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The TEAM Neurotrauma – Visiting International Scholar Award (TEAM-VISA) was established to promote international networking opportunities, and to advance the early careers of women Neurotrauma researchers.

The Award provides an opportunity for international collaboration by subsidizing both travel to the National Neurotrauma Symposium and a brief period of research training/collaboration in a sponsor’s laboratory. This award supports the mission of WiNTR to promote international gender equality in neurotrauma research to learn new skills or techniques pertinent to their research project.



Award Amount:

Up to $5,000. The award covers roundtrip airfare to the NNS meeting and sponsoring laboratory, registration, abstract fee, lodging and meals.

Source of Funding:

Team Neurotrauma Research dues

Targeted Recipients:

Female doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows or junior independent scientists selected by WiNTR executive committee prior to the Annual Symposium.


Female member of and NNS, along with mentor and sponsoring laboratory.

  1. Applicant’s advisor (mentor or Chair) and their sponsor must be current International / National Neurotrauma Society (INTS/NNS) and WiNTR Neurotrauma Research (WiNTR) members.
  2. Applicant must be a female doctoral student, postdoctoral fellow, or junior independent scientist in neurotrauma research.
Looking for a Sponsoring Lab or Eligible Applicant?
  • View Sponsoring Labs and Eligible Applicants here.
  • To be added to this list contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
How to Apply:

Submit the following to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Chair of the TEAM-VISA Committee:

  • Biographical sketch, including name, contact information, current position, education, honors, awards and publications.
  • Title and abstract (250 words) describing the applicant’s proposed research training/project in collaboration with the sponsor’s laboratory.
  • One page statement describing how the research training/collaboration in the sponsor’s laboratory will further her immediate and future research objectives.
  • Letter of support from your current advisor, mentor, or Chair
  • Letter of support from the PI of the sponsoring neurotrauma laboratory, which describes the proposed project, sponsor’s contribution to the Scholar’s training and duration of the training/collaborative research experience.
Activities under the Award:
  1. Attend the Annual National Neurotrauma Society Symposium as the TEAM Visiting International Scholar
  2. Provide a 3-5 minute oral presentation of current research project and the proposed benefits of international collaboration during the WiNTR Mentoring Program and Reception.
  3. Conduct hands-on, on-site training/collaborative research in the sponsor’s neurotrauma laboratory.
  4. Submit a brief report of the experience for the WiNTR newsletter.
Administrative Structure:

The funds are administered by TEAM

2019 TEAM Visiting International Scholar:

Saber Head shot

Dr. Maha Saber is an Evelyn F. McKnight post-doctoral fellow in Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease and the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program at the University of Arizona. Dr. Saber is mentored by multiple experts in Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury, and works directly with Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz. Dr. Saber’s research focuses on the effects of brain injury-induced central and peripheral inflammation and their role in neurodegeneration. Dr. Saber will be traveling to Lund University to work with Dr. Niklas Marklund to develop and test a protocol to quantify synaptosomes by flow cytometry. The project will evaluate whether remote ischemic conditioning can reduce neuroinflammation and synaptic reorganization after brain injury. This technique can be extended to mechanisms of rehabilitation and therapeutic interventions for TBI recovery. During Dr. Saber’s time in Sweden, she will be mentored by many other world-class scientists at the Lund Brain Injury Laboratory for Neurosurgical Research. She will exchange ideas with researchers at the institute and receive feedback on experimental design, specifically focused on clinical needs.

2018 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar:

Ursula Rohlwink 2 Dr. Ursula Rohlwink is a Neuroscience Lecturer and Fellow in the Neuroscience Instiute and Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. She focusses on translational neuroscience research that is driven by clinical imperatives. Under the mentorship of Professor Anthony Figaji, Head of the Paediatric Neurosurgery Unit at UCT and President of the International Neurotrauma Society (INTS), her work has examined the cerebral immune response, perturbations in intracranial dynamics following injury, and biomarkers of brain injury. The NNS WiNTR Visa Award will offer Dr Rohlwink the exciting opportunity to learn novel skills and gain further insights into neuroinflammation at a cellular level. Dr Sujatha Kannan’s Lab at John’s Hopkins Medical Institute has a strong foundation in basic science research of various paediatric neuropathologies, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). There Dr Rohlwink will learn techniques to isolate and stimulate monocytes derived from paediatric TBI patients to elucidate mechanistic data behind the immune and cell death responses. Microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, stem from the same lineage as monocytes, which are the key first line immune responders. Isolation and study of monocyte responses is a great opportunity to examine the early peripheral immune response, as well as gain insight into how microglia are likely to respond. Furthermore, these techniques will offer new avenues of research in other forms of brain injury. As an emerging career researcher and newly appointed Fellow of the UCT Neuroscience Institute this award will enable Dr Rohlwink to build capacity within her research group, to strengthen existing collaborations with John’s Hopkins University and open doors for further work and cross-pollination in neurotrauma and other mutual research areas.

2017 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar:

Dr. Susana R. Cerqueira Dr. Susana R. Cerqueira is currently a postdoctoral associate at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami. Important safety and efficacy clinical trials are currently ongoing at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis involving Schwann cell transplantation into spinal cord injured subjects. While part of Mary Bunge’s laboratory, Dr. Cerqueira’s research has focused on investigating the potential of combination treatments to be used with SC transplantation after spinal cord injury and maximize its efficacy. Particular focus has been given to enhance transplanted SC survival and to lure regenerating axons to extend and reconnect with the spared tissue. With the 2017 WiNTR-VISA award, Dr. Cerqueira attended and presented two posters at the National Neurotrauma Society Symposium in Snowbird, Utah. She will also use the WiNTR-VISA Award to visit Professor Frank Bradke’s laboratory in Bonn, Germany, at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). Dr. Frank Bradke is pioneering investigation of axon growth mechanisms using imaging cutting-edge techniques. The goal of this international collaboration is to refine Dr. Cerqueira’s expertise in advanced imaging of regenerating axons, and use it in her immediate and future research. In addition to hands-on training, Dr. Cerqueira will have the opportunity to network with various researchers at DZNE, discuss her current and future research projects, and also debate career progression plans with diverse senior scientists.

2016 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar:

Dr. Rachel Rowe The TEAM-VISA committee is pleased to announce Dr. Rachel Rowe as the 2016 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar. Dr. Rowe is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Mentored by Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz, Dr. Rowe’s research has focused on sleep and endocrine dysfunction after TBI, driving her interest in the chronic effects of CNS injury. Dr. Rowe was recently awarded funding from the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium to further her exciting new investigation of chronic neuroinflammation after pediatric TBI in rats. Dr. Rowe will be using the WiNTR-VISA to travel to the University of Tasmania in Australia where she will receive training in the histopathological evaluation of markers of brain aging from Dr. James Vickers, Professor of Pathology and Co-Director of the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Center, and Dr. Jenna Ziebell, an expert in immunohistochemistry and neuroinflammation. In addition to hands-on training in the lab, Dr. Rowe will also have the opportunity to network with a diverse array of researchers and clinicians at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Center, and present her current research project to senior scientists.

2015 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar:

Patricia Barra de la Tremblaye The winner for 2015 is Ms. Patricia Barra de la Tremblaye, PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Hélène Plamondon, PhD at the University of Ottawa. In addition to attending the upcoming 33rd Annual NNS Symposium in Santa Fe, Ms. B. de la Tremblaye will participate in on-site collaborative research at the University of Pittsburgh, in the neurotrauma research laboratory of Dr. Anthony Kline, PhD. The award will be officially recognized during the NNS Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, July 1st. Please join us to congratulate Ms. Patricia B. de la Tremblaye on this achievement!

2014 WiNTR Visiting International Scholar:

Patricia Washington The winner for 2014 is Dr. Patricia Washington from Georgetown University. In addition to attending the upcoming 32nd Annual NNS Symposium in San Francisco, Dr. Washington will participate in on-site collaborative research at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, UK, in the neurotrauma research laboratory of Dr. William Steward. The award will be o"cially recognized during the NNS Awards Ceremony on Wednesday July 2nd. Please join us to congratulate Dr. Washington on her achievement!

2013 Anna Leonard, Adelaide Centre for Neuroscience Research
2012 Francesca Pischiutta, Univ. of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
2011 Julie Chan, VCU
2010 Michelle Theus, Univ. of Miami
2009 Jodie Hall, UK
2008 Ashley Di Battista
2007 Virginia Newcombe

2006 Masha Guseva (given at SfN)


For WiNTR membership information see: http://www.nnswintr.org

For WiNTR-VISA sponsoring PI information see: http://www.neurotrauma.org/

Please forward all inquiries and application items to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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