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Barrow Neurosurgery Resident Receives NREF Grant for Aneurysm Study

Jacob Baranoski, MD, a PGY-6 neurosurgery resident at Barrow Neurological Institute, has received a highly competitive research fellowship grant from the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation.

The grant will support Dr. Baranoski’s study of the potential role of dietary estrogens in preventing the formation and rupture of brain aneurysms. Approximately 30,000 people experience a hemorrhagic stroke each year in the United States due to a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Estrogen supplementation has been shown to decrease the risk of aneurysm formation and subsequent rupture in preclinical studies but can have adverse systemic side effects.

The goal of the research project is to determine if a specific plant-based, diet-derived compound called equol—which is similar to estrogen—can decrease the rate of aneurysm formation and bleeding while limiting off-target side effects.

This NREF award is gratifying for all of us. We recognize the importance of building high-quality research into our residents’ experiences here and developing surgeon-scientists who will combine technical excellence and scientific research in academic careers after Barrow.

-Michael T. Lawton, Barrow President & CEO

Dr. Baranoski will collaborate with Tomoki Hashimoto, MD, on the project, who serves as the director of translational neurovascular research in the Barrow Aneurysm and AVM Research Center.

“I am extremely grateful of the NREF, Barrow, and Drs. Lawton and Hashimoto for this opportunity,” Dr. Baranoski said. “While my clinical training in residency is preparing me well to become a dual-trained microsurgical and endovascular surgeon, I hope to also further learn and practice the skills necessary to become a competent academician and physician-scientist.”

The L. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins/NREF 2020-21 Research Fellowship Grant jointly sponsored by Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS, and the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section is awarded to a neurosurgery resident each year who is preparing for an academic career as a clinician-scientist.

The NREF provides funding for studies in basic, translational, and patient-oriented clinical research annually for North American investigators.

NREF grants have served as a springboard of research opportunities for many academic neurosurgeons in the past. Previous recipients include many current scientific leaders in the field of neurosurgery, including Barrow neurosurgeon Nader Sanai, MD, who currently leads the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at the Institute.

“This NREF award is gratifying for all of us,” said Barrow President and CEO Michael T. Lawton, MD. “We recognize the importance of building high-quality research into our residents’ experiences here and developing surgeon-scientists who will combine technical excellence and scientific research in academic careers after Barrow.”

About Barrow Neurological Institute
Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.