Neurotrauma Fellowship

The UPMC Neurotrauma Fellowship provides advanced training in surgical and medical management of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. The goal is to train the next generation of neurotraumatologists by providing a comprehensive and supervised educational experience. The fellowship is based at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, the flagship Level 1 trauma center of the UPMC system, under the direction of David Okonkwo, MD, PhD.

Fellows are incorporated into all aspects of service leadership and engage with colleagues in Trauma Surgery, Critical Care, Neurology, Neuroradiology and other disciplines to master multi-disciplinary management of the neurotrauma population. Progressive independence in patient evaluation and management and service leadership is encouraged during the course of the fellowship. Training also includes learning how to build a successful neurotrauma quality improvement program. 

Fellows will actively participate in ongoing research projects and consortia through our integrated Neurotrauma Clinical Trials Center. Fellows will gain exposure to leading academic efforts in brain and spinal cord injury, including TRACK-TBI.  Basic science research opportunities are also available within the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Fellows also have the opportunity to pursue additional training in Sports Neurosurgery, including concussion evaluation and management and care of sports-related spine and peripheral nerve injuries. Fellows can shadow program faculty with professional and collegiate sports teams in Pittsburgh. 

Fellowship Director
David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Nitin Agarwal, MD
Thomas J. Buell, MD
Bradley Gross, MD
D. Kojo Hamilton, MD
David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Application Requirements
The fellow is given attending privileges in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery. All fellows within the Department of Neurological Surgery must be eligible for work within the United States as well as have a permanent Pennsylvania medical license and DEA license. Interested applicants should apply by sending a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and at least two reference letters. Fellowship applications are welcome beginning three years prior to anticipated start date. Interviews are held in April.

The UPMC Neurotrauma Fellowship is accredited by CAST. One fellow is selected per year. Program length is one or two years, with a July 1 start date. Applications or inquiries should be directed to Melissa Lukehart ( Additional inquiries should be directed to David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD.

Fellows will emerge from their training with the skills to lead a neurotrauma program and conduct clinical trials.