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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 4,000 surgeries for pituitary tumors and has been featured in news and TV specials discussing his expertise in pituitary tumor treatment. More –>



Vibhor Krishna, MD
Vice Chair, Inpatient Operations | Service Line Leader | Associate Professor

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 –>





Eldad Hadar, MD
Vice Chair, Faculty Affairs | Section Chief of Functional Neurosurgery | Residency Program Director | Professor

Dr. Eldad Hadar, UNC Department of 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 –>



Cheerag Upadhyaya, MD, MBA, MSc, FAANS, FACS
Vice Chair, Outpatient Operations | Chief Transformation and Business Development Officer | Clinical Associate Professor

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 –>




Matthew Ewend, MD
Chief Clinical Officer, UNC Health | President, UNC Physicians | Van L. Weatherspoon, Jr. Eminent Distinguished Professor

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 –>




Scott Elton, MD, FAANS, FAA
Children’s Hospital Surgeon-in-Chief (Interim) | Division Chief and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery | Clinical Professor

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
Associate Residency Program Director | Director, UNC Global Neurosurgery Program | Associate Professor

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
Assistant Professor | Wellness Coordinator

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 –>




Michael Galgano, MD, FAANS
Vice Chair, Hillsborough Operations | Chief Quality Officer | Assistant Professor

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
Patient Logistics Center Liaison | Clinical Associate Professor | Major, US Army

Dr. Brian Sindelar, MDDr. 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 –>




Carlos David, MD
Vice Chair, Education, Clinical Skills Lab | Division Chief, Cerebrovascular | Professor

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 –>





Dominique Higgins, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor | Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator

Dr. Dominique Higgins, MD, PhD

Dr. Dominique Higgins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery specializing in neurosurgical oncology and the treatment of brain tumors.

Dr. Higgins completed a dual MD/PhD program at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, appeasing both his interests in medicine and research. More –>



Yasmeen Rauf, MD
Interim Division Chief, Neuro-Oncology | Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery

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
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. David Kram, UNC Health

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






Atil Kargi, MD
Co-Director of the UNC Pituitary Tumor Clinic | Clinical Endocrinologist | Professor

Atil Kargi, MD - UNC Neurosurgery

Dr. Atil Kargi is a clinical endocrinologist specializing in diseases of the pituitary gland including pituitary tumors, hypopituitarism, Cushing’s disease, Acromegaly, Prolactinoma, Adult Growth Hormone deficiency, and diabetes insipidus. He is the Co-Director of the UNC Pituitary Tumor Center and a Professor of Neurosurgery and Medicine.. More –>





Kevin Carneiro, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine Rehabilitation | Medical Director of UNC Hospitals Spine Center

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.
Vice Chair of Research | Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Dawn Kernagis, 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 –>



Nurse Practitioners