Led by Keith L. Black, MD, the Brain Tumor Center boasts an impressive team of physicians, cancer researchers and allied health professionals. Dr. Black has been honored for his pioneering research in brain cancer and his blood-brain barrier discoveries that enable anti-cancer drugs to be delivered directly into the brain. Internationally renowned, Dr. Black and his team of scientists and physicians are unlocking the biologic secrets of tumors and the immune system, all while maintain busy teaching, clinical and surgical schedules.
Brain Tumor Center Team
Keith L. Black, MD
Chairman and Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Director, Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute
Serguei Bannykh, MD, PhD
C. Michele Burnison, MD
Associate Director, Radiation Oncology
Ray M. Chu, MD
Neurosurgeon, Brain Tumor Center
Noam Z. Drazin, MD
Xuemo Sean Fan, MD, PhD
Co-Director, Surgical Pathology Fellowship
Associate Professor of Pathology
Behrooz Hakimian, MD
Co-Director, Gamma Knife Center
Jethro Hu, MD
Adam N. Mamelak, MD, FACS, FAANS
Co-Director, Pituitary Center
Robert McKenna Jr, MD
Medical Director, Thoracic Surgery and Trauma
Co-Medical Director, Women's Guild Lung Institute
Amin J. Mirhadi, MD
Surasak Phuphanich, MD, FAAN
Director, Neuro-Oncology Program
Barry D. Pressman, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Imaging
Chief of Section, Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology
Richard V. Riggs, MD
Medical Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Jeremy Rudnick, MD
John S. Yu, MD
Vice Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Director, Surgical Neuro-oncology
Christopher Wheeler, PhD
Principal Investigator, Immunology Program
Moise Danielpour, MD
Vera and Paul Guerin Family Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery
Director, Pediatric Neurosurgery Program
Chirag G. Patil, MD
Director, Center for Neurosurgical Outcomes Research
Neurosurgeon, Brain Tumor Center
Marshall L. Grode, MD
Other Participating Physicians
- Jose Portilla-Arias, MD, Research
*Candidate participant (indicates physicians who have met candidate level participation and who are in the process of fulfilling the requirements to become a full participant in the center)
The complex nature of brain conditions requires a special team approach. The Department of Neurosurgery uses the knowledge and skill of renowned specialists to provide complete care for patients. Team members include:
A unique strength of the Brain Tumor Center is the Tumor Board, which meets weekly to review individual patient cases and to recommend the best treatments. The Board is a specialized team of neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neurologists, neuroradiologists, pediatric oncologists, neuro-oncologists and neuropathologists.
A Team of Dynamic Support
A highly trained clinical support staff works together with these specialists to ensure a steady flow of care for our patients. Nurses work side-by-side with our neurosurgeons, providing a communications link between specialists and patients throughout the course of treatment and follow-up care. Specially trained nurses oversee data management of clinical trials and patient care. Other nurse specialists provide direct patient care in the clinical settings. In addition, neuro-imaging technicians manage advanced imaging equipment within dedicated operating rooms.
Nurses are involved at all levels of planning, developing and implementing patient care under the overall direction of our team of physicians. Nurses at the department assess new patients during their first visit before a neurosurgeon or neuro-oncologist examines the patient. The nursing staff acts as liaison between patients and the rest of the Institute staff, physicians, and other healthcare providers, both within and outside Cedars-Sinai. Nurses keep the rest of the department staff informed about each patient so that the staff can provide the necessary support programs and materials. Nurses are, at the most fundamental level, a critical resource for patients and their families. The nursing staff is also an integral part of department's community outreach programs, and they aid in educating the public about neurological illnesses and diseases.
Advanced Practice Team
The advanced practice team of the Brain Tumor Center consists of a select group of certified nurse practitioners (NP-C) and physician assistants (PA-C). NPs and PAs have completed intense training at the graduate school level consisting of intense didactic and clinical rotations. Advanced practitioners are involved in all aspects of clinical care from outpatient to inpatient care. The neurosurgical NPs and PAs play an integral role at the Department of Neurosurgery outpatient clinic. They perform new patient, follow up and post surgery health history interviews and physical examinations, and collaborate with the neurosurgeons in interpreting diagnostic tests and developing a treatment plan. The advanced practitioners are available to discuss questions or concerns regarding diagnoses, symptoms, treatment plan, test results, and current research studies. The primary role of the advanced practitioners is inpatient hospital care. They may act as first assistants to the neurosurgeon in the operating room. They work in collaboration with the neurosurgeons, residents, registered nurses and ancillary hospital staff to ensure each neurosurgical patients' needs are meet. The advanced practitioners are involved in all aspects of medical management before and after neurological surgery ensuring continuity of patient care.
The department's psychologist is available to help patients and family members cope with the stress of diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and illnesses. The psychologist is able to facilitate emotional adjustment to illness through psychological counseling as well as provide neuropsychological screening exams for those patients experiencing difficulty with thinking and cognitive functioning. Patients or their families should call the Department of Neurosurgery office to schedule an individual consultation.
At the Department of Neurosurgery, our patients and their families are often concerned and frightened. We take the time to thoroughly explain everything. Patients are welcome to ask questions and share their concerns. They can expect that we will be sensitive and compassionate. Family involvement is welcome and encouraged.
Administrative Support Team: Service Excellence
The clinical staff is supported by a dedicated administrative support team. Every member of the Department of Neurosurgery prides themselves on their commitment to serving our patients and providing the highest level of care and attention to detail. The department's commitment to care starts with the clinic's physical environment, designed to put you at ease, reduce any anxiety you may feel and promote wellness. An aquarium with tropical fish provides a relaxing focal point in the waiting area, while the patient teaching rooms have a home-like feel. For those undergoing extended treatments, they can bring videos to watch on VCRs in some of the rooms. There is also a private viewing room for patients to go over their scans with their physician. The room has a view out over the city and is designed to give you all the time you need to discuss your case with one of our physicians in complete privacy.
In addition to the excellent clinical and nursing care that we offer, the staff has been trained in service excellence. From the initial telephone call to your arrival in the suite, wait in the lobby and escorted walk to an exam room to see the doctor, our staff seeks to provide the highest possible quality of care and attention to your needs. Patients are warmly greeted and their service needs tended to from their first telephone call to checking out. Our staff is well trained in patient service and quality care. Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the Year awards reinforce our rigorous training program to ensure that all of our staff live up to our high standards. At the Department of Neurosurgery we seek to make your experience visiting our clinic as easy, pleasant and stress-free as possible.
For an appointment, a second opinion or more information, please call
1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771) or e-mail us.