News

Caregiver SOS Podcast Features Alexander Papanastassiou, MD

March 10, 2022

Caregiver SOS, a podcast from the WellMed Charitable Foundation, recently interviewed Alexander Papanastassiou, MD, about his involvement in a landmark surgery utilizing deep brain stimulation as a prospective treatment for mild Alzheimer’s disease. You can listen to the podcast by visiting this link.  


Dr. Ghamasaee smiles for her profile photo.

Dr. Ghamasaee Wins Best Resident Non-Clinical Research Presentation at TANS

March 9, 2022

The Department of Neurosurgery is proud to announce that Pegah Ghamasaee, MD, won the award for the Best Resident Non-clinical Research Presentation at this year’s annual meeting of the Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons.



TPR Shares Article about Landmark DBS Surgery for Alzheimer’s Disease.

March 1, 2022

Texas Public Radio recently published an article describing Dr. Papanastassiou’s involvement in a landmark surgery utilizing deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a prospective treatment for mild Alzheimer’s disease. You can read the article and learn more about the surgery by visiting the link below: TPR Article    


Mr. Mirza smiling in profile photo.

Raghed Mirza Joins Department of Neurosurgery

February 28, 2022

The Department of Neurosurgery is excited to announce that Raghed Mirza, MBA, M.Sc., has officially joined our team as our new Associate Director of Finance & Administration. Mr. Mirza’s previous experience includes his work as the Director for Budget and Purchasing Services at Columbia Basin College, the Faculty Financial Officer for Mount Royal University, and […]



Article and Surgical Video Published in Operative Neurosurgery

February 25, 2022

Team members from the Department of Neurosurgery have published an article and surgical video in Operative Neurosurgery describing a far lateral craniotomy and clip ligation of a ruptured high cervical/foramen magnum dural arteriovenous fistula. The residents and faculty member who authored the article were: Samon Tavakoli, MD, Matthew Webb, MD, Thomas Patterson, MD, William Johnson, […]


Fassil B. Mesfin, MD, PhD, Signs with Department of Neurosurgery

February 24, 2022

The Department of Neurosurgery is excited to announce that Fassil B. Mesfin, MD, PhD, has officially signed with us to join our faculty. Dr. Mesfin received his medical degree and doctoral degree in drug design and discovery from Albany Medical College. He completed a fellowship in neurological oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson […]



Paola Martinez, MD, Signs with Department of Neurosurgery

February 23, 2022

The Department of Neuro­surgery is excited to an­nounce that Paola Martinez, MD, has officially signed with us to join our neuro­critical care faculty. Dr. Martinez received her medical degree with Distinction in Medical Education from the UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine. She completed her resi­dency at the UT Health Department of Neurology […]



Alexander Papanastassiou, M.D., Interviewed for KSAT’s Morning Show, GMSA @9

February 22, 2022

Alexander Papanastassiou, M.D., was recently interviewed on KSAT’s morning show, GMSA @ 9, where he discussed his team’s landmark surgery utilizing deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a prospective treatment for mild Alzheimer’s disease. You can watch the interview by visiting this link.  


Dr. Gragnaniello poses for his portrait.

Department Recognizes Addition of Cristian Gragnaniello, MD, PhD, to Our Team

February 18, 2022

Cristian Gragnaniello, MD, PhD, joined the Department of Neurosurgery last fall as an assistant professor. Dr. Gragnaniello received his medical education and advanced surgical training across Europe, Australia, and North America with a primary focus on surgery of the spine and skull base. He has a doctoral degree in experimental pathophys­iology and neuroscience and has […]



Alexander Papanastassiou, M.D., Co-Authors Study Examining Effects of VNS Therapy on Cerebral Blood Flow

February 17, 2022

Alexander Papanastassiou, M.D., recently co-authored a study comparing cerebral blood flow changes in baboons with epilepsy who were treated with different frequencies of vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy. VNS involves the use of a device (that is often surgically implanted) to stimulate the vagus nerve with electrical impulses. Because many individuals who suffer from epilepsy […]