Vascular Neurology/Stroke Fellowship

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Stroke Program is an ACGME accredited program offering a one- or two-year fellowship in cerebrovascular disease. Our goal is to attract highly qualified and motivated candidates interested in pursuing a career in clinical, health service, or basic science stroke research. Our program provides fellows with intensive training in clinical diagnosis and management of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Fellows also participate in clinical and epidemiological stroke research and receive education in the fundamentals of research design, methodology and analysis. Fellows have research time to develop independent research projects under faculty supervision.  The University of Michigan is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, and is a Regional Coordinating Center for StrokeNet, an NIH-funded clinical trials network.

Fellowship rotations (ACGME-approved year):

  • Vascular Neurology Inpatient Care
  • Vascular Neurology Emergency Care
  • Neurosurgery/Neurology Intensive Care Unit
  • Vascular Neurology Outpatient Clinic
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Neuroradiology
  • Research/Scholarship

The ACGME-approved year fulfills the requirements necessary for vascular neurology board eligibility.  The vascular neurology team has its faculty offices and clinics in the state-of-the-art $215 million University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center which opened in June, 2007.   This building is connected to the University of Michigan Hospital which houses a 15-bed neuro intensive care unit, a 6-bed state-of-the-art stroke unit, and the Emergency Department. The acute stroke response team is composed of 8 board-certified vascular neurologists, 1 Vascular Neurology board-certified neuro intensivist, 4 emergency medicine physicians with a primary interest in cerebrovascular disease, and a neuro-interventional team. The team also supports an active Telestroke Program.

The University of Michigan Stroke Program has a strong history in acute stroke trials. Dr. William Barsan, former chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, a pioneer in thrombolytic therapy for stroke, administered tPA to the first subject in the NINDS tpa trial. Dr. Barsan was also PI of the clinical coordinating center for the NINDS-funded Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT), and now multiple PI, along with Robert Silbergleit and Clifton Callaway, of the Strategies to Innovate EmeRgENcy Care Clinical Trials Network (SIREN), a network that conducts large simple trials in neurological emergencies. The University of Michigan is also home to Sleep SMART, an NINDS-funded StrokeNet trial that includes 110 enrollment sites. To meet some of the members of the stroke team, please follow this link.

In addition to the clinical experience in our Comprehensive Stroke Center, there are many opportunities for vascular neurology fellows to participate in research and other scholarly activities. All vascular neurology fellows will actively participate in ongoing research studies, including acute stroke treatment trials, ongoing stroke epidemiology studies, and other clinical projects. The vascular neurology team has had active collaborative projects with faculty in the Departments of Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Cardiology, Vascular Surgery, and the School of Public Health.  Currently, the acute stroke response team has many R01’s as well as mentored research grants which will provide the framework from which the fellows attain research methodology training and manuscript preparation skills.  Faculty areas of investigation include health disparities, sleep and stroke, acute stroke interventions, community stroke education, stroke genetics, advanced cardiac imaging, and the molecular basis of stroke. Each vascular neurology fellow will develop an independent project under the mentorship of the vascular neurology faculty members during the dedicated research/scholarship month.  It is anticipated that this work will continue throughout the year and will culminate in a presentation at a national meeting and a published manuscript.  On average, our fellows have had 7 peer-reviewed publications resulting from their 2-3 year fellowships. We pledge strong and effective mentorship to our fellows who will in turn be able to launch a successful career as a clinical stroke researcher.


  • Stroke research conference
  • Vascular neurology conference
  • Acute stroke case conference
  • Vascular neurology faculty lecture series
  • Neurovascular multidisciplinary case conference
  • Acute stroke intervention team meeting
  • Stroke basic science conference
  • Stroke clinical journal club
  • Neurology grand rounds
  • Clinical research conference
  • Clinical neurology conference 

Fellowship benefits:

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and tremendous benefits to our residents/fellows. An overview of salary, benefits and employment eligibility is available on the GME Office website, under “Prospective Residents/Fellows.”

Additional Research Training Opportunities

After a one-year clinical fellowship, most fellows opt for additional research training. Options for funding include foundation fellowships, the Neurology Department T32, and StrokeNet funding. Formal research training options and clinical research resources can be found here and include a CTSA-funded institute.

Work and Living Environment

Ann Arbor, MI is family friendly city renowned for its cultural offerings. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan Health System, a leading clinical and research medical facility.   It has been ranked highly as a preferred city because of its sporting, music, and active cultural life and welcoming natural setting.  The department of neurology is a highly ranked, academic department with a residency training program of 21 residents and internationally renowned faculty. Michigan Medicine is currently ranked #5 among the nation’s hospitals by US News and World Report.

Competitive Salaries and Benefits

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and tremendous benefits to our residents/fellows. An overview of salary, benefits and employment eligibility is available on the GME Office website, under “Prospective Residents/Fellows”.


Stroke Fellowship application can be completed through ERAS for an ACGME-approved year.  We participate fully in the NRMP ("match").

Regarding visa issues, you must be one of the following:  a US citizen, permanent resident (green card holder), or have a J-1 visa sponsored through ECFMG.  We do not sponsor any other visas.  

For more information about the fellowship, please contact Tonya Thomas at 734-936-4457 or at or Dr. Devin Brown at  

Stroke Fellowship Program Director