Medical Advisory Board
The Joe Niekro Foundation™ is honored to be represented by some of the best neurologists, neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists in the country. Our Medical Advisory Board provides valuable feedback, knowledge, support and direction to The Joe Niekro Foundation™ Board of Directors and is also instrumental in the growth of our Patient Advocacy Program.
Click on each name to read each members’ bio.
» Felipe C. Albuquerque, MD
Felipe C. Albuquerque, MD is the professor of neurosurgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute and serves as assistant director of endovascular neurosurgery, where, along with Cameron G. McDougall, have developed a comprehensive clinical practice and fellowship program. Dr. Albuquerque remains active in academic neurosurgery and has served the Cerebrovascular Section of the AANS and CNS in a variety of capacities. These include member-at-large, section representative to the Inter-societal Commission for the Accreditation of Carotid Stenting Facilities, section representative to the planning committee for the International Stroke Conference (2011–2013), and as a member of section’s Endovascular Task Force. Currently, Dr. Albuquerque serves as Vice Chairman of the Cerebrovascular Section and has also served the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgeons (SNIS) in a variety of capacities, including member-at-large of the SNIS 2012 executive committee, program chairman of the 2012 annual fellows course and program chairman of the 2013 annual SNIS meeting. Dr. Albuquerque is an associate editor of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery and also serves on the editorial boards of World Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery, in which capacity he reviews an average of 15 manuscripts per month and assists in directing the editorial content of these journals. He is also an associate editor of the video section of Journal of Neurosurgery Focus and continues to pursue an academic endovascular career, which has involved the publication of more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 40 book chapters/reviews and the delivery of more than 100 national and international lectures.
» Blaise Baxter, MD
Dr. Baxter is presently the Chief of Radiology for the Erlanger Health System and the Chair of Radiology for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga site. Since moving to Chattanooga, TN in 1999, Dr. Baxter has helped develop the Southeast Regional Stroke Center, one of the busiest stroke centers in the US. This center is involved in stroke research and has tremendous experience with stroke intervention. He has been involved in design modifications for various catheters and devices and has helped in refining the techniques employed in performing stroke intervention. Through speaking engagements and training courses, he has helped to train a large number of physicians performing these stroke intervention cases in the US and internationally. Dr. Baxter is actively involved in Stroke and other cerebrovascular disease research. The Southeast Regional Stroke Center at Erlanger has been a lead enrolling site in many stroke trials including the Swift Prime and ESCAPE trials that have led to a change in the standard of care for large vessel occlusion stroke patients. Dr. Baxter’s publications include many scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine. He is an invited speaker at the main Stroke and Neurointerventional Surgical meetings. Dr. Baxter serves on numerous boards. Presently, he is the Vice President of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS). He will become the President of SNIS in the summer of 2017.
» Gavin W. Britz, MD, MBBCh, MPH, FAANS
Dr. Gavin W. Britz is Chairman of Neurosurgery at The Methodist Hospital and Co-Director of the Methodist Neurological Institute. He leads an acclaimed team of neurosurgeons and affiliated professionals and is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost cerebrovascular and skull base surgeons.
Dr. Britz is one of the most experienced surgeons for brain aneurysm procedures, including highly complex cases that require cardiac standstill or complex bypasses. He treats brain aneurysms using the traditional microsurgical techniques but also performs endovascular treatment with coiling and stenting of aneurysms as he has trained in both neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. He additionally specializes in the treatment of arteriovenous malformations, dural fistulas, arterial dissections, atherosclerotic disease, Moya Moya disease and diseases affecting the skull base. This includes brain tumors such as meningioma, chordomas, pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, vestibular schwannomas and performs microvascular decompressions. He is among the first surgeons to test and use the latest devices for endovascular treatments.
He came to Houston from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina where he served as Director of the Cerebrovascular Center and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery. Earlier in his career, he was Co-Director of the Neurological Surgery Unit and Director of Endovascular Neurosurgery at Harborview Medical Center while serving as Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He leads basic science and clinical studies to understand stroke causation and evaluates novel tools to treat brain aneurysms and skull base tumors. He serves on the editorial board for Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery, International Journal of Vascular Medicine, Surgical Neurology International and Dataset Papers in Medicine. He has authored more than 80 peer reviewed scientific manuscripts and 25 chapters for various neurosurgical books.
» Robert D. Brown, Jr., MD, MPH
Dr. Brown completed his medical school training at Mayo Medical School, neurology residency at Mayo Clinic and stroke and cerebrovascular disease fellowship at Mayo Clinic. He also has a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology and clinical trial design. He is a Consultant in the Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, Chair, Department of Neurology, and the John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He is a previous recipient of the Mayo Distinguished Clinician Award, Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education Outstanding Faculty Award, Mayo Individual Award for Excellence and the American Heart Association Stroke Leadership Award. Dr. Brown has been elected to membership in the American Neurological Association, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Neurology and the Stroke Council of the American Stroke Association.
His research interests include cerebrovascular diseases of all types including intracranial aneurysms, stroke prevention, acute ischemic stroke, intracranial vascular malformations, primary central nervous system vasculitis and the epidemiology of cerebrovascular disorders. He has authored or co-authored over 170 peer reviewed manuscripts, 30 book chapters, three textbooks on stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, and served as the editor for a comprehensive monograph on clinical neurology. He has served as principal investigator, and on the executive and/or steering committees for numerous NIH-funded studies, including principal investigator of the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms. Watch video of Dr. Brown speaking on brain aneurysms.
» Michael Chen, MD
Michael Chen, MD has an appointment as Associate Professor in Neurology, Neurosurgery and Radiology at Rush University Medical Center. He received his medical degree in his home state at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. His training includes a neurology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a cerebrovascular disease fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an interventional neuroradiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Chen’s practice focuses on caring for patients with brain and spinal cord vascular disease, including minimally invasive endovascular treatments. He directs the Brain Aneurysm Center for Women which focuses on evaluating the relationship between estrogen and brain aneurysms as well as developing longitudinal quality of life data for women with aneurysms.
» Orlando Manuel Diaz-Daza, MD
Orlando Diaz, MD, is an Interventional Neuroradiologist at Houston Methodist Hospital and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Diaz received his M.D. from the University of Cartagena in Colombia in 1985, graduating Summa Cum Laude. From 1986-1989, Dr. Diaz performed his residency in radiology at Hospital Universitario del Valle in Colombia and was chief resident from 1988-1989. His clinical fellowship continued at Massachusetts General Hospital until 1995. From 1996-2000, Dr. Diaz served as Chief of Neurosurgery at Hospital Universitario Fundacion Santafe and Assistant Professor of Radiology at Universitad El Bosque in Bogota. In 2000, Dr. Diaz made Houston his home where he has served as an Interventional Neuroradiologist at Ben Taub General Hospital, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. Watch video of Dr. Diaz speaking on new aneurysm treatment procedure called Onyx 500.
» Christopher Fox, MD
W. Christopher Fox, MD, FAANS joined the University of Florida Department of Neurosurgery as an Associate Professor in September 2015. He is the Associate Residency Program Director and the Director of the ACGME-accredited Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology Fellowship.
Dr. Fox graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Anthropology-Zoology. After a year of playing professional hockey, he returned to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan Medical School, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society and graduated in 2003. He remained at the University of Michigan to complete his internship and residency in neurological surgery. He completed his endovascular neurosurgery fellowship at the University of Florida.
After training, Dr. Fox served from 2010-13 as an active duty neurosurgeon in the United States Navy, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego. While there, he was responsible for treating Sailors and Marines, many of whom had conditions related to combat service. In addition, he was responsible for teaching medical students and surgical interns and residents. From 2013-15 Dr. Fox was an Assistant Professor at Columbia University, New York, and had a busy clinical practice in northern New Jersey.
Dr. Fox’s clinical interests include the comprehensive care of patients with cerebrovascular disease. In addition, he has extensive experience treating patients with spine disease and has a particular interest in minimally invasive techniques. He feels strongly that compassion, commitment to the patient, teamwork, and formulating an individualized treatment plan for every patient leads to the best outcomes. His research interests include physiologic control mechanisms related to vascular reactivity, TBI in athletes and active duty personnel, and clinical studies that improve patient care.
» Donald F. Frei, MD
Donald Frei, MD is the Director of Neuro-Interventional Surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Graduating with honors from the University of Illinois, Dr. Frei went on to receive his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. His Internal Medicine internship occurred at Rush-Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois and his Diagnostic Radiology residency was at Tulane University in New Orleans. Dr. Frei performed fellowships in Diagnostic Neuroradiology and Neuro-Interventional Surgery at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Frei has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Neuro-Interventional Surgery since 2010. He has participated in many US and International endovascular aneurysm and stroke trials and has lectured extensively both in the US and abroad on a variety of Neuro-Interventional topics.
» Robert G. Grossman, MD
Dr. Grossman is the Professor of Neurological Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the former Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute in Houston. A native of New York City, Dr. Grossman received his MD in 1957 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was awarded the Borden Undergraduate Research Award in Medicine. He took his surgical internship at Strong Memorial Hospital University of Rochester. He served in the United States Army at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington D.C. His post graduate training in neurosurgery was at the Neurological Institute of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University. Dr. Grossman has held academic appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he was chief of the division of neurosurgery, and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he was professor and chairman of the department of neurosurgery. Dr. Grossman serves on numerous public advisory boards within the United States Public Health Service. He is currently the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Neurosurgical Research and Educational Foundation, a member of the Editorial Board of Neurosurgery and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
» Patrick P. Han, MD
Patrick P. Han, M.D. graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1997. His internship was completed at the Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency program at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in 1998. Following internship, his residency was completed at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Dr. Han’s fellowship achievements include a Cerebrovascular / Skull Base Surgery fellowship, an Endovascular Neurosurgery fellowship, and a Complex Spinal Surgery fellowship all completed at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He has advanced studies in Stereotactic Radiosurgery with the Gamma Knife and Cyberknife.
His current titles beginning in 2006 include Medical Director of St. John Neuroscience Institute, Co-Medical Director of St. John Stroke Center, and Staff Neurosurgeon at St. John Medical Center.
Dr. Han’s specializes in Neurosurgery with a subspecialty in Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery. He particularly focuses on the microsurgical treatment and endovascular treatment of brain aneurysms, brain arteriovenous malformations, carotid stenosis, and cavernous malformations. He is an expert at aneurysm coiling, aneurysm clipping, carotid endartectomy, and carotid stenting. He also has experience with the Pipeline Embolization Device. Dr. Han has also published numerous articles and given countless lectures and presentations regarding his expertise and knowledge.
Professional memberships are held with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Society of Neurointerventional Surgery, and Alpha Omega Alpha.
» Ricardo Hanel, MD
Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, received his medical degree from the University of Federal in Brazil, followed by a fellowship at both State University of New York and Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Hanel is an endovascular neurosurgeon at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL. He is known for his skill in treating acute stroke and cerebrovascular conditions with ground-breaking endovascular therapy that can be performed from inside the blood vessel. Dr. Hanel also has a special interest in neurosurgical research. His areas of expertise are Endovascular Neurosurgery, Acute Stroke Intervention, Arteriovenous Fistulas (AVF), Skull Base Neurosurgery, Brain Aneurysms, Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs) and Cerebrovascular Disease.
Dr. Hanel’s philosophy of care is centered on the patient, based on education, encouragement and understanding. He feels that it is important to educate his patients about their conditions and options, thus allowing them to make informed decisions. Dr. Hanel takes the time to engage his patients in their own care and firmly believe this helps them make better decisions.
» Hani A. Haykal, MD
Hani Haykal, M.D. is the Assistant Professor and Director of Neuroradiology at The Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr. Haykal received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from the American University of Beirut in 1974. His studies continued at the American University of Beirut where he received his M.D. in 1978. Dr. Haykal has held academic appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School where he was Assistant Professor of Radiology. From 1983-1989, Dr. Haykal was an Instructor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. In 1996, Dr. Haykal was named Radiology Physician of the Year and Radiologist of the Year in 2000 from The Methodist Hospital.
» Don Heck, MD
Donald Heck, MD is the Director of Neurointerventional Radiology at Novant Forsyth Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC and the co-director of the Forsyth Comprehensive Stroke Center. Dr. Heck is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Duke University Medical School in North Carolina. He trained in radiology and interventional radiology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and completed a neurointerventional radiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Heck serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS), and has authored numerous publications on a wide range of topics concerning stroke and aneurysm treatment, including the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, Stroke, the American Journal of Neuroradiology and others. In addition to the SNIS, Dr. Heck is a member of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) and the American Stroke Association (ASA).
» Joshua Hirsch, MD
Joshua Hirsch, MD is the Vice Chair of Interventional Care of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In this role, he oversees seven clinical divisions. As a practicing NeuroInterventional (NI) Radiologist, Director of NeuroInterventional Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, he is a recognized leader in both the Cerebrovascular and minimally invasive spine clinical areas.
Dr. Hirsch is active academically having published well over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and has been named one of America’s Top Doctors as well as one of Boston Top Doctors for continuous years. He served as the President of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery in 2012-2013. Dr. Hirsch is the advisor to the RUC for the American Society of Neuroradiology amongst other roles for that society. He is a founding editor of Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, as well as a senior editor for Pain Physician (2011 Impact Factor 10.7) and serves on the editorial advisory board of Neurosurgery. He is active in the American College of Radiology serving on behalf of the SNIS.
Dr. Hirsch has been named a Fellow of both the American College of Radiology and the Society of Interventional Radiology.
» Mahesh Jayaraman, MD
Dr. Jayaraman is the Director of Neurointerventional Services at Rhode Island Hospital, and is an Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging, Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. After completing his undergraduate and medical school at Brown University, Dr. Jayaraman went on to complete his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. During his residency, he conducted research on using CT Angiography (CTA) to diagnose aneurysms in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, work which eventually led to an RSNA research prize for outstanding paper in Neuroradiology by a trainee. After finishing fellowships in Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology at Stanford University, Dr. Jayaraman returned to Brown in 2006, where he still practices today. In addition to an active clinical practice, he serves the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) as chair of the Standards & Guidelines Committee.
» Mary Jensen, MD
Lee Jensen, MD, is a world-renowned leader in neurointerventional radiology and neurointerventional radiology research. She has been the Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at UVA since 1998 and the Director and Vice Chair for Operations in the Department of Radiology at the University of Virginia since 2009.
Dr. Jensen specializes in performing minimally invasive treatments for neurological conditions such as brain aneurysms, stroke, carotid artery disease, intracranial vascular stenosis, brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and fistulas (AVF) and spinal disorders, including spinal fractures, arteriovenous malformations and arteriovenous fistulas. She helped pioneer various treatments for cerebral aneurysms, including endovascular coiling techniques. Dr. Jensen also helped develop the first percutaneous vertebroplasty technique in the U.S. used to stabilize spinal compression fractures. A clear leader in her field, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, presented more than 280 invited lectures, participated in multiple clinical trials and has trained numerous fellows who’ve gone on to practice at some of the top hospitals in the country.
Dr. Jensen received her medical training at the Medical College of Virginia and served in the Medical Core of the Virginia Air National Guard for over 14 years. She is an avid runner and enjoys flower gardening at home and helping out in the garden at her son’s school.
» Yashar Kalani, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neuroscience at University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology, his medical degree at Stanford University and residency and fellowship in Neurosurgery and Cerebrovascular/Endovascular surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He also completed a fellowship in minimally invasive skull base surgery and neuroendoscopy at the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery in Sydney, Australia. Clinically he is focused on the combined microsurgical and endovascular treatment of neurovascular and skull base pathology. He is a principal investigator on a National Institute of Health grant studying RNA-based biomarkers of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. In addition to applying genomic tools to study cerebrovascular disease, he has an active research interest in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology and has published extensively in these areas including over 100 peer-reviewed articles, 50 book chapters and 2 textbooks. He has been the recipient of several awards including a Soros Fellowship and a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship from the American Australian Association.
» Richard P. Klucznik, MD
Richard Klucznik, MD, is the Assistant Professor of Radiology and Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at The Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas. Graduating Summa Cum Laude and receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Klucznik went on to receive his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. His surgical internship occurred at the University of Massachusetts and residency at David Grant Medical Center in Fairfield, CA. Dr. Klucznik performed fellowship in Neurology at Tufts-New England Medical in Boston and Interventional Neuroradiology at Baylor College of Medicine at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. In 1980, Dr. Klucznik received the George Howard Award for Anatomy. Dr. Klucznik has held clinical appointments at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, The Methodist Hospital, Weill Medical College, Texas Neurovascular Center, Methodist Brain Aneurysm Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. Dr. Klucznik currently serves as the Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Director on Interventional Therapeutic Neuroradiology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. Dr. Klucznik also serves as the Nominating Committee Chair for The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery. Watch video of Dr. Klucznik speaking about a new treatment for brain aneurysms, Onyx 500.
» Michael Lawton, MD
Michael Lawton, MD, is the President and CEO of Barrow Neurological Institute and the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
Dr. Lawton’s neurosurgical expertise includes cerebrovascular disorders (aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, and stroke) and skull base tumors. He has experience in treating more than 4,000 brain aneurysms, 800 AVMs, and 1,000 cavernous malformations. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Society of Neurological Surgeons, American Academy of Neurological Surgery, and World Academy of Neurological Surgery.
Dr. Lawton received a degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Barrow, where he also completed a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery. After joining the faculty at University of California, San Francisco, he later completed a fellowship in endovascular surgery there.
Dr. Lawton’s research studies the formation, underlying genetics, and rupture of brain AVMs, as well as the hemodynamics, rupture, and computational modeling of brain aneurysms. His clinical research studies the anatomy of microsurgical approaches and clinical outcomes of microsurgery for aneurysms, AVMs, and bypass surgery. He is the principle investigator for the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium, a NIH-funded multicenter group studying the genetics and clinical course of rare vascular diseases of the brain. He has published over 450 peer-reviewed articles, three single-author textbooks, and over 70 book chapters. He co-founded Mission:BRAIN, a teaching mission to raise the level of neurosurgery practiced in developing countries that conducts annual missions in Mexico and Asia.
» Italo Linfante, MD
Italo Linfante, MD is the Director of Interventional Neuroradiology and Endovascular Neurosurgery at Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute and Baptist Neuroscience Institute. Before joining Radiology Associates of South Florida, Dr. Linfante served as an Associate Professor in Neurology and Radiology in the University of Massachusetts’ Section of Neuroendovascular Surgery/Interventional Neuroradiology and was on-staff at Boston Medical Center. A native of Italy, Dr. Linfante earned his medical degree from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” where he also served a resident in neurology. He completed residencies in internal medicine at George Washington University Medical Center and in neurology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He served fellowships in neuroradiology/neuroimaging at the Neuro-Imaging Branch of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; in cerebrovascular diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He was on the Faculty of Neurology in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Neuro Critical Care at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Linfante has been serving on the Editorial Board of Stroke since 2002 and in the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neuro Interventional Surgery. Dr. Linfante is Founding Member and on the Board of Directors of the Society for Interventional Neurology (SVIN) and is on the Executive Committee of the Society for Neuro Interventional Surgery (SNIS). He has been the Chairman for several sessions and symposiums for the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA). He is the author of more than 50 scientific articles published in world renowned peer-reviewed journals such as Stroke, Neurology and Neurosurgery and has published numerous book chapters and books in Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Neurology and Vascular Neurology. Watch video of Dr. Linfante speaking on brain aneurysm treatments.
» Demetrius K. Lopes, MD
Demetrius Klee Lopes, MD is the Section Chief of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is highly skilled in endovascular surgery, microsurgery and radiosurgery of brain and spinal vascular problems. This unique set of skills allows Dr. Lopes to personally provide all available vascular treatments to his patients. Dr Lopes’ practice focuses on caring for patients with complex aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF) carotid and vertebral-basilar blockage and stroke. He also serves as Surgical Director of the Rush Comprehensive Stroke Center, Director of the Rush Center for Neuroendovascular Surgery, Director of Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship Education and Surgical Director of the Rush University Interventional Services.
Dr. Lopes began his medical education at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil (1987), followed by a General Surgery (PGY-1) internship at University of Illinois at Chicago and Cook County Hospital (1993) and Neurology (PGY-2) at the Indiana University (1994). He completed training in Neurosurgery and Fellowship in Neuroendovascular Surgery at State University of New York at Buffalo (1995-2001). In 2001, he was invited to head the cerebrovascular program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Lopes is an active author, lecturer and researcher. He has written many articles and chapters on various aspects of cerebrovascular surgery. His current research interests are in minimally invasive repair of blood vessels (aneurysms), intravascular imaging, flow diversion, arteriovenous malformation and stroke therapies. Dr Lopes’ is the principal investigator to trials for flow diverters such as Pipeline, Surpass, Fred and Web. As well as, stents like Lvis jr and Liberty. Dr. Lopes is unsurpassed in the Chicago-area in terms of expertise, experience, multidisciplinary collaboration and access to the latest diagnostic and stroke-prevention technologies. Dr Lopes is founding member of the World Live Neurovascular Conference (WLNC).
» Cameron G. McDougall, MD, FRCSC
Dr. McDougall is a neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Group in Seattle, WA. Dr. McDougall was raised in western Canada and attended both college and medical school at the University of Saskatchewan. His internship was completed in Montreal through McGill University and he returned to the University of Saskatchewan for his Neurosurgical training. He completed his neurosurgical training and was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1993. During his Neurosurgical residency, Dr. McDougall spent a year at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) where he trained under Dr. Charles Wilson and met Dr. Grant Hieshima, a pioneer in interventional neuroradiology. Intrigued by this developing specialty, Dr. McDougall returned to SF after completing his neurosurgical training and spent two more years at UCSF working with Dr. Hieshima. Dr. McDougall became certified as a neurosurgeon in 1993 and has focused his entire career on the treatment of stroke and cerebrovascular disease. He was one of the first neurosurgeons in the country to receive fellowship training in endovascular techniques. Once Guglielmi detachable coils received FDA approval in 1995, he was the first neurosurgeon in North America to treat a patient with an intracranial aneurysm using this device. Since that time, he has been extensively involved in research to improve endovascular techniques including being the principal investigator on large, randomized, international studies. He is a past president of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgeons, has published over two hundred papers in peer reviewed journals and been an invited lecturer on every continent except Antarctica.
» Kristin M. Mascotti, MD
Kristin Mascotti, MD specializes in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota. Dr. Mascotti received her MD from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1994 and completed her residency from Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Dr. Mascotti has performed fellowship for the University of Minnesota Hospitals Blood Bank and is currently the Medical Director of Point of Care and the Co-Medical Director for Transfusion Services. Dr. Mascotti is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.
» Philip M. Meyers, MD
Philip Meyers, MD is the Associate Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery and Director of the Neuroendovascular Service at Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Neurological Institute of New York. Dr. Meyers is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University and graduated AOA from Case Western Reserve University in 1989 followed by his residency and fellowship at the University of Cincinnati from 1989-1998 and UCSF 1998-2000. He received post-graduate training in surgery, radiology, and neuroradiology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and interventional neuroradiology/endovascular neurosurgery at the University of Calfornia at San Francisco. Areas of academic interest and research include cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, cerebrovascular blood flow regulation, intracranial and extracranial revascularization therapy. He is the current President-Elect of the Executive Committee for Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, along with serving in many neurological and cardiovascular professional organizations. Dr. Meyer’s areas of academic interest include acute hemorrhagic stroke, cerebral perfusion and neuroplasticity.
» Peter Nakaji, MD
Peter Nakaji, MD is the Director of Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery and Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ and Professor of Neurosurgery at Creighton University School of Medicine. Dr. Nakaji received both his undergraduate and Medical degrees from the University of California in San Diego, where he also performed his residency in Neurosurgery. Dr. Nakaji did a fellowship in Endoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Prince of Wales Private Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery at Barrow Neurological Institute under the guidance of Dr. Robert Spetzler. Dr. Nakaji is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Institutional Review Board for Human Research at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
» Aditya S. Pandey, MD
Aditya S. Pandey, M.D. achieved his Bachelors of Science in Biological and Engineering Sciences from the Washington University in St. Louis and then completed his Doctorate of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He then gained training in neurological surgery with sub-specialty training in microsurgical and endovascular treatment of cerebrovascular disorders. Dr. Pandey specializes in treating individuals who have blood vessel related diseases of the brain and spinal cord (e.g., aneurysms, AVM, stroke, fistulas, cavernomas, etc.) as well as practices general neurosurgery (spinal disorders, brain tumors, and traumatic brain injury).
He is one of two neurosurgeons in the Ann Arbor region who are trained to perform both open surgeries and endovascular radiological procedures when treating brain blood vessel related diseases. His research interests are aimed at developing and improving tools to assist in the fight against stroke and brain aneurysms as well as understanding early brain injury after a hemorrhage. He has been the author of more than 70 research publications as well as participated in numerous national research trials aimed at improving techniques of aneurysm treatment. Dr. Pandey is currently leading a study to better understand whether a patient requiring aneurysm treatment should be maintained on seizure medications post-surgery. In addition, he is a co-investigator for the HEAT, FEAT, and MISTIE III trials. Dr. Pandey has led a multidisciplinary effort in guiding the accreditation of the University of Michigan Stroke Team as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. He currently serves as the surgical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center.
» Aman Patel, MD
Dr. Patel, MD is a neurosurgical attending at Massachusetts General Hospital with clinical interests in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery with a focus on the treatment of cerebral aneurysms, vascular malformations and stroke. Prior to Mass General, Dr. Patel was Full Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Director Cerebrovascular/ Endovascular Neurosurgery, Co-Director Stroke Program and Vice-Chairman Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He started the program 13 years ago after completing post-graduate training in neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology with a focus on the care of patients with cerebrovascular disease across the specialties of neurosurgery, radiology and neurology. This collaborative approach has led to the growth of the program to becoming one of the busiest centers in New York City.
An expert in the vasculature of the brain and spine, Dr. Patel offers both endovascular and open microsurgical options to patients. He specializes in the minimally invasive treatment of brain and spinal disorders using endovascular techniques that are creating new treatment options for a broad range of conditions, replacing long and difficult traditional surgeries with low-risk interventions. When indicated, he also performs open surgery for cerebrovascular disease and general neurosurgery.
Dr. Patel is involved in multiple multi-center studies, NIH and industry sponsored, that investigate treatments related to ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, new devices and new techniques. He is focused on cerebrovascular treatments with a goal of developing a world-class program at Mass General that advances the clinical, academic, research and education work that began at Mount Sinai, with a goal of adding additional basic and clinical research.
» Charles Prestigiacomo, MD
Dr. Prestigiacomo is the Professor of Neurological Surgery and the Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Dr. Prestigiacomo served as the Chairman and Director of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program at New Jersey Medical School, and Director of the Cerebrovascular Center in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the The University Hospital.
Dr. Prestigiacomo is renowned for his specialty in cerebrovascular microsurgery (aneurysms, AVM, cavernous malformation, carotid endarterectomy and bypass), endovascular surgery for the treatment of all brain, spinal cord and head/neck pathology (aneurysms, AVM, stroke, tumor, vessel occlusion) and stereotactic radiosurgery for vascular lesions. His research has included topics such as the outcomes in subarachnoid hemorrhage, mechanisms of cerebral vasospasm, decision analysis and biophysics of aneurysm formation.
» Lee Pride, MD
Lee Pride, MD is Professor of the Radiology and Neurological Departments at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX. After medical school at the University of Alabama, Dr. Pride completed his internship at UNC Hospitals focusing on Internal Medicine. He then proceeded to do his residency in Neurology and Radiology, with fellowship in Interventional Neuroradiology. His specialty areas include NeuroInterventional Radiology, Neurology, Neurosciences and Radiology with clinical interests in Arteriovenous Fistula, AVM, Carotid Stenosis, Carotid Stenting, Cavernous Carotid Fistula, Brain Aneurysm, Cerebral Aneurysm Embolization, Spinal Vascular Malformation and Stroke.
Lee is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Society of Neuroradiology, Radiological Society of North America, Society of Neurointerventional Surgery and the Texas Medical Association.
» Peter A. Rasmussen, MD
Peter A. Rasmussen, MD, is Director of the Cerebrovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Medical Director of Distance Health. Dr. Rasmussen’s clinical interests are in hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, primarily focusing on cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and occlusive intracranial atherosclerotic disease. He maintains a busy practice offering patients either open microsurgery or endovascular, minimally invasive treatment options. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin, completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, completed fellowship training in interventional neuroradiology/endovascular neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, as well as a fellowship in microsurgical treatment of cerebrovascular disease also at the Cleveland Clinic. He joined the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic in 2000. He has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters. Currently he is an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery and American Journal of Neuroradiology. During his career, Dr. Rasmussen has maintained an active interest in applied or translational research acting as the Co-Director of the Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Laboratory. He is an active member of many professional organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, and the Joint Sections on Neurotrauma, Critical Care and Cerebrovascular Surgery.
Dr. Rasmussen is the President of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), is a past Vice Chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Cerebrovascular Section, and has been appointed as a fellow to both the American Heart Association (FAHA) and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (FAANS).
» Nedaa Skeik, MD
Dr. Skeik is a Vascular Medicine Specialist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Skeik received his medical degree at Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey, completed his residency at New York Medical College and fellowship in cardiology at Istanbul University. He most recently was at the Mayo Clinic where he completed his vascular medicine fellowship. Previous positions have included serving as a consultant in emergency medicine, internal medicine and cardiology in various hospitals in Istanbul. He also served as a hospitalist at Maine General Hospital in Augusta, Maine, and as an internist at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine. Dr. Skeik also serves as Assistant Professor, Adjunct, at Dartmouth Medical School and is a member of the American College of Physicians(FACP), Society of Vascular Medicine, Mayo Fellow Association and an Associate Member of New York Medical College.
» Robert F. Spetzler, MD
Robert F. Spetzler, M.D., attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois from 1963 to 1967 and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry. Before graduating, he spent a year at the Free University of Berlin on a scholarship. In 1967, he entered medical school at Northwestern University, where he obtained his M.D. in 1971 and completed his internship in 1972.
In 1972 Dr. Spetzler moved to the University of California at San Francisco where he trained as a resident under Charles B. Wilson, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery. It was there, under the expert tutelage of Dr. Wilson, that his interest in neurovascular surgery developed. His commitment to academic neurosurgery also was established at this time. Before finishing his residency, he had already published 15 articles in refereed journals, on 8 of which he was first author; had helped edit two books; and had made almost 20 presentations at national and international meetings. During the last year of his residency, he was awarded a Trauma Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also received the Annual Resident Award at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
After completing his residency in 1977, Dr. Spetzler joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio as an Assistant Professor. In 1980 he received his first major grant from NIH, developing a primate model of stroke that has since been used to test therapeutic treatments for stroke and cerebral ischemia. In 1981, he was promoted to an Associate Professor, holding that appointment until 1983. His commitment to clinical research during these years was rewarded with about 40 articles published in refereed journals and 16 book chapters.
In 1983 Dr. Spetzler was recruited by Dr. John R. Green to assume the J. N. Harber Chair of Neurological Surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, Arizona. Two years later when Dr. Green retired, Dr. Spetzler became the Director of the Institute. Under Dr. Spetzler’s leadership, the BNI has grown from primarily a regional center to an internationally recognized center of excellence that attracts both visiting healthcare professionals and patient referrals from around the world. The residency program has become one of the most highly sought programs because of the diversity of clinical experience and the emphasis on developing independent research projects.
Among just of few of Dr. Spetzler’s contributions have been the development of theories on normal perfusion pressure breakthrough and how the size of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is related to their rupture; the development of a heuristic grading system for AVMs; advances in the surgical treatment of complex cerebrovascular lesions based on hypothermia, barbiturates, and cardiac arrest; and the development of innovative surgical approaches for skull base surgery. In the last decade this work has been reflected in the 100 articles published in refereed journals; the 83 book chapters either published or in press; the establishment of the official journal of the BNI, the BNI Quarterly; and numerous books and neurosurgical atlases. These accomplishments underscore why Dr. Spetzler was chosen as the Honored Guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons – the youngest member ever to receive this coveted honor.
» Michael Ulrich, MD
Michael Ulrich, MD is a General Practioner for the Mayo Health Clinic in Albert Lea in Minnesota. Dr. Ulrich graduated from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver in 1993 and completed his residency at St. Lukes Methodist Hospital. Dr. Ulrich is the Division Chair for Family Practice and Medical Director of Emergency Medicine for Mayo Health Systems in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
» Ronald E. Woosley, MD
Ronald Woosley, MD is the Chairman Emeritus of Neurosurgery at St. John’s Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Woosley received his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine College and M.D. from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. He served as General Medical Officer in the US Navy from 1969-1971. Dr. Woosley performed his internship at the University of Louisville and residency at Duke University and John Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Woosley has held academic appointments with Cameron University as Professor of Physiological Psychology and is Clinical Professor of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Dr. Woosley serves on numerous public advisory boards and is currently active in the Southern Neurological Society, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Association of Christian Therapists, and Congress of Neurosurgery. Dr. Woosley is a member of the Medical Executive and Surgery Committees at St. John’s Medical Center and is also a consultant for both Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southwestern Regional Medical Center and Oklahoma State Medical Center.
» Joseph Zabramski, MD
Joseph Zabramski, MD has completed fellowships in both cerebrovascular surgery and spinal surgery. A nationally recognized leader in the field of cerebrovascular surgery, his areas of expertise include the treatment of stroke, carotid artery disease, intracranial arterial stenosis, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and cavernous malformations. Present titles include Chairman, Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery, Director of the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Units, and Director of Neurosurgical Research at Barrow Neurological Institute.
He obtained his residency training at the University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio, in Neurological Surgery, and was Chief Resident in Neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. He also completed both his Cerebrovascular and Spinal Surgery Fellowships at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Zabramski is Board Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
» Y. Jonathan Zhang, MD
Y. Jonathan Zhang, MD graduated from Shanghai Medical University and is a neurosurgeon at The Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas, specializing in neurovascular disorders. Dr. Zhang offers advance diagnostic and therapeutic options for cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural arteriovenous fistulas, carotid-cavernous fistulas, carotid and intracranial stenosis or occlusion, brain and spinal cavernous malformations, acute cerebral infarction, and skull base and deep seated brain and spinal tumors. His technical expertise include 3D high-resolution cerebral and spinal angiograms; embolization using coil, liquid embolic agents (NBCA or Onyx), balloon and stents; minimally invasive craniotomy with intraoperative angiogram; cerebral revascularization with extracranial-intracranial bypass or intracranial stent angioplasty; carotid endarterectomy or stent angioplasty with cerebral protection; tumor or epistaxis embolization; stereotactic radiosurgery; complex skull base surgery for otherwise inoperable tumor or vascular lesions. Dr Zhang is also an expert in advanced endoscopic neurosurgery. Dr. Zhang is committed to educating patients and other physicians and to delivering cutting edge treatments for neurovascular problems with safety and compassion.
» Jan-Karl Burkhardt, MD
Jan-Karl Burkhardt, MD is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine who specializes in cerebrovascular surgery, both microsurgical and endovascular. Dr. Burkhardt earned his medical degree from the University of Leipzig in Germany and completed neurosurgery residency training at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. He completed both a microsurgical vascular fellowship at University of California San Francisco (Dr. Lawton) and an endovascular fellowship at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York (Dr. Riina/Dr. Nelson). Besides his clinical practice, based primarily at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, Dr. Burkhardt is a productive researcher with over 120 peer-reviewed clinical and preclinical publications. An enthusiastic teacher, he also serves as vascular section editor for the Journal World Neurosurgery and as an ad hoc reviewer for many neurosurgical journals. Dr. Burkhardt speaks both English and German.
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