2013-2014 Fellows

CNS Fellows

Ali C. Ravanpay, MD, PhD

CNS Tumor Fellowship

Dr. Ali Ravanpay is a fourth year resident in neurological surgery at University of Washington, Seattle. He was born in Tehran, Iran and spent his formative years abroad. He received dual undergraduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley, in Biochemistry & Near Eastern Art and Archeology. Subsequently, he obtained his MD and PhD degrees from University of Washington, Seattle. His PhD is in neurobiology and behavior focusing on understanding the molecular pathways controlling neuronal differentiation using cerebellar granular neurons as a model system. Currently, his interest is in understanding the genesis of gliomas and developing more effective treatment modalities for this disease. He is engineering body’s own immune cells to target and kill glioma cells using modified antigen receptors. Dr. Ravanpay plans to pursue a career in neuro-oncology.

Andrew T. Healy, MD

CNS Spine Fellowship

Dr. Andrew T. Healy is presently a 5th year neurosurgery resident at the Cleveland Clinic. He was born on Long Island, New York and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Stony Brook. Dr. Healy was inducted into AOA and received his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. His previous research has focused on inducing relay circuits with stem cell transplants in animal models of spinal cord injury, and techniques for better detection of concussive injury in sport. His most recent interests involve spinal biomechanics, addressing spinal stability following surgical procedures to better understand and potentially reduce adjacent segment pathology. Clinically Dr. Healy intends to pursue a spine fellowship after his research is complete and plan on a career of bringing translational concepts to the bedside.

Douglas J. Cook, MD, PhD

CNS Vascular Fellowship

Dr. DJ Cook is a new faculty member at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He recently graduated from the University of Toronto Department of Neurosurgery and has undertaken a fellowship in cerebrovascular surgery with Dr. Gary Steinberg at Stanford University. Dr. Cook is undertaking studies in stroke recovery in large animal models of stroke using functional MRI, invasive electrophysiology, quantitative motor outcomes with the KINARM robot and neuronal tracing studies. His goal is to understand cortical reorganization and plasticity following stroke for the purposes of targeting neurorestorative therapies and developing novel approaches to improve outcomes in chronic stroke.

John Rolston, MD, PhD

CNS Socioeconomic Fellowship

Dr. John Rolston recently completed his second year of neurosurgical residency at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Columbia University, and his MD and PhD degrees from Emory University, where he studied novel methods of brain stimulation for treating epilepsy. With the support of the CNS Socioeconomic Fellowship, Dr. Rolston will work with Dr. Andrew Parsa to analyze large datasets concerning operative complications in neurosurgery. With enough data, it is hoped that sophisticated models can be used to help predict which patients are most vulnerable to complications, and thereby target interventions to minimize their risk.

Jonathan P. Riley, MD, MS

CNS Functional Fellowship

Dr. Jonathan Riley received a BSE in biomedical engineering from Mercer University in Macon, GA, where he developed an initial interest in translational research. During subsequent medical training at The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, he developed an early, deep, and longitudinal involvement in the laboratory of Nicholas Boulis, MD. He has continued this involvement through the present time, at which point he is a fifth year neurosurgical resident at Emory University. In this capacity, Dr. Riley has focused on the development of surgical technologies and techniques for the delivery of biologic agents to the neuraxis. CNS Functional Fellowship Award efforts will be focused on the validation of an approach to deliver viral vectors to the ventricular system.

Kristopher Kahle, MD, PhD

Christopher C. Getch Fellowship

Dr. Kristopher Kahle is currently a chief neurosurgery resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and post-doctoral fellow in the lab of physiologist David Clapham, MD, PhD in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He graduated from the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program at Yale School of Medicine, under the tutelage of PhD mentor and human geneticist Richard Lifton, where he was integral in the cloning and characterization of a novel kinase signaling pathway (WNK) regulating electrolyte homeostasis in humans. In Dr. Clapham’s lab and in collaboration with mentor Dr. Steve Elledge, Dr. Kahle is utilizing functional genomic screens and systems biological approaches to identify and characterize critical regulators of neuronal ion transport processes relevant for brain development and neurological disease, with an emphasis on the signaling pathways that regulate the electroneutral cation-chloride cotransporter gene family. Dr. Kahle’s clinical interests include pediatric neurosurgery.

Wajd Al-Holou, MD

CNS Tumor Fellowship

Dr. Wajd Al-Holou is currently a 4th year neurosurgery resident at the University of Michigan. He was born in Damascus, Syria and raised in southeast Michigan. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Detroit Mercy. He then attended the University of Michigan medical school. He spent a year as a Ruth AOA research fellow at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of Dr. Cormac Maher. His clinical and research interests are in neuro-oncology and skull base. Currently, he is developing a glioma model to identify novel mutations using a Sleeping Beauty forward genetic screen under the mentorship of Dr. Alnawaz Rehemtulla. He is appreciative of the CNS fellowship committee for their support and funding.

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Fellow

Travis Ladner

CNS/CSNS Medical Student Summer Fellowship in Socioeconomic Research

Travis Ladner is a third year medical student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society. He developed an interest in neuroanatomy through his undergraduate research in the evolution of thalamocortical connections in non-human primates. As a medical student he has studied chemokine signaling in cerebral vasospasm as well as the use of noninvasive hemodynamic MRI in intracranial stenosis. He currently serves as a leader of the Vanderbilt Neurosurgery Interest Group (VNIG) as well as president of the Vanderbilt Association for Stroke Awareness (VASA). Through the sponsorship of the CSNS/CNS, he will now design and validate a quality of life instrument for children with Chiari malformation along with his mentors Dr. Jay Wellons and Dr. Chevis Shannon.