- Create a community of Johns Hopkins neurologists and researchers actively working to improve the care of patients with neurologic disorders.
- Facilitate neurologic training of health care workers across the globe.
- Centralize resources and expertise in global health and neurology available at Johns Hopkins.
- Serve as a resource for students and trainees at all levels interested in obtaining global health experience or pursuing a career in global health.
Why Global Neurology?
According to the 2016 global burden of disease study, neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of mortality globally. However, this burden of neurological disease is not distributed equally: 75% falls on low- and middle-income countries. The same countries have the smallest neurological workforce to care for these patients and very few neurology training programs. Neurology has not typically been associated with international relief work, but this view is evolving, and our program is contributing to this mission.
Global Neurology: Advancing Neurological Care Worldwide
Dr. Deanna Saylor, Director of the Global Neurology Program at Johns Hopkins, shares her experiences developing neurological research, care and training in Zambia, Africa. In May 2018, Dr. Saylor began the first inpatient neurology service in Zambia at the University Teaching Hospital, and she launched the first-ever neurology training program in October 2018.Read more about Dr. Saylor's work in Zambia
My experience at Tawam Hospital was extremely valuable from both a clinical and global perspective. I gained clinical experience in the multiple sclerosis and neurology clinics where I saw both very rare and common presentations of neurological conditions in a diverse cultural context. Interacting with different departments and administration within the hospital also provided a unique lens through which to view differences in global health systems.Katherine Huether, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Our Team and Projects
Dr. Deanna Saylor, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director of the Global Neurology Program at Johns Hopkins, moved with her family to Lusaka, Zambia in 2018 and has spent 11 months/year there since that time. When Dr. Saylor arrived in Zambia, there were three expatriate neurologists and zero Zambian neurologists providing care for a country of ~18 million people through a weekly outpatient neurology clinic.
In May 2018, Dr. Saylor began the first inpatient neurology service in Zambia at the University Teaching Hospital, and she launched the first-ever neurology training program in October 2018. Since that time, the neurology training program, which Dr. Saylor still directs, has trained five Zambian adult neurologists and two pediatric neurologists with an additional seven adult and two pediatric neurologists expected to graduate in the next three years.
Under Dr. Saylor’s direction, the inpatient neurology service now cares for ~1500 patients per year, and outpatient neurology services have expanded to accommodate 150 outpatient visits per week. She has also developed a robust clinical research program in Zambia which is investigating conditions ranging from stroke and epilepsy to multiple sclerosis and neurological infectious diseases.
Read more about Dr. Saylor’s work in Zambia:
Dr. Nicoline Schiess is an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University. An expert in neuroinfectious and neuroimmunologic diseases, she works globally treating patients and conducting epidemiologic and clinical research. She was previously the director of the Nervous System and Special Senses section of the Genes to Society Course for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's first year medical students. She also teaches medical students internationally, having directed and taught in courses in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2010 Dr. Schiess received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach neuroscience and start a sub-specialty multiple sclerosis clinic in the United Arab Emirates. Since then she has worked internationally in many settings including the Middle East, Haiti, Zambia and Europe.
Dr. Juan Carhuapoma is an associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include critical care medicine, intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage, and intracranial hypertension. He earned his M.D. from the Programa Academico de Medicina. He completed his residency in neurology at Henry Ford Hospital and performed a fellowship in neurological critical care at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Carhuapoma is a member of several professional associations, including the Neurocritical Care Society, the American Heart Association Stroke Council and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is currently working on end-of-life issues and is affiliated with the Neurological Institute of Peru. He has collaborations in Peru, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Dr. Fatima Ismail is an assistant professor of pediatric neurology and developmental medicine at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, and an adjunct assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree from UAE University and completed pediatric residency training at the Harriet Lane program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Ismail completed advanced training in the Johns Hopkins/Kennedy Krieger conjoint residency in Pediatric Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.
Dr. Ismail is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the Child Neurology Society (CNS), the American Neurological Association (ANA) and the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA).
Dr. Ismail’s clinical interest is in improving the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children with acute brain injury (stroke and traumatic brain injury) by implementing brain protective measures and protocols in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and establishing a comprehensive multidisciplinary neuroplasticity-informed neurodevelopmental follow-up programs.
Dr. Ismail’s research focus is on understanding changes in structural, functional and effective connectivity in the developing brain as a function of maturation and following injury using non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation/transcranial direct current stimulation) coupled with EEG and advanced neuroimaging techniques (diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI). She is also interested in identifying critical and sensitive periods of brain development at neural networks level that will enable the design of time-sensitive neurostimulation-based interventions to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Gregory Krauss is a professor of neurology with a special interest in epilepsy and seizures. He is involved in epilepsy care in the Eastern Caribbean, funded by the International League Against Epilepsy. His work was published in Epilepsy and Behavior with local authors, and he contributed to the nine-country Eastern Caribbean formulary, improving access to newer generic formulations as well as access to imaging and EEG in the region. (These efforts helped residents of Granada when a tidal wave destroyed the island's only computed tomography machine.) Dr. Krauss is also involved in pediatric neurology programs in Zambia, supporting outreach training and care in both east and west Zambia.
Opportunities are available to students, residents and fellows in both the Eastern Caribbean and Zambia.
Dr. Pardo is a clinical neurologist and neuropathologist, and principal investigator of the Neuroimmunopathology Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his medical training, medical doctorate and neurology training at the Universidad Industrial de Santander (Bucaramanga, Colombia) and Instituto Neurologico de Colombia in Bogota, Colombia. He pursued further training in the U.S.A. and completed residency training in clinical neurology and postdoctoral fellowship training in clinical and experimental neuropathology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is a neurologist at the JHU Division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Disorders and director of the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center, the first clinical center established for the study of TM in the United States of America.
As a clinician, Dr. Pardo focuses on neuroinfectious and neuroimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, neurosarcoidosis, myelitis and viral disorders of the nervous system. Dr. Pardo's research interest and laboratory work focuses on studies of the immunopathologic and molecular mechanisms of associated with neuroimmune disorders and neuroinfectious disorders; the roles of cytokines and chemokines in pathogenic mechanisms of neurological disorders; studies of biomarkers of neuroimmunologic disease in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood; and animal models of neuroimmunologic disorders.
Dr. Pardo is the principal investigator of the Neuroviruses Emerging in the Americas Study (NEAS), a multicenter study established in collaboration between Johns Hopkins and nine university-based hospital centers in Colombia to investigate neurological complications associated with arbovirus infections. This collaborative research effort involves clinicians, virologists and epidemiologists focused on understanding emerging infections with neurological complications including dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses. He has ongoing collaborative research in several areas of South America, including Colombia and Brazil, and welcomes the involvement of medical students, residents, and fellows either on a short- or long-term basis.
Dr. Stins studies how activation of the blood brain barrier (BBB) endothelium (lining of the blood vessels in the brain) by microbes can affect the underlying brain cells, such as astrocytes and neurons. She is particularly focused on the responses of BBB to Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes as occurs in cerebral malaria and has an ongoing collaboration in Lusaka, Zambia.
Dr. Suarez is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Neurosurgery and Director of the Neurocritical Care Division at Johns Hopkins. Dr Suarez areas of research interest include subarachnoid hemorrhage, acute ischemic stroke, cerebral edema, and outcomes in neurocritical care. He has also been a member of DSMB for several Phase III clinical trials including the NINDS-funded TBI in Latin America Lifespan Analysis and a member of the Executive Committee for the NINDS-funded ATACH II Trial. Dr Suarez is the principal investigator for the HANAK Project, which is looking to establish a high-altitude research center in Quito, Ecuador.
Dr. Victor Urrutia is an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Panama School of Medicine and completed his neurology training at Drexel University College of Medicine. After his residency training, he completed fellowship training in neurocritical care and acute stroke at Drexel University College of Medicine and became a faculty member in the neurocritical care and acute stroke division. He then returned to Panama for two years where he organized two hospitals for acute stroke treatment with IV thrombolytic therapy and was the first to treat patients with IV thrombolytic therapy for acute stroke in Panama.
Dr. Urrutia has pursued his research interests in acute stroke therapy as principal investigator for several multicenter trials. He completed the SAIL ON trial of IV tPA for wake-up stroke up to 4.5 hours from awakening. He has developed two pathway studies: OPTIMIST, a novel clinical monitoring protocol for post-tPA patients, and TOP-SAILS, an implementation study of a TIA and minor stroke pathway.
Stroke prevention and improving delivery of care are other foci of his work. He has organized the Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center, of which he is the medical director, as well as the Stroke Prevention Clinic. He works with Johns Hopkins International as Project Medical Director for the affiliate in Panama. He led the organization of stroke programs in Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota, with JCI accreditation, and Pacifica Salud in Panama, Rep. de Panama.
- Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health – Global Health Established Field Placements
- Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health – Global Health Field Research Award
- American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Research Scholarship
- Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship
- Gold Foundation Student Summer Fellowship
- UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellowship
Residents and Fellows
- Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health – Paul S. Lietman Global Health Travel Fellowship for House Staff
- American Neurological Association International Outreach Travel Scholarship
- UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellowship
- World Federation of Neurology Educational Grants
- Limited funding is available through Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology for trainees to complete clinical and research objectives. View research papers from our team.
Dr. Nicoline Schiess in Haiti
Dr. Nicoline Schiess spent a week at the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in Mirebalais, Haiti as part of the HUM Neurology Fellowship Visiting Faculty program. She participated in clinical and didactic teaching on ward rounds and resident lectures.
Dr. Saylor Launches Neurology Training Program in Zambia
A neurology training program supported by Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology and led by Dr. Deanna Saylor launched in Zambia.
Johns Hopkins Neurologists Visit Neurology Residency in Zambia
Drs. Argye Hillis, Doris Lin and Greg Krauss, Professors of Neurology, visited the neurology residency program in Zambia to participate in clinical and didactic teaching of the Zambian neurology residents.
Joint Neurology Conference in Mexico City
Dr. Lucia Rivera-Lara, Assistant Professor, participated in a joint neurology conference with the Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirguia in Mexico City, Mexico designed to develop collaborations and partnerships between Hopkins and INNN to further understand neurological diseases in Mexico and the US. Dr. Deanna Saylor joined via videoconference to highlight the development of the Johns Hopkins Global Neurology Program.
Melissa Elafros Awarded ANA International Outreach Travel Scholarship
Third-year Johns Hopkins neurology resident Melissa Elafros was awarded the American Neurological Association International Outreach Travel Scholarship to conduct a study of the reasons behind lumbar puncture refusal among adults with meningitis at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Dr. Elafros will conduct this project under the mentorship of Dr. Deanna Saylor and Dr. Peter Winch, Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Rebecca DiBiase Awarded a Research Scholarship to Work in Zambia
Johns Hopkins medical student Rebecca DiBiase was awarded an American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Research Scholarship to work with Dr. Deanna Saylor to study how to implement observed structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) within the Zambian neurology residency training program.