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Department of Neurological Surgery

Faculty

Full-Time Clinical Faculty

Reid C. Thompson, MD
Dr. Reid Thompson is the William F. Meacham Professor of Neurological Surgery, Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology at Vanderbilt Medical Center. He also holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Otolaryngology. His clinical interests are in all aspects of neurovascular surgery and brain tumor surgery, including skull base surgery.

Oran S. Aaronson, MD
Dr. Oran Aaronson is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and the Residency Program Director. His clinical interests include surgery of the spine with emphasis on minimally invasive techniques, degenerative spinal disorders, complex spinal reconstruction and spinal tumors.

George S. Allen, MD, PhD
Dr. George Allen is Professor, Emeritus and Former William F. Meacham Professor & Chairman of Neurological Surgery.

Lola B. Chambless, M.D.
Dr. Chambless is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. She developed the clinical outcome program for the Vanderbilt Brain Tumor Center and participates in a number of projects evaluating the impact of metabolic disorders on brain cancer.

Joseph S. Cheng, MD, MS
Dr. Joseph Cheng is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery. He is the Director of Spine Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center. His clinical interest is in all aspects of spinal surgery, with an emphasis on complex spinal reconstruction and instrumentation.

Mark A. Cobb, MD, FAANS, FACS
Dr. Mark Cobb is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. As an integral part of our Community Practice Program, Dr. Cobb primarily sees patients at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, TN. His clinical interests are in general neurosurgery.

Peter E. Konrad, MD, PhD
Dr. Peter Konrad is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Biomedical Engineering. He is Director of Functional Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center. His clinical interests are in all areas of functional neurosurgery, with special emphasis on the surgical treatment of movement disorders (including Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia and spasticity), epilepsy and medically refractory pain.

J Mocco, MD, MS
Dr. Mocco is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiology and Radiological Sciences. His clinical interests include stroke, brain aneurysms, subarachnoid hemorrhage, ateriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, carotid artery stenosis, intracranial stenosis and brain tumors.

Robert P. Naftel, MD
Dr. Naftel is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. He comes to Vanderbilt from the University of Pittsburgh where he served as a fellow in the Department of Neurosurgery. His clinical and research interests include pediatric hydrocephalus, epilepsy surgery, spine surgery, brain tumors and pediatric vascular disorders. He has trained in minimally invasive endoscopic techniques for the treatment of hydrocephalus, brain tumors and spinal disorders. His research also focuses on patient satisfaction, patient education, and the use of technology and social media for patient outreach.

Joseph S. Neimat, MD, MS
Dr. Joseph Neimat is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His clinical interests are in all areas of functional neurosurgery, with special emphasis on the surgical treatment of movement disorders (including Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia), epilepsy, and some forms of neuropathic pain. He also has expertise in the use of neuromodulation for treatment of medically refractory psychiatric illness such as major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome.

Allen K. Sills, MD
Dr. Allen Sills is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery.  His clinical interests are brain tumors, sports neurosurgery, and general neurosurgery.

Gary S. Solomon, PhD
Dr. Solomon is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Psychiatry. As a clinical neuropsychologist, he specializes in assessment. His research interests include sports-related concussions, neuro-oncology, and the neuropsychological aspects of central nervous system disorders.

Noel B. Tulipan, MD
Dr. Noel Tulipan is Professor of Neurological Surgery. His clinical interests include all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, with special emphasis on congenital defects of the nervous system, hydrocephalus, craniofacial reconstruction, and surgery for spasticity.

Kyle D. Weaver, MD
Dr. Kyle Weaver is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and holds a secondary appointment as Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology. His clinical interests include all aspects of intracranial Neurosurgery with a focus on surgery for benign and malignant tumors, metastatic disease to the brain and spine, and skull base surgery.

John "Jay" Wellons, III, MD, MSPH
Dr. Wellons is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Pediatrics. He was the Site Investigator for the private and NIH-funded Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN), and continues as the Primary Investigator for ongoing studies related to HCRN. His additional research and clinical interests include the role of neuroendoscopy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors and hydrocephalus, improving surgical outcomes in Chiari and Chiari-related disorders, and anatomic and surgical studies of the brachial plexus and peripheral nerves.

Hong Yu, MD
Dr. Yu  joins our surgical faculty as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery after serving as Assistant Professor at Stanford University Medical Center in California. Her clinical interest is in general neurosurgery with a specialized interest in advancing the application of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of neurologic and psychiatric diseases. Dr. Yu's research focuses on the development of a statistical, physiologic brain atlas and its application in DBS targeting and programming.

Research Faculty

Aqeela Afzal, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S.
Dr. Afzal is Assistant Research Professor of Neurological Surgery. Her research interests include Ischemic Stroke and Diabetic Retinopathy.

Michael Harvey, PhD
Dr. Harvey is Research Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. His clinical interest is microelectrode brain mapping for target localization of deep brain stimulation treatment of movement disorders. His research focus is the neural substrate of sensorimotor integration.

C. Chris Kao, MD, PhD
Dr. Kao is Research Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery. His clinical interest is microelectrode brain mapping for target localization of deep brain stimulation treatment of movement disorders. His research focus is on electrophysiology in nerve stimulation, epilepsy, pain control and head injury.

Michael S. Remple, PhD
Dr. Remple is Research Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. His clinical interest is microelectrode brain mapping for target localization of deep brain stimulation treatment of movement disorders. His research focus is on electrophysiology in cortical and subcortical stimulation, primate sensori-motor physiology, and neural prosthesis development.

Chevis Shannon, MBA, MPH, DrPH
Dr. Shannon is a Research Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. She also serves as director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric Neurosurgery Clinical Research Initiative. Her research interests include quality improvement initiatives to reduce surgical site infections, comparative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and decision analysis research related to surgical intervention, long-term clinical and quality of life outcomes in children with hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury (including abusive head trauma, sports-related concussions), epilepsy, spina bifida and tumors. She also has an interest in the economic impact of surgical intervention in tumor, AVM and epilepsy adult patients.

Jialiang Wang, PhD
Dr. Wang is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Cancer Biology, and Director, Neurosurgical Oncology Laboratory. His research focuses on the study of signaling pathways implicated in the therapeutic resistance of brain tumor stem cells, particularly the Notch pathway, with a long-term goal of translating understanding of these pathways into innovative treatments that effectively target cancer stem cells or sensitize these cells to conventional chemo-radiotherapy. Dr. Wang's laboratory also works on developing novel molecular probes specific to cancer stem cells that may facilitate study of cancer stem cell biology.

Physician Assistants

Trisha L. Cooper, PA-C
Ms. Trisha L. Cooper is Assistant in Neurological Surgery. As a Physician Assistant, she works closely with Dr. Noel Tulipan in the Pediatric Neurosurgery Program.

Ryan Raburn, MS, PA-C
Mr. Ryan Raburn is Assistant in Neurological Surgery. As a Physician Assistant, he works closely with Dr. Allen Sills in the Neurosurgical Community Practice Program.

Instructor

Wendell B. Lake, MD
Dr. Lake joins the Vanderbilt surgical faculty as an Instructor in Clinical Neurological Surgery.

This page was last updated August 13, 2014 and is maintained by