Faculty Profiles

Robert, Fenstermaker
Email: raf2@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 887-5210

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Neurology

Research Summary:
Dr. Fenstermaker graduated from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 1981. He completed his neurosurgical residency at University Hospitals of Cleveleand and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1987. Thereafter, he was a NIH Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Between 1989 and 1995, he was Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Chief of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Fenstermaker became certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1991. Currently, he is Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Associate Professor and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He co-directs the Brain Tumor Treatment Center and the new Gamma Knife Center both at Roswell Park. Dr. Fenstermaker's laboratory research program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute concentrates on the molecular oncogenesis of brain tumors. This involves studying the mechanisms by which certain growth factors and their receptors contribute to malignant glioma formation and progression and how these factors may be targeted to selectively kill tumor cells. Dr. Fenstermaker also performs clinical research into local therapies for brain tumors including the effects of intra-operative photodynamic therapy (PDT) on malignant gliomas.

Kevin, Gibbons
Gibbons, Kevin, MDAssociate Professor of Neurosurgery
Email: kgibbons@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 218-1000 x5118

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery

Research Summary:
Dr. Gibbons joined UBNS in July 1993 after graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo neurosurgery residency training program. He underwent fellowship training in critical care and is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS). Dr. Gibbons directs the neurological critical care service and skull base clinical service and skull base laboratory at UBNS. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He is a former President of the Medical Staff of Kaleida Health. He has served as president of the Faculty Council of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, New York. Additionally he is Director of Surgery and Operational Improvement at the Buffalo General Medical Center and The Gates Vascular Institute. Dr. Gibbons is considered an expert lecturer in neurosurgical education, surgical decision making and patient management for residents and surgeons at the national level. Areas of interest include the surgical treatment of brain, spinal and pituitary tumors, complex cervical spine disorders, and critical care

L Nelson, Hopkins
Hopkins, L Nelson, MD, FACSDistinguished Professor of Neurosurgery, Professor of Radiology
Email: lnh1@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-888-4804

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Neuroradiology

Research Summary:
Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins served as the chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery from 1989-2013 and recently earned the title of Distinguished Professor of neurosurgery and radiology from the State University of New York. After completing his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, Dr. Hopkins earned a doctor of medicine degree cum laude from Albany Medical College. His post-graduate training included a surgical internship at Case Western Reserve, followed by neurology and neurosurgical training at UB. Ranking seventh among the most published neurosurgical departments in North America, he has established UB Neurosurgery as one of the most respected with patients traveling to Buffalo from around the world. Dr. Hopkins pioneered endovascular neurosurgery and has trained a new generation of neurosurgeon leaders skilled in catheter-based technology for minimally invasive neurosurgery. Active in national neurosurgery, Dr. Hopkins has served as a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and of the Executive Committee of the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association. He has served as Scientific and Annual Meeting Chairman for both the AANS and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He is the former chairman of the Joint Section on Cerebrovascular Surgery and president of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Hopkins has been the principal investigator of several national clinical trials testing catheter-based technologies for the treatment of neurovascular diseases. He is a member of the editorial boards of NEUROSURGERY and World Neurosurgery and the author of more than 300 publications centered on the prevention and treatment of stroke. Dr. Hopkins has served on the faculty of numerous symposiums nationally and internationally and each year hosts multidisciplinary seminars along with industry leaders focused on assessing and managing complications associated with minimally invasive catheter-based interventions. Dr. Hopkins is an advocate of cross-specialty and multidisciplinary collaboration. He fostered the creation of the Toshiba Stroke & Vascular Research Center, bringing together physicists, chemists, aerospace engineers, neurosurgeons, cardiologists and radiologists to study the neurovascular circulation and develop innovative technologies and approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neurovascular diseases. Dr. Hopkins conceived a new way to organize the multidisciplinary treatment of vascular disease and brought experts from around the world together to design the Gates Vascular Institute and then recruited the necessary partners to bring the Jacobs Institute and Gates Vascular Institute to life. He serves as chairman of the board of the GVI and President/CEO of the Jacobs Institute and its Center for Innovation in Medicine (CIM). A proponent of the global approach to revascularization for the improvement of outcomes for patients with vascular disease, Dr. Hopkins has served on the faculty of numerous symposiums nationally and internationally and each year hosts multidisciplinary seminars along with industry leaders focused on assessing and managing complications associated with minimally invasive catheter-based interventions.

Elad, Levy
Levy, Elad, MD, MBA, FACS, FAHAProfessor and Chairman of Neurosurgery, Professor of Radiology
Email: eladlevy@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-218-1000 x5138

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Neuroradiology

Research Summary:
Dr. Elad Levy is Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology, and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, at State University of New York at Buffalo. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Levy is also the Director of Stroke Research, Co-Director of Kaleida Health Stroke Center and Cerebrovascular Surgery, Director of Endovascular Stroke Treatment and Research, Medical Director of Neuroendovascular Services at Gates Vascular Institute (GVI). He has participated in several clinical research studies on carotid artery revascularization and stents. Dr. Levy is sought after for research projects, consultant roles, symposium speaker, and training of other physicians. He has had numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at both national and international meetings. Dr. Levy is also the Pipeline site for flow diverting technologies and the National Principal Investigator for neurovascular aneurysms and strokes. Additionally, he has trained several physicians throughout the world in using complex Endovascular neurosurgical techniques. Prior to his professorship at the University, Dr. Levy graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Doctor of Medicine degree with distinction from George Washington University. He completed a surgical internship and his neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh and his fellowship at UB. He also received his MBA from Northeastern University in 2013. During the past three years he has become involved with a study investigating concussion injury as it relates to blood flow physiology of the brain. In 2011, Dr. Levy spearheaded a local non-profit organization called PUCCS (Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion and Stroke). Dr. Levy, who serves as president and founder, has led the organization in raising more than $300,000 which has been used to fund concussion research and education in the Western New York area.

Veetai, Li
Email: veetaili@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 218-1040

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery

Research Summary:
Dr. Li, a graduate of Albany Medical College, received his residency training in neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and his fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at Children‘s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He has an interest in the study and management of brain tumors in the pediatric population, developmental spine malformations, the management of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy, and the surgical treatments of patients with seizures. Dr. Li has authored many papers and book chapters on pediatric neurosurgical topics. He is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, the Joint Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and the Children‘s Oncology Group.

Robert, Plunkett
Plunkett, Robert, MDAssociate Professor of Neurosurgery
Email: rplunket@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-218-1000

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Neurology

Research Summary:
I have two major research interests: trophic factors as novel treatments for Parkinson‘s disease and CNS neoplasms. My lab has been characterizing the response to trauma in the caudate nucleus of parkinsonian animals. This work grew out of the observation that tissue grafts for parkinsonism lead to modest behavioral improvement, even when the graft did not survive. We have shown that several trophic factors are present in the caudate of rats after trauma which simulates graft placement. Both brain derived neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor are found in the caudate predictably at intervals after the surgical trauma. Further, there is at least one other, as yet unidentified factor present after trauma in the caudate. We have moved beyond identification to use of BDNF in parkinsonian models. Infusion of BDNF into the dopamine deficient caudate of a hemiparkinsonian rat leads to behavioral improvement and increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) staining, the rate limiting enzyme for dopamine synthesis. We are currently working on a delivery system to distribute BDNF, or other macromolecules like trophic factors, in the striatum of primates. The second area of active interest is in two forms of CNS neoplasia: leukemic meningitis and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We have created an animal model of leukemic meningitis in the athynic (nude) rat, using a human leukemic cell line. In collaboration with Dr. Steve Greenberg, we are working on a gene therapy approach using a white cell specific promoter and the viral thymidine kinase "suicide" enzyme. We are testing the constructs in vitro and in the nude rat model. In addition, we are working withDr. Greenberg to study the biology of GBM by transfecting human GBM cell lines with genes for vascular growth factors. Basic fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, and endothelin-1 are currently being studied. The behavior of the transfected GBM cell lines are characterized in vitro, and after implantation into the frontal lobe of nude rats. By understanding how the transfected genes affect tumor growth, we hope to devise novel treatment strategies, potentially utilizing gene therapy.

Dheerendra, Prasad
Prasad, Dheerendra, MDMedical Director, Radiation Medicine; Director, Central Nervous System & Pediatric Radiation Medicine; Director Gamma Knife Center
Email: dprasad2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-845-8946

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Radiation Oncology

Stephen, Rudin
Rudin, Stephen, PhD, FAAPM, DABR, CHPSUNY Distinguished Professor; Director, Division of Radiation Physics
Email: srudin@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-5408

Specialty/Research Focus:
Diagnostic Radiology; Neurological Surgery; Neuroradiology - Diagnostic Radiology; Neuroradiology - Radiology; Pediatric Radiology - Radiological Physics; Radiological Physics; Radiology; Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Research Summary:
A SUNY Distinguished Professor & member of the UB faculty for more than 30 years, Dr. Rudin is a world-renowned expert in the field of medical physics. The quintessential interdisciplinary research scientist, Dr. Rudin is an international force in the development of a host of cutting-edge technology & methodology in the area of medical diagnostic & interventional imaging. He has won multiple awards for scientific excellence as well as awards for excellence in design, and is particularly well-known for his work in developing a high resolution x-ray imaging detectors, dose reduction methods, and endovascular devices such as asymmetric stents, work with major theoretical and clinical implications for medical physics, biomedical engineering, and diagnostic radiology, as well as an immediate impact upon patient diagnosis and care, particularly in case of brain and heart treatment. The caliber, significance, and innovation of his research are demonstrated by the numerous grants he has received from the NIH.

Adnan, Siddiqui
Siddiqui, Adnan, MD, PhD, FAHAVice-Chairman and Professor of Neurosurgery
Email: as257@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 218-1000

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neurological Surgery; Neuroradiology

Research Summary:
Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology who joined UBNS in January 2007. He completed fellowship training in Interventional Neuroradiology, Cerebrovascular Surgery and Neurocritical Care from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He completed his Neurosurgical residency at Upstate Medical University and received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and medical degree from Aga Khan University, Pakistan. Though Dr. Siddiqui is well trained in all general neurosurgical procedures, including brain tumor, spine and peripheral nerve surgery, because of specialized training, he has gravitated toward vascular diseases involving the brain and spinal cord. Dr. Siddiqui has special interest and expertise in the performance of complementary microsurgical, radiosurgical and endovascular techniques for the comprehensive management of cerebrovascular conditions. This spectrum of disease includes aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, as well as dural, cavernous and spinal fistulae. He has special interests in acute stroke management with intra-arterial thrombolysis, as well as endovascular and microsurgical management of extracranial and intracranial vascular occlusive disease. Other clinical interests include endovascular management of intractable epistaxis; preoperative head, neck, and brain tumor embolization; resection of skull base tumors; endoscopic surgery for aneurysms and pituitary tumors; third ventriculostomy; and arachnoid cysts. The Neuroendovascular Research and Stroke Service is led by Dr. Siddiqui, who is proud to lead UB‘s Department of Neurosurgery, which was ranked 7th in academic impact in North America by the Journal of Neurosurgery. He serves as a reviewer for Stroke, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery and Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery as well as many others. He has over 100 peer reviewed publications, more than 50 chapters and has been invited to more than 200 national and international lectureships. Dr. Siddiqui is currently a member of the Executive Council of the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery of the American Association of Neurological Surgery (AANS) and is Chairman of the Nominating Committee. He has served on Endovascular Task Force of AANS and been on multiple scientific committees on AANS, Society of Neurointerventional Surgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Siddiqui is married and has three children. He is a proud Buffalonian who is challenged and invigorated by taking care of neurosurgical patients and their families. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at the Gates Vascular Institute, a facility with some of the world‘s best technologies, where he and other experts can interact with leading researchers in order to make scientific advancements at the Toshiba Stroke & Vascular Research Center.