American Academy of Neurology

Fellowship Curriculum

Our clinical fellowship provides an excellent balance of inpatient and outpatient clinical opportunities, training in acquisition and interpretation of neurovascular diagnostic studies, and clinical and translational research. Each Fellow spends ~2.75 months rotating on the inpatient Stroke Service where they help lead daily morning rounds.  Each Fellow will also spend ~2.75 months rotating on the Stroke Consult Service, staffing inpatient consults and responding to acute stroke calls.  During each of these rotations, Fellows work directly with experienced vascular neurology faculty, providing supervision and education for the residents and medical students.  When not rotating on one of the inpatient stroke services, fellows attend clinic with stroke attendings 2 afternoons per week. When rotating on the inpatient Stroke Service, fellows will attend outpatient clinic 1 afternoon each week.  Night and weekend call is divided between the fellows who are always supervised by the stroke faculty. When rotating on the inpatient consult service and when on call, fellows will gain experience with telestroke consultations, an important aspect of vascular neurology.  During elective time, fellows can explore their individual interests, which may include rotations focusing on neuro-intensive care, research, neurosonology, neurosurgery, EEG, or interventional neuroradiology. Additional educational experiences include didactic lectures, a weekly interdisciplinary stroke case conference, a weekly journal club, reading assignments, and personal mentoring. Fellows who elect to undertake a second year of training will have further time to pursue an academic research program while honing their clinical skills.

Stroke and Telemedicine at Penn


Graduates of our vascular neurology fellowship have been tremendously successful in pursuing their clinical and academic interests across the country. 
“My fellowship year at Penn taught me the nuances of clinical stroke care, cemented my familiarity with new and historical stroke literature, and most importantly taught me how to be an effective leader. I learned more in one short year than I thought possible. The service is diverse and we had excellent exposure to inpatients, consults, and clinical research trials. I was given the autonomy necessary to prepare me for the transition to being a faculty member and leading my own program. Most importantly the faculty are universally awesome people and it was truly fun!"
Koto Ishida, MD
Fellow Class of 2013
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Vascular Neurology Fellowship
New York University, Langone Medical Center

Application Process

We seek applicants who have excelled clinically, have an interest in clinical and translational research, and have consistently demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment in their endeavors during their residency. We value diverse experiences and interests, including basic, clinical, or translational research, healthcare disparities, medical education, patient safety and quality improvement. Interested applicants should submit their curriculum vitae, 3 letters of reference, and a personal statement through the ERAS applications system.

                                Please click here to submit your application through ERAS

Neurovascular Faculty

Donna K. George, MD

Vascular Neurology Program Director
Assistant Professor of Neurology

Steve R. Messe, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology
Interests: Perioperative Stroke
Faculty Profile

Scott E. Kasner, MD, MSCE

Professor of Neurology, Director of Stroke Division, Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs
Interests: Cryptogenic Stroke, Secondary Prevention Clinical Trials
Faculty Profile

Brett Cucchiara, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurovascular Lab

Christopher Favilla, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Kristy Yuan, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Faculty Profile

Laura Stein, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology


Contact Information

Department of Neurology
3 Gates, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Frances E. Jensen, MD, FACP
Chair of Neurology