Gerszten Installed as Sheptak Professor

Pittsburgh, April 19, 2013 -- Peter C. Gerszten, MD, MPH, professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology and director of the department's percutaneous spine service, was formally installed as the Peter E. Sheptak Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, April 18, at a ceremony in Scaife Hall.

University Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine Arthur S. Levine, MD, presented Dr. Gerszten with a medal to designate the honor in the official ceremony attended by Dr. Sheptak, family, friends and colleagues. Dr. Gerszten marked the installation with a lecture covering his work in minimally invasive spine surgery and spine radiosurgery. In the past ten years, Dr. Gerszten has pioneered the development of minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal disorders and spinal tumors. He has also introduced and advanced spine radiosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh and has helped establish the university as a world leader in this area.

Peter Gerszten and Arthur Levine
Peter C. Gerszten, MD, MPH, after receiving medal from Arthur S. Levine, MD.

In 2008, Dr. Gerszten took the knowledge he had gained in the past decade and coedited the book Spine Radiosurgery, the first-ever book of its kind, covering a wealth of topics in this fast-breaking field. He also oversees the instruction of this developing area of neurosurgery for both the American Association of Neurological Surgery as well as the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

The Peter E. Sheptak chair honors the career and achievements of one of the department's most influencial and respected physicians and teachers. Known for years as a consummate, energetic and gentlemanly surgeon, Dr. Sheptak was a major teaching influence in the department for almost 40 years. During that period, he assisted in the training of almost 100 neurosurgeons. He served the community with great distinction—performing innovative, investigative and clinical work related to spinal degenerative disorders, pain management, cerebrovascular disease, and brain tumors—before retiring from active clinical practice in 2008.

Peter Gerszten and Peter Sheptak
Peter C. Gerszten, MD, MPH, with Peter E. Sheptak, MD.

The Endowed Chair in Neurological Surgery is one of seven endowed neurosurgery-related chairs at the university. A fully endowed chair provides annual benefit to the holder of the chair by facilitating his or her work within the department. Current holders of endowed chairs in the department have achieved national and international recognition for their clinical, research, and teaching abilities.