A Letter for Our Directors
Date: March 1, 2008
It may be something of a cliché these days, but in Neurology and Neurosurgery, the term “personalized medicine” has true substance. That is because we bring together multiple world experts with a wide range of backgrounds to shape a unique course of action ideally suited for each patient.
In our Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center, for example, our specialists meet regularly to review cases. We have open discussions. We argue over what is best for each patient, and then we do it. A patient with a brain stem lesion would likely see Dr. Olivi, our brainstem biopsy expert featured on page one. Someone with a different type of tumor might see another surgeon trained in a minimally invasive, endoscopic technique.
Our patients benefit not only from this collective expertise, but also from our abundant resources: Six different methods of giving radiosurgery. Every standard chemotherapeutic agent, as well as experimental agents unavailable elsewhere. They benefit from our researchers who study the genetics of each tumor, our nurses, social workers, intensivists and anesthesiologists who are at the top of their fields.
In Neurology, thanks to an incredibly strong environment for neuroscience, we enjoy highly productive and collegial interactions with laboratories in several different departments which focus on both basic neuroscience and clinical neuroscience.
We’re able to couple this outstanding research environment with a strong clinical training program, unusual in its depth in areas like neuromuscular, neuroimmunology and cognitive neuroscience. To develop the next generation of academic leaders in neurology, we mentor and guide residents and fellows through the complex steps involved in building an academic career.
Johns Hopkins’ Brain Science Institute will forge multidisciplinary working groups to attack specific research targets and provide funding for innovative and transformative research. A neurotranslational unit within the institute will foster translational research and make it easier to bring new drugs and devices into clinical practice.
Some view Hopkins as a place for the complex, esoteric cases—not necessarily the routine ones. In fact, we believe there’s no such thing as a “routine case.” Every person’s problem is special. Every patient deserves the full benefit of that collective expertise so widely available here in Johns Hopkins Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Henry Brem, Harvey Cushing Professor and Director of Neurosurgery
Justin McArthur, Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology