Gillespie named to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Research Advisory Network

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundationyancie gillespie
has named G. Yancey Gillespie, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Neurosurgery and co-leader of UAB’s Neuro-Oncology Program, to its new Research Advisory Network.The members are drawn from medical centers, research institutions, nonprofit organizations and the pharmaceutical industry, and serve three-year renewable terms.

The 17 selected volunteer members of the panel will provide highly informed perspectives on the biomedical research enterprise. Gillespie will help evaluate the PBTF’s research funding priorities and guide investments.

“I’m honored to receive this appointment and help provide insight to gain new understanding into a devastating disease, and rapidly advance novel therapeutics into clinical trials,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie came to UAB in 1986 to direct brain tumor research efforts in the Division of Neurosurgery and to help establish the Neuro-Oncology Program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. The main thrust of his research is to develop and test specific therapies for treatment of malignant brain tumors in adults and children.He is currently professor of neurosurgery with secondary appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Cell, Developmental & Integrative Biology. Gillespie is also director of the UAB Brain Tumor Specialized Program Of Research Excellence (SPORE). UAB is one of only five institutions in the nation to hold a brain-tumor SPORE grant.

Original article published in UAB news, November 5, 2014

31th Annual J. Garber Galbraith Scientific Session Held October 3 2014

The 31th Annual J. Garber Galbraith Scientific Session & Lecture was held at the Bradley Lecture Center at Children's Harbor on Friday, October 3, 2014. The lecture was was well attended and featured scientific presentations from thirteen speakers throughout the day, culminating in the J. Garber Galbraith lecture "Evidence-based Assessment of Well-Established Interventions: The Parachute and the Epidural Hematoma" presented by Stephen J. Haines, MD.

Dr. Stephen Haines is the Lyle A. French Chair and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Vermont and trained in Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He received the Van Wagenen Fellowship of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons to study clinical trials at Oxford University in 1981. Prior to his appointment at Minnesota he was Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and a founding Co-Director of the Neuroscience Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been board certified in Neurological Surgery since 1984.

Dr. Haines' primary clinical interests lie in surgery of the skull base, cranial nerves and posterior fossa, pediatric neurosurgery and brain tumors. He has extensive experience in the surgery of acoustic neuroma, trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm, craniofacial disorders, complex hydrocephalus, pediatric and adult myelodysplasia.

Dr. Haines' primary research interest focuses on the application of advanced clinical research techniques to neurosurgery and the development of resources for the evidence-based practice of neurosurgery. He is a past member of the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Stroke Group and has led his departments' involvement in numerous clinical trials. He has published and lectured extensively on these subjects.

The scientific session was followed by a dinner and award ceremeony held at The Summit Club where the awards were presented for the top three resident presentations as voted on by a independent team of judges. This years award winners were:

J. Garber Galbraith Award for Research - Christoph J. Griessenauer, MD
Griffith Harsh III Award for Research - Joseph H. Miller, MD
Richard Morawetz Award for Research - Paul M. Foreman, MD

The J. Garber Galbraith Scientific Session and Lecture is held annually by the Department of Neurosurgery. The 32nd Annual Session will be held Novenber 6, 2015. For more information, call 205-934-2918.

New device to control seizures proving its worth

It has been 30 days since neurologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham turned on the neurostimulator implanted in Sarah Conner’s brain to control her seizures.

In that short time, she can already say, “I’m doing pretty good.”

UAB neurosurgeon Kristen Riley, M.D., implanted the RNS system, developed by NeuroPace, into Conner’s brain.

Read the update on Sarah at

Dr. Mark Hadley awarded Department of Defense grant to study acute spinal cord treatment strategies

Dr. Mark N. Hadley, Charles A. and Patsy Collat endowed professor of neurosurgery, hadleyMNhas recently been awarded a Department of Defense Military Medical Research and Development grant to study acute spinal cord treatment strategies. The grant will initiate June 2015.

The title of the grant is “A Multi-Center, Randomized, Controlled Trial of Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage in Acute Spinal Cord Injury”. Dr. Hadley is a Co-Investigator of a multi-center study. The study will be conducted at three sites in the United States.

The purpose of the grant is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cerebrospinal fluid drainage and to provide preliminary clinical efficacy evaluation of combination of cerebrospinal fluid drainage and elevation of mean arterial pressure in patients with acute spinal cord injury.







Pediatric Neurosurgeons to sponsor invitational meeting on Myelomeningocele

The Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s of Alabama is sponsoring and coordinating an invitational meeting of Pediatric Neurosurgeons and researchers in Myelomeningocele on September 10-13, 2014. The meeting will incorporate a process of critical review of the literature with the ultimate goal of developing evidence based guidelines for a child with a Myelomeningocele. The meeting is being spear headed by Dr. Jeffrey Blount and Dr. Jerry Oakes, professors of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, September 10 followed by sessions on Thursday, September 11 and Friday, September 12. Sessions will include critical discussions and review of papers on Myelomeningocele surrounding a variety of topics (including acute/chronic management of hydrocephalus, in-utero surgery of MMC, management of the C2M and management of the tethered spinal cord). A concluding session on will be held Saturday, September 13 to summarize and lay the ground work for the next stage of the guidelines development process.

All UAB Department of Neurosurgery faculty and residents are invited.

Inquiries can be made to Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s of Alabama by calling 205-638-9653.