Fellowship Programs

Fellowship in Functional and Epilepsy Neurosurgery

Fellowship Director: Wael F. Asaad MD, PhDAssociate Fellowship Director: Athar N. Malik MD, PhD

The Brown Fellowship in Functional and Epilepsy Neurosurgery is a comprehensive program encompassing the domains of movement disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric neurosurgery, and pain. Our program conducts the full range of relevant procedures, including for deep brain stimulation, focused ultrasound, responsive neurostimulation, gamma knife, laser ablation, lesion resection, and spinal stimulators and pumps.

We are a Level 4 Epilepsy Center and an international referral center for psychiatric neurosurgical procedures.

The fellowship is a 12-month clinical and research experience for recent graduates of accredited neurosurgical residency programs.  All clinical activities take place at Rhode Island Hospital, the major teaching affiliate of the Brown University Alpert Medical School.  Research activities may be conducted at RIH and/or Brown University.

One fellow is accepted into the program per year.  Fellows function as clinical instructors in neurosurgery with independent attending privileges and call responsibilities in general neurosurgery and with mentored training in the full range of functional and epilepsy cases.

Aims and Goals

  1. To provide fellowship training for neurosurgeons interested in pursuing careers in academic functional and epilepsy neurosurgery or private practice.
  2. Upon graduation, fellows should be comfortable with the medical and surgical management of the full range of neuromodulation, ablative, and resective cases, and should be expert in a broad array of relevant techniques and technologies including laser-ablation, focused ultrasound, robotic stereotaxy, advanced neuroimaging, and intra-operative neurophysiology.  In addition, through attendance at multidisciplinary conferences and other activities, fellows completing the program will have developed expertise in the relevant factors contributing to effective decision-making in complex clinical scenarios.

Selection Process and Requirements:

  1. Applicants are expected to have completed their neurosurgery residency at an ACGME accredited residency program by the time of enrollment in the fellowship and be in good academic and professional standing
  2. Applicants must be board eligible by the ABNS
  3. Applicants must be eligible for a Rhode Island Medical License
  4. Applicants should provide the following:
    • CV
    • Letter of introduction with comment on research interests, personal statement
    • 3 letters of recommendation, including one from the chair of their neurosurgery training program.


In addition to mentored clinical training across the full range of functional, epilepsy, psychiatric, and pain procedures, individualized training curricula will be developed in collaboration with each fellow, to catalyze their professional development in those particular areas of interest.  Drs. Asaad and Malik will work with each trainee to ensure their clinical and research goals are clear and feasible, and to provide ongoing guidance during the 12-month fellowship.


  1. Fellows will actively participate in the following conferences:
      • Deep Brain Stimulation “Fast-Track” Conference (each month)
      • Adult and Pediatric Surgical Epilepsy Conferences (2-3 times per month)
      • Psychiatric Neurosurgery Committee (every 2-3 months)
      • Departmental Research Conference (each month)
  1. Research — Fellows will participate in ongoing clinical, translational, and or basic research relevant to brain circuit function and modulation.
  2. Teaching – Fellows will participate in teaching sessions directed at residents, mid-level practitioners, and medical students.
  3. Meetings – We strongly encourage our fellows to submit and present their work at subspecialty and related meetings, including the ASSFN, AES, SfN, AANS and CNS.

For inquiries,
Please contact Krystyna Maxwell