Biographical Sketches of the 2021-2022 Candidates
Mahesh V. Jayaraman, MD
I am honored to be nominated for the position of Vice President, SNIS. Over the past decade, I have served our society in a variety of roles including chair of the Standards & Guidelines committee, Member at Large, Audit chair, Annual meeting program co-chair, and currently as Treasurer. Through the years our society and the field of neurointervention has continued to mature and expand, not only in the areas of ischemic stroke intervention but also innovative new options for patients such as embolization for chronic subdural hematomas.
In the coming years, it is essential for SNIS to cement our status as the preeminent neurointerventional society – the only one bringing together physicians from all training backgrounds under a single umbrella. My goals would be for SNIS to forge even more solid relationships across all of Neuroscience, continue advocating for patients with initiatives such as Get Ahead of Stroke, and ensure our members are at the forefront of neurointerventional research initiatives.
I thank all of you in advance for considering my candidacy and look forward to our in person Annual Meeting!
James Milburn, MD
It is a great honor to receive this nomination for Vice President of the SNIS. My career began after fellowship training at Washington University NIR in 1997, which is the year I joined the ASITN (now SNIS). Since that time, I have witnessed many changes in our field and society. As we have become more diverse in training and background, NeuroInterventional (NI) has strengthened. Active collaboration between NI’s 3 core disciplines makes the sum of our parts far better than any group standing alone.
For the last 20 years, I have worked to develop the neurointerventional program at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, where I am Vice Chair of Radiology and Residency Program Director. We have a busy multidisciplinary neurointerventional practice serving the gulf south which includes a 60-telestroke hospital network. My own NI group contains a neurologist, neurosurgeon and another neuroradiologist working in collaborative harmony.
It has been a great privilege to serve for 3 years on the SNIS Board of Directors, having the opportunity to work on many projects with great colleagues. One major highlight has been my last 2 years as your Education Chair. Our newly formed education committee produced 35 “SNIS Insights” Webinars, and these are archived on our website along with the JNIS Journal Club sessions for continued viewing and education. The committee has also authored 4 patient brochures which are nearing the production stage.
In late 2019, I joined the JNIS Editorial Board as an Associate Editor after being designated a “reviewer of the year.” Several months prior, I served as Program Co-Chair for our 2019 SNIS Annual Meeting in Miami. In 2017, I was Co-Chair of the Annual Fellows Courses at both AANS/CNS in Houston and SNIS in Colorado Springs. Other SNIS roles have included serving on the Neurointerventional Fellowship Task Force, Mentorship Task Force, Annual Meeting Program Committee for the past 5 years, 3 years on the Membership Committee, and 2 years as an SNIS representative to ASNR for neurointerventional program content. Beyond the scope of this bio, I also serve 4 other medical societies on numerous committees and editorial boards related to neuroradiology, advocacy, education, coding, and economics.
I can think of no greater honor than to receive your vote, and I am confident that I will be a strong, passionate, and fair voice for our membership. I believe my actions and service to the society and journal have shown my reliability and commitment. I will always be an advocate for the needs of all 3 disciplines and bring up those around me. SNIS needs to remain collegial across our 3 disciplines, and as a board member I would focus on this, among other things. I would appreciate your vote.
Guilherme Dabus, MD
Thank you for considering me for the Treasurer position on the 2021-2022 SNIS Board of Directors. I am deeply honored by this nomination and I am looking forward to the possibility of serving you.
For the last 13 years I have dedicated my career only and exclusively to NeuroInterventional Surgery/Interventional Neuroradiology, clinically, educationally and scientifically. I have served and continue to serve on several national scientific and leadership committees. I had served in the SNIS Board of Directors from 2017 to 2021, initially elected as Member-at-Large (Interventional 2017-2018), then elected as Secretary (2018-2019) and more recently served as Chair of the Audit Committee (2019-2021). I was also the Co-Chair of the 2018 SNIS Annual Meeting that took place in San Francisco.
During my training (Northwestern University, Washington University in Saint Louis and Massachusetts General Hospital) I had the opportunity to be trained by brilliant NeuroInterventional Surgeons/Neuroendovascular Surgeons from all three different backgrounds (Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery and Neurology). These interactions convinced me that the most important is not where we come from but where we are going to moving forward; this is something that I try to pass to our trainees and fellows as their program director. Despite great advances in aneurysm and stroke care, changes in the healthcare environment, increasing pressure form hospitals and payers, lack of compliance with the new CAST-NES certification and manpower issues with increasing competition and volume dilution contribute to generate uncertainty in regards to our future as an independent discipline. I truly believe that we should continue to work to position SNIS as the leading NeuroInterventional/NeuroEndovascular organization, working collaboratively with other professional organizations to strengthen our position as a group to better face current and future challenges. All practitioners from the three different backgrounds must share a common vision establishing our identity as an independent subspecialty. The stronger SNIS is, the better we will be positioned to fight, adapt and continue to grow.
Justin F. Fraser, MD
It is an honor to be nominated to serve as Treasurer for the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery. It has been a privilege to serve most recently as Member-At-Large (Neurosurgery) for the Society. As a Member-At-Large, I have had the opportunity to work on the formation of a Match process for Fellowship training in NeuroInterventional Radiology. This has provided an opportunity to collaborate with other Societies in our field, and to understand the policies that guide our passage of information to the next generation of neurointerventionalists. Prior to that, I served as Chair of the SNIS Standards and Guidelines Committee. During my tenure, major shifts in the evaluation and treatment of cerebrovascular disorders required our team to continually gather and disseminate evidence-based information about contemporary techniques in our field.
With a background at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, I discovered early a desire to collaborate on policy aimed at improving healthcare. After graduating medical school and residency/fellowship at Cornell, I took a leadership role as Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery at University of Kentucky. While here at UK, I have served on multiple hospital committees and taken leadership roles for strategic planning, patient safety, philanthropy, and building design. While these have been rewarding from an institutional viewpoint, my work outside the hospital has been the most stimulating. For the last four years, I have Chaired the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services Cardiac and Stroke Subcommittee. A collaborative group of EMS providers, nurses, physicians, and administrators, it has set the policy for in-field triage of stroke, particularly ELVO, for our entire state. Through that process, I gained insight into the importance of multidisciplinary cross-talk and collaboration. Since then, I have sought other similar experiences, serving on the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Task Force for the Great Rivers Affiliate, on the AHA Stroke Neurovascular Intervention Science Committee, and as SNIS liaison to the AHA Stroke Scientific Statement Oversight Committee. I was honored to be named as one of the AANS/CNS CV Section Liaison to the AHA International Stroke Conference Program Committee. I believe these types of cross-society interactions are a clear reflection of the responsibilities of an SNIS Board member.
Beyond my involvement with the Board, I have also maintained involvement in the organization of the SNIS annual meeting. As a member of the planning committee for several years, I have organized and moderated sessions and helped create the content and schedule for the meeting. For the last two years, I have been honored to co-direct the SNIS Annual Fellows Course, assembling a curriculum that will interest and educate participants. With these experiences, I would plan to carry forward that leadership to the SNIS Board, building bridges across our specialty with other societies throughout the world while advancing the mission to educate the rising experts in our field.
Michael T. Froehler, MD, PhD
I am honored to be nominated to serve as Secretary on the 2021-2022 SNIS board of directors. I currently serve on the SNIS Board of Directors as the Interventional Neurology Member-at-Large, and would be delighted to continue to support the members of SNIS in this new capacity.
Professionally, I am the director of the multi-specialty Cerebrovascular Program, director of the CAST-approved Neuro Endovascular Surgery Fellowship, and Associate Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Radiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
If elected, I will focus my efforts on further cultivating the harmony across the multiple specialties that comprise the membership of SNIS. I have partnered with many neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons throughout my career in neuro intervention, and am very proud of our current, highly-collaborative Vanderbilt Cerebrovascular faculty that consists of myself and two endovascular neurosurgeons, as well as our extremely capable nurse practitioners, residents, fellows, nurses, and coordinators. I believe that multi-specialty integration is critical for our success within our individual healthcare institutions, and at the national and international society level.
I will also advocate for the continued development of individual certification in our field. CAST has provided an important step toward board-certification in neuro endovascular surgery, and I support further multi-disciplinary progress toward certification for all practitioners of neuro interventional surgery to ensure quality among physicians and promote widespread faith in our specialty.
Ricardo A. Hanel, MD
Dear Friends and colleagues,
Born and raised in Brazil, I completed my Medical School and Neurosurgery Residency before moving to Buffalo, NY (2001), where I trained in Endovascular Neurosurgery under Dr LN Hopkins. After completing my training, I worked as Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at SUNY Buffalo from 2004-2006 before moving to Phoenix, AZ where I completed Skull Base and CV Surgery Fellowship under Robert Spetzler, MD.
I joined Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL in 2007 and became Professor of Neurosurgery at Mayo College of Physicians. In March 2014, I was recruited as Director for the newly formed Baptist Neurological Institute also in Jacksonville, FL. Together with excellence in patient service, advanced education has been one of the pillars of my career. I have been involved with residency and fellowship since Buffalo. I am former fellowship director at Mayo, current CV fellowship director at our service. With over 200 peer-reviewed publications, extensive lecturing and hands-on course organization and participation, raising the quality level of global neurointervention is one of my goals.
I have served in many committees of CNS and WFNS among others.
SNIS is the leading organization for Neurointervention in the United States. I have been involved with SNIS since it’s inception, I have served as member-at-large and Joint Meeting SNIS/CV Section co-chair in the past. I have served on the “Get ahead of stroke” initiative, serving as a task force member., helping pass new stroke legislation at Florida State among others. I have also contributed to many of our meetings and to our Journal, which I serve as a reviewer.
If chosen to serve at SNIS Secretary, I want to continue to work with my peers on “Get ahead of stroke” Initiative to improve systems of care in stroke and also continue the work to better define standards of practice in neurointervention as well as enhance advanced education.
Fawaz Al-Mufti, MD
I am honored and humbled to have been nominated for the SNIS Education Committee Chair Position. My name is Dr. Fawaz Al-Mufti, I am a Neuroendovascular surgeon, Neurointensivist and Vascular Neurologist at Westchester Medical Center – New York Medical College, where I serve as the vice chair for research, and as the neuroendovascular surgery fellowship director.
As an SNIS member throughout my career, I have volunteered on every occasion and had the privilege of serving as a member of the SNIS guidelines committee. My main disclosure is that I have benefited immensely from the resources and mentorship provided through SNIS, and hence I have a vested interest serving and helping this society, which started out as a grassroots movement, succeed.
Since an early stage in my career, education has been my passion. I have sought to identify gaps in education while keeping an open mind towards the diverse needs of the field as a whole. Over the past decade, SNIS has evolved into an educational resource for many, including myself. Hence, if given the opportunity to serve, I look forward to continuing the excellent, high quality educational initiatives for trainees and faculty at various levels of the careers including, but not limited to the terrific webinars, and journal clubs. I would also advocate for developing educational resources revolving around how to initiate research projects, understanding research methodology, writing manuscripts, developing databases and even interpretation of basic statistics for the neuroendovascular surgeon. Additionally, knowing how different neuroendovascular surgeons and training programs may prioritize different topics and progress at different paces, I would propose, joining forces with the Young Neurointerventionalists Committee to create a monthly fellow-driven series of talk on topics ranging from cerebrovascular anatomy, physiology and pathology that follows the CAST/CNS Endovascular curriculum. Finally for the podcast lovers, I would work on creating summarized podcast version of these lectures, that people can listen to while commuting.
I would be humbled and honored to be an advocate for our community and to serve you as the Education Committee chair for the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.
Thank you for your consideration.
Peter Kan, MD
Dear Colleagues and Nominating Committee,
I am greatly honored to receive the nomination to run for Education Chair, a position I believe of ever-growing importance during the pandemic. Education has always been my passion in academics, and with its diverse and inclusive membership of all specialists who practice neurointerventional surgery, I sincerely believe that SNIS is the best organization to champion collaborative education effort and disseminate new knowledge that would improve our field and ultimately elevate the care of our patients. I am especially interested in working with all subspecialty groups on up-to-date education material and webinars that will be easily accessible to our colleagues, allied health professionals, and patients to promote best evidence-based practice and to inform our patients on the latest guidelines, in keeping with the society’s education mission.
In the past, I have served as the Neurosurgery Member-at-Large and have gained valuable experience on the SNIS board. My teaching service to the society over the years includes serving as faculty on Webinars, at Fellows Courses, and at the main meeting. I am also currently serving on the Membership Review Committee and the JNIS editorial board. Outside of SNIS, I have experience in directing national and regional education programs for national and regional organizations such as the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons.
It will be a great honor to serve you as Education Chair. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and to support the SNIS.
Member-at-Large (Interventional Neuroradiologist)
Waleed Brinjikji, MD
I am an interventional neuroradiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I have been involved in the SNIS since I was a fellow, mainly serving as a reviewer for JNIS. I was an assistant editor for JNIS helping to start the technical video section with my colleague Max Mokin but stepped down from that role after taking an EIC position in The Neuroradiology Journal. I have been involved in educational activities at SNIS including multiple webinars, the fellows course, and speaking/moderating SNIS sessions at the ASNR.
Regarding personal plans for the future of SNIS I hope to 1) strengthen the relationship between SNIS and international interventional neuro radiology societies (ie WFITN, ESMINT, PAIRS, etc); 2) strengthen/build relationships between SNIS and disease specific societies and 3) create a framework that would support SNIS members seeking federal grant funding by advancing collaborations and creating grant review sessions etc.
Reade A. De Leacy, MD
I am honored to be nominated as the Interventional Neuroradiologist Member-at-Large on the SNIS Board of Directors. An Australian interventional neuroradiologist, I have worked as an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York since 2015. I serve as the Co-Director of the Neuroendovascular Fellowship at Mount Sinai, the Director of Neurointerventional Spine Services for the network and the Director of Cerebrovascular Services at Mount Sinai Queens.
I have served as a Social Media Assistant Editor for the JNIS since 2016, am a current member of the SNIS Standards and Guidelines Committee and report on the international collaborations committee and neurovascular interventional council for the American Society of Neuroradiology. I served as one of the virtual Annual Meeting Chairs last year and am currently serving as one of this year’s SNIS Annual Meeting Chairs (in person!).
I was recently selected to serve on the Neurointerventional Match Task Force, an important next step in the development of our field. If elected, I will focus on cultivating positive relationships across the three specialties that comprise the membership of SNIS. My professional practice is a highly effective collaboration between interventional neuroradiologists, endovascular neurosurgeons and interventional neurologists. This experience leads me to believe that I can effectively represent my subspecialty within SNIS with a vision toward collaboration with other interdisciplinary specialty groups and international bodies to further enhance the visibility of neurointerventionalists and the influence of the SNIS.
Member-at-Large (Endovascular Neurosurgeon)
Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD
It is a great honor to be considered to serve as the Member-at-Large (Endovascular Neurosurgeon).
I have been an active member of the Society since the end of my training as a dually trained neurosurgeon and election as a Senior member and have been actively involved.
I currently work at Geisinger in Pennsylvania, serving as a professor and vice-chair in the Department of Neurosurgery and heading two comprehensive stroke centers and the cerebrovascular section. Additionally, I serve as the program director of the neurosurgery residency and the CAST-accredited neuroendovascular fellowship.
I am indebted to the Society for numerous opportunities to participate and have been able to work with various other interventional and non-interventional organizations furthering the role of the Society and the specialty.
For the Society, I have been serving as a membership committee member and have participated in several of the multi-society fellow training courses at the MERI and organized the Fellows courses during the annual meetings in 2018. As part of the 2017 and 2018 SNIS meetings, I proposed and executed highly successful live concurrent demonstration sessions featuring multiple novel devices and renowned operators. Together with Dr. James Milburn, I served as the Scientific Program Chair for the 2019 SNIS annual meeting in Miami.
I currently serve on the Standards and Guidelines Committee and have been actively involved in drafting several recent publications from this committee.
Collaborating with other senior members of the Society, I have been working on ensuring appropriate code valuation for our specialty both at the RVS Update Committee (RUC) of the AMA and as a member of several clinical committees of the CMS/Acumen Cost- and Spending per Beneficiary- Measures Initiatives. I have helped to review several AHA and other guidelines and consensus statements to ensure specialty input and worked with SIR on the Multi-society Consensus Statement for Endovascular Therapy of Acute Ischemic Stroke. Together with others, I have presented a novel multi-stakeholder endorsed model of stroke care to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Coming from Neurosurgery I have been very involved in the Cerebrovascular Section and gained tremendous experience and perspective. I currently serve as the Chair-elect and plan to continue the extremely productive relationship between the two societies and strengthen it further.
As Member-at-Large, I would continue to direct my efforts towards navigating this time of significant change and opportunity for our specialty at large. New challenges and opportunities are plenty, e.g., telemedicine. We may be coming from more than one discipline but practice one thing which focuses on providing the best treatment for patients with strokes and neurovascular diseases. We have had tremendous success with initiatives such as CAST, but more than ever need to continue to be good stewards of this still relatively young profession by educating our colleagues, showing value for our work, and advocating for our patients. Due to my experience and efforts outlined above, I am well prepared to be a Member-at-Large and would be proud to serve in this capacity.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.
Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, MD
Dear SNIS Nominating Committee and Colleagues,
It is a great honor to be considered to serve as the Member-at-Large (Endovascular Neurosurgeon). I am a Professor of Neurological Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. I also serve as the Chair of the University Faculty Affairs, Director of the Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Fellowship, Associate Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program, and Director for the Neurosurgery Medical Clerkship. I hold the distinction of being the first female dual trained cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon in The United States. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Biology, Physics and Chemistry from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where I graduated Suma Cum Laude and was honored as Class Salutatorian, I attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College, where I graduated with distinction. I was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and received numerous awards for academic excellence. I subsequently completed my Neurosurgical Residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where I also completed a fellowship in Endovascular and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery. I am an active member of and have held leadership positions in organized Neurosurgery, and currently serve as the Secretary of the Cerebrovascular Section of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons/American Association of Neurological Surgeons. I have also been appointed Vice Chair for the CNS/AANS Joint Guidelines Committee. I served as Scientific Program Chair for the Cerebrovascular Section for both the CNS and AANS, have organized and lectured on cerebrovascular topics in national cerebrovascular meetings at a national and international levels.
I have been the recipient of numerous academic, educational and clinical awards throughout my career including the “Dean’s Award In Excellence in Education,” “Excellence In Surgical Teaching Award” as well as being recognized for outstanding clinical and basic science research projects at the Pan-Philadelphia annual research meetings. I have authored over 300 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in the field of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery. I have a particular interest in evolving techniques in the endovascular management of stroke, cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma, robotic applications in Neurovascular Surgery and am currently involved in numerous clinical trials.
In SNIS, I have served as a member of the scientific program committee, have given lectures in the annual conference, and have participated as faculty for the annual fellows course. In addition, I have lectured at the monthly SNIS Journal Club Webinars, and have facilitated and promoted discussions on the support and advancement of Women in Neuroendovascular Surgery. With my active leadership positions in national Neurosurgical Societies, my goal is to facilitate growth with the SNIS and active collaboration in establishing guidelines in cerebrovascular patient management, and advancing the field.
Member-at-Large (Interventional Neurologist)
Maxim Mokin, MD
Thank you for the opportunity to be nominated to serve as SNIS Neurology Member-At-Large. I am an Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of South Florida. I received MD degree in Russia and PhD degree in Neurosciences at the University of South Dakota. I completed a residency in Neurology, followed by fellowship training in vascular neurology and endovascular neurosurgery at the University of Buffalo.
My contributions to SNIS include serving on the Education Committee, creating a grant-writing workshop for the 2020 and 2021 SNIS Annual Meetings, creating a Technical Video section for JNIS and serving as its Assistant Editor, serving on the SNIS Standards and Guidelines committee, and, most recently, founding the SNIS International Relations Committee. With the support of Get Ahead of Stroke/SNIS, I had a tremendous opportunity to participate in the 2019 Florida State Legislature campaign, which led to critical changes in regional stroke systems of care for the Floridians.
My goal as Neurology Member-at-Large at SNIS is to work with its members and Board to represent and engage interventional neurologists in the growing number of exciting and promising society’s multidisciplinary initiatives.
Sandra Narayanan, MD
It is an honor to be nominated for SNIS Member-at-Large (Interventional Neurologist). I have had the incredible pleasure of serving the Society in multiple capacities over the last decade. These include Co-Chairing two consecutive years of SNIS Annual Meetings (2020-21), Chair of the Women in NeuroIntervention Committee, SNIS Foundation Chair, serving on the Standards & Guidelines, Annual Scientific, and Abstract Committees, speaking at the Annual Meeting/Fellows’ Course/Insights webinars, and representing SNIS in Joint Scientific Sessions planning with ESMINT/Oriental Conference in Interventional Neuroradiology (OCIN). During my years as an Ex-Officio member of the SNIS Board, I have also enjoyed the political momentum brought forth in Capitol Hill Days and the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign.
I completed a neurology residency at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, vascular neurology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and diagnostic/interventional neuroradiology fellowships at Emory University Hospital, finishing in 2009. Since 2019, I have worked in a multidisciplinary group of neurointerventionalists, staffing two busy Comprehensive Stroke Centers at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Working for and with organized neurointerventional surgery is a passion of mine! If elected as your SNIS Interventional Neurology Member-at-Large, I would anticipate being a liaison with other neurovascular societies, strengthening existing ties and developing mutually beneficial relationships. My prior professional service to SVIN includes Membership Chair, 3-year term on Board of Directors from 2017-2020, current Vice-Chair of Women in NeuroIntervention Sub-Committee, and Member of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Over the next year, I look forward to collaborating with SVIN, WFITN, AANS-WINS, and ASNR to increase the profile/numbers/diversity of women in neurointervention and to develop resources for the Women in Neurointervention community within the SNIS webpage. I also serve on the ISC Program Committee and represent the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in the Focused Practice in Central Nervous System Endovascular Surgery (CNS-ES) Committee (CESAC).
Thank you for your consideration.