Recapping the scholarship recipients at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting
A highlight of every Scientific Meeting is hearing the presentations from our Frontiers in Headache Research scholarship recipients. These men and women are the future of headache medicine, and this year we heard some outstanding presentations. Recipients are selected based on the quality of their research proposal, and the potential for their proposal to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and future research in the field of headache medicine. We want you to get to know the person behind the presentation, so we asked each recipient to tell us a little about themselves.
Getting to know the future leaders of headache medicine
Angeliki Vgontzas, MD
Paper Topic: A Hospital Based Study of Acute Postpartum Headache
Angeliki Vgontzas is a Chief Resident in adult neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. She graduated from Penn State College of Medicine in 2013, and prior to medical school, spent two years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Health. She completed her winning study under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Robbins, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at the Montefiore Headache Center. Looking ahead, Dr. Vgontzas is looking forward to starting her headache fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s/Harvard’s Faulkner Hospital this July.
Claire Sandoe, MD, MSc
Paper Topic: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Medication Overuse Headache: Frequency and Effects on Response to Treatment
Claire Sandoe is a fourth year adult neurology resident and Co-Chief Resident at the University of Toronto. She completed her medical training at McGill University in Montreal, Québec, and plans to pursue a headache fellowship at the University of Toronto following the completion of her residency. Dr. Sandoe’s non-medical interests include learning Swedish, knitting, and singing early music.
Sophie Wilcox, PhD
Paper Topic: Migraine Evolution: Investigating Pediatric Migraine Using Multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Sophie Wilcox is a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, as well as a Research Fellow in Anesthesiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She earned her PhD in Medicine (Anatomy and Histology) from the University of Sydney, Australia, where she gained expertise in MRI and clinical pain conditions affecting the trigeminal system. With the PAIN group and Boston Children’s Hospital, her current research projects focus on headaches—especially migraine—in children and adolescents
William Renthal, MD, PhD
Paper Topic: Identification of Novel Migraine Therapeutic Targets by Single-cell RNA Sequencing of Trigeminal Ganglia
William Renthal earned his MD, PhD at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he studied epigenetic mechanisms involved in psychiatric disease. He also completed his neurology residency at UT Southwestern where he became interested in headache medicine. Dr. Renthal then joined the Graham Headache Center as a research-track headache fellow, and the laboratory of Dr. Michael Greenberg at Harvard Medical School where he applies cutting-edge neuroscience tools to better understand migraine pathophysiology.
Paula Barbisan, DDS, PhD
Paper Topic: Plasma Calcitonin Gene-related Peptide (CGRP) Levels in Trigeminal Neuralgia and Healthy Controls
Paula Barbisan graduated from the University of Maringa in Brazil with a degree in Dentistry in 2011. Dr. Barbisan has spent several years training in the field of Orofacial Pain, and in 2015, she completed a Ph.D. program with research in this area at the University of Campinas, Brazil. She is currently a resident in the Orofacial Pain Residency Training program, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pain in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Seniha Ozudogru, MD
Paper Topic: OnabotulinumtoxinA Effect on Cutaneous Allodynia in Chronic Migraine
Seniha Ozudogru is a fellow in headache medicine at the University of Utah. She completed her medical school training in Istanbul, Turkey in 2010, and completed her neurology residency at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 2013, Dr. Ozudogru won the Outstanding Junior Neurology Resident award, and served as a Chief Resident during the last year of her residency. She was also invited to the International Headache Academy this past January for an unusual headache case presentation.
Bruno Pradier, PhD
Paper Topic: Neural Plasticity in the TNC During Migraine
Bruno Pradier completed his undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Bonn in Germany, where he studied preclinical models of pain and addiction. He started his postdoctoral studies in 2015, working with Julie Kauer at Brown University on neural plasticity in the brainstem in rodent models for migraine. Dr. Pradier was recently awarded a 2-year fellowship by the German Research Society (DFG).
Sharoon Qaiser, MD
Paper Topic: Say No To Pain “ VPA v/s DHE “ for Treatment of Pediatric Status Migrainosus
Sharoon Qaiser grew up in Pakistan and attended King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Qaiser has always had a passion for helping others, and through his studies, he came to realize that headache is not just a symptom but a life defining and shaping illness for young patients who are struggling with headaches. Dr. Qaiser is a Child Neurology Resident at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Pengfei (Phil) Zhang, MD
Paper Topic: Single Pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for New Daily Persistent Headache, An Open Label Study
Pengfei Zhang is a headache fellow at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. He graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his neurology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Melanie Truong, MD, OD
Paper Topic: National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ25) in Subjects with IIH
Melanie Truong is a third year neurology resident at the University of Texas Southwestern Neurology Residency Program, and soon to be one of the program Chiefs. Before becoming a neurology resident, Dr. Truong practiced as an optometrist in her hometown of Sachse, Texas—a suburb of Dallas. In her spare time, she loves cooking for her children and running 3-6 miles a day around her town.
Congratulations once again to this year’s scholarship recipients. We look forward to seeing each of you progress even more over the next year.