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Message from our Chairman, Dr. Anil Nanda

We’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to all participants involved in helping to facilitate the 2nd Annual Neurosurgery Research Symposium, hosted by the Department of Neurosurgery at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School, as well as RWJBarnabas Health. The event featured keynote lectures from respected guest speakers, Dr. Jonathan D. Geiger and Dr. Jeffrey G. Ojemann, in addition to presentations from several of our own research faculty members and residents, paving the way on basic, translational, and clinical research projects. We had over 470 registrants with 9 countries represented!

Our research department is an integral part of contributing to the success of our annual academic endeavors, and this meeting would not have been possible without the leadership and support of Drs. Detlev Boison and Hai Sun. Our department will be moving forward this year with a continued series of events highlighting global topics including Stroke, Education, Spine, and Brain Tumors.

The tentative date for next year’s symposium is March 24th, 2022. Be sure to mark your calendar!


Welcome to the 2nd Annual Neurosurgery Research Symposium

The Neurosurgery Research Symposium hosted by the Department of Neurosurgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School, as well as RWJBarnabas Health, will feature cutting edge neurosurgery research from bench to bedside, ranging from spinal cord and brain injuries and epilepsy, to age related neurodegenerative disorders and brain cancers. A specific focus is on regenerative, restorative, and preventive therapies, as well as cutting edge neurosurgical therapeutic interventions.


Our Plenary Speakers are:

Jonathan D. Geiger PhD, is a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Fritz will give a presentation entitled: “An ‘iron-ic’ story about the involvement of endolysosomes in the pathogenesis of age-related neurological disorders.”

The main focus of Dr. Geiger’s research is on brain energy metabolism in general and purines in particular, regulation of levels of intracellular calcium with emphasis on intracellular pools of calcium, the control of neuronal cell life and death in neurodegenerative diseases, and neurological complications associated with HIV-1 infection. Dr. Geiger has published over 145 papers and has delivered over 100 invited talks worldwide. He has served on over 100 local, national and international grant review study sections including those for the NIH, the CIHR, the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation; he has served as Chair or co-Chair on 14 of these panels.



Jeffrey Ojemann, MD, is a Professor of Neurological Surgery and Vice-Chairman for Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He holds the Richard G. Ellenbogen Chair in Pediatric Neurological Surgery and is Chief of Neurosurgery at Settle Children’s Hospital. He is Director of Epilepsy Surgery at the Regional Epilepsy Center at Harborview as part of the University of Washington Neurosciences Institute. He will give a lecture entitled: The adaptable homunculus – lessens from epilepsy research.

Dr. Ojemann’s research focuses on the effects of neurosurgical procedures on memory and cognition in children and adults. Neurosurgical patients also offer the opportunity to study electrocorticography (direct brain electrical recordings) during cognitive tasks such as working memory, language, and visual attention. These recordings lead to complex signal analysis, and the signals can be used to support a brain-computer interface (BCI) models. His research has been funded by NIH and NSF since 2001, with a focus on brain signals related to motor control and learning.