Olga Taraschenko, MD, PhD, Director, Epilepsy Fellowship
Epilepsy affects millions of people around the world, including 3 million adults and 470,000 children in the U.S. Approximately 20,000 Nebraskans have epilepsy, and of those, about 6,000 have drug-resistant epilepsy and require specialized care. Epileptology is a shortage subspecialty throughout the country, and especially in the Midwest. Because of the shortage of specialists and high patient volumes from the vast catchment area, fellows at our training program have an opportunity to learn by seeing some of the most complex and fascinating epilepsy cases.
The fellowship training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) takes place at a Level 4 Epilepsy Center where we provide intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring, extensive medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial treatments, and deliver access to a broad range of surgical procedures.
Our Epilepsy Center includes an eight-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) for adult and pediatric patients referred for diagnostic EEG and presurgical evaluation. We treat over 300 patients annually in the EMU.
We are also one of only a handful of medical centers across the country to have a magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanner where our fellows may be trained with an experienced faculty member.
- We are the ninth largest responsive neurostimulation (RNS) center in the U.S. by volume
- We perform 25-30 resective epilepsy surgeries and implant over 40 neurostimulation devices each year
- Our surgeons are well versed in all surgical modalities, including stereotactic EEG, laser ablation, and implantation of all available devices – RNS, vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) and deep brain stimulator (DBS)
- An invasive electrode placement is being performed using the Robotic Stereotactic Assistance (ROSA)
- Bi-weekly multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery conferences provide all members of the care team with an opportunity to hold real-time discussions to optimize patient care outcomes
Faculty and Staff
- Five board-certified epileptologists and one clinical neurophysiologist with experience and research interests in complex epilepsy surgeries, neurostimulation devices for seizures, ketogenic diet, autoimmune seizures and pediatric epilepsy
- Two dedicated neurosurgeons (including an epilepsy-surgery trained specialist) with experience in robotic-assisted techniques and placement of all available neurostimulation devices
- A team of experienced neuropsychologists, advanced care providers, nurse case managers, social workers, and administrative support dedicated to the epilepsy center
- Epilepsy dietician skilled in administration of specialty diets effective to control drug-resistant seizures
- Research scientists with interests in signal processing analysis and advanced imaging
Fellow Learning Opportunities
UNMC has all of the resources necessary to provide a state-of-the-art epilepsy training to fellows. We have highly skilled faculty with expertise in patient care, research, and education; state-of-the-art clinical and surgical programs; a team of specialized support staff; robust support infrastructure, and a broad referral base that allows us to routinely see patients with both common and rare seizure disorders.
Epilepsy fellows will also have extensive opportunities to engage in research and learn through formal mentorship and instruction. Our didactic and research opportunities include:
- Weekly didactic conferences by epilepsy faculty, including teaching conferences for residents/fellows and informal EMU-EEG reviews
- Bi-weekly multidisciplinary surgical conferences
- Weekly Grand Rounds lectures
- Formal research mentorship from epilepsy program faculty
- Opportunities to participate in basic, translational and clinical research initiated by our epilepsy faculty
- Opportunities to present original research at national neurology/epilepsy meetings and to publish research in academic journals
- Opportunities to present at the Annual Resident and Fellow Research day at the Department of Neurological Sciences and UNMC
- Opportunity to secure intramural research funding through the IDeA-CTR grants and other mechanisms
- Unique opportunities to learn MEG interpretation from our outstanding clinical and research faculty
- Opportunities to participate in clinical trials involving medications and devices for epilepsy treatment
Please submit the statement of interest (1-2 pages maximum), three letters of recommendation and your CV to:
Lori Schuetze, Education Coordinator