Vascular Neurology Fellowship

The one or two-year Vascular Neurology fellowship is directed by Dr. Amrou Sarraj. The fellowship program focuses on the development of the clinician scientist who will dedicate their careers to investigating the pathophysiology and epidemiology of cerebrovascular disease and the application of this knowledge to therapeutic advances.

Neurovascular Fellowship Overview

UTHealth offers both one and two year fellowships and has a total of 9 fellows. Our fellowship seeks to develop neurologists to become clinician-scientists or clinician-educators in cerebrovascular disease. We stress first rate training in clinical stroke care in all phases of stroke medicine from acute management to inpatient hospitalization to inpatient rehabilitation to prevention in the community setting. We also emphasize conducting rigorously designed research. The first year is ACGME accredited and has the following rotations: the stroke inpatient service, stroke consults and triage in the emergency department, neurosonology, neuro-ICU, neuroradiology, telemedicine and research. In the second year, fellows rotate on the inpatient and consult services. The rest of the second year is devoted to conducting research and focusing on developing a specific research niche which will position fellows to become competitive candidates for grants and academic careers. There are also elective opportunities in neuro-rehabilitation, stroke prevention, and advanced neuroimaging.

We cover the entire spectrum of stroke clinical trials and clinical research from acute stroke and brain hemorrhage to stroke recovery and stroke prevention. We have a rich history of fellows developing their own research projects and testing new therapies for stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage.

The Graduates of Our Program

Our graduates have taken positions across the country. Many direct their own stroke programs, lead stroke centers, are building telestroke services, and conducting research.

Our graduates end up working across the country in states including: Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, along the entire East Coast,and across the Great Plains

Training Program Highlights

  • 30 year history of training leaders in the stroke field
  • Largest stroke training program in the country with 9 fellows per year
  • Providing care to stroke patients in the most ethnically diverse city in the US
  • Long track record of fellows conducting cutting edge research on new therapeutic approaches for stroke
  • Opportunities to attend the Annual International Stroke Conference, Annual American Academy of Neurology, European Stroke Conference, and others
  • Weekly Neurovascular conference and a separate Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery conference
  • Stroke Specific Career Development Series that includes lectures on grant writing
  • Stroke Specific Statistical Lecture Series
  • Three different Journal Clubs on (1)the latest clinical stroke studies; (2)randomized clinical trials that have changed the practice of stroke medicine and (3)translational animal studies of new therapeutic approaches for stroke and brain hemorrhage
  • Opportunities to pursue specialized research in basic science, drug and cell-based therapy development, comparative effectiveness, population health, health services, quality science, health care implementation, biomarkers, and personalized medicine
  • Opportunities to pursue a Masters in Clinical Research
  • Outpatient clinic located on-site focused on providing multidisciplinary care to stroke survivors: secondary prevention and reducing stroke associated complications such as depression, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment
  • Specialized clinics for stroke patients with specific cardiac conditions - ESUS work-up, PFO, Watchman, etc.
  • Participation in one of the largest academic telestroke networks in the country
  • Access to a variety of unique stroke population level databases in Houston and Texas and access to state and national administrative datasets
  • Access to Stroke Institute resources such as biorepository and imaging cores, statistical support for analyses, and expertise in clinical trial design
  • Mobile Stroke Unit (First in the United States)

Recent Accomplishments of Our Graduates

Scott Kasner and Navi Sangha author recent PFO guidelines.

Main Clinical Facility

UTHealth is part of the Texas Medical Center which is the largest medical complex in the world. We partner with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, which has the only joint commission certified system of 4 comprehensive stroke centers and which has extensive clinical resources. The fellows work at the flagship university hospital - Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, the first joint commission certified comprehensive stroke center in Texas.

The stroke service at the Texas Medical Center campus is a standalone service that cares for all stroke patients in the hospital (average daily census 15-20, average daily admissions 3-4), staffed at all times by one attending, one stroke fellow, and two or three neurology residents.

  • 12 bed dedicated Stroke Unit
  • Dedicated 32 bed Neurology-Neurosurgery ICU with a separate cerebrovascular neurocritical care service
  • 8 bed Neuro Intermediate Care Unit
  • Dedicated Neurology general floor
  • The hospital Emergency Department (ED) is one of the city’s two level one trauma centers and almost 10-20% of all stroke patients in the city of Houston are seen in the Hermann ED
  • State of the art neuroimaging facilities including CT/CTA/CTP in the ED, plus 4 MRI scanners adjacent to the ED. RAPID software is immediately operational for CTP.
  • Two angiography suites with endovascular capability, and state of the art carotid and trans-cranial Doppler ultrasound, all available 24 hours per day.
  • In-patient neuro-rehabilitation floor adjacent to the stroke unit that is part of TIRR Rehabilitation, the #2 ranked Rehab Hospital in the US
  • The Stroke Unit is the center of the in-patient activities and includes a PACS unit for remote viewing of all radiological studies, and computerized access for all laboratory values.
  • Outpatient clinics are staffed by stroke faculty and residents in the U.T. Professional Building across the street from the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center and medical school (connected by a pedestrian bridge).
Strong emphasis is placed on patient care, research, and team structure.

Requirements and Eligibility

To apply for the fellowship, the applicant must be eligible for and possess a Texas Medical License or Physician in Training Permit on the start date of the fellowship.  Applicants must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited program in neurology, child neurology, neurodevelopment disabilities or a similar program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have successfully passed USMLE Step 3.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted from December 1 through March 1. All available positions will be offered through the NRMP match.

Please contact Dr. Sarraj if you need additional information on our fellowship program.

Vascular Neurology Fellowship Director

Amrou Sarraj, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology