Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Course

The Department of Neurological Surgery and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Science present a Gamma Knife® training course, "Principles and Practice of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery," targeted at neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, nurses, fellows and residents interested in Gamma Knife radiosurgery education.

Through attendance at this Gamma Knife training program, registrants should obtain knowledge about the practical aspects of stereotactic radiosurgery using the Leksell Gamma Knife. Principles of radiation physics and radiobiology, as they apply to single-session, focused, small volume irradiation will be covered. Registrants should be able to create radiosurgery dose plans for brain tumors, vascular malformations and trigeminal neuralgia. At the close of the Gamma Knife training program, participants should be able to discuss those issues relevant to dose selection in individual patients and discuss the spectrum of complications after radiosurgery and their management.

The next available course is an online course scheduled for July 6-10. An additional online course has been added for August 10-14. (All course dates are listed below.) Please contact Kelly Powell for more information on course availability and enrollment. (See course application.)

Participation by all individuals is encouraged. Advance notification of any special needs will help us provide better service. Please notify us of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program by calling 412-647-7744.

This course is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences and the Department of Neurological Surgery’s Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery.

Course Faculty
Tuition and Registration
CME Credits
Future Course Dates


Acoustic Neuromas
AVM Radiosurgery
Basic Radiation Physics Related to Leksell Gamma Knife
Basic Radiobiology
Brain Metastases & Gliomas
Cavernous Malformations
Dose Planning
Frame Overview: Stereotactic Applications
Functioning/Maintenance of the Different Gamma Knife Units
Hands on Training: Gamma Knife
Historical View on Stereotaxy and Radiosurgery
Informed Consent
Introduction to APS
Patient Preparation
Pituitary Tumors and Craniopharnygiomas
Pituitary Tumors and Skull Base Radiosurgery
Quality Assurance fro Radiosurgery
Radiation Safety & Acceptance Testing
Requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Stereotactic Targeting and MR Stereotactic Imaging
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Vascular Malformation Case Review

Course Faculty

L. Dade Lunsford, MD
Lars Leksell Professor of Neurological Surgery
DirectorCenter for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh

Ajay Niranjan, MD, MBA
Professor of Neurological Surgery
UPMC MEG Brain Mapping Center
Associate Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh

John C. Flickinger, MD
Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Pittsburgh

Peter Gerszten, MD, MPH
Peter E. Sheptak Professor of Neurological Surgery
University of Pittsburgh

Michael Sheetz, MS, CHP
Director, Radiation Safety

Greg Bednarz, PhD

Jong Oh Kim, PhD

Jonet Vacsulka, BSN

Technical Support

Susan E. Lohman, RN, CNOR  (Elekta)

Jay Forsythe, CMD, RT (Elekta)

Andy Lunsford
Senior Field Service Engineer (Elekta)

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials distributed at the time of the conference.

Tuition and Registration

$6,500 for four-day course (new users or users converting older GK to Perfexion).

$4,500 for three-day ICON upgrade course (days 2-4 of the four-day course).

As course enrollment is limited to 15 people, early registration is recommended. Please complete the Registration Form and return to:

Kelly Powell, Course Coordinator
UPMC Presbyterain/Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
200 Lothrop Street/Suite F188
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582 
Phone: 412-647-7744

A current digital photograph of the course participant must be submitted when registering. Submit the photo to Kelly Powell at

Registration will not be accepted without tuition payment. Please make tuition check payable to, “UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside,” including the name of participant and last five digits of the participant's social security number. For more information on tuition, please contact Kelly Powell at 412-647-7744. 

Credit card payment is also accepted. Online payment can be made at

Please note: All cancellations must be received two weeks prior to start of course or tuition will be applied to a future training course.

A .pdf version of the program/registration form is available for download.

Accreditation and Credit Designation

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.    

Physician (CME)
The University of Pittsburgh School designates this live activity for a maximum of 42.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physicists (CME)
The University of Pittsburgh School designates this live activity for a maximum of 35 CAMPEP Credits. Physicists should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This meeting has applied to CAMPEP for approval of 2100 MPCEC hours.

* CAMPEP: Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program (

Other Healthcare Professionals
Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity

Disclaimer Statement

The information presented at this CME program represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters, and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for educational subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.

Future Course Dates

(Four days didactic and hands-on with optional fifth day for case observation)
July 6-10 (online)
August 10-14 (online)
September 21-25
November 9-13 

(Four days didactic and hands-on with optional fifth day for case observation)
January 11-14
March 15-18
May 10-13
July 12-15
September 20-23
November 8-11