New Chair of Neurosurgery Appointed at University of Rochester School of Medicine

July 09, 1998

Robert J. Maciunas, M.D. has been named chair of the department of Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

A former Professor of Neurological Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbuilt University, Maciunas has served as the director of the Vanderbuilt University's Stereotactic Neurosurgical Program since 1986, developing computer-assisted, image-guided equipment that helps surgeons find their way through an individual's brain before the actual operation. His research will enable surgeons to inject therapeutic drugs directly into tumors once thought inoperable. At the University of Rochester, his goal is to make the department the premier center for neurosurgical development, drawing on the university's technological resources to design new methods and machines for neurosurgery.

An editor of five books, Maciunas is also working on methods of delivering gene therapy and radiation with sub-millimeter precision, which will allow the possible eradicate of some illnesses without major surgery. By uniting technological advances with neurosurgery, he hopes to reduce the cost to patients by making neurosurgery more efficient.

"The work of Dr. Maciunas is an exciting addition to the Medical Center," says Jay H. Stein, M.D., senior vice president and vice provost for Health Affairs and Medical Center and Strong Health System CEO. "I'm pleased that we have been successful in bringing to the Rochester community a research scientist with a sharp focus on the needs of patients."

Maciunas earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois, and earned his internship and residency in neurosurgery and fellowships in cerebrovascular and stereotactic neurosurgery. He is a member of several organizations including the Society for Neuroscience, the American Association of Neurosurgery, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and the Children's Cancer Study Group.

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