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UH Neurological Institute Update | Fall 2023


Innovations in Neurology & Neurosurgery | Fall 2023

University Hospitals Neurological Institute continues to provide transformational leadership to advance patient-focused innovation in neurosurgery and neurology. This year, faculty members welcomed an international cohort of neurosurgeons, neurologists, fellows and residents to Cleveland and traveled to prestigious academic medical centers nationwide to share world-class surgical techniques, therapeutics and research.

“As our institute looks to the future, we are aligned in our shared quest to achieve unparalleled outcomes for our patients,” says Nicholas C. Bambakidis, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Director and Vice President of the UH Neurological Institute and Harvey Huntington Brown Jr. Chair in Neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

UH Neurological Institute highlights for 2023 include:

Surgical Treatment of the Craniovertebral Junction and Skull Base Fellowship Courses. Celebrating record attendance, the Surgical Treatment of the Craniocervical Junction and Skull Base Fellows courses were held again this summer in partnership with the School of Medicine. Dozens of neurosurgeons from around the country and world participated in the courses that included lectures and hands-on cadaver dissections. Neurosurgeons and ENT surgeons demonstrated posterolateral transtemporal surgical approaches, as well as endoscopic endonasal anatomy and surgical options.

UH CNMS Skull Base Fellowship course in lab training imageSurgical Treatment of the Craniovertebral Junction and Skull Base Fellowship Courses during hands on training session.
UH Neuro Skull Base course 2023 participants group photoSurgical Treatment of the Craniovertebral Junction and Skull Base Fellowship Courses 2023 participants.

Senior neurosurgery residents from programs around the country attended the 13th annual Surgical Treatment of the Craniocervical Junction course, directed by Dr. Bambakidis and Gabriel Smith, MD. Officially recognized by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the two-day intensive is a hands-on course in the surgical management of pathologies of the craniocervical junction. The Skull Base Fellows course, also sponsored by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, is for fellows or early career neurosurgeons with an interest in skull base surgery.  

Each registrant received a signed copy of Surgery of the Cerebellopontine Angle, Second Edition, a definitive guide for the surgical treatment of diseases in the cerebellopontine angle. Fully revised and expanded for 2023, the book was co-written by Cliff Megerian, MD, Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals and the Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair, Dr. Bambakidis and Robert F. Spetzler, MD, FACS, Emeritus President and CEO, Emeritus Chair, Department of Neurosurgery of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

Epilepsy Colloquium

In September, the 15th International Epilepsy Colloquium, Ictal Semiology and its Value in Epilepsy Surgery, was held in collaboration with School of Medicine.

The event brings together acclaimed experts in the field of epilepsy. This year, the focus was on the semiology of epileptic seizures and its value in epilepsy surgery. Interactive case discussions facilitated active audience participation and the interchange of ideas.

Novel Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

The UH Brain Health & Memory Center is opening new infusion opportunities for LEQEMBI® (lecanemab-irmb), the first and only Food and Drug Administration-approved medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“LEQEMBI has been shown in laboratory studies to decrease scarring in the brain that researchers believe is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Bambakidis. “We are committed to providing the latest in treatments for this very debilitating neurological condition and offering patients hope that there are new treatments on the horizon.”

New Faculty

Xiaofei (Sophie) Zhou, MD | A graduate of School of Medicine, Xiaofei (Sophie) Zhou, MD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon and expert in neurocritical care. “Dr. Zhou completed her residency and fellowship at University Hospitals and joins the UH Neurological Institute as a complex spine surgeon and specialist in the neurological ICU,” says Dr. Bambakidis.

Michael D. Staudt, MD | Michael D. Staudt, MD, will join the UH Neurological Institute in January 2024. He is a functional and epilepsy neurosurgeon at Beaumont Health (now Corewell Health) outside Detroit. “Dr. Staudt completed his fellowship training in neurosurgery at University Hospitals in 2017, and we recruited him to return and join our faculty,” says Dr. Bambakidis. “He is an expert in robotic neurosurgery, which we soon hope to offer within the UH Neurological Institute.”

UH Neurological Institute Updates

UH Neuro CVJ group photo 2023 UH Neurology Institute faculty, and staff.

Recently, two leaders within the UH Neurological Institute were featured speakers at premier teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.

  • Dr. Bambakidis presented Grand Rounds at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and shared advanced treatment methods of skull base surgery.
  • Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, MD, was the third annual Nicholas T. Zervas Distinguished Lecturer at the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School. The Zervas Lecturer is an Endowed Lecture funded in honor of Dr. Nicholas T. Zervas, Past Chair of Neurosurgery at MGH and a creative innovator in his approach to neurosurgery. The Zervas lecturer is an alum of the MGH Neurosurgical residency who has gone on to make major contributions in the field of neurosurgery.
  • In July, Dr. Amin-Hanjani was named Chair of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, dedicated to the advancement of stroke care through scientific engagement, research and education.
  • Krystal Tomei, MD, MPH, was named Chair-Elect of the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education, a nationally elected 12-member council that evaluates AMA policy related to medical education. Her Chair-Elect term is for one year, after which she will serve for one year as Chair of the council.
  • In September, Dr. Bambakidis completed his term as Past President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The organization is the largest neurosurgical body worldwide dedicated to advancing neurosurgery through education and innovation.

Faculty within the UH Neurological Institute continued to be academically productive this year. They shared the latest in groundbreaking neurological science on the national stage through numerous presentations and publications.

For more information, contact Dr. Bambakidis at Nicholas.Bambakidis2@UHhospitals.org or 216- 844-8758.

Nicholas Bambakidis, MDNicholas Bambakidis, MD

Contributing Expert:
Nicholas C. Bambakidis, MD
Vice President and Director
University Hospitals Neurological Institute
Harvey Huntington Brown, Jr. Chair in Neurosurgery
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine