The skull base fellowship is primarily focused on endoscopic and open skull base work surgery. Paul Gardner, MD, Cranial Base Surgery Center co-director, and Georgios Zenonos, MD—associate director for the center—perform approximately 30-50 cases a month. About half of these cases are endoscopic endonasal surgeries and are performed in conjunction with their otolaryngology colleagues, Carl Snyderman, MD—who is co-director of the center—and Eric Wang, MD, director of education for the center. The remaining cases are various open skull base cases, including lateral skull base approaches with neurotology, vascular, and brain tumor procedures, minimally invasive transorbital approaches and some general cranial surgery.
In addition, the fellow will have an active role in the center's weekly outpatient clinic and will be responsible for organizing the weekly Multidisciplinary Skull Base Planning Conference where interesting and new cases are presented.
Fellows are expected to engage in scholarly activity through clinical and/or laboratory research. The Cranial Base Surgery Center has multiple avenues for the pursuit of these projects. A comprehensive research registry of skull base patients is available to address clinical questions. A dedicated clinical research manager assists in the development and execution of prospective trials affecting the management and quality of life of skull base patients.
The Surgical Neuroanatomy Laboratory can be utilized to develop novel surgical corridors and reconstructive techniques. This lab, under the direction of Dr. Gardner, includes three high-definition endoscopic stations with complete instrumentation. Fellows are expected to utilize this outstanding resource to prepare for complex cases, improve surgical skills and develop independent anatomical research projects.
Finally, ongoing collaborations with basic science researchers within the University of Pittsburgh can be expanded to address translational research questions.
For more information and to apply, please contact Mary Jo Tutchko at 412-647-8186.