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Our Team

The program for translational brain mapping brings together clinicians and scientists at the University of Rochester committed to the vision of advancing patient care through personalized brain mapping. 


Webster Pilcher, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director, Program for Translational Brain Mapping
Ernest & Thelma Del Monte Distinguished Professor of Neuromedicine
Chairman of Neurosurgery

Dr. Webster Pilcher is the Ernest and Thelma Del Monte Distinguished Professor of Neuromedicine and Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Rochester Medical School where he received his MD/PhD. Following neurosurgery training at the University of Rochester, he was awarded the Charles A. Ellsberg fellowship to study epilepsy and brain tumor surgery with George Ojemann, MD, at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1990, Dr. Pilcher joined the faculty at the University of Rochester and with colleagues in the Department of Neurology, developed a large epilepsy monitoring and surgery program. Appointed to the Chair position in 2002, Dr. Pilcher embarked upon growing a small clinical service consisting of 5 neurosurgeons into a nationally recognized academic and clinical enterprise. A community-wide Neurosurgery initiative (Rochester Neurosurgery Partners) now provides care in all health systems in Rochester and 10 regional clinics. In 2007, Dr. Pilcher was appointed head of the URMC Neuromedicine Integrated Disease Program and more recently was instrumental in the creation of the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute. This Institute will be charged with developing translational research programs focused on stroke, neuro-oncology, brain and spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative disorders and other neurological disorders. Dr. Pilcher’s clinical focus includes epilepsy surgery, brain tumors and general neurosurgery.

Mahon_Bradford Z. Mahon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Center for Visual Sciences, University of Rochester
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Brad Mahon is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies how the brain recovers from injury, and how state-of-the-art brain mapping technologies can be optimized and interfaced with neurosurgical interventions. His research uses functional and structural MRI and behavioral analysis to study disruption and recovery of neural systems in patients with various types of brain disease, including tumor, epilepsy, stroke and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Mahon received his PhD from Harvard University in 2009. His research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the the National Institute for Health.
Curriculum Vitae for Dr. Mahon

K Walter

Kevin Walter, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
Chief of Neurosurgery at UR Medicine's Highland Hospital

Dr. Walter has special expertise in image guided neurosurgery, radiosurgery, and complex spinal surgery for tumors. He runs an active clinical research program that is involved in evaluating experimental therapeutics for patients with brain and spinal cancer. He is particularly interested in developing therapies that not only extend survival, but that also improve the quality of life for people afflicted with these diseases. Dr. Walter is a graduate of Williams College (BA, 1990) and Johns Hopkins University (MD, 1995). He completed his neurosurgical residency training at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, where he also completed a National Cancer Institute sponsored fellowship in neuro-oncology. Following completion of residency training he served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was named director of adult neuro-oncology, and was recruited to the University of Rochester in 2007.


George E. Vates, MD, PhD
Department of Neurosurgery, Medicine

Dr. Vates specializes in transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, skull base surgery, and management of subarachnoid aneurysms. Dr. Vates graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, and obtained his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. During medical training, he obtained a PhD in neuroscience from the Rockefeller University. After medical school, Dr. Vates’s resident training he specialized techniques of transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. Dr. Vates then completed a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 2004. As the neurosurgeon co-director of the University of Rochester Multidisciplinary Neuroendocrinology Clinic, Dr. Vates has established the clinic as a regional referral center for patients with pituitary tumors.


Bogachan Sahin, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Chief of Neurology and Stroke Center Director at UR Medicine’s Highland Hospital
Director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program, University of Rochester

Dr. Sahin specializes in stroke in the young, cerebral vasculopathies, and hereditary stroke disorders. His research is focused on mechanisms of visual recovery in stroke survivors, occult atrial fibrillation as a cause of cryptogenic stroke, and carotid revascularization in asymptomatic carotid disease. Dr. Sahin majored in molecular biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University. He completed his M.D. and Ph.D. training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he studied motor learning, synaptic plasticity, and post-synaptic signal transduction. After completing his neurology residency and stroke fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, he joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2013.

Z Williams

Zoë Williams, MD
Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurosurgery

Dr. Williams’ research involves using MRI and optical coherence tomography to study resilience to degeneration in a range of diseases that affect site, with emphasis on pituitary tumors and strokes that affect the early visual system. Dr. Williams obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale University, her Medical Degree at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and completed her Residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester. She then went on to complete a fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, at Johns Hopkins University. She joined the faculty at Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical School in 2009.

Affiliated Trainees and Students:


Colleen Schneider
Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program)
Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester

Colleen Schneider is a PhD student whose research seeks to understand the neural mechanisms through which vision recovers after stroke.



Adnan Hirad, PhD
Translational Biomedical Science Program
Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program)

Dr. Hirad’s research seeks to understand how subconcussive and concussive traumatic head injuries affect the brain. His work focuses on developing novel MRI-based assays of neurotrama associated with closed head injury.



David Paul, MD
Neurosurgery, University of Rochester

David Paul is a PGY3 resident in neurosurgery. He attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he also earned a M.S. in Neurobiology and Anatomy.



Gauri Patil
Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester

Gauri Patil is an undergraduate student (BS, expected 2019) majoring in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She is pre-admitted to the University of Rochester Medical School through the Rochester Early Medical Scholar’s program.


Clinical Staff:


Susan O. Smith, RN, NP




HastingsCatherine B. Hastings, NP





Research Staff:
As research coordinators, our job is to make it as easy as possible for you to participate in this research. Whether it’s arranging transportation or hotel rooms, guiding you through the testing itself, or processing the results of your exams, our team is committed to working with you and your families to facilitate your participation in these studies, and ensuring we provide the very best information to your clinical team.


Sam Haber, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator, Department of Neurosurgery

Sam Haber completed his BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester (2018) and currently runs pre- and post-operative evaluations of brain tumor patients. He also assists in the operating room with cognitive testing during awake craniotomies to map critical language, sensory and motor functions.




Emily Prentiss, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator, Department of Neurosurgery

Emily Prentiss completed her BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester (2016) and worked for two years as a laboratory technician with Drs. Mahon, Sahin and Williams before joining the Department of Neurology as a full time Clinical Research Coordinator.