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Chief Residents Moving On; New Residents Moving In

Dr. Adam Sonabend, one of two chief residents
Dr. Adam Sonabend
Dr. Christopher Kellner, one of two chief residents
Dr. Christopher Kellner

It’s that time of the year once again: our chief residents graduate, and new first-year residents come on board.

Congratulations are in order for chief residents Dr. Christopher Kellner and Dr. Adam Sonabend. They have now finished the seven grueling years of training that makes them neurosurgeons. (That’s seven years … after medical school.)

Dr. Sonabend is moving on to the next stage of his career, but we’re happy to say that means he isn’t moving too far at all. He will be joining the neurosurgical staff here at the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery, as part of the expanding neuro-oncology (brain tumor) program.

Dr. Kellner’s plans will keep him in the NY metro area as well. He will pursue endovascular fellowship training with one of our former graduates at Mount Sinai’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Jeffrey Bruce, Director of the Residency Program, foresees great things for both of the graduating chief residents. “Our faculty is dedicated to the training of neurosurgery residents who will become future leaders in the field,” he says. “We take pride in each resident’s long term success.” (See our recent blog post about the program’s well-deserved reputation for training doctors who are not only skilled surgeons, but also skilled researchers.)

first-year residents Garrett Banks, Dominique Higgins and Justin NeiraAnd a big welcome is in order for our three new residents. All three are full-fledged doctors who beat out a large and competitive applicant pool to land these residency spots. They are eager to begin the seven years of hands-on training that will make them neurosurgeons.

Dominique Higgins, MD, is a graduate of Mayo Medical School. Garrett Banks, MD and Justin Neira, MD are both graduates of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Dr. Banks and Dr. Neira have already done some work with faculty mentors here in the Neurosurgery Department.

As a medical student, Dr. Garrett Banks worked under the mentorship of Dr. E. Sander Connolly, Jr. and resident Dr. Charles Mikell (now a new chief resident–congratulations, Dr. Mikell). With these mentors, Banks co-authored* an award-winning paper on stroke. Learn more about Dr. Banks’s paper and its award in our blog post here: Columbia Med Student Wins Best Neuro-trauma Paper at National Neurosurgery Meeting.

Dr. Neira, meanwhile, worked on a fascinating advance in brain tumor surgery with Dr. Sameer Sheth, Dr. Guy McKhann IIDr. Michael Sistiand Dr. Jeffrey Bruce. With these mentors, he co-authored** the paper that resulted from that research. See our interesting post about that research here: Shining a Blue Light on the Brain

Congratulations to first-year residents Dr. Banks, Dr. Neira, and Dr. Higgins for earning these coveted residency spots. A warm welcome to you all.

The faculty mentioned above are neurosurgeons, researchers and mentors. Learn more about them on their bio pages:

* Full list of authors: Garrett P. Banks, Charles B. Mikell, Christopher G. Filippi, Andrew Kai-Hong Chan, E. Sander Connolly, Jr., and Jan Claassen.

** Full list of authors: Justin Anthony Neira; Timothy Ung, BA; Randy D’Amico, MD; Jennifer Sims, PhD; Hani Malone, MD; Daniel Chow, MD; Jorge Samanamud;  Dr. Sameer Sheth, MD, PhD; Guy McKhann II, MD; Michael Sisti, MD; Peter Canoll, MD, PhD; Jeffrey Bruce, MD

patient journey

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