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Julie Kiefer

Associate Director, Science Communications, University of Utah Health
Phone: 801-587-1293

Apr 10, 2020 10:00 AM

Jennifer Majersik, MD

Jennifer Majersik, MD, Division Chief of Vascular Neurology at University of Utah Health, will be serving as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Health for six months at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle, Australia beginning January, 2021.

Administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US State Department, the Fulbright Scholar Program is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. It offers approximately 8,000 grants for research and teaching awards in over 125 countries. The goal of the program is to develop international understanding by collaborating with international partners to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and to establish long-term cooperative relationships.

“It’s a huge honor. This program will allow me to extend my research and network internationally,” Majersik says. “In fact, I’ve already been developing new collaborative opportunities with the phenomenal stroke investigators in Australia, which I would not have the chance to without this program.”

Majersik is an accomplished neurologist at U of U Health and Director of the U of U Stroke Center. She specializes in stroke systems of care, including clinical stroke trials and telestroke, a 24-hour on-call emergency service to help community hospitals diagnose and treat stroke patients.

Majersik is particularly interested in the genetic underpinnings of stroke in large families in Utah and more common polygenetic disorders leading to increased risk of stroke. She is also conducting a study on motor recovery after stroke. 

Her proposed project of ‘Clinical Stroke Trials Innovation through Telemedicine and Policy’ will be well supported at the University of Newcastle, resulting in a mutually beneficial understanding and enrichment across both universities.

“I am particularly excited to learn about how another healthcare system works,” Majersik says. “Being embedded in another healthcare system will open my mind to possibilities of care provision that I may not see here in the US. Any time you spend in a different culture, you gain invaluable knowledge from it.”

She hopes to improve clinical stroke trials via several methods, including by using existing telestroke networks for enrolment into acute trials and subsequently conducting trial procedures. Majersik plans to determine which currently accepted outcomes measures in stroke trials could be feasibly and accurately conducted over telemedicine platforms, thus avoiding patients needing to travel long distances for follow-up. She also wishes to learn how national policy can shape and improve the efficiency of clinical trials.    

“This sabbatical is a really rich opportunity. It gives me time to step back from what I do daily and gives me a bigger picture of my work. I’m hoping to take back new and innovative ideas to conduct stroke trials in Salt Lake City.”

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