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UNC Neurosurgery Faculty



Nelson Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS – Department Chair

Dr. Nelson Oyesiku, UNC Neurosurgery department chair

Dr. Nelson Oyesiku is Chair of the UNC Department of Neurosurgery, joining the faculty in March, 2021. His clinical and research focus is the surgical treatment and molecular biology of pituitary tumors. Dr. Oyesiku has performed more than 1,500 surgeries for pituitary tumors and has been featured in news and TV specials discussing his expertise in pituitary tumor treatment. More –>



Matthew Ewend, MD

Matthew Ewend, MDDr. Matthew Ewend is the Chief Clinical Officer of UNC Health & President of UNC Physicians and former Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. He joined the faculty in 1997 after completing medical school, neurosurgery residency, and a brain tumor fellowship at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. More –>




Eldad Hadar, MD

Neurosurgeon Dr. Eldad Hadar - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Eldad J. Hadar is a professor and the Residency Program Director in the Department of Neurosurgery, joining UNC Healthcare in August 2001. Since arriving at UNC, Dr. Hadar has been an active member of the neurosurgical service. In addition to his general neurosurgery practice, he serves as director of both the Epilepsy Surgery and Functional Neurosurgery programs and has been a member of the UNC Spine Center since 2002. More –>



Sivakumar Jaikumar, MD

Neurosurgeon Dr. Sivakumar Jaikumar- UNC NeurosurgerySince arriving at UNC, Dr. Jaikumar has been an active member of the neurosurgical service. In addition to his general neurosurgery practice, his interests include trigeminal neuralgia, brain tumors (primary and metastatic), tumors of spine, sacral chordomas, stereotactic radiosurgery for brain tumors, minimally invasive spine surgery and complex spinal reconstruction. More –>




Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD

Neurosurgeon Dr. Sasaki-Adams - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Deanna M. Sasaki-Adams is a board-certified neurosurgeon appointed as an associate professor and Section Chief of cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Her academic interests include treatment of intracerebral aneurysms via both open and endovascular techniques, stroke, as well as treatment of skull base tumors including pituitary tumors, meningiomas, vestibular schwannomas, and clival chordomas. More –>



Deb Bhowmick, MD

Spinal Neurosurgeon Dr. Deb Bhowmick - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Deb A. Bhowmick is a neurosurgeon specializing in complex spinal surgery. He is an Associate Professor and Section Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His academic interests include treatment of spinal tumors, spinal trauma, rheumatologic diseases of the spine, complex spinal deformities, and minimally invasive treatment of spinal degenerative conditions including herniated disks, spinal spondylolisthesis and stenosis. More –>



Scott Elton, MD, FAANS, FAA

Dr. Scott Elton - UNC Pediatric NeurosurgeryDr. Scott W. Elton joined the Department of Neurosurgery in January 2013, to develop the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery where he now serves as Division Chief and Director. Dr. Elton has worked in both community and academic hospitals in a wide variety of practices–private, academic, and corporate–in both Ohio and Arizona. Dr. Elton is interested in teaching residents and medical students, evaluating cost containment, and creating pragmatism in care. More –>



Carolyn Quinsey, MD

Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Carolyn Quinsey - UNC Neurosurgery Dr. Carolyn Quinsey is a board certified pediatric and adult neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery and endoscopy. Dr. Quinsey is fellowship trained in pediatric neurosurgery and operates on children and adults using innovative techniques which include endoscopic, endonasal, eyebrow craniotomy, and microscopic approaches. More –>




Edward Yap, MD

Neurosurgeon Dr. Edward Yap - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Edward Yap joined the UNC Neurosurgery faculty in late December of 2019 as an Assistant Professor. After Dr. Yap’s completion of his neurosurgery residency with UNC Neurosurgery in 2018, he completed a fellowship in neuroendovascular surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His Interests include vascular and endovascular neurosurgery and skull-base pathologies. More –>



Vibhor Krishna, MD

Dr. Vibhor KrishnaDr. Vibhor Krishna is a board-certified neurosurgeon with expertise in functional neurosurgery and neuromodulation. As a surgeon-scientist, he focuses on translational neuroimaging research with a goal to improve patient outcomes. More –>





Michael Galgano, MD

Complex Spinal Surgeon Dr. Michael Galgano Dr. Michael Galgano is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in complex spinal surgery. While Dr. Galgano treats a variety of spinal conditions such as trauma, degenerative disease, and infections, his clinical and academic interest will focus on spinal oncology and deformity surgery. More –>




Brian Sindelar, MD

Dr. Brian SindelarDr. Brian Sindelar is a board-certified neurosurgeon with an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently serving on active duty under the established military-civilian partnership between the US Army and UNC. More –>



Cheerag Upadhyaya, MD, MBA, MSc, FAANS, FACS

Dr. Cheerag Upadhyaya, UNC Neurosurgery

Dr. Cheerag Upadhyaya is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Upadhyaya grew up in a small town in Florida and attended college at Emory University. He then attended medical school at the University of Florida. More –>




Carlos David, MD

Dr. Carlos David, UNC Health neurosurgeonDr. Carlos David is a Professor of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurological surgery at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. His range of expertise includes all skull base and complex brain tumors, endoscopic skull base surgery and all aspects of cerebrovascular surgery, including bypass surgery. More –>





Yasmeen Rauf, MD

Dr. Yasmeen Rauf, UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Yasmeen Rauf’s primary area of interest is glioblastoma. Her clinical and research interests include clinical trials for newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, brain tumor micro-environment, brain tumor imaging, immunotherapy for brain tumors and CAR- T for recurrent glioblastoma. More –>



David Kram, MD, MCR

Dr. David Kram, UNC Health

Dr. David Kram is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. His specialty is Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. More –>






Kevin Carneiro, DO

Dr. Kevin Carniero - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Kevin Carneiro is a board-certified physiatrist in physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as sports medicine. He has conducted research and written book chapters and journal articles on musculoskeletal, sports and occupational rehabilitation medicine, most recently on exercise for low back pain. More –>


Neurosurgery Research

Dawn Kernagis, Ph.D.

Dawn Kernagis, PhD - UNC NeurosurgeryDr. Dawn Kernagis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery studying neuroprotective strategies for individuals who will be exposed to high physiological stress. Dawn came to UNC from IHMC, where she worked as a Research Scientist and led a research program focused on human performance and neuroprotection in response to stresses in extreme environments.. More –>



Medical Illustration

Mark Schornak, MS, CMI

Mark Schornak, medical illustrator at UNC Health Schornak’s education in both life sciences and visual communication, combined with his impressive 30-year career, makes him an incredible asset to the UNC Neurosurgery team. He has spent years researching, observing and understanding neurosurgical procedures. More –>




Nurse Practitioners