Department of Neurosurgery

News & Announcements

Woman Uses Artificial Intelligence to Speak After Brain Surgery Damaged Voice

Specialists in Rhode Island used new artificial intelligence technology to create a digital clone of 21-year-old Alexis Bogan's voice after her major brain surgery damaged the part of her brain that controls eating and voice functions.

Department of Neurosurgery’s Pioneering Research Featured in Top Doctors 2024 Rhode Island Monthly

This month's Top Doctors 2024 edition of Rhode Island Monthly highlights the Neurosurgery Department's Dr. Jared Fridley and Dr. David Borton's Intelligent Spine Interface research.

Dr. Clark Chen Featured in Providence Business News

Providence Business News Announces Dr. Clark Chen, the Department of Neurosurgery's new Brain Tumor Program Director.

Dr. Konstantina Svokos’ Patient’s Novel Voice Restoration Featured on OpenAI and The New York Times

One of Dr. Svokos' patients with a vascular brain tumor that caused speech difficulty was corrected using a voice engine (OpenAI Voice Engine) and has been featured on the OpenAI website and covered by the NY Times.

Dr. Christine Kyuyoung Lee Featured in Providence Business News

Dr. Christine K. Lee, the Department's new Director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery Program and Co-Director of Skull Base Surgery sits down with Providence Business News to answers a few questions.

Forbes covers pioneering AI research led by Brown Neurosurgery

Forbes covers AI research developed in the Department of Neurosurgery and Implemented at Rhode Island Hospital.

Movement Disorders Treatment Gives Patient a New Lease on Life (Video)

Tom Cioffi thought he would have to live with essential tremor for the rest of his life. In a matter of a few hours and a focused ultrasound treatment, his tremors were under control.

Dr. Gokaslan’s Patient and Her Family Share Her Story

Dr. Gokaslan's patient's family share her story about the care she received from Dr. Gokalsan and the Neurosurgery team!

Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease Webinar

Dr. Wael Asaad and Dr. Umer Akbar will discuss treatment options for Essential Tremor and Parkinson's Disease in a patient-centered webinar on February 7th at 3pm EST hosted by Insightec - read more for the link!

Dr. Wael Asaad Discusses Focused Ultrasound on WPRI

WPRI - Dr. Wael Asaad discusses an innovative, non-invasive treatment for Movement Disorders on WPRI.

Beyond the Diagnosis: Putting a face to children with rare diseases

NBC 10 - A recent ceremony celebrated the opening of a gallery of portraits in Rhode Island Hospital from a local organization featuring youth with rare diseases, one of whom had been treated and diagnosed by the Department of Neurosurgery's very own, Dr. Petra Klinge.

Brown Neurosurgery Featured on NPR

NPR - Dr. Rohaid Ali, PGY-6, from Brown Neurosurgery recently appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) to discuss the department's pioneering efforts in making Artificial Intelligence (AI) more equitable and effective for patient care.

Dr. Belinda Shao, PGY-5, Wins the Bobby Jones Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation Award 2023!

DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSURGERY - The Neurosurgery Department's very own Dr. Belinda Shao, PGY-5, presented an abstract titled "Effect on Affect: Postsurgical Change in Cerebellar Neuropsychiatric Rating Scale Scores in Adults and Children with Chiari" at the 2023 Pediatric Section Annual Meeting, winning the 2023 Bobby Jones Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation Award.

Brown Neurosurgery Faculty Dr. Nikos Tapinos “Tinos Therapeutics” Presented at RI Startup Week

BROWN UNIVERSITY - As part of Rhode Island Startup Week, business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs convened in Providence to connect with Brown scientists launching breakthrough technologies across health, life sciences and biotechnology, including the Department's own Dr. Nikos Tapinos who presented Tinos Therapeutics: A new way to target cancer.

Before and after: See how ChatGPT helped local doctors make medical forms easier to understand

Dr. Rohaid Ali, neurosurgery resident at Brown University, conducted a study on how GPT-4 can effectively simplify medical consent forms for the average American.

Carney scientists present their groundbreaking spinal implant research to Congress for DARPA Demo Day

PROVIDENCE, R.I - David Borton and Jared Fridley’s Intelligent Spine Interface (ISI) implant, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), aims to restore movement to victims of spinal injury.

Brown Neurosurgery Department tests artificial intelligence models on written, oral neurosurgery board exam questions

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD — AI models pass with ‘flying colors’ on written exam, perform ‘superbly’ on oral exam.

Lifespan, Brown research aims to restore limb function to paralyzed veterans

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Lifespan’s Norman Prince Spine Institute and Brown University are working together to research the effectiveness of spinal implants on paralyzed veterans and other patients.

New Multidisciplinary Clinic Opens at Rhode Island Hospital

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — A normal pressure hydrocephalus multidisciplinary clinic has opened at Rhode Island Hospital to help detect an often misdiagnosed disorder.

Researchers announce breakthrough in brain cancer vaccine trial

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Lifespan researchers say they have made a major breakthrough in fighting brain cancer.

First Annual Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit feat. Matthew Anderson, MD

The Department of Neurosurgery's own Chief Resident Matthew Anderson, MD presented a video at Providence's first annual Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit, sponsored by Brown Medical School and Brown School of Public Health.

Lifespan among first-of-its-kind program to perform robotic spine, brain surgery

Cutting-edge technology is now available in Rhode Island, allowing doctors to perform minimally invasive spine surgery.

“New generation of surgical technology” comes to RI Hospital

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Hospital is using new robotic technology designed with improved accuracy and safety to help guide neurosurgeons through brain and spine surgeries.

Top Doctor Recruited to Offer Advanced Treatments for Glioblastoma

Dr. Eric Wong came to Lifespan from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he served as co-director of the Brain Tumor Center and the neuro-oncology unit. He now leads the neuro-oncology program at the Lifespan Cancer Institute.

Brown Neurosurgery Launches Brain and Spine Robotic Surgery Programs!

Brown Neurosurgery is pleased to announce the successful completion of both the first spine and the first brain robotic surgeries on patients at Lifespan’s Rhode Island Hospital.

The Tapinos Lab Develops Cutting–Edge Methods For Treating Brain Cancer

RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL - The Department of Neurosurgery's Dr. Nikos Tapinos was featured in Rhode Island Hospital's "Advancing Medicine Touching Lives" 2021 magazine chronicling his lab's groundbreaking glioblastoma research.

Finding a One-in-a-Million Doc

RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL - The Department of Neurosurgery's Dr. Ziya Gokaslan was featured in Rhode Island Hospital's "Advancing Medicine Touching Lives" 2021 magazine chronicling a lifesaving surgery he performed on a patient in 2021.

Rhode Island Top Doctors 2022

RI MONTHLY - The Department of Neurosurgery's Dr.'s Adetokunbo Oyelese, Curtis Doberstein, Deus Cielo, Petra Klinge, and Ziya Gokaslan were chosen among Rhode Island's Top Doctors for 2022!

Day of Giving with Ziya Gokaslan

Ziya Gokaslan, MD Chief Neurosurgery, talks about a particularly challenging case and the outstanding team at Rhode Island Hospital, the only level 1 trauma center in the state.

Hijastro de Lucero revela cómo fue el accidente que casi le cuesta la vida

Michel Kuri Jr. sufrió un accidente en paracaídas estrellándose con fuerza contra la tierra, lo cual le ocasionó múltiples lesiones.

Day of Giving: Skydiving

It was a near fatal skydiving accident for a young man from Mexico. His odds of survival were slim to begin with, his chance of walking even slimmer. But a recommendation for this man to come to Rhode Island Hospital gave him a new lease on life.

It’s Like Magic: Cutting-edge technology available in RI to treat essential tremors

(WPRI) — An estimated 10 million Americans are living with a condition most commonly misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease called essential tremor (ET), and doctors in Rhode Island are able to help treat it with neurosurgical technology.

Advances In The Treatment Of Movement Disorders Webinar

Brown Neurosurgery - On November 17, 2021 The Department of Neurosurgery hosted a webinar providing detailed information about treatment options for movement disorders and answering patient questions. The recorded webinar is embedded here for on-demand viewing.

RI Hospital Performs Incision-Less Brain Surgery

ABC 6 - Dr. Wael Asaad describes the groundbreaking procedure as a "cutting edge option without the cutting."

2021 Resident Hero Award

Our own Dr. Rohaid Ali received the 2021 Resident Hero Award for his excellent work on quality improvement projects for our department.

3 Lifespan hospitals recognized for stroke, diabetes care

Providence Business News- Three Lifespan Corp. hospitals have earned national recognition for stroke and type 2 diabetes care.

New Procedure Can Treat Disabling Tremors, Such as Those Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

Boston Globe - Dr. Wael Asaad, a neurosurgeon at Rhode Island Hospital, is using MRI-guided focused ultrasound technology for this incisionless procedure.

Dr. Wael Asaad Treats His First Essential Tremor Patient With Focused Ultrasound

Insightec - Dr. Wael Asaad and the Department of Neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University Treated Their First Essential Tremor Patient With Focused Ultrasound.

Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center Video Tour

Lifespan - A comprehensive tour of the Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center at Newport Hospital.

Georgia’s Uncommon Story: The best doctor in the world

Chordoma Foundation Team - "I was first diagnosed with sacral chordoma in 2008 accidentally during an MRI. The tumor was a big ball, and I remember the radiologist saying that he couldn’t tell what it was..."

The Pain Was Unbearable; Would Spinal Surgery Fix It?

Providence Journal - Matt Patinkin of the Providence Journal writes about his spine surgery performed by our own Dr. Prakash Sampath.

Lifespan neurosurgeons perform incisionless brain procedure with new technology

Providence Business News - Neurosurgeons at the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital performed an incisionless thalamotomy July 30 on a patient suffering from severe tremors.

Advancing Care in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma: A Patient Dialogue on Adjuvant Therapy and Quality of Life

Answers in CME presents a 0.5 CME credit activity with our own Steven Toms, MD, MPH on advancing treatment in newly diagnosed Glioblastoma in the form of a patient dialogue.

Jim Conway, MS, RN Nominated for Lifespan’s CARE Person of the Year Award

LIFESPAN - Jim Conway, RN, MS, NE-BC, the Department of Neurosurgery's Spine Surgery Program Manager, was Nominated for Lifespan's 2020 CARE Person of the Year Award. Read His Story Here.

Global Neurosurgery Virtual Panel

BROWN UNIVERSITY - Watch the Department of Neurosurgery's Global Neurosurgery Virtual Panel featuring Michael Haglund MD, PhD, Rahul Jandial MD, PhD, Heather Spader MD, Kerry Vaughan MD, and Benjamin Warf, MD.

Rhode Island Top Doctors 2021

RI MONTHLY - The Department of Neurosurgery's very own Dr.'s Adetokunbo Oyelese, Curtis Doberstein, Deus Cielo, Petra Klinge, and Ziya Gokaslan were chosen among Rhode Island's Top Doctors for 2021!

HEALTH MATTERS: Many treatment options exist for spinal stenosis

Maria Guglielmo, MD featured in The Newport Daily News Health-Fitness Section where she discusses treatment options for Spinal Stenosis.

Nikos Tapinos, MD, PhD Receives 2020-2021 Dean’s Award.

The Department of Neurosurgery's Nikos Tapinos, MD, PhD is this year’s winner of the Bruce M. Selya Research Excellence Award, presented for outstanding biomedical research at Lifespan partner hospitals.

Day of Giving: Alaska woman finds specialized treatment at Rhode Island Hospital

WJAR 10 - It all started for Jaysaiah Reddick Pierre Louis, of Woonsocket, just days into the statewide pandemic shutdown...

Scientific Sense Podcast Featuring Doctor Wael Asaad, MD, PhD

Scientific Sense - a converstation with Dr. Wael Asaad, MD, PhD regarding his most recent research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and Intractable Psychiatric Disorders.

Rhode Island has one of the highest percentages of ABNS certified women in neurosurgery in the country

Article reveals the State of Rhode Island has one of the highest percentages of ABNS certified women in neurosurgery in the country. The articles also evaluates two neurosurgical journals to see if double-blind peer review impacts gender authorship trends.

Department of Neurosurgery Diversity Lecture Series

Diversity in Neurosurgery Visiting Professor Lecture Series highlighting underrepresented neurosurgical faculty around the country.

Black History Month Programming at Brown University 2021

Join the School of Public Health in celebrating Black History Month 2021!

Surgery Offers Hope to Las Vegas Teen With Elhers-Danlos

A huge break-through came in September 2019. Kendall's mom found Dr. Petra Klinge, a Rhode Island neurosurgeon specializing in Ehlers-Danlos...

Nikos Tapinos, MD, PhD Wins Bruce M. Selya Research Excellence Award

The Department of Neurosurgery's Nikos Tapinos, MD, PhD is this year’s winner of the Bruce M. Selya Research Excellence Award, presented for outstanding biomedical research at Lifespan partner hospitals.

Brown Neurosurgery Research Graduate Student Awarded Honjo Scholarship

5-year-old thriving following 24 hour-long brain surgery

WJAR 10 - It all started for Jaysaiah Reddick Pierre Louis, of Woonsocket, just days into the statewide pandemic shutdown...

Can Brain Surgery Help Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease?

WJAR 10 - A new clinical trial is now enrolling for a type of brain surgery, known as deep brain stimulation.

Rhode Island Top Doctors 2020

RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY - Dr.'s Adetokunbo Oyelese, Curtis Doberstein, Deus Cielo, Petra Klinge, and Ziya Gokalsan were chosen among Rhode Island's Top Doctors for 2020!

For Students, By Students: The National Student Neurosurgery and Neurology Research Conference

AANS NEUROSURGEON - With the support and mentorship of Ziya L. Gokaslan, MD, FAANS, chair of neurosurgery, students sought to create a conference designed specifically for medical students, by medical students.

Girl with Spina Bifida Who Wasn’t Expected to Walk Loves Running and Kicking Goals

GOOD MORNING AMERICA-Five-year-old London Fazekas was never expected to walk. But now, she’s running, swimming and even scoring soccer goals in her backyard....

Expert Conversations: Responsive Neurostimulation for Epilepsy

NEUROLOGY CONSULTANT - Expert Conversations: Responsive Neurostimulation for Epilepsy. A podcast between Department of Neurosurgery's Wael Assad, MD, PhD and Department of Neurology's Andrew Blum, MD, PhD.

Dr. Albert E. Telfeian Ranked in Top 5 Most Productive Authors in Full-Endoscopic Spine Surgery Field

In an article titled "Worldwide research productivity in the field of full‑endoscopic spine surgery: a bibliometric study" by Guang-Xun Lin et al., Dr. Albert E. Telfeian was ranked in the Top 5 most productive authors in the full-endoscopic spinal surgery field worldwide, and Number 1 in the United States.

R.I. Hospital researchers granted $3.9M to study aggressive brain cancer

PNB - Researches at Rhode Island Hospital have been awarded $3.9 million by the Warren Alpert Foundation to study and fight glioblastoma, an aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of brain cancer...

October Neurosurgery Research News Updates

Neurosurgery research updates for the month of October!

New Generation of Intelligent Bio-Interfaces Could Overcome Aspects of Spinal Cord Injury

DARPA - Envisioned technologies would integrate injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration to support new standard of care for spinal cord injury...

Health Check: Researchers work on innovative device to help with spinal cord injuries

NBC 10-Rhode Island researchers are taking the lead in developing an innovative device that may, down the road, help patients with spinal cord injuries...

6 Questions with John Deluca: Stroke awareness

ABC6-Obviously, no one ever wants to have a stroke, but if you or someone you care about is going to have one Rhode Island is a good place for it to happen...

Health Check: Newport Hospital offers procedure to help with back pain

NBC 10 - Newport Hospital is now offering a minimally invasive procedure for patients with compression fractures of the spine...

Researchers to develop ‘intelligent spinal interface’ with $6.3 million in DARPA funding

Brown Neurosurgery- Brown University researchers, surgeons from Rhode Island Hospital and private partners will develop and test a device aimed at bridging the gap in neural circuitry created by spinal cord injury, in the hope of restoring muscle control and sensation...

A Spina Bifida Success Story

ABC 6- A Spina Bifida Success Story (Video)

Taking the Bias Out of Pain Diagnosis

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN-Objective measures of pain could help alleviate inequitable medical treatment...

An Unlikely URI Grad: 7 years ago, she beat huge odds just to survive

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-Julia DeGiovanni was minutes from death when she was rushed into Rhode Island Hospital...

Our Turn: Athena Poppas, Ziya Gokaslan and David Wazer: Merger threatens life-saving care in R.I.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL- In Providence, The Miriam and Rhode Island hospitals have worked for decades to provide the highest quality medical care for all of our community...

Fetal Surgery for Spinal Defect at Providence Hospital a First in New England | Video

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-Dr. Francois I. Luks, pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and a team of other physicians and professionals have led the way in the region with in-utero surgery...

Health Check: Improving Stroke Care at Rhode Island Hospital

WJAR — New EMS stroke protocols will soon be in place at Rhode Island Hospital...

A New Prognosis for Pain Care

WALL STREET JOURNAL- Innovative ways to measure, understand and treat pain are allowing doctors to ease patients’ suffering—without relying on dangerous drugs...

Regulation of human glioma cell migration, tumor growth, and stemness gene expression using a Lck targeted inhibitor.

University Researchers Develop New Method for Pain Analysis 

BDH-EEG pain measurement strategy could be applied to humans, improve medications, treatment

EEG Test Measures Pain Better Than ‘Smiley Face’ Scale

FUTURITY-A new electroencephalography-based test could offer a better way for patients to rate their pain and could also ease the over-prescription of opioids, a new study shows.

Discovery of Biomarkers to Develop Transformational Non-Opioid Therapeutics for Pain (Video)

NIH-Tune-in to Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of The Pain & Neural Circuits Laboratory, Carl Saab, at 06:33:35-06:46:38. 

Lifepan’s 2018 Annual Meeting Video 

LIFESPAN-Watch the video to see all the good we do! Featuring patient stories and video clips from the Department of Neurosurgery as well as the greater Lifespan Health System.

EEG Test Provides More Effective Way to Measure Pain

BYU RADIO- Guest: Carl Saab, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Brown University, Director of the Pain & Neural Circuits Center research lab, Rhode Island Hospital...

NIH Continues Brown Support with $12M Grant to Explore the Fundamentals of Brain Function

BROWN UNIVERSITY-With a new five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Central Nervous System Function will launch five research projects and develop new analysis tools to advance brain science at Brown... 

New Test Objectively Measures Pain

NATIONAL PAIN REPORT-“Sadly, this scale of smiley faces, called the visual analogue scale, is the gold-standard pain-assessment tool,” said Carl Saab, an associate professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital...

For Treating Severe Strokes, All Hospitals Aren’t Equal

WALL STREET JOURNAL-People who suffer severe strokes here can avoid the worst if stricken within a 30-minute ambulance ride to Rhode Island Hospital, the region’s only comprehensive stroke-treatment facility...

Gokaslan P’18 Reflects on Path to Chief of Neurosurgery

BROWN DAILY HERALD-Today, Gokaslan is the chair of neurosurgery at the Alpert Medical School and chief of neurosurgery at the Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital. He leads a team of extremely specialized physicians, surgeons and researchers who work every day to push boundaries in patient care and scientific discovery...

Keeping Lucky on the Move

LIFESPAN-13-year-old girl finds answers to debilitating pain and weakness, and returns to her active lifestyle..

Attleboro Family Participates in First Fetal Spina Bifida Operation in New England

THE SUN CHRONICLE- Emily Hess had been pregnant three times before, and each pregnancy was healthy and happy, culminating in problem-free, unmedicated, natural births. So when the Attleboro woman learned 19 weeks into her fourth pregnancy that her newest son had developed a spina bifida lesion, it was jarring to say the least...

Brown Researchers Develop New Test to Objectively Measure Pain, Test Medications

BROWN UNIVERSITY-If you’ve ever visited the emergency department with appendicitis, or you’re one of the 100 million U.S. adults who suffer from chronic pain, you’re familiar with a row of numbered faces, with expressions from smiling to grimacing, used to indicate pain levels...

Your Health: Warwick Baby Undergoes Life Changing Surgery

ABC 6-When Grayson Tibbetts was born his mother noticed his head wasn't shaped like other babies. At just three months old, the Warwick infant would undergo a life changing surgery to fix the skull malformation...

Managing Life with Neurological Symptoms and EDS (Video)

A Patient Oriented Webinar: Dr. Petra Klinge presents "Managing Life with Neurological Symptoms and EDS" for EDS awareness "Educational Series", 2018.

Turkish Connection Brings Man to R.I. for Life-Saving Surgery

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-He thanks the Rhode Island Hospital doctor, Ziya L. Gokaslan, who during a marathon operation on that day removed the mammoth, life-threatening tumor growing inside him...

Managing Life with Neurological Symptoms (Video)

A Patient Oriented Webinar: Dr. Petra Klinge discusses “Managing Life with Neurological Symptoms” at the 2018 EDS Global Learning Conference in Baltimore.

Stroke Awareness Month — Enacting Better Protocols Can Save Lives

THE HILL-Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. The moments after the stroke are a critical decision-making time for the family, friends, or first responders who encounter the patient. Many people’s first instinct would be to take their loved one to the closest hospital so they could be treated immediately...

Health Check: Tethered Cord

NBC 10-Tethered cord is a debilitating disorder that is poorly understood and hard to diagnose."I was missing a lot of school,” said 13-year-old Lucky Eschauzier of Braintree, Massachusetts. After a long journey, Lucky finally had surgery at Hasbro Children's Hospital...

Health Check: Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids

NBC 10-At the Comprehensive Spine Center at Rhode Island Hospital, treating chronic pain without opioids has become a concerted team effort...

Health Check: New EMS Stroke Protocols

NBC 10-New Emergency Medical Service stroke protocols in Rhode Island are saving lives...

Keeping Faith In Stride

LIFESPAN-As she prepared for a meeting, Helm suddenly felt dizzy and disoriented, and soon felt a brief paralysis. Something was very wrong. She got through her meeting, but noticed immediately that her face was drooping...