Media Coverage

The Buffalo News and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal report on a new partnership for stroke imaging between Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and doctors from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as UB Neurosurgery takes charge of the stroke care program at the hospital. “The treatment of stroke has changed in our lifetime. The key has been imaging,” said Kenneth V. Snyder, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery, who is part of the hospital’s treatment team.
An article about medical innovations being developed in Western New York interviews Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery, about the Tigertriever, which can be manipulated while inside a blood vessel to change in size and dimensions, and Anthony D. Martinez, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, who discussed the FibroScan machine, which uses diagnostic imaging that takes about 10 minutes and can replace a more invasive, expensive and risky liver biopsy.
An article about health insurers who are requiring proof that new treatments work before they will agree to cover them looks at research being conducted at UB to develop a process to make a 3D print model of the human heart and brain to allow surgeons to test new devices, strategies or treatments for individual patients and interviews Ciprian N. Ionita, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and neurosurgery. “We have been pushing for this for a long time,” he said. “Previously, it was a domain of a hobby. But it got to the point where it became technology that was very reliable. We were sure it was going to be used in hospitals.”
An article about the health benefits of methamphetamine, which in low, pharmaceutical-grade doses may actually repair and protect the brain, and the stigma against the drug that is holding back research, interviews David Poulsen, PhD, professor of translational neuroscience in the Department of Neurosurgery, who said because it stimulates the flow of important neurotransmitters, methamphetamine may provide neuroprotection through multiple pathways. “We see not just little, but very significant improvements in cognition and behavior,” he said. “Their memories improved, functional behavior is improved.... It's not a trivial difference.”
An article about a local woman who was seriously injured when she was hit by a truck in 2016, and how colorized 3D models helped her lawyers win a $3.5 million legal settlement in the case, interviews Elad I. Levy, MD, L. Nelson Hopkins III, MD, Professor and Chair of neurosurgery and professor of radiology, who was assigned to deal with her injuries because of their complexity. The article looks at the role of UB’s surgical simulator in practicing and teaching complicated and delicate procedures. “We figure out where the hurdles are in the model first,” Levy said, “and it’s usually smooth sailing with the patient.”
The UB Neurosurgery Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, a new spine and stroke center, is expected to cut the number of spine surgeries in the region and help more patients manage their pain and limitations without opioid medications. “The goal is to avoid patients traveling to five different doctors for care plans and help provide all the care under one roof,” said Elad I. Levy, MD, L. Nelson Hopkins III, Professor and Chair of chair of neurosurgery
A team of UB biomedical engineers, cardiovascular specialists and neurosurgeons are working together to create and use custom-made models of the human vascular system. “We can take the same anatomy that we find in a patient, 3D print it and then perform these procedures whether to test a new device, test a new strategy or devise a treatment strategy for a particular patient,” said Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery. Vijay S. Iyer, MD, PhD, clinical associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, was also interviewed.
Twenty-five health care professionals were chosen for the inaugural Excellence in Health Care Awards. Faculty members in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences include Timothy M. Adams, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery; John L. Butsch, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery; Elad I. Levy, MD, professor and chair of neurosurgery; Steven D. Schwaitzberg, MD, professor and chair of surgery; Fuad H. Sheriff, clinical assistant professor of medicine.
A video featuring Ciprian N. Ionita, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, a joint department in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery in the Jacobs School, shows how 3D printing technologies are helping surgeons better prepare for complex procedures. They explains that imaging and printing techniques can create enlarged models of an individual patient’s blood vessels of the heart or brain that, once printed, can provide a patient-specific simulated setting in which to plan and practice high-risk procedures.
L. Nelson Hopkins, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of neurosurgery, was interviewed about his career, research and techniques he has innovated. “This is the most exciting place I’ve ever been in my life,” he said. “Every day there is something new going on, whether it’s a heart procedure or a brain procedure. People are coming from all over the world to train here. How do you beat that?” he said.
Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of neurosurgery, served as moderator for a challenging case presentation in Endovascular Today that dealt with a 54-year-old woman with a history of hypertension presented with left upper extremity weakness and facial droop with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score of 12. She had been found by her daughter on the floor and was unable to communicate due to dysarthria and confusion. Experts then weighed in with their opinions.
UB researchers Jun Qu, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and David Poulsen, PhD, professor of translational neuroscience in the Department of Neurosurgery, have created a much more accurate and consistent protein analysis tool called IonStar that compares the abundance of proteins in people who are healthy and ill.
A new way to treat stroke is using a 4-Dimensional Computed Tomography system that neurosurgery specialists say could change standards of care worldwide. Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery, said what’s different about the 4DCT is that all the triage and intervention can be performed in one setting without having to move the patient. “This is going to revolutionize stroke care all over the world,” he said. “The key is having it all in one room, so we are putting our angio suite and CT scanner right next to the ambulance bay. The patient goes straight from the ambulance into the scanner, and if there’s something to do, we do it right there and then.”
The Jacobs Institute’s new Idea to Reality (I2R) Center, aims to foster collaboration between entrepreneurs, physicians, engineers and researchers with a focus on new therapies for strokes and heart attacks. The institute grew out of the work of L. Nelson Hopkins, MD, UB Distinguished Professor of neurosurgery, and is located in the building that houses the UB Center for Translational Research. 
New research by Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, vice chair and professor of neurosurgery, and Elad I. Levy, MD, the L. Nelson Hopkins III, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, shows that in stroke patients with large vessel occlusion, the removal of the clot occurs as efficiently after aspiration-based clot removal alone as it does after aspiration-based clot removal performed with a stent retriever. “Our findings were certainly not surprising for us, but they may surprise some in the larger community where not using a stent retriever has been considered heresy,” says Siddiqui, senior author of the study. “We now have level-one evidence showing that both of these strategies are equally effective.” Levy is a co-author.