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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Fellowship

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neuro-immunological disease with a rapidly changing therapeutic profile and advancing research.  Patients afflicted with MS are at times inappropriately managed, and symptomatic treatment can be frustrating for neurologists without additional training specific to the MS field.  Neurologists wishing to treat MS patients must therefore receive extensive and focused training in MS-specific care in order to effectively manage the disease. To this end, the USF MS Center is committed to the early diagnosis and ongoing treatment of MS through leading-edge, multi-disciplinary approaches, including the training of the future MS workforce. Our Center serves a large MS population of approximately 2,500 patients, coming from central Florida and the Greater Tampa Bay area population of more than 5 million. Our National MS Society-accredited Center is well situated to provide MS fellowship training, as it offers comprehensive care for MS patients through on-site neuropsychiatry/neuropsychology services, occupational and physical therapy with additional accreditation in treating MS patients, vestibular rehabilitation, urology services, EMG-guided botulinum toxin injections, Neuro-ophthalmology clinic, and a state-of-the-art neuroimaging facility. Fellows participating in our program would therefore build a solid foundation for managing a busy, MS-specific clinic under direct supervision. Additionally, we conduct MS clinical research, with multiple active studies ongoing, providing the Fellow with the unique opportunity to learn in-depth about trial design, patient recruitment, and regulatory/compliance requirements of conducting clinical research, while providing the opportunity to learn about the newest therapeutics in the MS pipeline. 

With the recent advances in understanding Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) spectrum disorders and Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disorders as demyelinating diseases of the CNS, it is important for the Fellow to also gain a solid foundation in understanding and treating these disorders for a focus in neuro-immunology. A sizeable percentage of our patient population at the USF Comprehensive MS Center includes those afflicted with NMO, MOG, and other neuro-inflammatory disorders. The Center also serves as the key recipient for outpatient referrals coming from Tampa General Hospital, a tertiary-care hospital and the largest teaching hospital in the region, which has been named the #1 hospital in Tampa Bay by U.S. News and World Report.

To meet key objectives and learning outcomes, the fellowship program includes: 

  • Directed clinical care at MS Center
  • Clinical research participation, management, and design
  • Neuroimmunology course involvement at the PhD level
  • Neuroradiology lectures biweekly
  • Basic science lab work and study design
  • Minimum of two publications, one of which must be in the fellow's own research, in peer-reviewed journals, with mentor oversight
  • Participation at national/international MS annual meeting
  • Monthly evaluations of MS fellow and review with Fellowship Program Director
  • Weekly rotations through neuro-ophthalmology, urology, spasticity clinic, interventional pain, physical therapy, speech therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, neuropsychology, and other MS-related referral centers
  • Monthly lectures to third-year USF medical students on MS and related topics such as neuroophthalmology, NMOSD, etc.
  • Attendance at weekly Department of Neurology Residency Grand Rounds

For more information please contact: 

Fellowship Coordinator

Lidia Dordevic
James A. Haley VA Hospital
13000 Bruce B Downs Blvd VA127
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: (813) 972-2000 ext. 7085
Fax: 813-978-5995

Fellowship Director

Derrick Robertson, MD
USF Department of Neurology
12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd MDC55
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: (813) 974-3541
Fax: 813-905-9838

Fellowship Associate Director

Natalie Moreo, MD
USF Department of Neurology
12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd MDC55
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: (813) 974-3541
Fax: 813-905-9838

Past Fellows:  

Ribal Haddad, MD: Joined Carle Health, Department of Neurology in Champaign, IL

Crystal Dixon, MD:  Joined faculty at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Division.. 

Carrie Downey, DO:  Director of Northern Light Neurology in Bangor, ME.

Demetrios Konstas, MD: Currently in practice at the VA Bay Pines Healthcare System. 

Natalie Moreo, MD:  Assistant Professor in Neurology Department and Associate Program Director of Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship at USF

Chetan Gandhy, MD:  Joined faculty at USF with a dual appointment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. JAHVA is one of the busiest VA medical centers in the US, and the MS patient population is one of the largest in the VA as well. Dr. Gandhy served as the medical director of the VA MS Center of Excellence at the Tampa VA. He also serves as the associate director for the MS fellowship.

Katherine Standley, DO: Currently in private practice in the Tampa Bay area and has grown her practice to see a high volume of MS patients and has started conducting MS clinical research.

Zuleyma Toledo-Nieves, MD: Joined Lakeland Regional Health Department of Neurology (private practice)

Derrick Robertson, MD: Associate professor of neurology at USF. Director of the USF MS Division.