News

Dr. Ali Seifi smiling for his staff photo.

Ali Seifi, MD, FACP, FNCS, Invents Device to Stop Hiccups

September 11, 2020

Department of Neurosurgery faculty member Ali Seifi, MD, FACP, FNCS, has invented a device to stop hiccups. Dr. Seifi’s device forces users to exert effort to suction water. Negative pressure in the chest pulls down the diaphragm, which activates the phrenic nerve. When water comes into the mouth and swallowing occurs, the vagus nerve is […]



Dr. Lee Birnbaum smiling for his staff photo.

Lee Birnbaum, M.D., Promoted to Professor

September 2, 2020

The Department of Neurosurgery is proud to announce the promotion of Lee Birnbaum, M.D., to the position of professor. Dr. Birnbaum is a board-certified neurologist in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at UT Health. His dual training in neurology and endovascular neurosurgery provides him with a unique perspective when treating vascular disorders of the […]



Dr. Justin Robert Mascitelli smiling for his staff photo.

Dr. Mascitelli Co-authors Paper Examining Mechanical Thrombectomy during COVID-19 Pandemic

September 1, 2020

Justin Mascitelli, M.D., recently co-authored an article in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery titled “International experience of mechanical thrombectomy during the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from STAR and ENRG.” Dr. Mascitelli and his co-authors observed a low rate of COVID-19 among stroke patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in low-COVID burden counties. They also reported that more […]



Maria Paz smiles while posing for a photo.

Neurosurgery Shining Stars Award Winner – Maria Paz

August 13, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our very first Neurosurgery Shining Stars Award is Maria Paz. The Shining Stars Award was established to recognize the efforts of staff members who demonstrate exceptional dedication to our department. Maria has been a valued member of our team since 2016. She started with us as […]



Ashleigh Johns poses for a photo in a white labcoat

Welcome, Ashleigh Johns!

July 27, 2020

The Department of Neurosurgery is pleased to announce that Ashleigh Johns, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC, has joined our neurocritical care team as a nurse practitioner. Ms. Johns attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Texas […]



Faculty members Publish Article Presenting Postmarket Analysis of New Microstent

July 24, 2020

Department of Neurosurgery faculty members Lee Birnbaum, M.D., and Justin Mascitelli, M.D., recently coauthored an article for the American Journal of Radiology titled “Multicenter Postmarket Analysis of the Neuroform Atlas Stent for Stent-Assisted Coil Embolization of Intracranial Aneurysms.” Their article presents a multicenter analysis of the Neuroform Atlas, a new microstent designed to assist in […]


Drs. Mascitelli and Morton Win 2020 Faculty Teaching Awards

July 22, 2020

The Department of Neurosurgery is pleased to announce that Justin Mascitelli, M.D., and Ryan Morton, M.D., have won the 2020 Teaching Awards for core faculty and adjunct faculty, respectively. These accolades are awarded by the residents of our department in recognition of an outstanding level of distinction in teaching as well as a true commitment […]


Faculty Members Publish Study Examining Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

July 20, 2020

Department of Neurosurgery faculty members Justin Mascitelli, M.D., and Ali Seifi, M.D., FACP, FNCS, recently coauthored an article for the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons titled “Protective Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Outcomes After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Nationwide Analysis.” Their study concluded that subarachnoid hemorrhage patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) […]


Department of Neurosurgery Team Members Publish Case Report Describing Surgical Management of Dural Arteriovenous Fistula

July 16, 2020

Jean-Louis Caron, M.D., FRCS(c), FACS, Justin Mascitelli, M.D., Tyler Patterson, M.D., Matthew Webb, M.D., and David Wallace, M.D., recently published a case report in World Neurosurgery entitled: “Suboccipital, Supracerebellar, Infratentorial Approach for Microsurgical Clipping of a Ruptured Tentorial, Straight Sinus Type Dural Arteriovenous Fistula.” Because the surgical management of dural arteriovenous fistulas has become relatively […]


Dr. Lee Birnbaum smiling for his staff photo.

Dr. Birnbaum Publishes New Paper Examining Prehospital EMS Scales

July 8, 2020

Lee Birnbaum, M.D., recently published an article in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery entitled: “Paramedic utilization of Vision, Aphasia, Neglect (VAN) stroke severity scale in the prehospital setting predicts emergent large vessel occlusion stroke.” The study’s findings reinforce published evidence demonstrating that prehospital EMS scales, such as VAN, can be successfully incorporated into complex stroke care […]