Lunsford Receives Prestigious Award



L. Dade LunsfordPittsburgh, December 2, 2017 -- L. Dade Lunsford, MD, Lars Leksell and Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the UPMC Center of Image-Guided Neurosurgery, was presented the prestigious Herbert Olivecrona Award by the Karolinska Institutet & Karolinska University Hospital, December 1 at the Olivecrona Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden.

The annual award, also known as the "Nobel Prize of Neurosurgery," is bestowed on an international neurosurgeon in recognition of their significant research contributions in the field of neurosurgery. It is presented in honor of Herbert Olivecrona, MD, credited as being the father of modern neurosurgery in Sweden. He was professor of neurosurgery at Karolinska Institute from 1935 to 1960, and passed away in 1980.

Dr. Lunsford, an internationally recognized authority on stereotactic surgery techniques, served as the American Association of Neurological Surgery Van Wagenen Fellow from 1980-1981 and studied at the Karolinska Insitute under the direction Lars Leksell and Erik-Olof Backlund. He was responsible for bringing the Gamma Knife to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1987, the first center in the United States to offer this state-of-the-art, minimally invasive form of brain surgery. He also created the first neurosurgical operating room with a dedicated CT scanner for deep brain surgery in 1982.

The installation of the Leksell Gamma Knife revolutionized neurosurgical care, drastically reducing hospital stays while significantly improving patient care. The technology represents one of the most advanced means available to help patients with brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and pain or movement disorders. More than 14,700 patients have undergone Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery under the direction of Dr. Lunsford and his team at UPMC Presbyterian since it’s installation.

In addition, Dr. Lunsford has established The Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery as a major international training site for radiosurgery and minimally invasive neurosurgery. Over the past 20 years, more than 2,200 neurosurgeons, neurootologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and nurses have trained at this center. These courses are among the highest rated post-graduate courses offered at the University of Pittsburgh.