Speakers


Spring 2024

Each year the Walter Grand Neurosurgery Forum proudly hosts the brightest minds in the Neurosurgical Field and this year we're excited to feature the following speakers.

Key Note

ROBERT FENSTERMAKER, MD

Chair of Neurosurgery, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Chair of Neurosurgery, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Fenstermaker received his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University then completed an internship and residency in neurosurgery at Case Medical Center in Cleveland where he also served as an NIH post-doctoral fellow in biochemistry and pharmacology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. He later served as an Assistant Professor on the neurosurgical faculty at Case Western Reserve. His neurosurgical mentors include Robert Ratcheson, Warren Selman, Robert Spetzler, Tim Mapstone, Robert White and Harold Rekate. Dr. Fenstermaker is currently a Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition, he is a co-founder and the Chief Medical Officer of MimiVax, LLC, a biotechnology company in Buffalo, New York devoted to cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Fenstermaker’s research career has focused on tumor immunology and immunotherapy for malignant gliomas.


Dunbar Alcindor, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery at UF Health; Jacksonville, FL 

Dr. Alcindor is a neurosurgery specialist in Jacksonville, FL who specializes in functional and stereotactic neurosurgery, neurological surgery, and neurological spine reconstructive surgery.

CJ Berg, MD, MBA

Board Certified Neurosurgeon

Dr. Berg treats a full range of neurological and spine conditions with an aim to revolutionize the way spine health is viewed, managed, and treated. This includes using surgical and recovery techniques that allow patients to mobilize early so that they can return home to recover in comfort. Dr. Berg graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, then received a medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine, and completed his residency training at the University of Buffalo Neurosurgery (UBNS). He began his career with the United States Air Force in 2013 and has held several positions, including Neurosurgery Element Leader, Orthopedics/Neurosurgery Flight Commander, and Neurosurgical Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General.

Boyle C. Cheng, PhD

Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Drexel University, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA  

Boyle C. Cheng, PhD, is the Director of Research for the Neuroscience Institute at Allegheny Health Network and a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Drexel University and Allegheny General Hospital. He maintains an adjunct appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and serves as an advisor to graduate students in the practicum course and teaching the Medical Devices class. His grant-funded research has included topics including NIH funded clinical research trials, the evaluation of anterior cervical disc replacements and novel biomaterials in a sheep model, biomechanical studies of a biased angle posterior cervical system, facet motion preservation technologies as well as dynamic and physical modeling based on specimen specific imaging and kinematic studies.

Justin. Davanzo, MD

Attending Neurosurgeon at Allegheny Health Network
Clinic, Jacksonville, FL

Dr. Davanzo is an attending neurosurgeon at Allegheny Health Network specializing in functional neurosurgery and neurocritical care. He is also an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at the Drexel College of Medicine and the co-director of the Neurologic Intensive Care unit at Allegheny General Hospital. He has clinical interests in traumatic brain and spinal cord injury and the surgical treatment of chronic pain. In addition, his research interests include patient outcomes in the neurocritical care setting and new indications of neuromodulation in the treatment of chronic pain.

Andrew J. Fabiano, MD, MBA, FAANS

Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park and a Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at SUNY Buffalo

Andrew J. Fabiano, MD, MBA, FAANS specializes in spinal tumor removal and complex spinal reconstruction. He also sits on the Central Nervous System Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and is Director of the Spinal Oncology Center at Roswell Park. He utilizes intraoperative neuroimaging and spinal neuronavigation to enhance patient safety and surgical outcomes. He lectures extensively on the surgical management of spinal tumors and with a special interest in minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of brain tumors including Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, Intracranial Endoscopy, Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, and Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy.

W. David Freeman, MD

Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Mayo
Clinic, Jacksonville, FL

Dr Freeman holds the academic rank of Professor of Neurology, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic, with appointments in the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Critical Care. He has more than 240 peer-reviewed National Library of Medicine publications, and three textbooks on hospital neurology, neuro critical care, and neurological emergencies. He also leads STR-X (Simulation, Telemedicine, Robotics, and eXperimental education) a cutting-edge fellowship launching in July 2023.

Rafael Diaz Garcia, MD; MSHCM


Baptist Health South Florida

Dr. Diaz-Garcia has a busy clinical practice focused on maximizing limb function after trauma and sarcoma, which includes peripheral nerve surgery, management of fractures, and complex wound management with microsurgery. Prior to relocating to Miami, he was the System Division Chief of Plastic Surgery for the Allegheny Health Network (AHN), and also served as the Medical Director for Supply Chain & GPO for AHN. He attended Villanova University on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude in 2003, and holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins.

Giuseppe Lanzino, MD

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 

Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Bologna Medical School, Dr. Lanzino specializes in the endovascular and surgical treatment of patients with cerebrovascular disorders. He completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, subspecialized training in neuroendovascular surgery at the State University of Buffalo, New York and cerebrovascular and skull-based surgery fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He has authored or coauthored more than 700 peer review publications, and he is the author of two text books. 

Lara Massie, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA  

Lara Massie is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Allegheny Health Network, Forbes Hospital. She completed neurosurgical training at Henry Ford Hospital and complex spinal deformity fellowship at Duke University. She oversees AHN's Women's Back Pain Multidisciplinary Working Group. Her practice spans minimally invasive thru complex spinal deformity cases, with a clinical research focus on improving patient outcomes. 

Daniel Meyers, MD

PGY-7 resident, Allegheny General Hospital, PA

Daniel Myers, MD, is currently a PGY-7 resident and enfolded spine fellow at Allegheny General Hospital. Upon his graduation next year, he will be staying on at Allegheny Health Network as an attending. His clinical interests are spinal deformity correction and minimally invasive spine surgery. His academic interests include various methods of improvements in surgical techniques, from enhancing wound healing, to improving postoperative pain and overall lessening the burden of spine surgery in patients.

Keaton Piper, MD

PGY - 6PGY-7 resident, USF Neurosurgery

Keaton Piper is a 6th year neurosurgery resident at University of South Florida. He completed medical school at University of Rochester and during residency completed an enfolded skull base fellowship at LeHigh Valley under the mentorship of Dr. Walter Jean with a particular emphasis in augmented reality. He has a current focus of research in trigeminal neuralgia, surgical treatment for complex pain, and functional neurosurgery. After graduation, he plans to complete a functional fellowship with Dr. Phil Starr and Dr. Edward Chang at University of California, San Francisco.

Eric Sauvageau, MD

Director of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery and Co-Director of Baptist Neurological Institute, Jacksonville FL 

Dr. Sauvageau is Director of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery and Co-Director of Baptist Neurological Institute. He is a neurosurgeon experienced in endovascular, vascular, and tumor neurosurgery and has extensive experience with treating stroke and cerebrovascular disease
patients. He is heavily involved with research for the advancement of the neurosurgical field and practices at one of the most prominent neurosurgical and cerebrovascular clinics in the country.

Richard Williamson, MD

Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery and Endovascular Services, AHN Neurosurgery, Pittsburgh PA

Dr. Williamson is the System Director of the AHN Cerebrovascular Center, he specializes in Endovascular/Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, Disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system and the spine, including trauma and tumors. As well as trigeminal neuralgia, vascular disorders, infections of the brain and spine and stroke.

Alexander Yu, MD

Director of Minimally Invasive Spine Neurosurgery, Skull Base and Cerebrovascular Surgery, AHN Neurosurgery, Pittsburg, PA

Dr. Yu is Vice Chair for AHN Neurosurgery, Director of Minimally Invasive Spine Neurosurgery and is the Director of Skull Base and Cerebrovascular Surgery. Dr. Yu specializes in diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the spine and brain as well as surgical care of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

We're in the process of adding new speakers to the list every day so please check back to see an update on who will be presenting.