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Faculty & Staff

Congratulations to Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, for her promotion to Associate Professor of Neurosurgery. Dr. Sasaki-Adams started with UNC Neurosurgery after completion of her residency at UNC and a fellowship in cerebrovascular skull base neurosurgery in 2011.

Kelly Lucchesi - Andrew AbumoussaWe are pleased to announce that Kelly Lucchesi, MD (Quinnipiac University), and Andrew Abumoussa, MD (UNC), will join us as our PGY1 neurosurgery residents in June. Learn more >

Amy Kelley, MSN, RN, is our new Patient Service Manager for the Spine Center and Neurosurgery Clinic. Amy has both inpatient and outpatient experience as a staff nurse and an educator. Most recently, she was the clinical educator for the UNC Medical Center outpatient clinics. Amy’s previous experience also includes inpatient nursing for the neurology units at both Loyola and Rush University Medical Centers. She also served as a staff nurse for the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch before pursuing her MSN in Nursing Education.

A big thank you and best wishes to our dedicated administrative interns, Joseph Warburton and Jake Cannon, who have completed their master of health administration degrees and will be leaving us in May. Jake is moving on to a one-year administrative fellowship at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson. Joseph accepted a position with HCA Healthcare as an administrative resident at the Orange Park Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Our new interns, Nathan Evans and Ruben Joseph, started full-time on May 8.

General News

The Pediatric Neurosurgery Division opened a new clinic in Raleigh last January. Dr. Elton now sees patients monthly at the Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic located at 5838 Six Forks Road. Appointments will be made through UNC.

As part of UNC Project Malawi, Drs. Eldad Hadar, Wes Northam and Carolyn Quinsey visited Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi in March to help develop neurosurgical care and build ongoing relationships.


The teaching staff for the weekly surgical skills lab was excited to receive a new flexible endoscope simulator and an HTC Vive virtual reality system thanks to generous donors.

Honors & Achievements

Deb Bhowmick, MD, and Erin Judson, ANP-BC, were recipients of the 2018 UNC Health Care and UNC Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence. Learn more about this award.

Our administrative intern, Jake Cannon, MHA, and neurologist Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Quality from UNC Health Care. The award is in recognition of their work: “Mortality Reduction in the Neurosciences.”

Governor Roy Cooper recently appointed Assistant Professor Michaux Kilpatrick, MD, to a three-year term on the State Medical Board. Kilpatrick is a former resident in our program and currently serves as one of the Department’s community physicians in High Point.

Kevin Carneiro, DO, completed the three-year Program for Academic Leadership through the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, was selected to participate in the 2018 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Leadership in Healthcare Program.

Nathan Davis, MD, and Michael Cools, MD, were accepted into the UNC Academy of Educators.

Residency program coordinator Julie Seger completed the “Compassionate Leader” portion of the Learning and Organizational Development (LOD) Certificate Program.


Drs. Michael Cools, Carolyn Quinsey and Scott Elton published research in the Journal of Neurosurgery Peds: “Chiari decompression outcomes using ligamentum nuchae harvest and duraplasty in pediatric patients with Chiari type 1 malformation.”

Matt Ewend, MD, was part of a research team that published in Ear and Hearing: “Electrically Evoked Auditory Event-Related Responses in Patients with Auditory Brainstem Implants: Morphological Characteristics, Test-Retest Reliability, Effects of Stimulation Level and Association with Auditory Detection.”

Michael Catalino, MD, and Nathan Davis, MD, were part of a UNC team that published research in the Journal of Intensive Care:  “Early versus late tracheostomy after decompressive craniectomy for stroke.”

Drs. Deanna Sasaki-Adams and Randaline Barnett were part of a UNC research team that published research in Neurosurgery CNS: “Neoplastic Cerebral Aneurysm from Metastatic Nonsmall Cell Lung Carcinoma.”

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, and Oregon Health Science University researchers published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics: “Incidence of symptomatic tethered spinal cord in pediatric patients presenting with neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2.”

Gene Hobbs, CHSE, was part of the UNC Anesthesiology team that published research in Cureus: “The Use of Simulation to Improve Family Understanding and Support of Anesthesia Providers” as well as “Comparing Real-Time Versus Delayed Video Assessments for Evaluating ACGME Sub-Competency Milestones in Simulated Patient Care Environments.”


Matt Ewend, MD, presented grand rounds for the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery as a Visiting Professor on April 26.

Ewend_Hopkins_4-26-18 Ewend_HopkinsGR

Deb Bhowmick, MD, taught a session on the Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLIF) procedure in the practical course at the 2018 Spine Summit in March.

Scott Elton, MD, was an invited speaker at the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons 2018 Annual Meeting last February in Key West, Florida.

Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, was a panelist for “Women in Skull Base Surgery” at the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) annual meeting in Coronado, California in February. In addition, Dr. Sasaki-Adams discussed optimizing communication between CFAS representatives and their home institutions during the evaluation committee meeting at the Association of American Medical Colleges – 2018 Council of Faculty and Academic Societies spring meeting (AAMC-CFAS) in April.

Michael Catalino, MD, presented a talk titled, “The Effect of Surgical Treatment on Isolated Acute Traumatic Axis Fracture in Older US Adults” at AANS on April 30. Other researchers include Til Sturmer, MD, PhD, Deb Bhowmick, MD, and Virginia Pate, MS.

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, presented the “Surgical Management of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury” at the UNC Trauma Program’s 29th Annual May Day Conference held on May 3-4 at the Friday Center.

Scott Elton, MD, and neurologist Ammar Hussain, MD, presented a talk on pediatric epilepsy surgery to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the EMU. Special thanks to Kristi Hildebrand, MSN, CPNP-AC for arranging the session.


Benjamin C. Warf, MD, was the distinguished lecturer at the fourth annual Robert H. Wilkins, MD, Lectureship in Academic Neurosurgery, sponsored by the Wilkins family. The UNC and Duke Departments of Neurosurgery co-hosted the event at the Carolina Inn on February 20. Ninety guests dined and later enjoyed Dr. Warf’s talk titled, “Stumbling into Academia: The Unintended Adventure of a Missionary Neurosurgeon.” Dr. Warf is currently a Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and holds the Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Chair at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is the Director of Neonatal and Congenital Anomalies Neurosurgery. More photos >

Ben Warf - Wilkins 2018
Benjamin C. Warf, MD
The Wilkins family with Dr. Ewend (far left) and Dr. Sampson from Duke (far right).

UNC Neurosurgery alumni and faculty reunited at a celebration held at Calcasieu on the opening night of AANS 2018 in New Orleans.

UNC Neurosurgery alumni and faculty at AANS 2018 in New Orleans.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Head for the Cure kickoff at the Top of the Hill to discuss the upcoming 5K Run/Walk on September 8. We hope to see you all at our new location at Southern Village Green in Chapel Hill. Let’s make this event the most successful one yet! Register now!

UNC Neurosurgery’s Joggin’ for the Noggin’ team


Simon Khagi, MD, was interviewed on WRAL about new research that identifies a molecular target for brain cancer and uses an immunotherapy approach to attack it. In a UNC Lineberger article about this research, Dr. Khagi and Dr. Matt Ewend were identified as part of team that will launch clinical trials soon.

Dr. Khagi described the Optune device (a wearable, portable device used to treat glioblastoma) in a UNC Health Talk article. In addition, Dr. Khagi discussed what motivates him as a clinician-scientist and his path to becoming a neuro-oncologist in a UNC Lineberger people profile.

Kevin Carneiro, DO, discussed how posture can affect your health in an article for

Gene Hobbs, CHSE, wrote three blogs for The SHRM Blog:

  • “Burn Safety in the Workplace” for Burn Awareness week (February);
  • “Watch Your Head” for Brain Injury Awareness month (March);
  • “Accommodating Autism in the Workplace” for Autism Awareness month (April).

Featured Tweet

Journal Club
“Examining” large spines for the Neurosurgery resident spine journal club this evening. Oh, and reviewed a few articles on anterior discectomy & fusion vs foraminotomy too. Thank you Dr. Price for hosting another amazing journal club! #MedEd #Spine

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