We are excited to announce that we have partnered with the Stanford PANS Clinic to develop and fund a first-of-its-kind in-the-world PANS fellowship program. Neuroimmune Foundation Executive Director, Anna Conkey first approached Stanford with the idea of establishing a fellowship program in summer 2021. In November of the same year, that vision became a reality when Neuroimmune Foundation was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the North Carolina legislature, part of which funded the establishment of this program. Stanford is currently recruiting candidates for this opportunity which is slated to begin in July 2023.
Stanford has been at the forefront of PANS research for over a decade and applies a forward-thinking, patient-centered approach to diagnosis and treatment. A primary goal of Neuroimmune Foundation is to catalyze the pace at which physicians enter the field prepared to provide thoughtful, forward-thinking care to patients with neuroimmune conditions. Fellowships offer an excellent avenue for achieving this objective. This fellowship will equip physicians to treat a broad spectrum of immune-mediated and inflammatory brain conditions, including PANS and PANDAS in individuals of all ages.
North Carolina will be the first state in the country to have a Stanford-trained physician return to the state to establish a clinic, but this is just the beginning of Neuroimmune Foundation and Stanford’s fellowship partnership. We aim to fund one fellowship the first year, and as the program is refined and fellows return to their home states around the country to establish clinics, new sites will be prepared to train additional fellows.
A core purpose of this program is to establish numerous mainstream multidisciplinary PANS clinics that accept multiple types of insurance. Since part of our mission is to support the discovery of new treatments that provide lasting remission for all patients, ideal candidates for the fellowship program will return to their home states to practice at academic institutions that have the capacity to engage in research.
Within the next five years, we anticipate funding several fellows at multiple academic sites each year. We intend to create one excellent clinic in each region and, ultimately, within each state. We have an ambitious goal of supporting the creation of 25 PANS clinics that treat children and adults within the next ten years, which we believe can be accomplished by preparing each new site to train additional fellows. We are excited to take the first step in what we expect will be a neuroimmune landscape-changing butterfly effect.