Dr. Carnevale Wins 2022 Apuzzo Award; Dr. Ramos Awarded Gaposchkin Prize

Dr. Joseph Carnevale has been named winner of the 2022 Michael L. J. Apuzzo Resident Literature Award for Creativity and Innovation. Dr. Carnevale, who is completing his fifth year of the seven-year neurosurgery residency program, was presented with the award at the resident graduation ceremony held Thursday evening. The award was for “Visual Deterioration after Endonasal Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery: Causes, Treatments, and Outcomes,” which was co-authored by Dr. Christopher S. Babu, Dr. Jacob L. Goldberg, Dr. Reginald Fong, and Dr. Theodore H. Schwartz.

The paper, which was published in the April 2022 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery after being published online before print in October 2021, addresses a rare but serious complication of endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for sellar and parasellar masses. The authors examined a series of 1,200 consecutive EETS cases performed by Dr. Schwartz from 2010 to 2020 and found 21 patients (1.75%) who complained of early postoperative visual deterioration. Timely intervention restored vision in 81% of those patients, either with re-operation in cases where the visual problem was caused by compression, or with supplemental oxygen and hypertensive hypervolemic therapy in cases of ischemia.

“I admire this work for its dedication to excellence in outcomes,” says Dr. Apuzzo, for whom the award is named.  “This shows a resoluteness of approach that I believe should be recognized and rewarded. This complication may be extremely rare, but this team does not accept it as inevitable, no matter how small the numbers. It’s that relentless quest for improvement, always striving to do better for patients, that I am proud to honor with this award.”

The Apuzzo Award was established in 2017 to recognize outstanding work by a Weill Cornell Medicine neurosurgery resident that exemplifies original thinking and was published in a major peer-reviewed journal during the previous academic year. Previous winners include Dr. Brenton Pennicooke (2017), Dr. Thomas Link (2018), Dr. Whitney Parker and Dr. Benjamin Rapoport, who shared the 2019 prize, Dr. Ibrahim Hussain, who won in 2020, and Dr. Benjamin Hartley, who took home the 2021 award. (See more about the Apuzzo Award)

Dr. Alexander Ramos, who is completing his sixth year of residency, was awarded the Christopher G. Gaposchkin Resident Research Award for Distinction in Scientific Inquiry in Neurological Surgery for “Combined Focused Ultrasound and Intra-Arterial Injection for Delivery of Adeno-Associated Virus to the Brain.” That research, which Dr. Ramos conducted with Dr. Michael Kaplitt and his team in the Molecular Neurosurgery Research Lab, explores the efficacy of combining intra-arterial injections of adeno-associated virus using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier, compared with intravenous injections of a virus to deliver gene therapy to the central nervous system. These techniques hold promise for future treatments of Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, lymphoma, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

The Gaposchkin Prize was established in 2014 in memory of Dr. Christopher Gaposchkin, who died three years after completing his neurosurgery residency at Weill Cornell in 1999. The award recognizes excellence in research by a neurosurgery resident. Previous winners have been Dr. Evan Bander (2020 and 2021), Dr. Whitney Parker (2019 and 2018), Dr. Hilarie Tomasiewicz (2017), Dr. Brenton Pennicooke (2016), and Dr. Peter Morgenstern and Dr. Dmitri Sigounas (who shared the 2015 prize).

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