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Neurosurgery Specialty Updates

November 2015 - Neurosurgery

M Health neurosurgeons named 2015 Top Doctors

University of Minnesota Health neurosurgeons Stephen Haines, MD, FACS, and Matthew Hunt, MD, FRCS, FAANS, and pediatric neurosurgeon Daniel Guillaume, MD, were once again named top doctors in the 2015 listing in Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. The Top Doctors rankings are determined by a survey sent annually to 5,000 area physicians and registered nurses, who indicate which doctors in identified specialties they personally would choose for their own medical care. Those receiving the top 15 percent of the vote in each specialty are featured in the magazine.

Process for deriving stem cells may aid in new therapies

A recent study and lab protocol may help further enable the use of stem cells derived from a patient’s own skin cells as a source of therapies addressing neurological disorders. Multiple sclerosis, the leukodystrophies, and traumatic injury are all marked by a loss of myelin in the central nervous system, and patients with these disorders may benefit from stem cell therapies aimed at preventing further demyelination or restoring lost myelin. One strategy for obtaining stem cells is to derive them from a patient’s own skin cells, using precise cell culture techniques. The resulting “adult stem cells,” or induced pluripotent stem cells, can then be prompted to develop into neurological stem cells for use in therapy.

Ann-Parr Consult-neuro
— Ann Parr, MD, PhD

University of Minnesota Health neurosurgeon Ann Parr, MD, PhD, and colleagues are conducting studies of neurological disorders associated with myelin deficiency in mice models.

In a recent paper, they describe a standardized, defined protocol that reliably directs induced pluripotent stem cells from mice to differentiate into neurological stem cells. The paper, “Directed Differentiation of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells from Mouse Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells,” appears in the May 7 issue of Cell Transplantation.

Spine Fellowship established

The Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School have established a Spine Fellowship, one of only a handful in the country to offer a cross-specialty approach to training in spinal surgery. The fellowship is open to those who have completed an orthopaedics or neurosurgery residency. Fellows with a strong background in orthopaedic surgery will spend the majority of their time working with the Department of Neurosurgery, while fellows with training in neurosurgery will primarily train with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. For more information, see the medical school news article.

To apply, visit the Fellowship page.

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