Course Directors:

Jamie S. Ullman, MD, FACS *

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Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine

Director of Neurotrauma,
Northwell Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery
North Shore University Hospital

Jamie S. Ullman, MD, FACS, joined Northwell Health in 2013 as director of neurotrauma at the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital. She brings 25 years of specialized expertise in the surgical management of head and spinal cord injuries, as well as acute neurological conditions such as stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, hydrocephalus and brain tumors.

A founding member of the Northwell Health Concussion Program, Dr. Ullman leads a team of experts in traumatic brain injury. She also works closely with the neurocritical care team in the Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit at North Shore University Hospital to deliver comprehensive neurological services to the community.

Fully committed to being accessible for her patients, Dr. Ullman is always there to answer questions and address any concerns with kindness and compassion. She takes the time to go over every aspect of care, whether it s reviewing diagnostic films or explaining the thorough details of a procedure.

Research is also important to Dr. Ullman. She is actively involved in various neurosurgical clinical trials and studies including intracranial pressure monitoring and minimally invasive removal of blood clots in strokes. Her work has been highlighted in more than 60 medical publications.

A recognized leader in her field, Dr. Ullman has received numerous awards from national organizations, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. She was also nominated for Northwell s President s Award, recognized for her leadership in elevating the neurotrauma program at North Shore University Hospital, the first trauma center in downstate New York to receive level I verification from the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Ullman received her medical training from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. She completed a residency in neurosurgery and fellowship in neurosurgery critical care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and an additional fellowship in neurotrauma at the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

After completing her training, Dr. Ullman continued to pursue her passion for education. She has held faculty and leadership roles throughout her career, and currently serves as professor of neurosurgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. As a core faculty member of Northwell s neurosurgery residency program, she is committed to training the future leaders of brain surgery.

Dr. Ullman currently serves on the New York state trauma and advisory committees, and was the first woman to serve as an officer and vice president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. She also previously served as chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care.


Simone Betchen, MD, FACS *

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Neurosurgery Division
Maimonides Medical Center

Dr. Betchen is a board-certified neurosurgeon. She currently practices at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and is proud to have served the community there for a decade now. Dr. Betchen received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School. She did internship and neurosurgery residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. After completing a neurosurgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center she made the big move south to Brooklyn where she now treats a wide variety of clinical problems in both the brain and spine including tumors, hydrocephalus, chiari malformation, herniated disks, and spinal stenosis. Her research interests are in clinical outcomes and quality of life with neurosurgical treatment. Outside of the hospital she is married with two children.

Dr. Betchen is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Women in Neurosurgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She serves on the board of the Brooklyn-Long Island Chapter of the ACS. She joined AWS at the time of initiation into the college and is thankful she made that choice. Joining has expanded my circle of successful, strong, and dedicated female surgeons across specialties and has given me a better view as to what great heights are achievable. I am honored to be the membership committee chair and entrusted with building the membership of this wonderful organization.

* Planner

Planning Committee Members

Aviva Abosch, MD, PHD

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Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD, is Professor, Nancy A. Keegan and Donald R. Voelte, Jr. Chair and the inaugural Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Co-Director of the Neurosciences Services (Neurology, Neurosurgery, Mental Health, Pain Management). Dr. Abosch received a BA from Bryn Mawr College and an MD and PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco followed by fellowship training in Epilepsy Surgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University and additional fellowship training in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Abosch is Board Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. She serves on many national and international committees and organizations and is the Past-President of the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN). Her research interests include high-field magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and electrophysiological correlates of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Abosch is an editorial board member of many national journals.

"Tools of the Trade" Photo Essay- Lola Chambliss, MD, neurosurgeon
n VUMC Voice on the theme "My Favorite Tool."  The photos are environmental portraits of VUMC people holding a tool that they prize for some reason or another.

Photos by: Susan Urmy

Lola Chambless, MD, FAANS

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Lola B. Chambless, MD, FAANS is the Neurosurgery Residency Program Director and an Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Chambless received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University. She completed her neurosurgery residency and an enfolded fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at Vanderbilt, as well as a fellowship in minimally invasive neurosurgery at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney Australia. Her clinical expertise is in the surgical management of brain and skull base tumors with an emphasis on minimally invasive and endoscopic approaches. She also works closely with the Department of Radiation Oncology to provide multidisciplinary care to patients requiring brain radiation.

Dr. Chambless’ research focus is in the use of advanced data science techniques to predict outcomes in neurosurgical oncology. She also collaborates with biomedical engineers to improve neurosurgical techniques and cancer biologists to understand the cellular mechanisms behind glioma growth. She is passionate about medical education, serving as the Residency Program Director in Neurological Surgery and in a number of teaching roles within the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. She has a strong national reputation, currently serving as a Member-at-Large for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) co-chairing the CNS Leadership Institute.

Isabelle Germano, MD, MBA, FACS

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Neurosurgery PROFESSOR
Oncological Sciences PROFESSOR

Cancer (Oncology)


Hospital Affiliations
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Morningside
Mount Sinai West


Ronit Gilad, MD

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Joining Northwell Health in 2017, Ronit Gilad, MD is a board certified neurosurgeon. Dr. Gilad was previously a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy where she served as the staff physician in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. While in the service, Dr. Gilad treated active duty members and their families. She participated in a combat traumatic brain injury program and helped treat wounded soldiers upon return from overseas deployment. Dr. Gilad is a member of numerous professional organizations and has published in a variety of scholarly journals including the Journal of Neurosurgery, American Journal of Neuroradiology, The Spine Journal and Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Soriaya Lizette Motivala, MD

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Academic titles

Assistant Professor, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Chief resident

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Indiana University School of Medicine


Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Susan C. Pannullo, MD, FAANS

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Dr. Pannullo is the Director of Neurosurgical Radiosurgery and Neuro-oncology at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center. Both a neurosurgeon and a neuro-oncologist, Dr. Pannullo is board-certified in neurology and neurological surgery, is fellowship trained in neuro-oncology, and has completed specialty training in stereotactic radiosurgery. She is one of the few neurosurgeons in the world with a neurosurgical practice focused only on stereotactic radiosurgery, and one of the few neurosurgeons in the country with access to three different technologies — Novalis, Gamma Knife and CyberKnife — for stereotactic radiosurgery procedures. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Pannullo serves in leadership positions in several important institutional and national organizations, including the Weill Cornell Institutional Review Board, the National Brain Tumor Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Brain Tumor Foundation.

Read about some of Dr. Pannullo’s patients:
Saving Face
Nobody Else Understood

Dr. Pannullo received her undergraduate degree with honors in anthropology from Cornell University in 1983 and her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1987. Following a medicine internship at Harvard-Beth Israel Medical Center, she completed a neurology residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1991. From 1991 to 1992, Dr. Pannullo was an American Cancer Society Fellow in Neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She then completed a second residency in neurological surgery at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1997, becoming the program’s first female graduate.

Dr. Pannullo’s research portfolio has included clinical studies at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicineand Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as laboratory research at the National Institutes of Health. In the laboratory, Dr. Pannullo collaborates with faculty and students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University’s Ithaca, New York, campus to develop novel brain tumor therapies and radiosurgical technologies.