James Markert, a professor of surgery, physiology and biophysics, and pediatrics, has been named director of the division of neurosurgery in the department of surgery at UAB.

In announcing the appointment, Kirby Bland, chair of the UAB Department of Surgery, said of Markert, “He is an excellent educator and researcher who will make signal contributions to neurooncology and neurosurgery. ”The field of neurosurgery involves surgical and non-surgical treatments for head and spine trauma, aneurysms and clogged arteries involving the brain, epilepsy,?degenerative spine conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord injuries, stroke, pituitary disorders, brain and spine tumors and other neurologic condition.

Markert, who joined the UAB faculty in 1995, also is the co-director of the UAB Brain SPORE, a $13 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop new therapies to treat brain cancer.

His major research interest is in the development of treatments for brain tumors using molecular biology, viral vectors and gene therapy. His current focus is on using an engineered herpes simplex virus as a vector to treat brain tumors.