Nima Alan, MD

  • PGY-7 Resident

Nima Alan, MD, joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery residency program in July of 2015. Prior to matriculating into the residency program, Dr. Alan received his doctorate of medicine with distinction in research and teaching from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Alan has over 40 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 60 poster and oral presentations in regional, national and international meetings. Dr. Alan’s research interests are in neurophysiology and monitoring, spinal cord injury and spine trauma, deformity surgery, advanced neuroimaging of the spinal cord, spine oncology and stereotactic radiosurgery, and sports medicine. Dr. Alan is interested in diversification of neurosurgery residency training, initiating elective rotations in spine stereotactic radiosurgery, and sports neurosurgery.

Dr. Alan has secured funding from a number of national organizations for his research. In 2017, he received a grant from the Society of Lateral Access Surgeons (SOLAS) to study the utility of motor-evoked potential in lateral lumbar interbody fusion. In 2020, he was awarded the Young Investigator Grant (Clinical) by the North America Spine Society (NASS) for the study of quantitative anisotropy in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy. 

Dr. Alan has also worked on industry-sponsored projects. In 2018, he was sub-investigator in a study funded by Zimmer-Biomet to evaluate the application of ROSA robot in minimally-invasive intraparenchymal hematoma evacuation. The study has been published in World Neurosurgery, and the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. In 2020, Dr. Alan began a study as sub-investigator funded by Nuvasive to study computational prediction model of global sagittal alignment after spine surgery. This study is ongoing.

During his chief residency year, Dr. Alan completed an enfolded fellowship in complex spine surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Subsequently, he plans to complete further training in a minimally invasive deformity surgery fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He will complete his training in June 2023.

Outside of neurological surgery, Dr. Alan is interested in literary fiction, domestic and international travel, fitness, tennis, and snowboarding.

Dr. Alan’s publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine’s publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Deformity spine surgery; minimally invasive spine surgery; scoliosis; spine oncology, sports medicine.

Professional Organization Membership

American Academy for Advancement of Science
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Stroke Association
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
North American Spine Society

Honors & Awards

  • Mayfield Clinical Science Award, AANS/CNS Spine Summit, 2020
  • Travel Award, Nuvasive Spine Foundation, 2020
  • CSNS Socioeconomic Fellow, 2019
  • Traveli Award, Nuvasive Spine Foundation, 2019
  • Journalistic and Academic Neurosurgical Excellence Award (coauthor), AANS/CNS Spine Summit, 2018
  • Abstract Presentation Award (coauthor), AANS/CNS Spine Summit, 2018
  • Seed Grant, Society of Lateral Access Surgeons, 2017
  • Charlie Kuntz Scholar Award (coauthor), AANS/CNS Spine Summit, 2016
  • Distinction in Research, Case School of Medicine, 2015
  • Distinction in Teaching, Case School of Medicine, 2015
  • Travel Award (AANS conference), Case School of Medicine. 2014
  • Travel Award (AANS conference), Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2014
  • Medical Student Research Fellowship, American Academy of Neurology, 2013
  • Best Medical Student Abstract Award, 81st AANS 2013 Conference, 2013
  • Best Medical Student Abstract Award, 80th AANS 2012 Conference, 2012
  • Best Poster in Molecular & Cell Biology, Am. Assoc. for Advanc. of Science, 2012
  • Best Poster in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cureus Poster Competition, 2012
  • Dean’s Summer Research Award, Case School of Medicine, 2011
  • Best Poster, Master’s Level, Canadian Health Research Institute, 2010
  • Research Assistant Professional Development Award, University of British Columbia, 2010
  • Top Student in Neurophysiology, University of British Columbia, 2009
  • Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction, University of British Columbia, 2009
  • Undergraduate Student Research Award, Natural Sciences Research Council, 2007
  • Trek Excellence Scholarship, University of British Columbia, 2007
  • Wai-Man Leung Memorial Bursary, University of British Columbia, 2007
  • Summer Scholarship, University of British Columbia, 2006
  • President’s Entrance Scholarship, University of British Columbia, 2005
  • Dean’s Honor List, University of British Columbia, 2005-09