Stanford Neurosurgery Research Q&As

The Department of Neurosurgery is a world leader in the fast-paced environment of innovative research translation. Our Department supports over 30 active labs investigating everything from brain injury, deep brain stimulation, brain tumors, epilepsy, pathophysiology and treatment of acute stroke, to the effects of stress and aging on the nervous system. Our Research Q&A series further explores our faculty's current research.

Featured Researcher:
Melanie Hayden Gephart, MD
, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and, by Courtesy, of Neurology

Dr. Melanie Hayden Gephart is a brain tumor neurosurgeon, treating patients with malignant and benign tumors, including glioma, brain metastases, meningioma, vestibular schwannoma, and pituitary adenomas. Her research lab seeks greater understanding of the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms driving tumorigenesis and disease progression in malignant brain tumors. Dr. Hayden Gephart also directs the Stanford Brain Metastases Consortium


Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Melanoma Metastatic to the Brain

Authors: Hussein A. Tawbi, Peter A. Forsyth, Alain Algazi, Omid Hamid, F. Stephen Hodi, Stergios J. Moschos, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Karl Lewis, Christopher D. Lao, Michael A. Postow, Michael B. Atkins, Marc S. Ernstoff, David A. Reardon, Igor Puzanov, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Reena P. Thomas, Ahmad Tarhini, Anna C. Pavlick, Joel Jiang, Alexandre Avila,  Sheena Demelo, Kim Margolin

Published: The New England Journal of Medicine, August 2018

Featured Researcher:
John Ratliff, MD, FACS, Professor of Neurosurgery 

Dr. John Ratliff is Vice Chair of Neurosurgery, Departmental Quality Officer, and Co-Director of the Spine and Peripheral Nerve Surgery Division. As a spine surgeon, he treats a diverse array of degenerative spinal conditions. Dr. Ratliff heads the Stanford Spine Outcomes Lab, where his research focuses on quality improvement, decreasing complications in spine surgery, and improving surgical treatment of intramedullary spinal cord tumors.


Featured Study: Intracranial Hemorrhage in Deep Vein Thrombosis/Pulmonary Embolus Patients Without Atrial Fibrillation

Authors: Layton Lamsam, Eric S. Sussman, Aditya K. Iyer, Hriday P. Bhambhvani, Summer S. Han, Stephen Skirboll, John K. Ratliff

Published: Stroke, July 10, 2018

Featured Researcher:
Lu Chen, PhD, Professor of Neurosurgery and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

The Chen Lab's long-term research goal is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie synapse function during behavior in the developing and mature brain, and how synapse function is altered during mental retardation. 


Featured Study: The fragile X mutation impairs homeostatic plasticity in human neurons by blocking synaptic retinoic acid signaling

Authors: Zhenie Zhang, Samuele G. Marro, Yingsha Zhang, Kristin L. Arendt, Christopher Patzke, Bo Zhou, Tyler Fair, Nan Yang, Thomas C. Sudhof, Marius Wernig, Lu Chen

Published: Science Translational Medicine, August 1, 2018