Pitt neurosurgeon Kondziolka resigns for NYU job

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Douglas Kondziolka, a leading neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, is leaving to become vice chairman of clinical research in neurosurgery at NYU's Langone Medical Center.

Dr. Kondziolka is best known as one of the directors of Pitt's gamma knife surgery program, which uses focused beams of radiation to treat brain tumors, facial nerve pain, blood vessel abnormalities and other brain problems. He and his mentor, L. Dade Lunsford, have performed more than 11,000 gamma knife procedures since the early 1990s.

Robert Friedlander, head of Pitt's neurosurgery department, said the university will not recruit someone to replace Dr. Kondziolka because it already has hired neurosurgeons who can step into his specialty fields.

"He'll definitely be missed," Dr. Freidlander said. "Even though we have replacements, he's not replaceable."

At NYU, Dr. Kondziolka also will head up its Center for Advanced Radiosurgery.

Dr. Kondziolka said there were no negative circumstances at Pitt that led to his move.

NYU is known for its clinical excellence in medicine, he said, and this was an opportunity for him to help develop research programs in neurosurgery to go along with that.

He also has pioneered the use of stem cells in treatment of strokes as well as the use of deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are inserted through the skull into different parts of the brain, for treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and severe depression.

education - neigh_city - breaking - health

Mark Roth: mroth@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1130. First Published September 19, 2012 12:45 AM


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