Dr. Tosi Wins 2024 Apuzzo Award

Dr. Umberto Tosi, who has completed his fourth year of neurosurgical residency at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been awarded the 2024 Michael L. J. Apuzzo Resident Literature Award for Creativity and Innovation. The Apuzzo Award, established in 2017, recognizes outstanding work by a Weill Cornell Medicine neurosurgery resident that most exemplifies original thinking and creativity.  

Dr. Tosi’s winning paper is “Endoscopic endonasal repair of encephaloceles of the lateral sphenoid sinus: multi-institution confirmation of a new classification,” which he co-authored with Dr. Theodore H. Schwartz. The paper, which was published in the March issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery, was a review of 49 patients with lateral sphenoid encephaloceles at three institutions (Weill Cornell Medicine, Jefferson Health, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Patients were divided into four subtypes to determine their incidence and any correlation with surgical outcome. Type III (lateral to rotundum) was the most common, followed by type IV (both medial and lateral with rotundum enlargement), type II (medial to rotundum) and type I (Sternberg canal). All cases were repaired endonasally via a transpterygoidal approach.

Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Tosi, Apuzzo Award 2024

Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Tosi, with Apuzzo Award for Innovation 2024

CSF leak recurrences were found to be low (in 8% of cases); 26.7% of cases reported with postoperative dry eye or facial numbness, with facial numbness occurring in type III or type IV defects only. The authors reported that endoscopic endonasal repair of lateral sphenoid wing encephaloceles is highly successful, noting that the repair may lead to dry eye or facial numbness in some cases.

“This work exemplifies the spirit of innovation that’s come to be expected in the Cornell residency program,” says Dr. Apuzzo. “The paper presents solid research into an under-studied area, and supports the conclusion that endoscopic endonasal surgery is successful for lateral sphenoid encephaloceles. With every passing year we see more innovation in minimally invasive surgical approaches, and with every advance we spare more patients the intrusion into the brain required by open surgery. I applaud Dr. Tosi and Dr. Schwartz for this remarkable and insightful study.” 

See also: A Storm of Ideas, in which Dr. Apuzzo talks about the award named for him

Additional co-authors included Christina Jackson, Glen D’Souza,  Mindy Rabinowitz, Christopher Farrell, Sean M. Parsel, Vijay K. Anand, Ashutosh Kacker, Abtin Tabaee, Georgios A. Zenonos, Carl H. Snyderman,  Eric W. Wang, James Evans, Marc Rosen, Gurston Nyquist, and Paul A. Gardner.

Previous winners of the Apuzzo Award include Dr. Brenton Pennicooke (2017)Dr. Thomas Link (2018)Dr. Whitney Parker and Dr. Benjamin Rapoport, who shared the 2019 prizeDr. Ibrahim Hussain, who won in 2020; and Dr. Benjamin Hartley, who took home the 2021 award. Dr. Carnevale won back-to-back awards: He won the 2022 prize for his paper on “Visual Deterioration after Endonasal Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery: Causes, Treatments, and Outcomes” and the 2023 award for “Endonasal, Supraorbital and Transorbital: Minimal Access Endoscope-Assisted Surgical Approaches for Meningiomas in the Anterior and Middle Cranial Fossae,” both of which he co-authored with Dr. Schwartz. 

See more about the Apuzzo Award

Also at the resident graduation dinner, Dr. Alexandra Giantini Larsen was named winner of the 2024 Christopher Gaposchkin Research Prize  


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