Skip to main content

New Faculty

Illustration by Mark Schornak
Illustration by Mark Schornak. Shared with permission of Barrow Neurological Institute

Surgeon-scientist Dr. Vibhor Krishna joined UNC Neurosurgery’s faculty from Ohio State University. Dr. Krishna’s expertise is functional neurosurgery and neuromodulation. Learn more about Dr. Krishna:

Dr. Brian Sindelar joined our faculty as a Clinical Associate Professor. He is currently serving on active duty under the established military-civilian partnership between the US Army and UNC Health.

Medical illustrator Mark Schornak of Barrow Neurological Institute will join the department next month. Mark is well known in the field of medical illustration, having spent the last 30 years working closely with physicians at BNI. He will be a great asset to the department and provide content that will benefit our patients, residents, and the field of neurosurgery. Read more:


Neurosurgery resident interviews were held virtually again this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Virtual meet and greets were also held for fourth year medical students interested in neurosurgery prior to interviews.


Dr. Dawn Kernagis, PhD

Dr. Dawn Kernagis is the co-PI on a $4.3-million initiative to improve impaired waste clearance of the brain due to sleep disruption. This study could have major implications for service members and potentially patients with neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other dementias.

Dr. Kernagis will work with a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine, the Brain Electrophysiology Lab Oregon Health & Science University, and Montana State University. Full story:


Dr. Nelson Oyesiku received the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honors in neurosurgery. He received the award at the 2021 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. Read more:

Dr. Nelson Oyesiku also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of University Neurosurgeons.

Dr. Vibhor Krishna received the Best Poster Award for Functional Neurosurgery at the 2021 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. Read more:

Visual Abstract - Thermal Neuromodulation

Dr. Michael Catalino was awarded the 2021 Neil Pearl Neurosurgery Research Award from the Glioblastoma Foundation.

UNC Neurosurgery at AANS/CNS Peds Annual Meeting
UNC Neurosurgery at the AANS/CNS Peds Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Martin Piazza was awarded the Resident Traveling Fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery by the Joint Pediatric Section of the AANS/CNS.

UNC Neurosurgery received a “Top Poster Award” for their presentation titled “Sociodemographic Disparities as a Determinant of Prenatal vs Postnatal Surgical Myelomeningocele Repair” at the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery Meeting in Salt Lake City. Read more:


The UNC pediatric neurosurgery team hosted their third annual Spina Bifida Family Conference in October. Due to concerns over health and safety, this was a virtual event open to all patients with spina bifida and their families. Conference topics ranged from sexual health to nutrition. The conference’s keynote speaker was Dr. Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.