Fellowship in Brain Medicine (Clinical or Research streams)
Posted 19 Apr 2021
University of Toronto, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The brain medicine fellowship will be offered for a 2021 start date. The fellowship has been designed to address an emerging need to approach the study of the brain and mind with an interdisciplinary lens and a collaborative approach. The fellowship will provide successful trainees with an integrated, cross-disciplinary perspective to approach the clinical and research questions that are situated at the brain-mind interface. Examples of conditions that lend themselves to an approach facilitated by brain medicine include: traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases, functional neurological disorders, developmental brain diseases (e.g., autism, attention deficit disorder), vascular brain diseases, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and a variety of other neurologic and psychiatric conditions that present with significant disturbances in affect, behavior, and cognition.
The successful fellows will have the opportunity to work alongside internationally renowned mentors and gain experience using cutting-edge clinical and research methods and technologies, including advanced neuroimaging, neuro-interventions, neuromodulation, genetics, fluid biomarkers, advanced clinical trials, and preclinical research.
The fellowship is a competency-based program that aims to provide its fellows with transdisciplinary competencies that complement their postgraduate specialty training; protected time will be provided for academic activities.
There are two streams for the brain medicine fellowship: a clinical stream and a research stream. There is one position available for the clinical stream and up to three positions available for the research stream.
Clinical Stream (1-2 years)
Fellows in the clinical stream will focus on the assessment and treatment of impaired affect, behavior, and cognition (ABC) in complex brain disorders. They will also explore the impact of these disorders on functional abilities, quality of life, and interpersonal relationships. The fellow will gain clinical exposure to multiple complementary disciplines including geriatric medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, or psychiatry. The successful fellow will dedicate most of his or her time to clinical work (up to 80 percent) and the remaining time to academic work (creative professional activity, education, research).
Examples of competencies that the clinical brain medicine fellow will acquire include:
- How to perform a neurocognitive/neurobehavioral assessment at an expert level as required for differential diagnosis and problem formulation;
- How to conduct and interpret a complementary and comprehensive neurological and psychiatric examination at an advanced level;
- How to describe the content and psychometric properties of the components of a neuropsychological assessment and integrate these data into clinical evaluations;
- How to interpret and utilize neuroimaging, neurophysiological, sleep, laboratory, and neuropathology studies;
- How to describe the neurobiology of specific brain disorders;
- How to apply relevant treatments such as neuropharmacology, neuromodulation (e.g., rTMS, tDCS, focused ultrasound, deep brain stimulation), and psychosocial interventions.
Research Stream (2-3 years)
In addition to the one clinical stream fellowship position, there will be up to three brain medicine research fellowship positions. In this first cohort, the focus of the research stream will be on the interactions between depression and dementia and will be supported by a collaborative initiative between the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA), and funded by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Trainees will develop a research focus under a collaborative mentorship of experts in the field from at least two TDRA sites (i.e., Baycrest, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, and University Health Network) as they work toward becoming independent investigators. The successful fellows will dedicate 20 percent of their time to clinical work and 80 percent of their time to research. Fellows will be recruited to focus on preclinical research or on clinical and translational research.
Potential areas of research focus within the area of depression and dementia include:
- Cognitive and sensory information processing
- Drug discovery
- Neurotechnology (e.g., TMS, tDCS, tACS, DBS, focused ultrasound)
- Peripheral biomarkers
- Common underlying mechanisms of of neurodegenerative disease
- Clinical phenotyping and trials
Candidates must have completed a residency training program in:
- Geriatric medicine
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation
- Other brain-related specialty.