The Research Institute

The Research Institute

National Spine Health Foundation established its Research Institute in order to foster a collaborative research environment for students to gain experience and knowledge of the clinical spine health landscape.  Our aim is to encourage the development of healthcare-focused students and drive collaboration in spine health research. 

The Research Institute at National Spine Health Foundation gives highly motivated students the opportunity to play an integral role in investigating innovative spine treatments.  This includes collaborating with top spine physicians and industry leaders on cutting edge treatments, informing and consenting patients on potential studies, culling and analyzing patient and clinician-driven data, and writing abstracts, papers, and reviews for eventual public consumption. The publications our Research Fellows assist with getting to press and podium helps the Foundation promote innovation and to prove what treatments work.  Our results give patients hope they will get better and back to living their best lives.  

Areas of research include stem cell therapy for relief of chronic back pain, use of bone morphogenetic protein in cervical fusion surgeries, robotic-guided spine surgery, lumbar hardware removal, and clinical trial collaborations with industry sponsors.  We also offer the opportunity to shadow the nation’s leading spine surgeons.

Internship Objectives:

  • Gain knowledge of current, innovative spine treatments and the current landscape of spine health care including surgical techniques, patient consent process, and patient-reported outcome metrics through scientific literature searches and clinic interactions 
  • Learn study design, data collection and analysis procedures, and database management techniques for peer-reviewed publication and research findings presentations
  • Become familiar with the clinical trials process and dataset collection for eventual industry-driven FDA submissions

The Research Institute offers a multitude of positions for highly-motivated students including:

  • High school research interns
  • College healthcare/premedical focused research fellows
  • Graduate Student research fellows
  • Post-Baccalaureate research fellows

For more information regarding our research, please read about our current research projects and SpineOnline® initiative, or contact us.

We also have opportunities for the following positions:

  • Finance & Accounting Internship: Coordinate with and assist the team in managing the financial reporting, accounting, and portfolio management
  • Marketing & Events Coordinator Internship: Coordinate with and assist the team in managing the We’ve Got Your Back signature events, support the organization’s fundraising activities, and provide administrative oversight with regard to social media functions.

To learn more about how to apply, click here.

Graduate Research Fellow

Samuel “Sam” Eaddy, MS
Nova Southeastern University | Spring 2020
Katie Gorick
University of Virginia | Spring 2019
Omar Sohail
Bowdoin College | Fall 2019

 

Undergraduate Research Fellow

Brandon Allen
Connecticut College, Spring 2020 | Flint Hill High School, Spring 2019
Megan Daniels
Virginia Tech | Spring 2016
Miles Guth
Virginia Tech | Spring 2020
Nate Johnson
University of Chicago | Spring 2019
Jenna Jubeir
Northwestern University, Summer 2018
Jonathan Merril
University of Chicago, Summer 2020 | St. Albans School, Summer 2019
Veronica Merril, Social Media & Digital Media Intern
University of Virginia | Summer 2019
Sawyer Mills
Virginia Tech | Spring 2019
Tabor Roderiques
Johns Hopkins University | Spring 2019
Samuel G. Namian
Georgetown University, Summer 2020
Nazia Shah, Finance & Accounting Intern
George Washington University | Summer 2020
Stephanie Su
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Spring 2018
Hunter Voslow
College of William & Mary | Spring 2016

Application Form

  • Reference*

NSHF_ResearchInstitute_HowToApply_2020-02-28_smw-1

Samuel “Sam” Eaddy, MS

Nova Southeastern University | Spring 2020

Raised in in Reston, Virginia, I always admired the impact that the Virginia Spine Institute had on our community, and I decided to get involved with the Foundation when I was a pre-med student in college. Years later, as a medical student interested in orthopedics, I fully recognize the role that Spine Health has in the world of spine health, and I am excited to apply my passion for medicine to further the Foundation’s mission so that it may reach and benefit as many people as possible.

My educational background includes a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech, an MS in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University, and I am currently a medical student at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My research experience began right here at the Foundation back in 2014 when I worked as an intern during a summer break from college. Since then, I have gained additional research experience in the fields of military medicine ophthalmology, pediatric emergency medicine, and orthopedic surgery. My academic and research interests are becoming more and more orthopedic focused and I am thrilled to be helping promote spine health with the best of the best at the Spine Health!

Katie Gorick

University of Virginia | Spring 2019

Katie is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research involves using focused ultrasound to facilitate targeted, non-invasive gene delivery to the blood vessels of the brain to promote recovery after ischemic stroke. During her summer internship at the National Spine Health Foundation, Katie focused on characterizing the adverse event profile and fusion rate following anterior cervical fusions with and without the addition of rhBMP-2.

Omar Sohail

Bowdoin College | Fall 2019

I graduated from Bowdoin College in 2015 with a degree in Religion and minor in Chemistry. After working as a research associate analyzing neuropsychology data in autistic children, I started volunteering in hospice care and grew more passionate about providing direct patient care. I subsequently completed my pre-medical requirements in 2018 before moving to Washington DC to work as a scribe for an orthopedic spine surgeon. My time as a scribe has shown me how using thoughtful and accessible language to communicate spinal conditions to patients is itself a form of care. Spine Health shares a similar philosophy: To give hope and improve spinal health care through education, research, and patient advocacy. I was drawn to Spine Health because of this shared goal  as well as my interest in contributing to cutting-edge research that would improve the outcomes of patients whom I met in clinic.

Brandon Allen

Connecticut College, Spring 2020 | Flint Hill High School, Spring 2019

Growing up with a father in the Air Force, I have moved all across the country and I have not encountered an environment such as the National Spine Health Foundation. While at Flint Hill High School, I decided to become more involved in spine health and intern at The Foundation. I am currently enrolled as a Biochemistry major at Connecticut College. Additionally, I was selected as a member of the Science Leadership Program. I have experienced the effect hope can have on a family and I am excited to help others by promoting the Foundation’s mission.

Megan Daniels

Virginia Tech | Spring 2016

Miles Guth

Virginia Tech | Spring 2020

I grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and am currently discovering my passions for science at Virginia Tech where I am pursuing a BioMedical Degree as part of the Integrated Science Curriculum Program and the Virginia Tech Honors College. Outside of the classroom, I am active in the Student Government Association serving my second term as an undergraduate representative, I serve prospective students as a Hokie Ambassador, I sing in two of the university choirs, and served as the President of my Residence Hall Council during my freshman year. I decided to become involved with the National Spine Health Foundation after watching my mother seek treatment for her pain, recognizing the importance of spinal health firsthand.

Nate Johnson

University of Chicago | Spring 2019

Jenna Jubeir

Northwestern University, Summer 2018

I grew up in Washington, DC and am currently studying computer science and chemistry at Northwestern University. I am fascinated by the interface between emerging technologies and medicine, having spent much of my time during my internship at NSHF enthralled by reading about spinal cord stimulation technologies and the newest strategies for attacking spinal cord injuries. Outside of my classes, I love hiking and discovering new ice cream places.

Jonathan Merril

University of Chicago, Summer 2020 | St. Albans School, Summer 2019

Jonathan is student at the University of Chicago pursuing biology and economics, so that he can better understand the medical field through the perspective of businesses. He has particular interest in biotechnology business, and hopes to pursue this field during and after serving in the U. S. Army. When not studying or in training, he enjoys running and digital music. Jonathan only truly realized the importance of spine health when his mother had back surgery, seeing how much proper treatment gave “back” her life inspired him to pursue opportunities at the Foundation. Jonathan previously served as a a Digital Media Intern, and having seen the amazing work that the team does firsthand, is excited to return as an Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Veronica Merril, Social Media & Digital Media Intern

University of Virginia | Summer 2019

Veronica Merril is a fourth year student and J. Sanford Miller Arts Scholar at the University of Virginia, double majoring in Music and Architectural History. She is the current President of the Miller Arts Scholars Program and President of University Records, the University’s record label. During the academic year, Veronica works as an editorial intern with the Vice Provost for the Arts and edits a biannual magazine and weekly newsletter. Aside from her leadership roles, Veronica sings with The University Singers, is a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, and gives tours with the UVA Arts Grounds Guides. She has a keen eye for design, marketing, editing, content creation, and working with multimedia programs to create engaging, informative, and exciting content. Veronica’s introduction to the importance of spine health happened when her mother had spinal fusion surgery. From her mother’s inability to walk during a visit to UVA in 2016 to walking in a 5k in 2017, Veronica witnessed the ways that proper treatment gave her mother’s life “back” and inspired her to pursue opportunities at the Foundation.

Sawyer Mills

Virginia Tech | Spring 2019

Tabor Roderiques

Johns Hopkins University | Spring 2019

Majoring in Molecular & Cellular Biology and minoring in Entrepreneurship & Management, Tabor is very interested in any research, which is why he joined The Research Institute team as a senior in high school. He hopes to get involved in genetic research in the following years. His passions include wildlife, weightlifting, boomerangs, and anything outdoors.

Samuel G. Namian

Georgetown University, Summer 2020

Sam is from Silver Spring, Maryland and is currently a student at Georgetown University majoring in neurobiology and minoring in Spanish. Sam attended St. Albans School in D.C. for high school where he developed an interest in biology and decided he wanted to become a doctor. In high school, Sam played football and rowed crew. He is now continuing his athletic career as a member of the Georgetown Lightweight Rowing team. Sam plans to attend medical school after college and pursue a career as a surgeon. Sam is excited to learn more about spine health while working with the National Spine Health Foundation and contribute to the foundation’s mission of giving hope and improving spinal health through education, research, and patient advocacy.

Nazia Shah, Finance & Accounting Intern

George Washington University | Summer 2020

Nazia is an ambitious, detail-oriented, and enthusiastic student at the George Washington University, school of business, currently a rising senior and working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. As an analytical and experienced individual in the finance and accounting field, she joins the Foundation to help manage the financial reporting, accounting, and portfolio management. Nazia is familiar with nonprofit finances, as well as serving the general community, and is particularly interested in the foundation’s mission of giving hope; she is eager to help the spine health community through her accounting services. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, travelling, and consulting.

Stephanie Su

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Spring 2018

Hunter Voslow

College of William & Mary | Spring 2016