I was first drawn to neurosurgery as a medical student during an elective rotation. It quickly became clear to me that taking care of people with neurological disorders was incredibly challenging and immensely rewarding. I was hooked after the first day of the rotation.
During my neurosurgery residency, I was fortunate to find a mentor in Dr. Noel Tulipan, a pediatric neurosurgeon who was a pioneer in repairing spina bifida defects in fetuses to improve their outcomes following birth. He became a guiding presence in my life and inspired me to dedicate my career to caring for children.
I am board certified in both adult neurosurgery, from the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and in pediatric neurosurgery, from the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery.
As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I specialize in the following conditions and procedures:
My philosophy of care is simple — the patient always comes first. I am always happy to take as much time as needed to fully explain a diagnosis and answer all of a family's questions. I try to base all of my recommendations and treatment plans on the straightforward principle that it is what I would want to be done for my own child.
I am the surgical director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and I specialize in the treatment of children with brain and spine tumors. I also serve as a member of the Fetal Care Team, and along with my colleagues in the Fetal Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, I helped create the Fetal Myelomeningocele Surgery Program here in 2011. In addition, I created the Surgical Spasticity Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s, which is a multispecialty program that evaluates and treats patients with cerebral palsy and other conditions who are adversely affected by spasticity in their limbs. I am a member of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons and a member of the neurosurgical advisory committee of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.
I am incredibly proud to have been recognized twice with Distinguished Faculty Awards from Cincinnati Children’s: first for my efforts as the surgical director of the Brain Tumor Center and subsequently for my role as part of the multispecialty Trauma Services Team. In addition, I am honored to have been recognized by the Office of Patient and Family Experience at the end of 2019 as the highest-scoring surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s when graded by patients and their families on a hospital-wide survey.
My research is concentrated in two primary areas at present. In the Brain Tumor Center, my colleagues and I are continuously developing novel clinical trials to search for new treatments to improve outcomes for patients with malignant and recurrent brain tumors. In the Fetal Care Center, my partners and I are working to improve surgical techniques for intrauterine closure of myelomeningocele (spina bifida) to make the procedure safer for both mother and child.
When I’m not working, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I am a big fan of classic and alternative rock as well as the blues, and I enjoy attending concerts and reading about rock history.
MD: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, 2001.
Residency: Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 2001-08.
Fellowships: Neurosurgical Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2004-06; Pediatric Neurosurgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2008-09.
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery, 2013; Pediatric Neurosurgery, American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery, 2014.
Brain tumors; spasticity; Chiari malformations; fetal surgery; neurovascular disorders; minimal access surgery
Colorectal Disorders, Neurosurgery, Brain Tumor, Fetal Care, Craniofacial Disorders
Neuro-oncology; epilepsy; spasticity
Cincinnati Children's strives to accept a wide variety of health plans. Please contact your health insurance carrier to verify coverage for your specific benefit plan.
Effect of allograft patch closure on incidence of spinal inclusion cyst formation following open fetal myelomeningocele repair. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2023; 32:141-148.
Human fetal cerebellar cell atlas informs medulloblastoma origin and oncogenesis. Nature. 2022; 612:787-794.
The Construction of a Predictive Composite Index for Decision-Making of CSF Diversion Surgery in Pediatric Patients following Prenatal Myelomeningocele Repair. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2022; 43:1214-1221.
Pediatric colloid cysts: a multinational, multicenter study. An IFNE-ISPN-ESPN collaboration. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2022; 29:543-550.
Lethal Pediatric Cerebral Vasculitis Triggered by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Pediatric Neurology. 2022; 127:1-5.
Phase I study of ribociclib and everolimus in children with newly diagnosed DIPG and high-grade glioma: A CONNECT pediatric neuro-oncology consortium report. Neuro-Oncology Advances. 2022; 4:vdac055.
Morbidity and cost burden of prenatal myelomeningocele repair. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. 2021; 34:1651-1657.
Comparison of two- and three-dimensional endoscopic visualization for fetal myelomeningocele repair: a pilot study using a fetoscopic surgical simulator. Child's Nervous System. 2021; 37:1613-1621.
Diffusion tensor imaging in children following prenatal myelomeningocele repair and its predictive value for the need and timing of subsequent CSF diversion surgery for hydrocephalus. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2021; 27:391-399.
Fetoscopic Multilayer, Dural Patch Closure Technique for Intrauterine Myelomeningocele Repair: 2-Dimensional Operative Video. Operative Neurosurgery. 2021; 20:E131-E132.