Department of Neurology

Vascular Neurology Fellowship

Arielle Davis, M.D.
Vascular Neurology Fellowship Director and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology

The Vascular Neurology Fellowship is one-year ACGME approved program. There are three positions each year. Clinical training is based at Harborview Medical Center, a  dynamic county hospital that is also a Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center and level 1 Trauma Center caring for approximately 800 ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients each year. In addition to the intensive vascular neurology training offered, there are rotations in neuroradiology, neurosonology and neurocritical care. Call is taken with the acute stroke interventional team and includes video telestroke. There are numerous opportunities to participate in research and fellows are encouraged with faculty support to submit abstracts to the International Stroke Conference. At the end of one year of training, the trainee will be eligible to sit for the Vascular Neurology subspecialty board certification examination. Those trainees interested in research or an academic career will be encouraged to apply for external (AAN, ASA, NIH) research fellowship funding or for the research training year available as part of the NIH StrokeNet Regional Coordinating Center located at the UW Medicine/Harborview Comprehensive Stroke Center.

2020 Interview Dates

Feb 7, 2020 | March 13, 2020 | March 20, 2020

Stroke Clinic

Fellows have the opportunity to care for outpatient vascular neurology patients in two half-day clinics each week. The clinic is staffed by vascular neurology attendings and provides an opportunity for continuity of care and for managing chronic neurovascular conditions such as moya-moya syndrome and CADASIL. In addition, fellows have the unique opportunity to spend some time in clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital under the mentorship of our pediatric vascular neurology expert, Dr. Amlie-Lefond.


  • Wednesday noon Neurology Lecture Series (including a monthly stroke lecture and visiting stroke faculty annual lecture)
  • Thursday noon stroke webinar (topics from the prior year International Stroke Conference or NIH Stroke Net Grand Rounds)
  • Thursday afternoon Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Friday afternoon stroke didactics followed by a multi-disciplinary stroke clinical conference (discussion of interventions and challenging or interesting cases of the week)

In addition, fellows are encouraged to attend the International Stroke Conference as well as other national conferences, especially if presenting research.

Teaching opportunities for fellows abound – fellows participate in the Neurology Lecture Series and lead various medical student and resident didactics throughout the year.

How to Apply

Our program participates in the NRMP Match using ERAS for
Fellowship Positions. Please upload your C.V., 3 letters of recommendation including a letter from your current program director, a personal statement, and your USMLE Scores into the ERAS program. Applications will be reviewed starting January 29th and interviews will be conducted starting in March. ERAS will close on April 29th.

Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited program in neurology, child neurology, neurodevelopment disabilities, or a program in one of these specialties that is located in Canada and accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.The University of Washington is building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from female and minority candidates. The University of Washington is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

NRMP Match Timeline

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – applications open in NRMP Match
  • Friday, March 2 , 2020 – interview period begins
  • Friday, March 27, 2020 – interview period ends
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – rank list deadline at 9:00pm ET
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – Match Day!
  • July 1, 2021 – fellowship begins

Core Fellowship Team


Catherine Amlie-Lefond, M.D.
Dr. Amlie-Lefond is the Director of the Pediatric Vascular Neurology program at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Neurology.
Special Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Pediatric stroke, acute treatment of stroke, cerebrovasculopathy and cerebral vascular malformations

Claire Creutzfeldt, M.D.
Dr. Creutzfeldt is a neurologist at Harborview Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Neurology.
Special Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Neuro-palliative care, especially for patients with severe acute brain injury.

Rizwan Kalani, M.D.
Dr. Kalani is an Assistant Professor of Neurology.
Special Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Lipids and cerebrovascular disease, stroke epidemiology and population-based approaches to stroke prevention in low-and middle-income countries.

Sandeep Khot, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Khot is the Director of the HMC Consult Service and an Associate Professor of Neurology.
Research Interests:
Dr. Khot conducts clinical research on the relationship between sleep apnea and stroke, notably assessing stroke recovery with the treatment of sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Other research includes cardiac arrest, carotid dissection, intracranial atherosclerosis, giant cell arteritis, and stroke.
Clinical Interests:
Care of hospitalized patients with neurologic disease.

Will Longstreth, M.D.
Dr. Longstreth is the chief of Neurology at Harborview Medical Center, Professor of Neurology, and an Adjunct Professor of General Internal Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medicine.
Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Cerebrovascular disease and epidemiology.

Malveeka Sharma, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Sharma is an Assistant Professor of Neurology.
Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Global health in neurology, medical education, and sustainable health care development.

Breana Taylor, M.D.
Dr. Taylor is an Acting Assistant Professor of Neurology.
Special Clinical and/or Research Interests:
Medical education and neuro-palliative care

David Tirschwell, M.D., M.Sc.
Dr. Tirschwell is the Medical Director of Comprehensive Stroke Care at the UW Medicine Stroke Center at HMC and a Professor of Neurology.
Research Interests:
Intracerebral hemorrhage, stroke epidemiology, quality of care, clinical trials and outcomes of stroke patients.

Jonathan Weinstein, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Weinstein is an Associate Professor of Neurology and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery.
Special Clinical Interests:
CNS Vasculopathies, neurovascular leukoencephalopathies
Special Research Interests:
Basic and translational work on the neuroimmune responses in both acute stroke and in ischemic preconditioning.
Dr. Weinstein’s Research Laboratory:

Fellows also work extensively with our neuro-interventionalists, neurocritical care, neuroradiology, and neurosonology faculty, among others.

Current Fellows


Smita Holden, M.D.
Dr. Holden is originally from Dallas, Texas. She has moved around a lot as a child, ultimately moving to California when she was 6 and then living abroad with her family for 7 years. She attended high school and college on the east coast and graduated from Brown University in 2009, where she was also a Division I cross-country and track and field runner. She attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, the state where both her and her husband’s families reside. She then completed her neurology residency training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Holden is interested in both medical and resident education. Her hobbies include long-distance running, hiking, and traveling abroad.

Carson Van Sanford, M.D.
Dr. Van Sanford is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. He received a degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology as well as Music from Emory University in Atlanta. After college, he spent one year as a Research Specialist in the Emory Department of Neurology and was the head coach of the Novice Men’s Crew team. He attended medical school at the University of Kentucky. He completed his residency at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Van Sanford’s clinical interests include intracerebral hemorrhage and secondary stroke prevention. He enjoys rowing, hiking and playing guitar.

Fellowship Graduates and Post-Graduate Employment

2018-2019 Breana Taylor, M.D.
James Wang, M.D.
University of Washington
Swedish Medical Center (Seattle)
2017-2018 Steve O’Donnell, M.D.
Jenny Siv, M.D.
Virginia Mason (Seattle)
Providence Everett (Everett, WA)
2016-2017 Nick Freeburg, M.D.

Paul Johnson, M.D.

Legacy Health (Portland, OR
and Vancouver, WA)
University of Colorado
2015-2016 Steven Peters, M.D.
Tarvinder Singh, M.D.
University of Calgary
Providence Everett (Everett, WA)
2014-2015 Rizwan Kalani, M.D.
Andrew Huffer, M.D.
University of Washington
University of Washington/
Seattle VA Puget Sound Healthcare

Why UW Vascular Neurology?

We have a unique geographic location – as the only academic medical center in the Seattle metropolitan area and because we draw patients form a broader region, including Alaska, our patient population is rich and offers a wealth of learning.

Seattle is a phenomenal place to live! Not only do we have a thriving city with great food and cultural activities, but we have easy access to water and mountains as well. Where else can you see sea lions and a volcano (Mt. Rainier) on your commute to work each day?