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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Names Pioneering Brain Tumor Surgeon as New Chair of Neurological Surgery


Amin Kassam, M.D., has been appointed chair of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Kassam is internationally recognized for pioneering techniques in endonasal brain surgery that allow complex tumors of the skull base and brain to be removed without incisions.

“Amin Kassam has revolutionized the way we think about neurosurgery,” said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor, health sciences and dean, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh. “Today, thanks to his innovative thinking and perseverance in developing and perfecting endonasal cranial skull base surgical techniques, the removal of tumors and vascular anomalies is often accomplished noninvasively. Moreover, Dr. Kassam and his close collaborator, otolaryngologist, Dr. Carl Snyderman, have been excellent role models in their dedication to teaching these groundbreaking techniques to other neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists from around the globe.

“Dr. Kassam maintains an active clinical practice. I know that he will bring his creativity, leadership and collaborative outlook to his role as department chair,” Dr. Levine added.

“Dr. Kassam’s dedication to patient care and his forward-thinking approach to neurosurgery make him an excellent choice as chair of neurosurgery,” said Elizabeth Concordia, senior vice president, Academic & Community Hospitals and president, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside.

Dr. Kassam is associate professor of neurological surgery, director of the UPMC Center for Cranial Nerve Disorders and co-director of the UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery. He completed his medical and undergraduate education at the University of Toronto and his residency training at the University of Ottawa and then joined the faculty of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998.

Since that time, Dr. Kassam has performed more than 2,500 neurosurgical procedures and has provided a unique perspective by using the endoscope to visualize and enhance difficult regions. He has focused on developing the multidisciplinary Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Center (MINC), which provides comprehensive care for complex pathology of the skull base and which builds on the strengths and talents of surgeons from multiple specialties, thereby using proven conventional approaches in conjunction with new minimally invasive endoscopic approaches to provide safe and effective treatment for patients.

Dr. Kassam has authored or co-authored 88 scientific journal articles and numerous book chapters. He has been an invited lecturer at numerous national and international neurosurgery meetings and has served on many national committees, most notably as a member of the executive board of the North American Skull Base Society.

The department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh was started more than 60 years ago with a strong commitment to patient care, education and research. Today, the department is one of the largest neurosurgical academic providers in the United States, performing more than 6,500 procedures annually.


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