My experience as both a parent and a provider has deepened my understanding of treating children with disabilities and has particularly enriched my practice in the care of children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida and their families.

EDUCATION

Undergraduate Degree

  • Georgetown College , 1980 , Georgetown , KY

Medical School

  • Harvard Medical School , 1984 , Boston , MA

Internship

  • Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland , 1985 , Cleveland , OH

Residency

  • Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland , 1991 , Cleveland , OH

Fellowship

Neurosurgery
  • Boston Children's Hospital , 1992 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

I am motivated personally by my children, one of whom was born with special needs. My experience as both a parent and a provider has deepened my understanding of treating children with disabilities and has particularly enriched my practice in the care of children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida and their families.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

I am a pediatric neurosurgeon specializing in hydrocephalus, spina bifida and neuroendoscopy with a passion for training the next generation of surgeons and improving access to quality care both here and abroad.

I am the director of Neonatal and Congenital Neurosurgery and hold the chair in hydrocephalus and spina bifida at Boston Children's Hospital.  I founded the Global Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Program here and, in 2016, started the hospital's first global pediatric neurosurgery fellowship.

The Harvard community has played a major role in my development. I graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1984, was the first fellow in pediatric neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital under emeritus chief, Dr. R. Michael Scott, and was a Harvard-Macy Scholar in Medical Education.

I felt strongly about using my expertise in parts of the world where medical resources are scarce. From 2000 to 2006, I served as chief of surgery and founding medical director at CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, the only pediatric neurosurgery hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. I remain the hospital's director of research and am a member of the CURE International Board of Trustees, for which I also act as senior medical advisor. I serve as the medical director of the CURE Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Program that trains and equips surgeons in developing countries to treat these conditions throughout the world.

While treating children with hydrocephalus in Uganda, I developed a novel treatment for hydrocephalus in infants by combining endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC), which avoided the risk and expense of shunt dependence for the majority. To date, through CURE Hydrocephalus, surgeons in more than 20 countries have been trained and equipped in this technique, and more than 17,000 children have been treated for hydrocephalus, many of which would not have been treated otherwise.

Since joining Boston Children's Hospital in 2009, I have shown the efficacy of ETV/CPC for infant hydrocephalus in the United States, and have trained North American pediatric neurosurgeons across the country in the technique.

In 2007 I was presented with the Humanitarian Award of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and in 2012 I was honored to received a MacArthur “Genius” grant for improving access to care and standards of that care both at home and in the developing world.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery