2010-2011 Fellows

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Fellow

Brian Hanak

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Summer Fellowship in Socioeconomic Research

Brian Hanak became interested in neuroscience as an undergraduate at Yale University where he graduated with honors in biology (BS, neuroscience focus) and researched phenotypic differentiation of olfactory bulb neural stems cells when he was not running on the cross-country and track teams. Beginning medical school with the intention of pursuing a career in neurosurgery he served as the president of the Harvard Medical School Cushing Neurosurgical Society and studying immunologic ligand expression in glioblastoma. Now, entering his final year of medical school, he is looking forward to neurosurgery residency training and he is grateful to the CNS/CSNS for supporting his next research endeavor as he investigates post-operative intensive care unit requirements following elective craniotomy under the mentorship of Dr. William Curry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Grettel Zamora-Berridi

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Summer Fellowship in Socioeconomic Research

Zamora-Berridi is a second year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Neuroscience, and further pursued a Master’s in Health Science (MHS) from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Prior to starting medical school, Grettel spent a couple of years working as research assistant in the Brain Tumor and Stem Cell Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Under the mentorship of Dr. Karin Muraszko and the support of the University of Michigan Department of Neurosurgery’s Project Shunt she will be looking at the socioeconomic factors and the role of Fumonisin FB1 in the etiology of neural tube defects in Guatemala.

CNS Domestic Fellows

Adib Abla, MD

CNS/ev3 Neurovascular Fellowship

Dr. Abla is a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at Barrow Neurological Institute. At Duke University, he completed a double major in electrical and biomedical engineering. He then attended medical school at University of Pittsburgh. In residency, Dr. Abla became interested in Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery and in related clinical and translational research. He is working on prospective studies involving children with hypothalamic hamartomas and prospective trials of antibiotic-impregnated ventricular catheters and has presented his research nationally and internationally.

While in residency, he will attend the University at Buffalo to pursue Endovascular training. Under the mentorship of Drs. Peter Nakaji, John Wanebo, and Mark Preul, the CNS / ev3 Neurovascular Fellowship will allow Dr. Abla to investigate potential upregulatory angiogenic therapies in an animal model of moya-moya.

Alexander Khalessi, MD

CNS/MicroVention Vascular Fellowship

After completing his undergraduate and master's training at Stanford University, Dr. Khalessi obtained his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Having trained in diagnostic angiography as a USC neurosurgical resident, Dr. Khalessi completed his endovascular neurosurgical fellowship with Drs. Nick Hopkins and Elad Levy at the University of Buffalo. He further serves as a member of the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery at the ACGME.

Dr. Khalessi currently operates as a clinical instructor at LAC + USC. He supervises the neurosurgical, endovascular, and stroke service for the medically indigent of Los Angeles. The CNS Vascular Fellowship will further his research interests in mechanical thrombectomy for ischemic stroke. Dr. Khalessi will ultimately pursue a combined open and endovascular neurosurgical practice in June 2011.

Arnold Etame, MD

CNS Wilder Penfield Fellowship

Dr. Etame received his BS Magna Cum Laude from the SUNY at New Paltz, his MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Iowa where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and commenced Neurosurgery Specialization at the University of Michigan in 2005. Under the tutelage of Dr. James T. Rutka, he was awarded a Neuro-oncology Research Fellowship with the Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is undertaking PhD studies with Dr Rutka as well at the University of Toronto, with a focus on optimizing nanoparticle-based delivery strategies for targeting invasive pathways in malignant gliomas. He is very grateful to be the recipient of the recipient of CNS Wilder Penfield Fellowship.

Betsy Hughes, MD

CNS/Synthes Spine Fellowship

Dr. Hughes is currently a 3rd year neurosurgery resident at Duke University Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Georgia, and attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. She has a devoted interest in spinal cord injury. She will investigate the therapeutic potential of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) in acute spinal cord injury under the guidance of Dr. David Warner.

Douglas Cook, MD

CNS/Micrus Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship

Dr. Cook is a neurosurgery resident at the University of Toronto. He is currently enrolled in the Surgeon-Scientist Program finishing a PhD. in the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, focused on molecular and preclinical studies in primate models of stroke under the supervision of Dr. Michael Tymianski, Principal Investigator of the Toronto Western Hospital Neuroprotection Lab. D.J. is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School and the University of Guelph Department of Biological Sciences. He resides in Toronto with his wife Rebecca and children Douglas and Elise. Upon completing his training, D.J. intends to pursue a fellowship in complex cerebrovascular and skull base surgery.

Jason Chang, MD

CNS Dandy Fellowship

Dr. Chang earned a Bachelors in Science within the field of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University. He went on to pursue a MD at the University of Kentucky and spent time as a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center. He is a resident at the University of Washington with interests in cerebral metabolism and functional outcomes following physiologic insults. Under the mentorship of Drs. Randall M. Chesnut and Nancy Temkin, he will examine functional correlates to brain oxygenation in the setting of traumatic brain injury.

Kenneth V. Snyder, MD

CNS/Boston Scientific Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Research

Kristopher Kahle, MD, PhD

CNS/Penumbra Fellowship

Dr. Kahle, is a PGY-4 neurosurgery resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. At Yale University School of Medicine, he performed his Ph.D. training in cellular and molecular physiology with Dr. Richard Lifton. As the 2010-2011 CNS/Penumbra Fellowship recipient, he will study the role of electroneutral ion transport processes in cytotoxic cerebral edema following ischemic stroke, in collaboration with Dr. J. Marc Simard at the University of Maryland. Dr. Kahle has clinical interests in pediatric neurosurgery.

Sabareesh Natarajan, MD

CNS Cushing Fellowship

Dr. Natarajan is a neurosurgery resident at the University at Buffalo. He has completed General Surgery residency at PGIMER, one of the top institute in India with a special interest in peripheral vascular surgery. He did a clinical/research fellowships in Cerebrovascular Surgery with Dr. Laligam N. Sekhar at the University of Washington and Neuroendovascular surgery with Drs. Hopkins and Levy at UB Neurosurgery and Toshiba Stroke Research Center. His research interests are outcomes after treatment of cerebrovascular pathologies, endovascular stroke therapy, robotics and surgical device developments, vascular grafts, cerebral hemodynamic and animal models for intracranial aneurysms. Now with the support of the CNS Cushing’s fellowship, Dr. Natarajan will be evaluating the role of transvenous angioplasty for treatment of Chronic venous insufficiency in Multiple Sclerosis by a randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of Buffalo.

Tyler Kenning, MD

CNS/Karl Storz Endoscopy Fellowship

Dr. Kenning is currently a neurosurgery resident at Albany Medical Center. After completing his undergraduate degree in biology from Washington and Lee University, he attended Jefferson Medical College. During residency, he developed an interest in both traumatic brain injury and intracranial endoscopy. With the CNS/Karl Storz Endoscopy Fellowship and along with Dr. Yu-Hung Kuo, he will be conducting a randomized, controlled trial for the treatment of adult intraventricular hemorrhage, comparing intraventricular thrombolysis and endoscopic evacuation. Upon completion of his residency, he will be conducting a fellowship in endoscopic skull base surgery with Dr. James Evans at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.