Multiple Sclerosis and Clinical Neuroimmunology
The Department of Neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and educator. For more information about our mission to ensure a diverse and inclusive community, please visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program.
Welcome to the Fellowship Training Program in Multiple Sclerosis and Clinical Neuroimmunology.
The Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Center is pleased to offer a two-year Multiple Sclerosis and Clinical Neuroimmunology Fellowship. Our clinical fellows become expert in the diagnosis and clinical care of patients with MS and other autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system. They will participate extensively in clinical MS research and will graduate prepared to be leaders in the field of MS. Due to the richness and depth of our program, the fellowship has the capacity to be tailored to the interest of the individual fellow. Please note that research-focused fellowships are also available; they have a 20% clinical component and are evaluated separately.
Who We Are
The Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Center is the fastest growing MS Center in New York City. Located in the world-renowned Neurological Institute of New York on the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus, we serve as a referral center for diverse and complex patients throughout the region. We strive to provide expert, cutting-edge, and compassionate care to each patient. Our division consists of five clinical neurologists with expertise in MS, as well as a nurse practitioner, infusion nurse, social worker, neuropsychologist, and research coordinators. We participate in a diverse range of clinical trials including trials with disease modifying therapies, as well as numerous investigator-initiated projects. In conjunction with the Center for Translational and Computational Neuroimmunology which is directed by Dr. Philip De Jager, our clinical care center is closely affiliated with leading scientists in the fields of human immunology, genetics, and systems biology as they pertain to health, aging, and neurodegenerative disease.
Among our clinical and research missions is to uphold the highest standards of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our patient care and research practice. Similarly, we are committed to a diverse and inclusive community of faculty, staff, and trainees, and encourage applications from all qualified fellowship candidates.
Meet our Program Director
Dr. Claire Riley earned an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a medical degree from Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). She completed an internship in internal medicine and her residency in neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In addition, she completed a two-year clinical fellowship in the Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Center in 2010. Dr. Riley is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Before joining the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, she was the clinical director of the Yale MS Center in New Haven, CT.
Dr. Riley returned to the Columbia MS Center in 2012, where she is now the Medical Director. The Multiple Sclerosis and Clinical Neuroimmunology Fellowship program at CUIMC began in 2016 and has trained clinical fellows each year since its inception, two of whom were funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 2020, Dr. Riley was inducted into the Academy of Clinical Excellence at CUIMC in recognition of her outstanding clinical expertise. In 2021, she was appointed the Karen L. K. Miller Assistant Professor of Neurology at CUMC. Dr. Riley regularly teaches medical students, residents and fellows in the MS clinic. She is also an investigator in clinical trials related to multiple sclerosis.
Meet our Program Co-Director
Rebecca Straus Farber, MD is an assistant professor of neurology at CUIMC, where she sees patients and does clinical research on multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune central nervous system conditions. She is also an attending physician and co-director of the MS Center of Excellence at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. After earning her BA in psychology from Yale University, Dr. Farber completed medical school and neurology residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. She then completed her fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for MS at Mount Sinai during which time she was a recipient of the Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship from the National MS Society. Dr. Farber is board certified in neurology by the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Farber has published multiple journal articles on MS and has presented at international meetings.
Fellows will participate in the initial workup and continue to provide ongoing care of MS patients and those with related conditions, including MS in children, Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder, autoimmune encephalitis, and neuroinflammatory complications of cancer immunotherapies. Over the course of two years, fellows will serve as the initial point of contact for patients and will gain increasing independence as they manage complex patient cases. Patient care remains supervised and close communication with the attending faculty member facilitates a safe training environment. They will learn to navigate the increasingly diverse landscape of available MS disease modifying therapies, including choice of agent and monitoring requirements. Fellows will also gain exposure to related fields, including neuro-ophthalmology, neuroradiology, urology, neuropsychology, and rehabilitation medicine, and will have the opportunity to spend time with Columbia faculty in these fields.
Our research mission is closely intertwined with our clinical mission and many of our patients participate in clinical trials and/or registries. Our fellows will be trained to administer standardized MS assessments, including the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale and Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite, and will serve as independent raters in clinical trials. Fellows will also conduct an independent research project of their choosing, with the active mentorship of a faculty member. Early in their training fellows will work with their research mentor to develop a suitable project. Fellows will have access to resources such as research coordinators and statisticians and will have the opportunity to collaborate with basic and translational scientists in our immunology and computational laboratories.
Fellows will have the opportunity to teach neurology residents and medical students in the MS clinic and the hospital wards, and to share their passion for treating MS patients with the next generation of physicians.
Requirements and Eligibility
Qualified applicants will have completed an approved neurology residency and be eligible for licensure in the State of New York.
The fellowship program adheres to the ACTRIMS Fellowship Recruitment Policy.
Applicants will apply by submitting a curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
Applications will be accepted beginning October 1 and evaluated on a rolling basis. interviews will take place in December and January. Offers will be extended in February according to the ACTRIMS fellowship recruitment policy.
Applications are reviewed by a diverse committee.
- Philip De Jager, MD, PhD
- Claire Riley, MD (Fellowship Director)
- Rebecca Farber, MD (Fellowship Co-Director)
- Sarah Wesley, MD