2011-2012 Fellows

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Fellow

Neil Datta

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Summer Fellowship in Socioeconomic Research

Neil Datta is currently a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). He is a devotee of medical sciences, in particular neuroscience and neurosurgery. In fact, he has been involved with movement disorder related research at BUSM and engaged in research regarding cerebral hemorrhages during a 2010 summer research fellowship. During his undergraduate career, he was an editor of multiple science and neurology magazines (e.g. Synapse, The Nerve); he continued his leadership in the neurosciences into medical school by becoming the president of both the Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) and the Clinical Neuroscience Society at Boston University School of Medicine. Now, he seeks to expand his knowledge in neurosurgery and pursue his interest in healthcare reform.

CNS InSITE Fellows

Ali K. Ozturk, MD

CNS Vascular Fellowship

Dr. Ali K. Ozturk is currently a 5th year neurosurgery resident at Yale University Department of Neurosurgery. He received his BA degree from Johns Hopkins University, and his MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Murat Gunel, he has focused his research on the genetic foundation of vascular diseases of the brain, specifically intracranial aneurysms and cavernous malformations. He is pleased to be the recipient of the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 CNS cerebrovascular awards.

Andrea J. Chamczuk, MSc, MD

CNS Cushing Fellowship

Dr. Andrea Chamczuk, originally from Toronto, Canada, completed her undergraduate training at McMaster University and her MSc at the University of Toronto. She obtained her medical degree at Saba University, where she was awarded the distinction of the Saba University Foundation Award. Dr. Chamczuk is currently completing her neurosurgical residency at the University of Buffalo, where she has been granted the UB Resident of the Year Award. She has published and presented her work on neuroendoscopy at multiple national meetings. Against a background of an outstanding introduction to neuroendoscopy, under the tutelege of Drs. W. Grand and J. Leonardo in Buffalo, she will undertake a six month neuroendoscopy clinical fellowship, under the direction of Dr. J.A. Grotenhuis in The Netherlands and Dr. M. Bettag in Germany.

Arthur P. Chou, MD, PhD

CNS Wilder Penfield Fellowship

Dr. Arthur P. Chou is currently a third year neurosurgery resident at UCLA. He is originally from Taiwan and grew up in Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside in 1999 and subsequently enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the UCLA School of Medicine. He received his PhD in neuroscience in 2006 and his MD degree in 2008. He is currently conducting research in neuro-oncology under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Liau at UCLA. After residency, Dr. Chou plans to pursue a career in academic neurosurgery focusing on malignant brain tumors. His recreational interests include cycling, swimming, and snowboarding.

James K. Liu, MD

CNS Tumor Fellowship

Dr. James Liu is currently a sixth year neurosurgical resident at the Cleveland Clinic. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. He then received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, during which time he conducted research using phage display to help create modified viral vectors for targeting neuronal membranes. During his fellowship year, he will utilize phage display techniques to design novel treatment strategies targeting glioblastoma stem cells in the laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Rich in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He plans to pursue a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology following the completion of his residency training.

Jonathan D. Choi, MD

CNS Functional Fellowship

Dr. Jonathan Choi is a fourth year neurosurgery resident at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. He was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Oklahoma. His undergraduate training was at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied biology. He then attended Duke University for medical school. He was awarded the Talmage Peele award for outstanding neurobiology research as a medical student for work on the relationships between speech and music. Jonathan’s current neurosurgical interests are in deep brain stimulation and in minimally invasive spine surgery. Outside of the hospital and lab, Jonathan enjoys traveling around the world with his fiancée, Wenjing, and spending time with their golden doodle, Plato.

Katharine M. Cronk, MD, PhD

CNS Tumor Fellowship

Dr. Katharine Cronk received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University. She later earned a PhD from Albany Medical College, exploring the role of tyrosine kinase receptors in the development of the peripheral nervous system with Dr. Frank Rice. Later, she returned to Columbia Physicians and Surgeons for an MD, during which she worked with Dr. Jeffrey Bruce looking at receptor expression on gliomas as potential pharmaceutical targets. She is currently a PGY-5 at the Barrow Neurological Institute where she is exploring the affects of radiation on the development of white matter progenitor cells using novel techniques in the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center with Dr. Nader Sanai. She is very grateful to be the recipient of this CNS award.

Kimon Bekelis, MD

CNS Dandy Fellowship

Dr. Kimon Bekelis is currently a second year neurosurgery resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Athens Medical School he spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has been involved in several projects on non-invasive vascular imaging and localized delivery of molecules to the CNS, as well as in prospective studies on intra and extra cranial cerebrovascular pathology. Dr Bekelis has a solid interest in cerebrovascular disease and plans to follow a career in open and endovascular academic neurosurgery. With the support of the Dandy Fellowship he will be studying, at Dartmouth, the feasibility of using non-invasive imaging techniques (including PET and nanoparticle assisted MRI scans) in detecting cerebral aneurysm inflammation preoperatively.

Monique J. Vanaman, MD

CNS Spine Fellowship

Dr. Monique Vanaman is currently a third-year neurosurgery resident at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her undergraduate degree in women’s studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then attended medical school and spent a year as a Doris Duke Clinic Research Fellow at Columbia University. With the support of the CNS Spine Fellowship and the mentorship of Drs. Stephen Sullivan, Paul Park and Frank LaMarca, she will develop and validate a model-based simulator for training residents to perform minimally invasive microdiscectomies.

Peter Kan, MD

CNS Vascular Fellowship

Dr. Peter Kan pursued neurosurgical training at the University of Utah where he also completed a Masters of Public Health. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada prior to starting his endovascular fellowship at the University at Buffalo. There Dr. Kan developed a research interest in the application of robotics in endovascular neurosurgery and the use of high-fidelity simulation in endovascular training. Upon the completion of his fellowship, he would like to pursue a career in academic vascular neurosurgery, while keeping an active role in translational and educational research.

Shawn Hervey-Jumper, MD

CNS Wilder Penfield Fellowship

Dr. Hervey-Jumper is a neurosurgery resident at University of Michigan. At Oakwood University, he completed a Bachelors in Science in Biology before pursuing a Medical Doctorate at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. At Ohio State he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and studied WNT signaling in glioblastoma in the laboratory of Dr. Chiocca before graduating Magna Cum Laude. In residency, Dr. Hervey-Jumper became interested in community outreach and translational neuro-oncology. Through local philanthropic support he co-founded the “Medical Mentors Program”, in which elementary classrooms are sponsored and mentored by resident volunteers. With NIH/NCI support, and mentorship from Drs. Karin Muraszko and Xing Fan, he is investigating the role of microRNA deregulation in malignant gliomas with particular interest in their potential as noninvasive tumor biomarkers.

Timothy R. Smith, MD

CNS Socioeconomic Fellowship

Dr. Timothy R. Smith is currently a fifth year neurosurgery resident at Northwestern University in Chicago. He was born in Tuscola, Illinois and attended the University of Illinois and obtained a BS in Human Physiology. Dr. Smith went on to earn a PhD in Health Science and Policy from The University of California, Irvine, and an MD from UCLA. Most recently, he has just completed an MPH in Quantitative Methods from Harvard University. He believes that the foundation of all clinical practice and health policy should be solid research. His educational pathway has created a profound interest in the socioeconomic aspects of neurological surgery. Specifically, he researches the practice of defensive medicine, and its financial impact on health care.

Vassilios G. Dimopoulos, MD

CNS Functional Fellowship

Dr. Vassilios Dimopoulos is currently a fifth year resident in neurosurgery at University of Rochester. He received his medical degree from University of Patras in Greece. He served as a flight surgeon in the Hellenic Air Force. Dr. Dimopoulos spent five years as a neurosurgical clinical fellow in the Medical Center of Central Georgia. His research activity has resulted in 26 publications in peer review journals. In this CNS Functional Fellowship, Dr. Dimopoulos plans to study the in vivo role of astrocyte derived adenosine in Deep Brain Stimulation, under the guidance of Dr. Nedergaard and Dr. Huang. Dr. Dimopoulos’ current research interests include DBS effect on tremor, and the role of astrocytes in the pathogenesis of tremor.

Victor Chang, MD

CNS Spine Fellowship

Dr. Victor Chang is from Houston, Texas. After graduating from high school he then enrolled at Stanford University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Biology. During his time at Stanford, he was first exposed to neurosurgery and neurosurgical research. From Stanford he went on to attend the University of Michigan Medical School continuing to pursue his interests in neurosurgery, and eventually matched at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. During his time at Henry Ford, he collaborated with the Herrick-Davis Motion Analysis Laboratory studying the effects of cervical fusion at adjacent segments in post-ACDF patients. Through use of a biplane X-ray system they are able to measure three dimensional motion with the goal of illustrating the biomechanical processes that contribute to adjacent segment disease.

Zachary A. Smith, MD

CNS Spine Fellowship

Dr. Zachary Smith received his undergraduate degree in molecular biology and biochemistry as a Presidential Scholar from Dartmouth College. He then pursued his medical training at UCLA Medical School where he additionally received his neurosurgical degree. At UCLA, he developed his initial interest in minimally invasive spine under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Khoo. He will use the support of the CNS Spine Fellowship to pursue a clinical fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Complex Spine with Dr. Richard G. Fessler at Northwestern Medical Center. In tandem with clinical training, the CNS Spine Fellowship will allow him to pursue a biomechanical research study specifically addressing a comparison of minimally invasive vs. open laminectomy for lumbar decompression. He is grateful for this opportunity provided by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.