Three doctors performing a procedure

Fellowships & Training

Fellowship Training & Visiting Scholar Programs

We offer fellowship training as well as other educational opportunities for both U.S. trained and foreign-trained neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuro-oncologists and scientists.

Pacific Neuroscience Institute offers a number of short- and long-term opportunities. Under the direction of a lead mentor, the scholar will gain an understanding of our highly successful collaborative and multidisciplinary environment, which focuses on individualized patient care. All our programs provide deep-dive knowledge and experience while reinforcing our specialized continuum-of-care approach. Including reviews of clinical and translational research, exposure to clinical trials programs, and observational opportunities in the clinical and minimally invasive surgical settings, the candidate will be exposed to a broad spectrum of techniques that can be taken to their own practice in the neurosciences.

Neurosurgery Fellowships

Clinical Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Neurological Surgery

The Pacific Brain Tumor Center and Pacific Pituitary Disorders Center offers a 1-year neurosurgery fellowship in minimally invasive surgery for brain, pituitary and skull base tumors. Our clinical training program is focused on endoscopic endonasal and keyhole surgical approaches, neuro-endoscopy, pituitary tumor management and multimodality neuro-oncology treatments. The fellowship emphasizes operative and peri-operative patient management, outpatient evaluation of new patients and follow-up patients as well as clinical and anatomical laboratory research projects.

Qualified applicants must have completed training in an ACGME-accredited neurosurgical residency program and be eligible for a California medical license.

Include the following:

  1. An initial letter or e-mail
  2. Current curriculum vitae
  3. 2-3 Letters of Recommendation, one from a Residency Director or Department Chairman
  4. Personal statement detailing fellowship training goals and career aspirations

Applicants should contact:

Multidisciplinary Neuroanatomy and Surgical Skills Laboratory located at Saint John’s Cancer Institute is a collaboration between Pacific Neuroscience Institute®, and Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

Under the direction of Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Neurosurgery, the lab serves as a premier research and teaching facility with a mission that extends beyond brain surgery to encompass multidisciplinary specialties.

The 1,000-square foot state-of-the-art neuroanatomy surgical skills lab, which opened in March 2020, consists of modular workstations designed to accommodate a diverse range of specialists to advance their skills by working with cadaver tissues and organs. The space allows multidisciplinary training across areas including brain, skull base, eye/orbit, ENT, cardiothoracic, robotic (urology, gastrointestinal and gynecology), orthopedic and spine. Lab manager, Josh Emerson, provides guidance with dissections as well as serving as PNI’s medical illustrator and animator.

Saint John’s Cancer Institute Neurosurgical Lab

The lab goals are to educate clinical fellows, both nationally and internationally, advance surgical approaches, develop new surgical products, and provide advanced education to established surgeons worldwide through conferences and symposia.

Institute faculty, surgical oncology fellows, international surgeons and students can gain hands-on instruction in anatomy as well as training in minimally invasive “keyhole” surgical approaches. This type of experience helps surgeons learn novel approaches to surgery, including removing tumors from difficult-to-reach areas of the brain through the smallest possible openings with minimal disturbance to surrounding healthy tissue. Surgeons also have the opportunity to test surgical devices, gaining access to new technologies and instrumentation before taking them into the operating room. PNI surgeons’ have advanced experience, and so they also work alongside industry improving devices to make surgery more efficient. 

Surgical skills labs are hard to find and in Los Angeles, Saint John’s Cancer Institute is one of a select few to have a multidisciplinary surgical skills lab. Technology for streaming high-definition video worldwide is also available, extending the Institute’s educational reach.  

One goal of the lab is to educate people outside the facility. As a higher-level institution, there is a benefit to teaching others these specialized surgical skills. The lab and programs attract fellows and surgeons from all over the world who don’t otherwise have access to the level of training offered. 

The PNI/JWCI Multidisciplinary Neuroanatomy and Surgical Skills Laboratory is sponsored by Karl Storz Endoskope North America, Stryker Corporation, Mizuho Medical Company Ltd., Surgical West Inc. and Providence Saint John’s Health Center. Generous funding is provided by Mr. and Mrs. J. Jeffrey Assaf, Mrs. Carol Lee Karlin, Peter Douglas of the Peter Douglas Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Westervelt, Lisa and Steve Nesbitt, and Donna Schweers and Tom Geiser.

The Multidisciplinary Neuroanatomy and Surgical Skills Laboratory is available for private trainings by entering into a training affiliation agreement. For more information, please contact Dr. Barkhoudarian at

Neuro-oncology Fellowships

The Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics Fellowship Program at Pacific Neuroscience Institute offers extensive post-residency training opportunities in clinical and translational research in the neurosciences and oncology (neuro-oncology).

In collaboration with the Saint John’s Cancer Institute and located in Santa Monica, CA, this program is designed to develop future academic neurologists, neurosurgical oncologists, and neuro-oncologists by providing opportunities for education and training to master
 the knowledge and acquire the necessary expertise in clinical and translational research across the neurosciences. The 2-year training is
 a mentorship-driven program personalized for the fellow and focuses on the acquisition and refinement of research skills including the evaluation and clinical care of research subjects, development of research protocols, performance of clinical and/or laboratory research, and preparation and presentation of study results. Clinical fellows will have an opportunity to work not only with the faculty at PNI and JWCI but also with clinicians and scientists from collaborating academic and research institutions, including but not limited to:

  • Providence St. Joseph Health, a faith-based not-for-profit health and social services system with 50 hospitals, 829 clinics and hundreds of services offered outside hospital walls.
  • LA BioMed, a nonprofit scientific research organization located on the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Campus and affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
  • Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), a nonprofit biomedical research organization affiliated with Providence St. Joseph Health. ISB is based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood and has a staff of 200 that includes 9 faculty members and laboratory groups.

Qualified applicants must have completed training in an ACGME-accredited neurological or neurosurgical residency program and be eligible for a California medical license. Applicants without a California medical license are eligible to apply as a research-only candidate.

We are currently interviewing for the July 2020, July 2021 and July 2022 fellowship positions. 
Applications must be submitted electronically as a PDF file that includes detailed curriculum vitae, a description of the candidate’s primary academic research interest, a brief description of their interests in this position and three letters of reference.

For fellowship inquiries, please contact:

Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD | Director, Neuro-oncology

Observational & Anatomical Fellowships

Non-clinical fellowships are available for non-U.S. citizens for 3 to 12 months. Observational training opportunities may include attending neurosurgical procedures, neurosurgical clinic and teaching conferences. Non-clinical fellows may also participate in anatomical studies and research projects involving endoscopic and microscopic cadaver dissections in the Skull Base and Endoscopic Microdissection Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian. Clinical research opportunities using our clinical outcomes database are also available.

Due to state medical licensing regulations, foreign-trained fellows are not allowed to provide patient care. Additionally, non-clinical fellowships must be self-funded or supported by the visiting fellow’s sponsoring institution.

Qualified applicants must have completed or be enrolled (with a minimum of 4 years of training) in a neurosurgical training program in their own country and meet Department of Homeland Security visa requirements for a J1-visa. They can also apply for a tourist visa for 3-6 months stay.

Applicants should send specific requests to:

Select Past Fellows:

  • Pablo Villanueva, MD | April – September, 2013 Dr. Pablo Villanueva is Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery division of sciences Faculty of Medicine in Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile. He completed his residency in Neurosurgery in Universidad Católica and did a fellowship in Surgical Neuro-Oncology with emphasis in pituitary surgery at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2008.
  • Danjuma Sale, MD | May – November, 2013 Dr. Danjuma Sale is a staff neurosurgeon of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria, Nigeria, and currently a final year neurosurgery resident at the Regional Center for Neurosurgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria.

Joint Fudan University & SJCI Neuro-oncology Fellowship

Under the general supervision of Daniel Kelly, MD , Garni Barkhoudarian, MD, Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD (Director, Neuro-oncology) and Dave S. Hoon, MSc, PhD (Director, Molecular Oncology, JWCI), visiting neurosurgeons from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, spend 6 to 12 months at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and JWCI observing minimally invasive “keyhole” surgical techniques for brain, pituitary and skull base tumors including transcranial and endoscopic endonasal approaches, attend neurosurgery clinic and participate in clinical research projects. Additionally, at JWCI they will learn biomarkers research techniques including genome, epigenome, and transcriptome analyses, and will participate in ongoing translational research projects in molecular profiling of metastatic brain tumors, gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas and other brain tumor types.

Applicants should send specific requests to:

Select Past Fudan Fellows:

Xiawen Wang, MD October 2015 – September 2016   Translational Research & Molecular Oncology Fellowship under direction of Dr. Dave Hoon.

Fan Zhao, MD November 2015 – October 2016  Observational & Anatomical Fellowship under direction of Drs. Daniel Kelly & Garni Barkhoudarian.

Hua Wei, MD | May – November, 2013 Dr. Hua Wei is an attending neurosurgeon in Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He completed his residency in 2009 and focuses on brain tumor research and surgery.

There have been a total of eight Chinese neurosurgeons who have attended PNI’s Fudan University International Fellowship Program: Drs. Hua Wei (Harvey), Zhu Wei, Shou Xuefei, Zhang Xin (Vincent), Zhao Fan, Wang Xiaowen (Apollo), Song Jianping and Huang Xiang (Fabio).

Short-Stay Visiting Scholars

Our short-stay program is open to neurosurgeons or ENT surgeons interested in observing endoscopic endonasal and keyhole surgery for up to 3 weeks at our facility.

In addition, short-stay programs are available to neurologists, neuro-oncologists and scientists who wish to observe and explore clinical and research aspects within any of our centers of excellence.

For those interested in the program, please contact us via email with a request for a visit:

Internship Program with Pomona College

PNI offers a rolling Neuroscience Internship Program to students at Pomona College who are able to dedicate 60-100 hours over the course of a semester. Students exploring careers in the medical profession and are enrolled full time may apply through the college website. The internship offers opportunities in research, clinical observation and neuroanatomical laboratory experience. The student will be assigned a project and work collaboratively with our experts to gain knowledge, skills and experience.

Applications will be reviewed and selections made taking into account diverse academic background and interests, and GPA. For more information, go to the Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP).

Neuroanatomy Medical Illustration Internship

Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and the Saint John’s Cancer Institute (formerly Saint John’s Cancer Institute, JWCI) is proud to offer a Neuroanatomy Medical Illustration Internship – exploring the field of art as it is applied to the neurosciences. Under the direction of PNI’s medical illustrator, Joshua Emerson, MA, students will learn hands on neuroanatomy through the PNI/JWCI Multidisciplinary Neuroanatomy and Surgical Skills Laboratory.

In addition to learning basic neuroanatomy, students will also learn emerging techniques and technology as it applies to medical illustration. The internship will require various illustrations to be produced with a possibility of publication online or in medical journals.

A medical illustrator is a professional artist with specialized training and advanced education in medicine, science, art, design, visual technology, multiple media techniques, and in theories related to communication and learning through art. Collaborating with scientists and physicians alike, medical illustrators serve as visual translators of complex technical information to support education, medical and life science research, patient care, patient education, and marketing objectives.

The internship is 3 months, with the possibility of extending to 6 or 12 months depending on circumstances. A 1-month observership is also available on a case-by-case basis. These are unpaid internships and funds should be provided by your institution for travel and lodging.

Applicants need to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, artwork portfolio (if available) and a letter of recommendation. An interview will be scheduled either in-person or via conference call to follow.

As space is limited, applicants should contact:

Please call 310-582-7450 with any questions.


For international visiting participants who may wish to apply scholarships, please see the following organizations. These are independent organizations with no affiliation to PNI.