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:
- Brain and spinal tumors
- Chiari malformations
- Endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery
- Spasticity surgery, including selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and the implantation of baclofen pumps
- Spina bifida, including fetal surgery for myelomeningocele
- Spinal dysraphic defects and all forms of tethered cord syndrome
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.