The practice of neurological surgery began when the first Shaman took to grinding holes with obsidian flints into the skulls of their fellows, who were sometimes immobilized by ingesting Mandrake root. The reasons for this practice remain lost in the conjecture of prehistory, but the motivations were surely to help the ill. The obligation to help sick people remains the primary goal for our residents and faculty today, and in this issue of the newsletter I am happy to be able to tell you about some of their successes.

The UW has been a leader for years in its desire to prevent sports injuries in youth, and with the football season underway we happily report that Sam Browd, MD, PhD has been named UW Invertor of the Year for his work in designing a better, safer football helmet. Dr. Browd and colleagues hope their VICIS helmet’s innovative design will absorb more energy instead of transmitting it to the brain. VICIS’s new technologies are far reaching in application from sports to the military.

Matthew Howard, MD finished as Chief Resident at UW in 1993 and moved to the University of Iowa, where he rose rapidly from assistant professor to academic star as Professor and Chairman. Matt has been the Chair at Iowa for some years, and reports passionately about his career, his family and his goal to combine research advances with clinical productivity.

Newly appointed Assistant Professor Ali Ravanpay, MD, PhD, whose roots are at the UW will be working with Misha Gelfenbyn, MD serving our Veterans. Rajiv Saigal, MD, PhD has been recruited as a new Assistant Professor, from UCSF and Miami and will augment the already world class neurosurgical spine service at HMC. His specialty is the newly evolving field of endoscopic and minimally invasive spine surgery and spinal cord injury research. Ryan Morton, MD who also finished this June, is staying as a Endovascular Fellow for the year under the auspices of Louis Kim and the Neurovascular/Endovascular Team. Rakshith Shetty will spend the year as Research Fellow in the Department under Dr. Sekhar’s tutelage. Philip Martel, MD has been transplanted from Montreal to join us for a year as the Spine Fellow under the skillful Fangyi Zhang, MD and Randy Chesnut, MD. Neena Marapudi, MD from Detroit is the Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellow at Children’s under Jeff Ojemann, MD and team. Anoop Patel, MD a surgeon/scientist joined us from MGH to be our Cerebrovascular/Skull Base Fellow for the year

The Neurological Surgery Summer Student program, a nationally acclaimed program designed to inspire under-represented college scholars, to pursue neuroscience careers, is finished its 9th successful year. The exciting new aspect of the program is that it is now supported by a R-25 NIH/NINDS grant. The students have something to say about their terrific experiences.

Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery Mike Williams, along with other walkers and runners, participated in the 6th annual Children’s Hospital and Hydrocephalus Association Walk at Magnuson Park. And, lastly there are new clinics and faculty at UWMC to tell you about, including the world class multidisciplinary pituitary clinic.

Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, FACS
Professor & Chairman
Department of Neurological Surgery

In This Issue - Fall 2016


Sam Browd: Inventor of the Year 1 Research Fellow/News from UWMC 5
Where Are They Now: Matt Howard, MD 2 Summer Program 2016 6
New Faculty 3 Hydrocephalus Walk - 2016 7
Welcome New Fellows 4 Puzzler 8

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