Pitt Neurosurgeons Receive AANS Awards

Pittsburgh, May 4, 2016 -- Ian Pollack, MD, Gurpreet Gandhoke, MD, Christopher Deibert, MD, and Nathan Zwagerman, MD, received awards for abstracts submitted for the 84th American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, Ill., April 30 – May 4.

Dr. Pollack received the Columbia Charity Softball Award for the abstract "Immune Responses and Clinical Outcome after Glioma-Associated Antigen Vaccination in Children with Recurrent Low-Grade Gliomas." The award is given for the best pediatric tumor abstract.

Dr. Gandhoke received the Sanford J. Larson Award for the abstract "Incidence of Position Related Neuropraxia in 4489 Consecutive Patients Undergoing Spine Surgery. Role of SSEP Monitoring?" The award is presented for the best spine research paper.

Dr. Deibert received the Ronald L. Bittner Award on Brain Tumor Research for the abstract "IDH Mutant Gliomas Escape Natural Killer Cell Immune Surveillance Through Downregulation of NKG2D Ligands." The award is given for the best abstract paper submitted on brain tumor research by a resident or junior faculty member.

Dr. Zwagerman received the Synthes Skull Base Award for the abstract "A Prospective, Randomized Control Trial for Lumbar Drain Placement after Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery." The award is given for the best abstract related to skull base surgery.

In addition to these four abstract awards, an abstract submitted by Berkcan Akpinar, a University of Pittsburgh medical student in the physician scientist training program, was chosen for the Second Place Stereotactic & Functional Electronic Poster Award. The abstract—entitled "Earlier Radiosurgery Improves Hearing Preservation in Vestibular Schwannoma Patients with Normal Hearing at Diagnosis"—was coauthored by L. Dade Lunsford, MDAjay Niranjan, MD, Hossein Mousavi, MD, and John Flickinger, PhD.

Also, Dr. Nranjan received the Third Place Tumor Electronic Poster Award for his abstract entitled "Radiosurgery for the Management of Recurrent or Residual Craniopharyngiomas: A Multi-Institutional Study."

More than 1,500 abstracts were submitted for presentation at this year's AANS annual meeting. The 2016 abstract award winners were carefully selected by each section for distinguished contributions to their field of study.