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The Department of Neurosurgery is at the frontier of neurosurgical science and practice, and is committed to providing the best possible care to optimize our patients’ quality of life. Inherent to this commitment is training and mentoring future physicians, including residents, fellows and medical students. While the challenges to reaching these goals are formidable, our world-class fellowship-trained faculty and staff have the dedication, experience and commitment to provide excellent care to our patients.

Our mission is to embrace these challenges and support medical learners through research, education, and clinical programs within the field of Neurosurgery. Our faculty are responsible for navigating students through the critical thinking, innovation, and evolution of neurosurgical practice required to give our patients the best care possible and our students the best possible training. We are proud to have nationally and internationally recognized faculty committed to educating the next generation of students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Value Domains

The Department of Neurosurgery supports the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine value domains in the following ways:

Basic Science

Our Neurosurgery Faculty provide neuroscience and neurosurgical lectures and clinical exam workshops for all VTCSOM MS1 and MS2 students. The MS3 and MS4 students may participate in clinical block rotations in neurosurgery which includes cases in vascular, spine,  pediatrics, neuro-oncology, functional/ restorative and trauma  neurosurgery. 


VTC Neurosurgery faculty are deeply involved in research within Virginia Tech, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Carilion Clinic. All of our attendings are involved in basic science, translational, clinical research and/or clinical trials. We have partnerships within multiple colleges within Virginia Tech, including the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, the School of Neuroscience, the School of  Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, as well as Carilion Clinic Innovation, and multiple industry sponsors. Our faculty, residents and students work together to design, implement, and utilize research which has the potential to better our patients lives. Multiple physicians have developed patented innovations to use in the treatment of neurosurgical disease. Additionally, through resources including a global neurosurgical initiative in Kathmandu, Nepal and the VTC Repository for CNS Tissues, we have expanded research opportunities for faculty, residents, students, and colleagues.  Medical students are encouraged to identify areas of interest and design meaningful translational projects with the assistance of our Neurosurgery Research Team. Current information on our expansive research program can be found on the Neurosurgery Research | Carilion Clinic.


Interprofessionalism is essential to the Department of Neurosurgery, as we recognize that team work across many disciplines and departments is the foundation of optimal care delivery within the field of Neurosurgery. Through participation in our trauma cases, oncologic, spine and functional surgical cases, students are exposed to how the clinical care process is dependent on the entire spectrum of clinical capabilities and the "team approach" to patient care. In addition, through patient encounters, students are exposed to health systems topics such as population health, quality and safety, health care finance, value-based care, and health disparities.

Our faculty and residents also partner with undergraduate students to offer clinical rotations and mentorship, as well as direct an undergraduate course along with the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience. Clinical Neuroscience in Practice, offered in the Fall and Spring semesters each year, is designed for students interested in healthcare careers and gives students unprecented access into the VTC Department of Neurosurgery. This course offers medical students an unparalleled opportunity to provide mentorship to undergraduate students interested in the medical field.

Student Research

We encourage medical students to contact the Director of Neurosurgery Research for opportunities in research.  The following are current projects within the Department of Neurosurgery involving VTC medical students:

  • Pericytes in germinal matrix hemorrhage
  • Neurovascular Markers and Inflammatory Predictors in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Multi-Modal Biomarkers as Predictors of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE)
  • Retrospective study of biodegradable antibiotic-laden calcium sulphate carriers applied in spine surgery
  • Predictive markers for recovery in CSF of spinal cord injury patients
  • Risk factors for failure of nonoperative management of unilateral cervical facet fractures
  • Recovery from spinal cord injury with cervical stenosis
  • PET-based Imaging of High-Grade Gliomas using gallium-labeled Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)
  • Characterizing Neural Activity in Epileptic Patients using optically-pumped magnetoencephalography (OPM)
  • Investigation of Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LIFU) for the control of chronic low back pain
  • Efficacy of percutaneous biopsies for vertebral osteomyelitis and discitis
  • Interrogating human serum expression of EphA4 and collateral vessel function following acute ischemic stroke
  • Neural dynamics of epilepsy patients
  • Retrospective analysis of outcomes of patients with Chiari I malformation (International Project)
  • Flow sensor for ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts