Wheeling for Hope, Inc. raises $33,000 for Brain Tumor Research

Wheeling for Hope, a local non-profit 501C charity, continues to raise much needed funds for adult and pediatric brain tumor research and patient support services at UAB and Children’s of Alabama. The charity raised and donated $33,000 this year.

Donations have provided such items as educational materials for patients and families, funds to sponsor children for Camp Smile-a-Mile, new research lab equipment, and funds to support brain tumor research efforts.

Cathie Robinson, research nurse coordinator for the Department of Neurosurgery, serves as the president of Wheeling for Hope and has been very instrumental in fund raising for the charity and bringing awareness to brain tumors.

If you are interested in learning more or making a donation to Wheeling for Hope, please contact Cathie at

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.