Stanford Neurosurgery News Center
In the news
National MS Society Awards Stanford Researcher Prestigious Scholar Award
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has awarded Brad Zuchero, PhD, the prestigious Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award. The Award will fund 5 years of work focused on improving our understanding of the role actin cytoskeleton plays in controling myelination and remyelination.
New Neuroanatomy Lab Bridges Virtual Reality, Operating Room
Stanford’s Department of Neurosurgery has a new anatomy lab next door to its virtual reality center. Together, the labs are a valuable resource for trainees and surgeons alike.
Latest Stanford Med Magazine Highlights Department Faculty
Stanford Medicine Magazine's Winter 2018 Issue, "Charting Medicine's Unknowns," features recent research by several Department of Neurosurgery faculty on a variety of topics, including stroke and Parkinson's disease.
Defects in Mitochondria Further Linked to Parkinson’s in Stanford Study
New research by Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Xinnan Wang, PhD, finds that mitochondrial malfunctions in certain nerve cells may contribute to certain Parkinson's disease symptoms.
Stanford Study Finds Specific set of Nerve Cells Controls Seizures’ Spread through Brain
The results of a new study identifying a specific set of cells that control temporal lobe epileptic seizures, could lead to more effective therapies for people with this common type of epilepsy.
Tad and Dianne Taube Gift $14.5 Million to Launch Youth Addiction and Children’s Concussion Initiatives
A portion of the Taube's gift will go toward concussion education, care, and research, led by Stanford pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Gerald Grant.
A Look Into the Causes of Epilepsy with a Stanford Neuroscientist
Scope Blog highlights ongoing research on epilepsy emerging from the lab of John Huguenard, PhD, professor of neurology and of neurosurgery.
Stanford-led Clinical Trial Shows Broader Benefits of Acute-Stroke Therapy
In a multicenter study led by Stanford researchers at the Stanford Stroke Center, the number of stroke patients who died or required confinement to nursing homes was nearly cut in half, the biggest improvement seen in any stroke-related trial to date.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Awarded Two Grants for Brain Tumor Research
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Melanie Hayden-Gephart, recently received two grants for her brain tumor research efforts. She is one of several recipients of MetAvivor's 2017 Metastatic Cancer Resarch Award, and most recently received a grant from Meningioma Mommas, for research to improve scanning modalities for meningioma patients.
Brain Zap Saps Destructive Urges
Stanford neurosurgeons hope that a brief electrical pulse to a specific brain region that predicts impulsive actions just before they occur, could prevent those impulsive behaviors from happening.
Stanford Pediatric Neurosurgeon Researching Use of Focused Ultrasound to Shrink Tumors
After a team at Stanford successfully used high-intensity focused ultrasound to shrink a desmoid tumor on a 3-year-old's forearm, pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Gerald Grant, is collaborating with the team to see if the technique can be applied to treating neurological conditions in children.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Seeking People with Brain Injury for New Trial
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Jaimie Henderson, is now recruiting people with traumatic brain injury for a new clinical trial, to test the safety and efficacy of deep brain stimulation to improve the quality of life of those with brain trauma.
Virtual Reality Allows Patients to Preview Their Own Surgery
Voice of America showcases how one Stanford Neurosurgery patient, and her doctors, prepared for her surgery to treat an aneurysm, using Stanford's Neurosurgical Simulation and Virtual Reality Center.
Brain Circuits Thought Long Dead After Stroke Might Just Be Dormant
NPR's Here & Now host, Robin Young, talks with Dr. Gary Steinberg about his work on stem cell therapy for stroke and his recent Smithsonian Ingenuity Award.
Dr. Gary Steinberg Receives 2017 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award
The Smithsonian Institution's 2017 American Ingenuity Award for Life Sciences has been awarded to Stanford Department of Neurosurgery's Chairman, Dr. Gary K. Steinberg.
Dramatic Recovery From Stroke with Adult Stem Cell Treatment at Stanford
Stroke victim, Sonia Coontz, received an adult stem cell transplant as part of a clinical trial at Stanford in 2013. Several years later, her recovery has sustained and she became a mother. Stem Cell Research Facts shares Coontz's story in this video.
Artist Tokimonsta Regains Ability to Make Music After Two Brain Surgeries at Stanford
Music artist, Tokimonsta, underwent two brain surgeries at Stanford to treat Moyamoya. The artist is now sharing her story to shed light about the rare disease.
Stanford Researchers Isolate Individual Glioblastoma Cells
Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Dr. Melanie Hayden-Gephart's lab have isolated glioblastoma cells migrating within otherwise normal-appearing brain, and determined the genetic mechanisms used for migration.
Stanford Scientists Seek to Speak the Brain’s Language to Heal its Disease
The Stanford News Service takes a look at the latest advances in treating neurological diseases with brain-computer interfaces, highlighting the work of several faculty in Stanford's Department of Neurosurgery.
Testing Temple Massager as Potential Relief from Headaches, Facial Tension
Affiliated Professor of Neurosurgery, Dr. Maheen M. Adamson, will conduct a study at the VAPAHS to test the effectiveness of a new device aimed at relieving pain from chronic headaches and other ailments related to facial tension.
Can Brain Injuries in Football be Avoided?
A woman who's father suffered from CTE after playing for the NFL, is now allowing her son to play high-school football. Experts, including Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, weigh in on the safety of kids playing sports and the risks of concussion.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Publishes Updated Text on Chordomas
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Griffith Harsh, published a second edition of "Chordomas and Chondrosarcomas of the Skull Base and Spine." The new text is considered the most comprehensive reference detailing the current state of the art of diagnosis and treatment for these tumors.
Stanford Professor of Neurosurgery Creating Wireless Cyborg Eyes for the Blind
E.J. Chichilnisky, professor of neurosurgery, is working to help blind people see again by creating implantable devices that revolutionize the way electronic devices interface with the brain.
After Two Brain Surgeries at Stanford, Artist Shares Her Moyamoya Story
Musical Artist, Jennifer Lee a.k.a. TOKiMONSTA, had two brain surgeries at Stanford to treat Moyamoya. She shares her story now to help spread awareness about Moyamoya Disease.
Parkinson's Disease Seed Grant-
Call for Applications
The Stanford Departments of Neurosurgery and Pathology are requesting applications for a Seed Grant Program to foster novel research in the areas of basic, translational or clinical research related to Parkinson's Disease. Submission deadline is October 9, 2017.
Cureus Journal of Medical Science Allows Doctors to Share Medical Mysteries
Wired Magazine takes a look at the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, a publishing platform created by Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. John Adler, that allows doctors to publish and peer-review articles more easily and in less time.
Neurogenetics Program Celebrates 5th Anniversary
The Stanford Department of Neurosurgery's Clinical Neurogenetic Oncology Program is celebrating its 5th Anniversary. Launched in 2012, the unique program is designed to provide expert care to patients with rare and difficult neurogenetic disorders, in one location.
Stanford Professor of Neurosurgery Explains Biology of Behavior on TED
Primatologist and Professor of Neuroscience and of Neurosurgery, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, examines how human behavior is tied to biology as part of NPR's TEDRadio Hour.
Stanford Professor of Neurosurgery Working to Create Bionic Eye
Dr. E.J. Chichilnisky, Professor of Neurosurgery and Opthalmology is working to create an implantable device, similar to a cochlear implant for deaf people, that would help restore vision for the blind.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Performs 1st Procedure Using Renaissance Robot to Treat Epilepsy
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Casey Halpern, has completed the first procedure using Mazor Robotics Renaissance guidance to treat epilepsy.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Creates Compassion Training Program to Combat Physician Burnout
In an effort to combat physician burnout, medical centers around the country, including Stanford, have begun offering compassion and meditation training for doctors, and patients.
Stanford Neurosurgery Resident Develops New Model for Personalized Glioblastoma Therapy
Resident Dr. Jonathon J. Parker, in collaboration with researchers at the Inova Neuroscience Institute, has developed a new model system that has potential to provide a new platform to personlize therapy and predict which medications glioblastoma tumors will respond to.
Stanford Neurosurgeon Believes There's Hope for McCain and Other GBM Patients
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Anand Veeravagu, discusses his experiences treating patients diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, and why he believes Senator John McCain can outlast the worst of the prognoses.
New Text To Guide Surgeons Through Advanced Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery
Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Harminder Singh, recently partnered with doctors at Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, to create a new text that will guide surgeons through endoscopic removal of skull base tumors in children. The advanced, minimally-invasive surgery has been shown to improve patient outcomes and decrease length of post-surgery hospital stay.
CIRM Invests Millions in Treatments for Stroke
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will award Stanford University’s Dr. Gary Steinberg $5.3 million to complete the pre-clinical studies needed to test his neural cell therapy. CIRM will also award the team at SanBio, led by Dr. Steinberg, almost $20 million to carry out a Phase 2 clinical trial using stem cells to help people suffering from chronic disability following a stroke.
Stanford's Eye-Sync Technology Helping Diagnose Concussions on the Football Field
Eye-Sync, a new virtual reality technology, is the brainchild of Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Jamshid Ghajar. The technology can help sports medicine professionals determine whether an athlete needs to be removed from play within a minute.
Optogenetic Stimulation Promotes Persistent Recovery After Stroke
Work is currently being done in our Steinberg Lab aimed at improving stroke recovery, by using an optogenetic technique to specifically stimulate a brain region in the cerebellum after stroke. Results of our recent study were published earlier this month in Scientific Reports.
Stanford Joins Multi-Center SLATE Trial
Stanford Neurosurgery is now enrolling patients for the SLATE (Stereotactic Laser Ablation for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) study. The SLATE study is designed to evaluate the use of Visualase™ MRI-Guided Laser Ablation System for treatment of patients with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), the most common form of partial or localization-related epilepsy.
Stanford Neurosurgeons Using Virtual Reality for Training, Teaching, and Preparing for Surgery
The Wall Street Journal explores how doctors at Stanford Health Care are using virtual reality technology as a sophisticated visual tool when preparing patients, during brain surgery, and to train future neurosurgeons.
Stanford Neurosurgeons Use Virtual Reality to Show Patients Their Own Anatomy in 3D
ABC 7 Bay Area News highlights how Stanford neurosurgeons are using virtual reality to help prepare patients for brain surgery.
Team Celebrates Stanford Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center
In 1989, Drs. Greg W. Albers, Gary K. Steinberg, and Michael P. Marks joined forces at Stanford, and set out to achieve the country's first Comprehensive Stroke Center designation. Today, the Stanford team shows off their Center and talks about why they're so proud to work for Stanford's Stroke Center.
Dr. Gary K. Steinberg Receives Society of Neurological Surgeons' Top Honor
The Society of Neurological Surgeons named Dr. Gary K. Steinberg the 2017 recipient of the international and prestigious WINN Prize, for his outstanding and longstanding commitment and contributions to the field of neurosurgery.
Stanford Neurosurgery's Women Surgeons Join the New Yorker OR Cover Challenge
Joining women surgeons from around the world, Stanford Neurosurgery's women surgeons joined a challenge launched by The New Yorker to replicate the cover art of their 2017 Health, Medicine & the Body issue. The aim of the challenge is to bring visibility to the women and other minority groups working in a traditionally white, male-dominated field. The challenge took the social media world by storm using the hashtags #NYerORCoverChallenge and #ILookLikeASurgeon.
California Declares May 6 Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day
The California Assembly and Senate passed ACR-73, a resolution declaring May 6, 2017 the first Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day in California.
PBS News Hour reports on how new technology is allowing people with paralysis to type, just by thinking about it.
Stanford Neurosurgeon, Dr. Jaimie Henderson, tells PBS News Hour about new brain-computing interface technology that is allowing people who are paralyzed to communicate.
Antibody shown to be safe and effective against five kinds of pediatric brain tumors
Stanford researchers have developed antibodies shown to safely and effectively target five aggressive pediatric brain tumors in new study.
Stem Cell Research Holds the Promise of a Sea Change in Medicine
With the opening of the new Stanford Laboratory for Cell and Gene Medicine, the vast promise of stem cell research grows closer to finding novel treatments for a wide range of maladies, including neurodegenerative disorders.
New Brain-Computer Interface Enables People with Paralysis to Communicate Fast and Accurately
A new clinical research publication led by Stanford’s Jaimie Henderson, MD, demonstrates efficacy of using brain-computer interface to enable people with paralysis to type at fastest most accurate levels ever reported.
Neural Circuit Revealed- Clarifies How Certain Stimuli Affect Pain
Stanford neurosurgeon Gregory Scherrer, PhD, recently published a study revealing a neural circuit in the brain that helps explain how the body uses enkephalins to manage pain in response to certain stimuli, such as stress or meditation.
Breakthrough Treatment for Essential Tremor Now Offered at Stanford
A new, non-invasive treatment using MRI-guided ultrasound is now offered at Stanford to reduce severity of tremors caused by Essential Tremor, a common but little-known brain disorder.
The Rest of America Should Get Concussion Care Like NFL Players
Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, Director of Stanford’s Concussion and Brain Performance Center, comments on how the NFL has advantages over the rest of the nation when it comes to concussion care, and how his research is helping to standardize care for all Americans.
Researchers identify source of opioids’ side effects
Stanford researchers said they have identified the receptors to which opioid drugs bind to produce tolerance and increased sensitivity to pain, as well as a commercially available drug that limited those side effects in mice.
Too Many Medical Trials Are Moonshots In the Dark
In this brilliant Washington Post op-ed, Stanford professor and 2013 Nobel Prize winner Thomas Südhof says that too many clinical trials fail without a fundamental understanding of underlying disease biology. He’s right. The path to cures begins in our basic science laboratories — to find out what goes wrong when someone gets sick, we need to know everything we can about how that illness works.
Dr. Gary K. Steinberg Receives 2016 Stroke Journal Progress & Innovation Award
Dr. Gary K. Steinberg, was one of three recipients of the 2016 Stroke Progress and Innovation Award. The Award was given for a paper on the findings of the first clinical trial for stroke patients in North America using intracerebral transplanation of stem cells.
Gary K. Steinberg, PhD '79, MD '80 receives the J.E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine
This honor was first conferred by the Stanford Medicine Alumni Association in 1983. The award is named for the former Stanford University president who, in 1953, recommended that the Stanford Medical School be moved from San Francisco to join the main education and research Stanford campus in Palo Alto.
Dr. Steinberg's extraordinary advances impacting medical science and education in the realms of neurosurgery, experimental research investigation, and long-term dedication to chairing the Department of Neurosurgery make him a most deserving recipient of this award.
Cyberknife used to treat rare condition in pediatric patient
Kendall Kemm, a pediatric stroke patient with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a rare blood defect, is being treated at Stanford. Grateful for the care she received at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Kendall formed Kendall’s Crusade, a nonprofit orgranization aimed to provide financial assistance to families affect by AVM.
On October 25, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) hosted a "Medicine Responds to Addiction II" symposium, to promote the integration of core curriculum and core competencies for addiction medicine into medical education and training, and it works explore the development of Centers of Excellence in Addiction Medicine.
Those in attendance included Deans and senior leadership of US Medical Schools, Leaders of Medical Boards and Medical Associations, Philanthropic Foundations and Federal Partners.
Laurence Katznelson, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery speaks in this video beginning at 3 hours 2 minutes 38 seconds.
Curious about concussions? A Stanford researcher reflects on current research, outstanding questions
Jessica Little, PhD, director of clinical research and operations at the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center, discusses concussion research and Stanford’s clinical study of teenage athletes.
Stanford Cureus Channel
Progress in neurosurgery happens on many fronts. Some advances start in research laboratories, but far more stem from serendipitous observations in the clinic and operating room. Recording and curating such “observational medical science” has for more than 200 years been the mission of traditional scientific journals. However, the Internet is opening up new opportunities for communicating this observational science and Stanford neurosurgery’s is a pioneer in this effort through its Cureus “Academic Channel”; in many ways this online publication serves like a dedicated journal for the department, whose presence enables the much more rapid communication of clinical science, especially results from cutting edge procedures. Therefore a great way to appreciate some of the clinical advances being driven by Stanford Neurosurgery is to regularly check out our Cureus Academic Channel.
On genetics, immunology and autism: A Q&A with Stanford’s Theo Palmer
Stanford researcher Theo Palmer, PhD, has long sought to understand how genetic and environmental factors shape brain function. His team is investigating a genetic change that may predispose children for autism by changing the immune system of pregnant women, and I recently spoke with him about this work and how it affects the study and treatment of autism.
The Second International Conference of Aging and Disease (2016 ICAD)
The second International Conference of Aging and Disease was held at Stanford September 30-October 3, 2016. Heng Zhao, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, was the Chair of the local organizing committee. Lloyd B. Minor, MD, the Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, lead off the event with the Welcome and Introduction, followed by 2 days of speakers from around the world. Topics included: Healthspan Intervention, Aging Metabolism and Disease, Stem Cells Aging and Disease, Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, Aging DNA Damage and Cancer, Public Support for Aging and Age-Related Disease Research, and Genetics System Aging and Disease, Immunie System Aging and Disease and Again and Cardiovascular Disease. The purpose of the conference was for scientists, scholars, and students from universities and the research institutes all around the world to present ongoing research activities, and hence to foster research relations. With over 150 attendees, we think they suceeded.
Meet the 2017 Endocrine Society Laureate Award Winners
Congratulations to Dr. Katznelson, Professor of Neurosurgery and Medicine (Endocrinology) at the Stanford University Medical Center, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital and the Palo Alto Veteran's Affairs Health Care System. Dr. Katznelson was selected by the Endoncrine Society for their 2017 Outstanding Educator Award which recognizes exceptional achievement as an educator in the discipline of endocrinology and metabolism.
FDA weighs crackdown that could shut hundreds of stem cell clinics
The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to regulate stem cells like drugs, which would require clinics to go through an approval process before treating patients. However, research on stem cell treatments are starting to bear fruit. A recent Stanford study showed injecting modified, human, adult stem cells directly into the brains of chronic stroke patients proved not only safe but effective in restoring motor function.
Common molecular mechanism of Parkinson’s pathology discovered in study
Intracellular defects that lead to cells’ failure to decommission faulty “power packs” known as mitochondria cause nerve cells to die, triggering the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Supporting new innovations for spinal cord injury
Eleven years ago, a car accident left Dennis Chan with severe injuries to his spinal cord at the L2 vertebrae and to peripheral nerves. While devastating, Chan chose to look at his situation with hope.
Stanford scientists create ‘guided chemotherapy missiles’ that target cancer cells and spare healthy ones
Latching chemotherapy drugs onto proteins that seek out tumors could provide a new way of treating tumors in the brain or with limited blood supply that are hard to reach with traditional chemotherapy.
Stem Cells Shown Safe, Beneficial for Chronic Stroke Patients
Injecting modified, human, adult stem cells directly into the brains of chronic stroke patients proved not only safe but effective in restoring motor function, according to the findings of a clinical trial led by Dr. Gary Steinberg.
Why become a doctor? How Stanford’s Gary Steinberg became drawn to neurosurgery
An Electrical Dialogue with the Brain | Kai Miller | TEDxUCSD
Dr. Kai Miller, a native Californian and graduate of UC San Diego, works as a neurosurgical resident at Stanford University. His neurosurgical emphases are deep brain stimulation, eloquent cortex brain tumors, and epilepsy. He talks about how recent research in neuroscience is like a “dialogue with the brain”, and how we can utilize this to treat diseases and recover from injuries.
New Technology Can Make Brain Surgery Safer
Stanford neurosurgeon Melanie Hayden, MD, can now use intraoperative MRI and feedback from an awake patient to make tumor resection safer and more effective. In this video, Hayden, an assistant professor of neurosurgery, explains how neurosurgeons at the Stanford Brain Tumor Center now apply this higher level of MRI imaging during surgery to immediately visualize whether enough of the tumor has been removed or if they should continue removing tumor cells.
Innovative Stanford Neurosurgical Procedures to Restore Function after Neurologic Injury
Stanford neurosurgeons are pioneering two innovative techniques, stem cell transplantation and brain-computer interface, that offer promise to improve the outcome for patients suffering from neurologic injury and other disorders.
Keeping football tough but safe by spotting concussion- Stanford Neurosurgery's Dr. Jam Ghajar Weighs in
Many sports are dangerous, but few are dangerous by design.
For years the powers-that-be behind American Football tried to hide it, but it became too serious. The more it was studied, the taller the pile of evidence became. To succeed in a game where brute force is part of the DNA, you must throw in all your body can manage. And for decades of American Football, that meant your head too.
Now researchers have discovered that long-term head injuries among professional American Footballers are not just possible, they are probable.
A 2015 study looked at brains belonging to deceased ex-NFL players who had agreed to be part of the study before they died. They found a pattern: of the 91 brains examined, 87 of them showed the players suffered from the same condition.
Six things ‘Concussion’ the movie won’t tell you (but brain experts will)
For sports lovers, the Christmas Day film from writer-director Peter Landesman has troubling implications for a major U.S. sport. But many of half a dozen concussion experts interviewed by MarketWatch for this article were dismayed by the movie’s science, and concerned that viewers could walk away with inaccurate, and even damaging, information. Here are six points about “Concussion” courtesy of concussion experts, not Hollywood. Stanford Medicine's Dr. Ghajar weighs in.
Student in Stanford Neurosurgery Lab Selected as a Finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS)
Anin Sayana, a student in Dr. Albert Wong's lab has been selected as a finalist in the Intel STS for his work in Accelerating Cancer Immunotherapy: Optimization of an EGFRvIII-based Cancer Vaccine via Computationally-Aided Analysis of Proteasome Processing for Improved Glioblastoma Prognosis. Sayana, a Stanford Neurosurgery lab member since 2014, currently attends Bellarmine College Preparatory School in San Jose.
Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
A Strange Relativity: Altered Time for Surgeon-Turned-Patient
Paul Kalanithi, MD, was a Stanford neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with lung cancer in his mid-30s. He wrote a popular op-ed for The New York Times in early 2014 on confronting mortality. Here, he reflects on his changing perception of time as doctor, patient and new father. He died at 37 on March 9. The Stanford community mourns his loss.
Neuro Information Technology: Can We Take Control of Our Brain Circuit | Jin Hyung Lee | TEDxKFAS
When our brain circuits fail, the outcome is life shattering. We lose our ability to remember, walk, talk, or even breathe. While we now live in a world where we can access information and make contact with people everywhere in real time, currently available solutions to brain disease are extremely limited. Neuro information technology expert Dr. Jin Hyung Lee shares a moving personal story that inspires her to find cures for brain disease and help us take control of our brain circuit.
Research sheds light on how neurons control muscle movement
New research involving people diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease sheds light on how individual neurons control muscle movement in humans — and could help in the development of better brain-controlled prosthetic devices.