2018 International Outreach Travel Scholarship Recipients

Melissa Elafros, MD, Ph.D. ( Johns Hopkins), Allison Navis, MD, (Mount Sinai), and Cleopatra Thurman DO, (Michigan State University) will study and conduct research in Zambia as recipients of the 2018 International Outreach Travel Scholarship. They were recognized at the ANA’s 143rd Annual Meeting, October 21-23, 2018, in Atlanta.

The ANA established this travel scholarship in recognition of the shared goal among neurologists worldwide to reduce the burden of neurological disease through research, education, clinical care, and advocacy. The scholarship enables recipients who must be residents, fellows or junior faculty, current members of the ANA in good standing, and are training in neurology, the opportunity to work in low to lower-middle income countries for a minimum of six weeks in the academic year following the receipt of the award. Candidates must apply and meet specific criteria to be considered.

2018 International Outreach Travel Scholarship Award Recipients with Dr. Igor Koralnik, Chair and Dr. Gretchen Birbeck, Co-Chair


Melissa Elafros, MD, Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins

Dr. Elafros will travel to Zambia in the spring of 2020. Her project will be to assemble a prospective cohort of Zambian adults presenting with symptoms suggestive of CNS infection in an effort to determine the impact of LP completion on medical decision making, patient outcomes, and the cost of care. This project will provide new insights into the impact of the Tap Gap on patient outcomes in a resource-limited setting with high rates of neurologic infection


Allison Navis, MD - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Navis Plans to travel in August 2019 where she will conduct a retrospective chart analysis of patient data from an ongoing study in Zambia as concerns CNS IRIS. Her research is intended to determine if patients who have a presentation concerning  IRIS, fulfill diagnostic criteria to meet a definite vs probable IRIS diagnosis. She will then identify where the gaps in information lie in order to improve future diagnoses of IRIS.



Cleopatra Thurman, DO - Michigan State University

Dr. Thurman will travel to Zambia in September 2019 where she will conduct an intensive NCS training course for technicians at University Teaching Hospital (UTH). She will deliver a neuromuscular 6-part lecture series for medical students and post-graduates at UTH and perform a feasibility study of NCS/EMG performed at the patients' bedside on admission wards and the intensive care unit at UTH. The goal of her project is to improve clinical care and increase capacity for research on neuromuscular disorders at UTH in Lusaka, Zambia. 

For more information regarding the ANA's International Outreach Travel Scholarship program contact Helen Mack, hmack@myana.org