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April 2005
Volume 2, Issue 1
MGH Neurosurgical Society Alumni News






For a listing of all recent awards, see page 8




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Resident research, awards and fellowships cont'd MGH Neurosurgical Society Alumni HomePage

Continued from page 1.

The group is now using detailed analyses of this dataset to identify oligodendroglioma-specific genes. Study of these genes will provide insight into the molecular genetic basis of oligodendroglioma growth and chemosensitivity, ultimately resulting in the identification of specific targets for therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Cahill spoke enthusiastically about receiving the award, and his high hopes for success in his research. He said: "The NREF Research Fellowship has provided the unique opportunity to pursue my interest in the molecular genetics of brain tumors. Hopefully, these studies will provide insight into the genes underlying brain tumors."

Dr. Manish Aghi, a fourth- year resident will receive the Ronald L. Bittner Award for the best brain tumor research by a resident or junior faculty member at the American , Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), 2005 for his talk "Increased Ratio of T2-Bright MRI Volume to T1-Enhancing Volume in EGFR-Amplified Glioblastoma"; the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004-2006; the Preuss Award - best basic science research - "Generation of Brain Tumor Neovasculature from Transplanted Bone

Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), 200

Ziv Williams, who in 2003 received the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Resident Award, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgeryand the American Parkinson Disease AssociationScholarship, has had articles on his work appear in Nature Neuroscience in December 2004.

"Functional neurosurgery caught my interest early on when I began working with primates in Dr. Eskandar's'lab," said Dr. Williams. "I found it incredible uncovering some of the mysteries of how the brain

functions, and answering questionssuch as how does learning occur and how are decisions made.

" I came to MGH because I knew that this was a place that cultivated such thinking and had people such as Dr. Eskandar who enjoyed asking these types of exciting questions. Recently, we had the opportunity to record single neuronal activity in patients undergoing planned surgical cingulotomy. By having them perform a simple task during surgery, we demonstrated that the dorsal anterior cingulated cortex plays a key role in processing strategic decisions based on reward.

Residency Program Director Notes....
During the past year we received approval from the Residency Review Committee to accept an additional trainee into our program every other year.

For at least the past 35 years we have accepted two residents a year. This is a major step forward in our efforts to stay abreast of the evolving needs in graduating the most highly qualified individuals. You are all aware of the fundamental changes in the way our discipline is structured and

practiced today, something for which we must modify the training program to most appropriately educate our residents.

From the resident training standpoint, the most striking change has been the trend to subspecialization within neurosurgery. This reflects the remarkable progress in technology, as well as the scope and sophistication of operative techniques that has occurred during the past two decades.

The clinical activities of individual Neurosurgical Staff members at MGH have followed this trend toward subspecialization as well. Areas of concentration include complex spine, operative cerebrovascular, interventional non-operative cerebrovascular, pediatrics, functional, brain tumor/skull base, and radiosurgery.

Paul H. Chapman, M.D.
Zervas Professor of Neurosurgery
MGH Reisdency Training Program Director

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