Division of Neurosurgery

Our Division of Neurosurgery provides comprehensive neurosurgical care to patients with cranial, spinal and other neurological disorders. Our highly trained team of neurosurgeons has extensive clinical expertise in all aspects of general neurosurgery, including neuro-oncology, spine, movement disorders, cerebrovascular disease, and pain. We utilize advanced medical technology to perform complex surgeries and, where possible, minimally-invasive options to treat neurosurgical conditions. We often take a collaborative approach, working alongside surgical, oncology and pain management colleagues to provide our patients with the most thorough assessment and treatment options. Our philosophy is compassionate and patient-centered care involving a multidisciplinary team approach that includes our physicians, physician assistant, nurse practitioner and nursing staff. We strive to help educate our patients about the best individualized surgical and non-surgical approaches for their conditions to improve their quality of life.

We are deeply engaged in clinical and basic research projects at the Scripps Clinic and with collaborators at Scripps Research (formerly TSRI), Scripps Translational Sciences Institute and the University of California, San Diego.

Our division members perform a variety of operations, with areas of particular interest and expertise as noted below:

Christopher M. Uchiyama MD. Ph.D, FAANS
Division Head

  • Complex cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine surgery, fusion, instrumentation
  • Cervical artificial disc replacement
  • Disorders of craniocervical junction: Chiari malformations, tumors and degenerative disease
  • Pituitary tumors, brain and spinal tumors
  • Peripheral nerve tumors
  • Spinal cord stimulator implantation for intractable pain
  • Intrathecal baclofen pumps for spasticity
  • Central nervous system infections
  • General neurosurgery

Faith Barnett MD, Ph.D, FAANS
Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, Scripps-MD Anderson Neuro-oncology Program

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain and spinal tumors
  • Non-operative pediatric neurosurgical conditions
  • Basic science and translational neuro-oncology

Adam P. Burdick, MD, FAANS
Surgical Co-Director of Deep Brain Stimulation Center

  • Deep Brain Stimulator surgery for Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor
  • Vagal nerve stimulator implants for epilepsy
  • Complex cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral spine surgery, fusion, instrumentation
  • Disorders of craniocervical junction: Chiari malformations, tumors and degenerative disease
  • Pituitary tumors, brain and spinal tumors
  • Spinal cord stimulator implants for intractable pain
  • Intrathecal baclofen pumps for spasticity
  • General neurosurgery

Hani Malone, MD

  • Minimally invasive spinal neurosurgery
  • Endoscopic/ventriculoscopic intracranial procedures
  • Complex cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral spine surgery, fusion, instrumentation
  • Cervical artificial disc replacement
  • Disorders of craniocervical junction: Chiari malformations, tumors and degenerative disease
  • Brain and spinal tumors
  • Intrathecal baclofen pumps for spasticity
  • General neurosurgery

Scott E. Olson, MD

  • Endovascular Neurosurgery for diagnostic and therapeutic management of cerebrovascular disorders of the brain and spine.

Joshua Del’Homme, PA-C
Andrea Vastola, NP

Featured Services

  • Brain, spine, peripheral nerve and pituitary tumors

  • Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor

  • Minimally invasive neurological spinal fusion and instrumentation

  • Complex spinal surgery, fusion and instrumentation

  • Cervical artificial disc surgery

  • Intrathecal implantable drug pumps

  • Intraoperative neuronavigation using image-guided, computer assisted brain and spine surgery

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery for primary and metastatic brain and spinal tumors

  • Endovascular/cerebrovascular neurosurgery

  • Pain procedures for conditions including failed back surgery, trigeminal neuralgia

Recognitions & Awards

  • Exceptional interdisciplinary programs our physicians participate in include: The Scripps-MD Anderson Neuro-oncology program, teaching and education of orthopedic spine fellows and Movement Disorders program; and The Scripps Green Hospital Deep Brain Stimulation Program, which continues to be one of the busiest centers in San Diego County for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor.

  • Division members are exceptional individuals who volunteer time to the community and have been recognized and lectured at local, national and international events . Members have also volunteered for overseas humanitarian missions providing neurosurgical care to underserved populations.

  • Owing to our culture of patient care, Scripps Clinic Medical Group neurosurgeons receive excellent patient care ratings on external public websites and are among the highest rated neurosurgeons on Scripps hospitals’ patient satisfactions surveys.

Our Division welcomes undergraduate, graduate and medical students who wish to shadow or observe the practice of neurosurgery in our busy clinical environment. Interested trainees actively enrolled in other Scripps Clinic GME programs and outside institutions may also participate in research, or clinical rotations with our neurosurgeons.

Please visit the Graduate Medical Education page for additional information on the SCMG GME programs.

Division members attend educational and teaching conferences including multidisciplinary weekly clinical neurology/neurosurgery/neuroradiology conferences and bimonthly Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center Neuro-oncology Multidisciplinary Treatment Planning Conferences.

Current Research

FH Barnett. Basic Science Research Lab Investigations studying tumor angiogenesis and vascular mimicry

Study Title: The Role of the Glioblastoma Microenvironment in Cancer Stem Cell Driven Intra-tumor Heterogeneity, CM Uchiyama, S Fortin-Ensign FPrincipal Investigator, IRB-18-7157.

Protocol Title: Phase II Trial of AV-GBM-1 (Autologous Dendritic Cells Loaded with Autologous Tumor Associated Antigens) As Adjunctive Therapy Following Primary Surgery Plus Concurrent Chemoradiation in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma. F. Barnett, C. Uchiyama, Subinvestigators. Protocol Number: CL-GBM-P01-US. Sponsor: Aivita Biomedical. (Study enrollment closed)

DEFUSE 3 – Endovascular Therapy Following Imaging Evaluation for Ischemic Stroke 3, University of California, San Diego, S. Olson, Sub-Investigator 2016-Present

WEAVE Trial: Wingspan StEnt System Post Market SurVEillance Study, University of California, San Diego, S. Olson, Sub-Investigator 2014-Present

Adam Burdick MD, Adam Aron PhD, Jan Wessel PhD, Dawn Finzi MA. “Local Field Potentials in the Basal Ganglia”

Adam Burdick MD, Melissa Houser MD, Nelson Hwynn DO, Sherrie Gould NP.“Quantifying Deficits in Movement Disorders Patients”

Selected Recent Publications

Barnett, FH, Rosenfeld, M, Wood, M, Kiosses, W, Aguilar, E, Usui, Y, Marchetti, V, Friedlander, M:Macrophages form functional vascular mimicry channels in vivo. Scientific Reports 6 2016 DOI:10.1038/srep36659

Fortin-Ensign S, Bollin K, Millis S, Kosty M, Uchiyama CM (2019): “Genomic Analysis Reveals Low Tumor Mutation Burden Which May be Associated with GNAQ/11 Alterations In a Series of Primary Leptomeningeal Melanomas” Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, Oct 30, 2019 DOI:10.1111/pcmr.12839 (e-pub ahead of print)

Uchiyama C, Teramoto D and Redfield D (2019) “Coccidioidomycosis meningitis causing syringomyelia due to type I Chiari malformation: treatment outcome of a case with 14 year follow-up”. Abstract 63rd Annual Coccidioidomycosis Study Group Meeting, UC Davis, April 2019, Sacramento, CA

Burdick A, Foote KD, Ward H,Goodman W, Ricciuti N, Murphy T, Haq I, Okun M. Lack of Benefit of Accumbens/Capsular Deep Brain Stimulation in a Patient with both Tics and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Neurocase, in press.

Krames, Elliot S., Peckham, P. Hunter & Rezai, Ali R. Neuromodulation. Academic Press, London.Chapter 43, Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor. Adam P. Burdick, Michael S. Okun, and Kelly D. Foote

David R. Santiago-Dieppa, Brian R. Hirshman, Arvin Wali, J. Scott Pannell, Yasaman Alam, Scott Olson, Vincent J. Cheung, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Mihir Gupta, Alexander A. Khalessi, The circle of Willis predicts the antihypertensive effects of carotid artery stenting . Neurosurgical Focus Neurosurg Focus 42 (4):E18, 2017 (April 2017)

Kidwell CS, Jahan R, Gombein J, Alger JR, Nehov V, Ajani Z, Feng L, Meyer BC, Olson S, Schwamm LH, Yoo AJ, Marshall RS, Meyers PM, Yavagal DR, Wintermark M, Guzy J, Starkman S, Saver JL for the MR RESCUE Investigators. A Trial of Imaging Selection and Endovascular Treatment for Ischemic Stroke. NEJM 2013; 368:914-923.

Noticewala SS, Mell LK, Olson SE, Read W. Survival in unresectable sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma treated with concurrent intra-arterial cisplatin and radiation. World J Clin Cases 2015; 3(2): 191-195

Angevine PD, Bray D, Cloney M, Malone H. Uncertainty in the relationship between sagittal alignment and patient-reported outcomes. Neurosurgery. 2019. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyz228.

Traynelis VC, Malone H, Smith ZA, Hsu WK, Kanter AS, Qureshi SA, Cho SK, Baird EO, Isaacs RE, Rahman RK, Polevaya G, Smith JS, Shaffrey C, Tortolani PS, Stroh DA, Arnold PM, Fehlings MG, Mroz TE, Riew KD. Rare complications of cervical spine surgery: Horner’s syndrome. Global Spine Journal, 2017. 7(1): p.103-108.

Chang PD, Malone H, Bowden SG, Chow DS, Gill BJ, Ung TH, Samanamud J, Englander Z, Sonabend AM, Sheth SA, McKhann GM, Sisti MB, Schwartz LH, Lignelli A, Grinband J, Bruce JN, Canoll P. A multiparametric model for mapping cellularity in glioblastoma using radiographically localized biopsies. Am J Neuroradiol, 2017. 38(5): p. 890-898.

D’Amico R, Banu M, Petridis P, Bercow A, Malone H, Praver M, Wang T, Isaacson S, Sisti M. Efficacy and outcomes of facial nerve-sparing treatment approach to cerebellopontine angle meningiomas. J Neurosurg, 2017: p. 1-11.

SEE ALL SCMG RESEARCH