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Brain and Spine Surgeons To Share Leading-Edge Advances

Cedars-Sinai Neurosurgery Experts Present the Latest Surgical Techniques and Research at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Meeting Sept. 9-13

Cedars-Sinai Neurosurgery experts who treat the most aggressive form of brain cancer and specialize in leading-edge spine surgery techniques will present research and discuss pioneering therapies at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2023 Annual Meeting Sept. 9-13 in Washington, D.C. All are available to discuss their work and other breaking news from the conference.


John Yu, MD, director of Surgical Neuro-Oncology and vice chair of Neurosurgical Oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery at John Yu, MDCedars-Sinai, is senior author of three studies that explore therapeutic options for glioblastoma, the most aggressive cancerous brain tumor. The studies include:

  • Late Breaking Abstract—Reprogramming the Glioblastoma Microenvironment: Immune cells called tumor-associated macrophages comprise up to 40% of glioblastoma tumors, and these cells limit the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments. Yu and fellow investigators developed a therapy that reduces the population of these macrophages and showed that it limited tumor growth in laboratory mice. The abstract will be presented at the conference by study co-author Michelot Michel, a research associate in the Yu Lab.
  • Intranasal Glioblastoma Immunotherapy: Yu’s team also studied intranasal delivery of a new therapy that limits tumor progression, immune evasion and therapeutic resistance. Intranasal delivery allowed the drug to bypass the blood brain barrier in laboratory mice, minimizing systemic toxicity. The abstract, winner of The Stryker Tumor Award, will be presented at the conference by first author Miguel Tusa Lavieri.
  • Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier: In another approach to crossing the blood brain barrier, Yu and his team studied the encapsulation of chemotherapy drugs in superparamagnetic iron oxide paired with a fluorescent dye. Investigators concluded that this encapsulation safely and efficiently delivered the drug directly to glioblastoma cells. The research will be presented at the conference by Sarah Mohyeddinipour, MD, postdoctoral research fellow.

Neurosurgeons in the White HouseLindsey Ross, MD

Lindsey Ross, MD, assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai, will speak at a unique plenary session with four other neurosurgeons who have served as White House Fellows, including medical reporter and writer Sanjay Gupta, MD. In 2016, Ross was tapped to serve as a White House Fellow for the Obama Administration, where she acted as a science and health policy counselor for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services working on public health strategy regarding the emerging opioid epidemic. She also worked at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation on physician-focused alternative payment models.

Ross will also share findings from a large metropolitan, single-center study of clinical disparities in ischemic stroke care by primary language. The retrospective analysis revealed that patients with limited English proficiency suffered worse disability than patients proficient in English after acute ischemic stroke. It concluded that the effect of communication barriers on outcomes of stroke care requires further evaluation.

Minimally Invasive Spine SurgeryCorey Walker, MD

Corey Walker, MD, assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai, will give an invited talk on minimally invasive lateral approaches to the spine. Walker, a specialist in robotic-assisted spine neurosurgery, will discuss next-generation techniques that allow surgeons to address degenerative disc disease, deformity, slipped vertebrae, tumors and other spinal conditions with muscle-preservation and minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. These approaches often significantly reduce patient pain, complications and recovery time.


Christina Elston can arrange in-person interviews at the conference, as well as interviews via most virtual formats before, during or after the meeting. Email: christina.elston@cshs.org. Phone: 626-298-0702.