Neurology Research

Elective Title: Neurology Research 188.1
Department of Neurology
Boston University School of Medicine

Goal and Summary: This elective is for the BUSM student to gain experience with the initiation and completion of a clinical and/or basic science research project. After completion of this elective, the student will gain an understanding of the process of research and the completion of these projects.

Description of Elective: The student will join a supervising Neurology faculty mentor for a research project that is organized prior to the start of the elective and approved by the elective subcommittee of the medical school. The student will work as a member of the team with the principal investigator and/or other junior investigators. The student will spend his/her time performing some or all of study research, study development, IRB submission, study planning and data collection, data analysis, and study write up. A thorough written summary of the student’s progress and/or accomplishments will also be performed. The student will also attend various conferences focused on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with general neurologic disease. Emphasis is placed on developing skill in performance of research techniques, with particular focus on development of research ideas, IRB creation and submission, data collection and analysis, and manuscript creation. Students are expected to participate in all service activites Monday through Friday. Weekend responsibilities or evening call is not required.

Objectives: By the end of this elective, the BUSM student will be able to:

  • Gain an indepth understanding of the approach to creating a research idea, performance of background literature search, IRB proposal creation and submission, data collection and analysis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete a research project through creation of an abstract for conference submission, creation of a poster for presentation and/or creation of a manuscript for journal submission.

Curriculum: Educational activities include review of a formal research curriculum focused on the above objectives. Conferences/other teaching activities include: regularly scheduled conferences – Neuroscience Grand Rounds, and core resident lectures. Students will also assist with the orientation of third year medical students taking the required Neurology clerkship, as well as assistance with Lumbar Puncture simulation.


  • The student will be evaluated based on their level of active participation in the formulation and completion of a research project. Specifically, the student will be evaluated on the progress of his/ her research projects, with particular focus on written summaries of each project. The principal investigator will evaluate the student’s performance.
  • Grades (H/HP/P/F) will be used. The course director, Anna Hohler, MD, will be responsible for providing feedback mid-clerkship and upon completion, based on feedback from principal and junior investigators. If problems are identified, the principal investigator or the student should contact the Course Director. Grades will be submitted to the Registrar in accord with BUSM policies for grading.


  • Neurology Faculty at Boston Medical Center

Contact and Course Orientation Information:

  • Course Director: Shuhan Zhu, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Location: Boston Medical Center, Shapiro 7th Floor, Neurology Suite
  • Contact: Joseph Russo
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 617-617-638-5348
  • Fax: 617-638-5354
  • Students are to report to Shapiro 7th Floor at 7:30am on the first day of the rotation

Number of Students: Up to two fourth year students per block
Length of Elective: Four weeks
Available Blocks: Offered year-round