Expert Team

Department of Neurosurgery Expert Team

Led by Keith L. Black, MD, the Department of Neurosurgery boasts an impressive team of physicians, cancer researchers and allied health professionals. Dr. Black, who founded the department in 1997, was recently honored for his pioneering research in brain cancer and his blood-brain 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 maintaining busy teaching, clinical and surgical schedules.


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Expert Team

Keith L. Black, MD

Chairman and Professor Department of Neurosurgery
Director Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute

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Michael J. Alexander, MD, FACS

Professor and Vice-Chairman
Director Neurovascular Center

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Eli M. Baron, MD

Clinical Associate Professor Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon

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Vivien Bonert, MD

Clinical Coordinator Pituitary Center

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John D. Carmichael, MD

Attending Physician Division of Endocrinology

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Ray M. Chu, MD

Neurosurgeon Brain Tumor Center

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Odelia Cooper, MD

Attending Physician Division of Endocrinology

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Moise Danielpour, MD

Vera and Paul Guerin Family Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery
Director Pediatric Neurosurgery Program

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Marshall L. Grode, MD

Neurosurgery

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Jethro Hu, MD

Neuro-oncology

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Gabriel E. Hunt Jr., MD

Neurosurgery

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J. Patrick Johnson, MD

Director Neurosurgery Spine Fellowship

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Wesley A. King, MD

Neurosurgery

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Ning-Ai Liu, MD, PhD

Attending Physician, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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Adam N. Mamelak, MD, FACS, FAANS

Professor Neurosurgery
Co-Director Pituitary Center

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Marcel Maya, MD

Co-Chairman S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and Department
Interventional Neuroradiology

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Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, MACP, FRCP

Dean of the Medical Faculty
Senior Vice President Academic Affairs

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Franklin G. Moser, MD, MMM, FACR

Director Clinical Neuroradiology and Interventional Neuroradiology
Vice-Chairman Imaging for Radiology Research

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David Palestrant, MD

Neurocritical Care Intensivist

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Chirag G. Patil, MD

Director Center for Neurosurgical Outcomes Research
Neurosurgeon Brain Tumor Center

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Surasak Phuphanich, MD, FAAN

Director Neuro-Oncology Program

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Barry D. Pressman, MD

Professor and Chair Department of Imaging
Chief of Section Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology

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Jeremy Rudnick, MD

Neuro-oncology

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Wouter I. Schievink, MD

Director Microvascular Neurosurgery

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Anat Ben Shlomo, MD

Staff Physician Division of Endocrinology

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John S. Yu, MD

Vice Chair Department of Neurosurgery
Director Surgical Neuro-oncology

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Run Yu, MD, PhD

Co-Director Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program

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Wengui Yu, MD, PhD

Director Neuroscience Critical Care Unit

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Principal Investigators

Eggehard Holler, PhD

Professor

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Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD

Principal Investigator Neurosurgery Research Scientist, Neuroimmunology Laboratory

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Bong Seop Lee, PhD

Research Scientist

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Jang-Won Lee, PhD

Research Scientist

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Julia Y. Ljubimova, MD, PhD

Director Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine

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Ueli Rutishauser, PhD

Director Human Neurophysiology Research

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Christopher Wheeler, PhD

Principal Investigator Immunology Program

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Multidisciplinary Team

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:

  • Neurosurgeons • Neurologists
  • Neuro-Oncologists • Medical Oncologists
  • Radiation Oncologists • Neuroradiologists
  • Pediatric Neurosurgeons • Endovascular Specialists
  • Neuropathologists • Neuroscientists
  • Basic Immunologists • Basic Scientists
  • Psychologists and Social Workers • Pain Management Specialists

Tumor Board

A unique strength of the Department of Neurosurgery 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.

Advanced Patient Care Team

The advanced patient care team at the Department of Neurosurgery consists of a select group of certified nurse practitioners (NP-C) and physician assistants (PA-C). NPs and PAs have completed intensive didactic and clinical training at the graduate school level Advanced practitioners are involved in all aspects of clinical care, from outpatient to inpatient.

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 patients to answer discuss questions and discuss or concerns regarding diagnoses, symptoms, treatment plan, test results, and current research studies.

The primary role of the advanced practitioners is inpatient hospital care. The PAs may act as first assistants to the neurosurgeon in the operating room. They also 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 providing continuity in patient care.

Pictured from left to right (top row, then bottom row):

  • Shereen Zurnamer BS, PA-C
    University of Southern California, Physician Assistant Program
    Department of Neurosurgery, Pituitary Program, Dr. Adam Mamelak
    Department of Neurosurgery, Spine Program, Dr. Burak Ozgur.
  • Suzane Brian BS, PA-C
    Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Physician Assistant Program
    Department of Neurosurgery, Brain Tumor Program, Dr. Keith Black.
  • Rebecca Naor, BS, PA-C
    Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Physician Assistant Program
    Department of Neurology, Neuro-Oncology Program, Dr. Surasak Phuphanich, Dr. Jeremy Rudnick and Dr. Jethro Hu.
  • Penny Kornbluth MSN, ANPR-BC
    California State University of Los Angeles, Adult Nurse Practitioner Program
    Department of Neurosurgery, Vascular Program, Dr. Wouter Schievink
    Department of Neurosurgery, Neurovascular Center, Dr. Michael Alexander.
  • Anne Luptrawan MSN, FNP-C
    University California of Los Angeles, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
    Department of Neurosurgery, Brain Tumor Program, Dr. John Yu and Dr. Ray Chu.
  • Kimberly Alva, BSN,MSN, Acute Care NP-BC
    University California of Los Angeles, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
    Department of Neurology, Neuro-critical Care ICU, Dr. David Palestrant.

Not pictured:

  • Cherry Daniolco, CNS, MSN, RN, Acute Care NP-C
    University California of Los Angeles, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
    Department of Neurology, Neuro-critical Care ICU, Dr. David Palestrant.
  • Leah Lovely, MCMS, PA-C
    Johns Hopkins Hospital, Postgraduate Surgical Residency
    Barry University, Physician Assistant Program
    Department of Neurosurgery, Spine Program
    Dr. John Liu.

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.

Department's Psychologist

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.

Patient-Centered Care

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.

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.