Pediatric Neurosurgery Research and Publications


    Our team is dedicated to finding cures for pediatric neurological diseases. In 2012, we launched the Children’s Center for Neurosciences Research in collaboration with Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Learn more.

  • Brain Tumor

    Migrating Tumor Cells with Nanotechnology

    Barun Brahma, M.D.Tobey MacDonald, M.D. and researchers from Georgia Tech and Emory University published ground-breaking brain tumor research in Nature. This new treatment approach uses nanotechnology to direct tumor cells outside of the brain where they can be captured and killed. Learn more.
    • In 2010, the EUREKA grant was awarded to the Georgia Institue of Technology to enable the design of a treatment for brain tumors that would direct moving tumor cells through a scaffold to a sink, located on the brain’s surface beneath the dura, which would contain a drug to kill the cells. Barun Brahma, M.D.Tobey MacDonald, M.D., and Ravi Bellamkonda, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech) collaborated on this research using nanomedicine to trap the migrating cells in brain tumors.
    • Peds Winter 2010 issue features the article "Brain Exvaders," which discusses the novel bioengineering solution aimed at pediatric brain tumors.
    • Reporter Newspapers interview Children's neurosurgeon, Dr. Brahma, about the exciting new research to remove brain tumors involving teams from Children's, Georgia Tech and Emory University School of Medicine.

    Stem Cells
    Tracy-Ann Read, Ph.D., Research Scientist, is studying medulloblastoma and cancer stem cells in the central nervous system, in conjunction with Emory Department of Neurosurgery.

    Brain Tumor Staining 
    Barun Brahma, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon, and Ravi Bellamkonda, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech) are conducting a donor funded research study to use nano-technology to better assist surgeons in distinguishing brain tumors form healthy brain tissue. Learn more.

    Drug Therapy
    Tobey MacDonald, M.D., Director, Neuro-Oncology Program, is leading a study to develop a drug therapy to stop the spread of medulloblastoma as an alternative to radiation therapy.

    Traumatic Brain Injury

    Emory University/Georgia Institute of Technology Grant - An investigation of coagulopathy after sever traumatic brain injury in children with emphasis on the role of platelet dysfunction. Investigators: Andrew Reisner, M.D., Jeanne Hendrickson, Joshua J. Chern, M.D., Ph.D., Silvia Bunting, M.D. et al.

  • Spinal Cord Injury
    Research is currently underway with the Georgia Institute of Technology to decrease secondary injury due to spinal cord injury.

    Inside-outside occipital bolt in place of halos for children who require occipitocervical fusion
    Halos are an important part of the immobilization process, but they are difficult for pediatric patients. David Wrubel, M.D., and Dr. Brahma performed the first study to focus on the use of inside-outside occipital screws in children (including patients under 4) to avoid the use of halo orthosis. Our neurosurgeons found the screws to be a useful part of occipitocervical instrumentation in patients 2 to 15 years. This instrumentation has a higher pullout strength with a greater degree of immobilization, which limits the need for halo orthosis.


  • Characterization and optimal treatment of cervical instability of patients with Down syndrome
  • Management and outcome analysis of pediatric disc herniation
  • Biomechanical characterization and advanced fusion approaches of the pediatric occipitocervical and thoracolumbar junction
  • Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to identify spinal cord pathology
  • Severe head injury guidelines
  • Neurotrauma

  • Neurosurgery Publications

      Read selected journal articles authored/co-authored by our surgeons available at PubMed, the online database provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health publications: 

      - William Boydston, M.D., Ph.D.

      - Barun Brahma, M.D.

      - Joshua Chern, M.D, Ph.D.

      - Andrew Reisner, M.D.

      - David Wrubel, M.D.


      - "Return to system within 30 days of discharge following pediatric shunt surgery." Joshua J. Chern, M.D., Ph.D., Markus Bookland, M.D., Javier Tejedor-Sojo, M.D., Jonathan Riley, M.D., Mohamm adali M. Shoja, M.D., R. Shane Tubb s, Ph.D., P.A.-C., and Andrew Reisner, M.D.J Neurosurg: Pediatrics / March 14, 2014  DOI: 10.3171/2014.2.PEDS13493

      - "Guiding intracortical brain tumour cells to an extracortical cytotoxic hydrogel using aligned polymeric nanofibres." Anjana Jain,  Martha Betancur, Gaurangkumar D. Patel,  Chandra M. Valmikinathan,  Vivek J. Mukhatyar,  Ajit Vakharia,  S. Balakrishna Pai,  Barunashish Brahma,  Tobey J. MacDonald  & Ravi V. Bellamkonda. Nature Materials 13, 308–316 (2014) doi:10.1038/nmat3878. Published online 16 February 2014

      - Aguilera, Flamini, Boydston, et al; Response of subependymal giant cell astrocytoma with spinal cord mestasis to everolimus.  Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

      - Reisner A, Gary MF, Chern JJ, D Grattan-Smith: Spinal cord infarction following minor trauma in children; Fibrocartilaginous embolism as a putative cause:  J Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, April Vol 11, 445-450, 2013.

      - Kebriaei MA, Shoa MM, Salinas SM, Falkenstrom KL, Sibnick, EA, Tubbs RS, Reisner A,Chern JJ; Shunt infection in the first year of life.  Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics July 12:44-48, 2013.

      - David M. Popoli, MD, Thomas Burns, PhD, William Meehan III, MD, Andrew Reisner,  MD.  CHOA Concussion Consensus:  Establishing a Uniform Policy for Academic Accomodations.  J Pediatrics (accepted)

      - Low Grade Leptomeningeal Neuroepithelial Tumor, Schniederjan, et al

      - Evans Blue Nanocarriers Visuall Demarcate Margins of Invasive Gliomas, Roller, et al

      - Nanofiber Transport of Brain Tumors, Jain et al

      - The Use of Inside-Outside Screws for Occipitocervial Fusion in Pediatric Patients – Accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics

      - Transient enlargement of craniopharyngioma after radiation therapy; Pattern of MRI response following radiation.  Journal of Neurooncology September 2012; 109(2); 349-55

      - Maurice SM, Brahma B, Burnstein FD.  Disappearing dermoid: Fact or Fiction?  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.  May 2012; 23(3): 812-6

      - Nanoparticle Liposome-Imipramine Blue inhibits medulloblastoma in SmoA1 transgenic mice.

      - Chern JJ, Kirkman JL, Shannon CN, Tubbs RS, Stone JD, Royal SA, Oakes WJ, Rozzelle CJ, Wellons JC.  Use of lumbar ultrasonography to detect occult spinal dysraphism.  Journal Neurosurgery Pediatric.  9(3):274-9, 2012.

      - Tubbs RS, Hattab EM, Loukas M, Chern JJ, Wellons M, Wellons JC 3rd, Iskandar BJ, Cohen-Gadol AA.  Histological analysis of the third ventricle floor in hydrocephalic and non hydrocephalic brains: application to neuroendocrine complications following third ventriculostomy procedures.  Journal Neurosurgery Pediatrics. 9(2):178-181, 2012.

      - Chern JJ, Tubbs RS, Gordon AS, Donnithorne KJ, Oakes WJ.  Management of Pediatric Patients with Pseudotumor Cerebri.  Childs Nerv Syst. 28(4):575-578, 2012 Jan 19.

      - Chern JJ, Muhleman M, Tubbs RS, Miller JH, Johnston JM, Wellons JC 3rd, Blount JP, Oakes WJ, Rozzelle CJ.  Clinical evaluation and surveillance imaging in children with Spina Bifida aperta and shunt-treated hydrocephalus.  J Neurosurgery Pediatrics. 9(6): 621-6, 2012.

      - Hwang SW, Gressot LV, Chern JJ, Relyea K, Jea A.  Complications of Occipital Screw Placement for Occipitolcervical Fusion in Childres.  J Neurosurgery Pediatrics. 9(6); 586-93, 2012.

      - Tubbs RS, Chern JJ, Muhleman M, Loukas M, Shoja MM, Oakes WJ.  Lateral Compressions of the Foramen Magnum with the Chiari 1 Malformation: case illustrations.  Childs Nerv Syst Apr 19, 2012.

      - Tubbs RS, Muhleman M, McClugage SG, Loukas M, Miller JH, Chern JJ, Rozzelle CJ, Oakes WJ, Cohen-Gadol AA.  Progressive symptomative increase in the size of choroidal fissure cysts.  J neurosurg Pediatr  10(4):306-9, 2012.

      - Chern JJ, Aksut B, Kirkman JL, Shoja MM, Tubbs RS, Royal SA, Wellons JC 3rd, Rozzelle CJ.  The accuracy of abnormal lumbar sonography findings in detecting occult spinal dysraphism: a comparison with magnetic resonance imaging.  J Neurosurg Pediatr.  10(2): 150-3, 2012.

      - Kebriaei MA, Shoa MM, Salinas SM, Falkenstrom KL, Sibnick, EA, Tubbs RS, Reisner a. Chern JJ; Shunt infection in the first year of life.  Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics July 12:44-48, 2013.

      - Chern JJ.  Response, Spinal dysraphism.  J Neurosurg Pediatr.  11(5): 613, 2013.

      - Tubbs RS, Mortazavi MM, Farrington WJ, Chern JJ, Shoja MM, Loukas M, Cohen-Gadol AA.  Relationships between the posterior interosseous nerve and the supinator muscle: application to peripheral nerve compression syndromes and nerve transfer procedures. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg, 2013 May 21.

      - Reisner A, Gary MF, Chern JJ, D Grattan-Smith: Spinal cord infarction following minor trauma in children; Fibrocartilaginous embolism as a putative cause:  J Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, April Vol 11, 445-450, 2013.

      - Rizk E, Chern JJ, tagayun C, Tubbs RS, Hankinson T, Rozzelle CJ, Oakes WJ, Blount JP, Wellons JC.  Institutional experience of endoscopic suprasellar arachnoid cyst fenestration.  Childs Nerv Syst Jan 24, 2013.

      - Shoja MM, Chern JJ.  Letter to the editor:  Decompressive craniectomy.  J Neurosurg Pediatr 11(3): 358, 2013.