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News & Highlights

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UC San Diego Neurosurgery Chair Named President of Congress of Neurological Surgeons 

Alexander Khalessi, MD, MBA, is the first University of California faculty member to be elected president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the leading academic society for neurosurgical professionals with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Read about his vision for the role in this Q&A. 


neurosurgery-photos_benhaim_20230711_01-cropped.jpgUC San Diego among first in nation to deliver cell therapy for epilepsy to the brain 

Sharona Ben-Haim, MD, performed the surgery delivering the experimental cell therapy, which aims to preserve normal brain tissue and ultimately allow more patients with drug-resistant epilepsy to achieve seizure freedom. Watch a NBC segment about the advance.   


Osorio-resized-1.jpgMeet Hispanic Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Osorio 

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Dr. Joseph Osorio shared more about his Hispanic heritage, why it’s important to share a cultural background with your patients and his advice for Hispanic medical students.  


20230804-surgery-Tomlin-5 use.jpgRead our latest newsletter 

Explore our Autumn newsletter highlighting our latest clinical developments, research advances, educational updates and more. Subscribe  to ensure you receive future mailings.


2023 USNWR website-thumb.jpgUC San Diego Health ranked #21 in the nation for best neurosurgery & neurology care  

Following an in-depth evaluation of more than 4,500 hospitals, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC San Diego Health as #21 in the nation for best neurosurgery and neurology care and designated our stroke team as High Performingthe highest possible ranking—in recognition that they delivered significantly better care compared to peers. Additionally, for the first time in its history, UC San Diego Health was named to the “Best Hospitals National Honor Roll,” a distinction awarded to only 22 hospitals nationwide, ranked #1 in California (tie) and once again was ranked #1 in San Diego.  



Associate or Full Professor (Ladder/In-Residence) Neuro-Restorative

Our team seeks a senior clinical researcher to expand our research portfolio, particularly neuro-restorative biologics such as stem cells. Preferred candidate is an experienced device developer and board certified in neurological surgery. Application details (Job# JPF03618).



Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego once again ranked #8 in nation for best Neurosurgery & Neurology care

Congratulations to our division of pediatric neurosurgery at Rady Children’s—led by Drs. Michael Levy and David Gonda—which once again was ranked #8 in the nation for best pediatric neurosurgery & neurology care according to U.S. News & World Report. The hospital was also ranked among the top 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation for the first time in its history.


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Meet neurosurgeon-scientist Dr. Thomas Beaumont

In honor of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, we spoke with Thomas Beaumont, MD, PhD, an expert in brain, skull base and pituitary tumor surgery, to learn how he is using advanced technologies to provide exceptional care for his patients, discuss his latest brain cancer research and glean his predictions for the future of brain cancer care.


General-neurosurgeons.jpgAssistant, Associate or Full Professor (HS Clinical, Clinical X, Adjunct, In-Residence) General and Spine Neurosurgery

Our growing department seeks general neurosurgeon(s) with an established focus in spine surgery to join our world-class team, which is ranked #21 in the nation for best neurosurgery & neurology care and received the highest score possible for spine care in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. The positions will include participation in patient care, teaching, research and strategic service line expansion. Application details (Job # JPF03600).


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Read our Spring newsletter detailing our latest research advances, educational updates and more

We invite you to explore our Spring newsletter that highlights our latest research advances—including a JAMA Otolaryngology study that links higher case volumes to improved acoustic neuroma patient outcomes—profiles alumni Dr. Min Park, welcomes our newest residents and more. Subscribe to ensure you receive future mailings.


A group of spine surgeonsUC San Diego Health First in California to be Awarded Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery

The Joint Commission awarded UC San Diego Health the Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery, making it the first health organization in California to receive the advanced certification. The certification is granted to organizations that meet or exceed the highest level of national performance standards for spine surgery. Read the press release or story in Becker's Spine Review


Buildings in front of a snowy mountainJoin us at the 2024 Sun Valley Cerebrovascular Conference

We are proud to partner with St. Luke’s Neurosciences and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to hold the fifth annual Sun Valley Cerebrovascular Conference on February 1-3, 2024. The three-day event features national and international thought leaders discussing the latest treatments and research for cerebrovascular disease. Attendees also have the opportunity to submit abstracts for presentation.



Celebrating Hispanic Neurosurgeons

This Hispanic Heritage Month we’re shining the spotlight on two neurosurgeons who identify as Hispanic—faculty member Dr. David Santiago-Dieppa and resident Dr. Alexander Tenorio (PGY-3)—who have developed a strong friendship and mentoring relationship. Read on to learn more about their heritage and what this month means to them.



Celebrando los neurocirujanos hispanos

Este Mes de la Herencia Hispana vamos a iluminar a dos de nuestros neurocirujanos quienes se identifican como hispanos — un miembro de la facultad, Dr. David Santiago-Dieppa, y un médico residente, el Dr. Alexander Tenorio (PGY-3) — y que han desarrollado una fuerte amistad y conexión de tutoría. Sigue leyendo para aprender más sobre su cultura y lo que este mes significa para ellos.


Neurosurgeon-Opening.pngOpen Recruitment: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (HS Clinical, Clinical X, Adjunct, In-Residence) Neurosurgery

We’re seeking a functional neurosurgeon to join our world-class team and assist with the management of our movement disorders, epilepsy, and neuro-restoration programs. Successful candidates will be responsible for patient care, teaching, research and strategic service line expansion. Application details (Job #JPF03538).


Stylized brain graphicOpen recruitment: Assistant, Associate, Or Full Professor - Biomedical Image Analysis And Processing - Chancellor's Joint Initiative: CSE/Neurosurgery

We’re seeking a tenure-track faculty member who will work at the intersection of computer vision and neurosurgery and hold joint appointments with the UC San Diego Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Neurological Surgery. The ideal candidate has a strong research record in the area of computer vision with a focus on applications that will improve surgery and medicine. Apply today (Assistant Professor Job #: JPF03460; Associate/Full Professor Job #: JPF03461) 


Female and male neurosurgeons working in OR

Open recruitment: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (HS Clin, Clin X, Adjunct, In-Residence) Neurosurgery 

Our growing department seeks a neurosurgeon who is committed to compassionate patient care and academic excellence. Apply today (Job #JPF03007).


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Sensors record brain signals in record-breaking resolution

The technology may allow more precise removal of brain tumors, improve surgical epilepsy treatment and help unlock a deeper understanding of the brain. Read the  Science Translational Medicine  study, featuring chief resident Daniel Cleary, MD, PhD, as co-first author. 


Top neurosurgeons Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim and Alexander Khalessi stand next to the ROSA robot

Epilepsy Care Gets Robotic Boost at UC San Diego Health

A new robot named ROSA is improving stereotactic electroencephalography (sEEG), a procedure introduced to the San Diego region by Sharona Ben-Haim, MD



Three people in the center for the future of surgery at UC San Diego

First steerable catheter for brain surgery developed

Described in Science Robotics , the device enables neurosurgeons to access delicate, deep recesses of the brain, potentially improving the treatment of aneurysms and other neurological conditions.


Chair of Neurosurgical Department Alexander Khalessi with M ayor Todd Gloria in Center for the Future of Surgery at UC San Diego

Mayor Todd Gloria tours UC San Diego’s Department of Neurological Surgery

On November 22, 2021, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria toured our Department to learn more about our daily efforts to save lives, advance research of neurologic disease, develop new devices and therapies, and train tomorrow’s surgical leaders. Visit highlights included our state-of-the-art Neuro Hub, which seamlessly connects the operating room to the angio suite to the surgical laboratory, and the Center for the Future of Surgery, the largest, most comprehensive training facility in the U.S.


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San Diego Surgeon Pioneers Procedure for Scoliosis

NBC San Diego — Joseph Osorio, MD, PhD, director of Spinal Oncology and Deformity Surgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UC San Diego, discusses a personalized spinal rod—created using artificial intelligence (AI) and patient scans—that helped a life-long swimmer who developed scoliosis get back to the pool. This story was also featured in thisweek@ucsandiego.



Don and Karen Cohn Give $2.5 Million to UC San Diego Health Neurosurgery Program

Alexander Khalessi, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and professor of neurological surgery, radiology and neurosciences, was named the inaugural chair holder of the Don and Karen Cohn Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery. The Cohns were inspired to give after Mr. Cohn received an innovative medical treatment which he credits with saving his life. 


Neurosurgeon Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim, engineer Shadi Dayeh, top neurosurgeon Dr. Alexander Khalessi

UC San Diego Leads a $12.25 Million Grant to Improve Epilepsy Treatment

The National Institutes of Health grant funds the development and enhancement of brain-sensing and brain-stimulating platform technologies to enable treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. Co-investigators Alexander Khalessi, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and professor of neurological surgery, radiology and neurosciences, and Sharona Ben-Haim, MD, neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health, will team up with UC San Diego electrical engineering professor Shadi Dayeh, PhD, to advance the project.



Guiding Patients Through the Unfamiliar Landscape Of Neurological Disease

Chair Alexander Khalessi, MD, MBA, shares how our team is delivering the latest advanced treatments for injuries and disorders of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves—all while conducting groundbreaking research and educating the neurosurgical leaders of tomorrow.


CFS-MicroscopeLab-cropped.jpgCenter for Future of Surgery Expands at UC San Diego School of Medicine 

The expansion added a hybrid operating room and a microsurgical suite that allow for training in highly specialized neurosurgery procedures, such as interventional endovascular surgery, and establishes the CFS as the largest, most comprehensive training facility in the U.S. The suites will also be used to develop new surgical techniques, approaches and procedures. 



High-Tech Surgical Suites Let Doctors Scan Patients Without Either Leaving the Operating Room

Inside Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla resides the only intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging surgical suites in Southern California — a high-tech hybrid that gives surgeons access to advanced MRI technology during procedures.



Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim Performs First-In-Kind Procedure to Treat Refractory Epilepsy

With the aid of new upgraded technology in the Jacobs Medical Center Neurosurgery suites, UC San Diego Neurosurgeon Sharona Ben-Haim, MD, recently was able to perform what is thought to be a first-in-kind procedure on a patient suffering from refractory epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that can't be treated with medication.