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Katie Pricola Fehnel | Education

Undergraduate School

Yale University

2004, New Haven, CT

Medical School

Stanford University

2010, Palo Alto, CA

Internship

Massachusetts General Hospital

2011, Boston, MA

Residency

Massachusetts General Hospital

2017, Boston, MA

Fellowship

Boston Children's Hospital

2018, Boston, MA

Katie Pricola Fehnel | Professional History

I am an academic neurosurgeon with subspecialty training in pediatric neurosurgery. I devote my time both to clinical practice and academic research. The over-arching goal of my work is to improve pediatric neurosurgical care through translational research with a focus on tumor and cerebrovascular disease. In addition to this I have a general neurosurgical practice in which encompasses a broad spectrum of pediatric disease including congenital malformations of the brain and spine.

My research and training to date highlight my commitment to advancing the field of neurosurgery. I graduated from Yale with a B.A. in political science and a focus on neurovascular research. Interested in understanding the molecular biologic basis for cerebrovascular anomalies, I studied the proteins encoded by the 3 genes known to be mutated in familial cerebral cavernous malformations-Krit1, Malcalvernin, and PDCD10 in the Gunel Lab. As a medical student at Stanford University, I studied vascular injury and repair through stem cell homing and recruitment in the Rabinovitch Lab and was then awarded a one-year Howard Hughes Research Fellowship at the NIH to focus on mesenchymal stem cell biology in the Tuan Lab. As a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, my clinical interest in vascular injury and dysregulation extended beyond primary vascular pathologies to oncologic processes as well.

As a post-doctoral fellow in the Boston Children’s Vascular Biology Program at Harvard, I began formulating my research questions with a focus on bench to bedside translation. Under the mentorship of both Edward Smith, M.D. and Marsha Moses, PhD., I studied urinary biomarkers and discovered a urinary biomarker fingerprint unique to juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas. This non-invasive test serves as a potential adjunct tool for long-term clinical follow in low grade glioma. Under the same mentorship, I have studied the role of axonal guidance factors in congenital pediatric neurovascular disease and have demonstrated contributions to pathologic vascular endothelial dysfunction. This work has been presented on a national level at both the International Stroke Conference as well as the AANS/CNS Pediatric section meetings.

I completed my clinical pediatric neurosurgical training here at Boston Children’s Hospital as the Shillito fellow where I was mentored by an incredible group of surgeons and clinicians with whom I am thrilled to continue to work. As a faculty neurosurgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, I am passionate about my patients. I continue to honor my commitment to improve the treatment of neurosurgical disease, both in and outside of the operating room, through translational research.

Katie Pricola Fehnel | Media

Katie Pricola Fehnel | Publications

There is no greater privilege or responsibility than to care for someone else’s child. This knowledge motivates me to bring the highest level of care to each individual and to improve upon what we can do for our patients.