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CNS Fellowship Recipients

2012-2013 CNS Fellows

Hai Sun, MD, PhD
Christopher C. Getch Fellowship


Dr. Hai Sun is a sixth year neurosurgical resident at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon. Born and raised in China, Dr. Sun received a BA in Philosophy and History from St. Johnís College, Annapolis, Maryland, where he was enrolled in the Great Books Program. Subsequently, Dr. Sun obtained a MD/PhD from Geisel School of Medicine and Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. His PhD is in bioengineering; the use of finite element models to compensate for brain shift during image-guided neurosurgery. As a neurosurgical resident, he has developed a mouse model for focal neocortical epilepsy and studied the associated cerebral blood flow phenomena using optic coherence tomography. Dr. Sun plans to pursue a career in epilepsy surgery and neuro-oncology.
Regina Bower, MD
CNS Functional Fellowship


Dr. Regina Bower is a fourth-year neurosurgery resident at the Mayo Clinic. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and received her Bachelorís degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Italian from the University of Arizona. After completing a year of research in Florence, Italy under a Fulbright Fellowship, she attended Stanford University where she earned her MD. With the CNS Functional Fellowship, and under the guidance of Dr. Richard Marsh, she plans to develop a new, less invasive approach to intracranial EEG monitoring. Outside of work, she enjoys downhill skiing and spending time with her husband and beautiful baby daughter.
Kristopher Kahle, MD, PhD
CNS Functional Fellowship


Dr. Kristopher Kahle is a resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. At Yale School of Medicine, he performed his Ph.D. training with Richard Lifton. In addition to being selected as the 2012 CNS/Functional Fellowship recipient, Dr. Kahle is also the 2012 CNS Resident Award winner for the best scientific paper submitted by a resident at this yearís meeting. Dr. Kahle is interested in using genome-scale genetic screens, including both siRNA and shRNA approaches, to identify and characterize critical regulators of ion transporters and channels relevant for neurological disease. Dr. Kahle has clinical interests in pediatric neurosurgery.
Basheal Agrawal, MD
CNS Spine Fellowship


Dr. Basheal Agrawal is a neurosurgical resident at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. He completed a Bachelors of Science in Medical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, graduating with Distinction. He obtained his medical degree at the same institution and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. In 2010, Dr. Agrawal received the Joint Section on Spine Clinical Trials Grant. Under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Resnick, Dr. Agrawal will utilize the CNS Spine Fellowship to establish a statewide, internet based registry to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of various treatments for degenerative lumbar spine pathology. With the changing face of this nationís health care system, Dr. Agrawal strongly believes that it is the responsibility of spine surgeons to guide policy-making decisions. After graduating, he will pursue a spine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Agrawalís most memorable moment in residency was his marriage to Christine.
Katharine Cronk, MD, PhD
CNS Spine Fellowship


Dr. Katharine Cronk received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University. She later earned a PhD from Albany Medical College, exploring the role of tyrosine kinase receptors in the development of the peripheral nervous system and went on to receive her medical degree from Columbia University. She is currently a sixth year neurosurgical resident at the Barrow Neurological Institute, where she is developing a controlled, degradable device for delivery of pain medication for postoperative spine surgeries with Dr. Nicholas Theodore. She is grateful to be the recipient of this CNS Spine Award.
Monique Boomsaad, MD
CNS Socioeconomic Fellowship


Dr. Monique Boomsaad is currently a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her undergraduate degree in womenís studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then attended medical school and spent a year as a Doris Duke Clinic Research Fellow at Columbia University. With the support of the CNS Socioeconomic Fellowship and the mentorship of Drs. Paul Park and Justin Dimick, she will examine the economic and medical impact of recent changes in spine care referral policies in Michigan.
Maryam Rahman, MD
CNS Tumor Fellowship


Dr. Maryam Rahman was born and raised in Florida. She obtained her BA in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a member of the varsity Womenís fencing team. At the University of Florida she obtained her MD, and will complete her neurosurgical residency in 2013. During her training she also completed a two-year neuro-oncology fellowship under the direction of Dr. Brent Reynolds studying tumor stem cells and their role in developing novel therapy for glioblastoma multiforme. She will complete her tumor fellowship under the direction of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa at Johns Hopkins studying adaptive therapy for glioblastoma.
Tal Shahar, MD
CNS Tumor Fellowship


Dr. Tal Shahar is currently a neurosurgical oncology fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Following the completion of his medical degree in 2001, he spent two years at the NINDS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD as research fellow where he studied neuronal survival and the role of bone marrow cells in CNS disorders. In 2010, he completed his neurosurgical training at Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel, chaired by Dr. Zvi Ram. During this time, he investigated the role of microRNA in glioblastoma and was highly involved with neurosurgical oncology clinical research. This earned him several international awards including, the Journal of Neuro-Oncology Award and First place in the Trainee Lecture Competition, European Association of Neurosu gical Societies. At MD Anderson Cancer Center, under the mentorship of Frederick F. Lang, he is studying a novel delivery method for treatment of glioma - utilizing mesenchymal stem cells as bio-factories for nanosized exosomes to deliver antiglioma gene therapy.
Jonathan G. Thomas, MD
CNS Tumor Fellowship


Dr. Jonathan G. Thomas is currently in his 4th year of residency in Neurosurgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Flint, Michigan and attended college at Harvard University where he graduated with highest honors in Chemistry and Physics. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Michigan. During his residency, he became interested in Neurosurgical Oncology, particularly the use of novel therapies for gliomas. Under the mentorship of Frederick F. Lang at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, he is studying the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of gliomas, investigating ways to enhance their tropism for gliomas to allow better delivery of therapeutics.
Christopher P. Gallati, MD
CNS Vascular Fellowship


Dr. Christopher P. Gallati is a fifth year neurosurgery resident at the University of Rochester. He graduated cum laude from Westminster College with a BS in chemistry and after being elected to AOA, received his MD from Mercer University. His current clinical interest is in cerebrovascular neurosurgery. As the CNS Vascular Fellow, Dr. Gallati will conduct a clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of stellate ganglion block in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. These studies will be carried out under the guidance of Dr. Babak S. Jahromi, director of the University of Rochesterís Surgical/Endovascular Stroke Program.