to pursue a career in neurosurgery with a special focus on brain tumors. For Black, the most difficult part of his job is treating malignant brain tumors. He maintains that half of all brain tumors are malignant and can’t always be cured. In those cases, “physicians can improve the quality of life and extend life with surgery and other treatments but they cannot cure the disease,” he says.
As chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, this top-rated surgeon manages, among other duties, the hospital’s neurosurgical institute, which has a staff of 33 neurosurgeons and a faculty of 11 academic neurosurgeons who teach residents and perform research in addition to surgery. “We’re actively involved in the training of the next generation of neurosurgeons,” Black says.
He seeks to change cancer treatment by reducing and possibly eliminating the need for chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatments. “We are learning how important it is to also use the body’s immune system to fight tumors,” he says. In fact, Black and his team of researchers are working on a vaccine developed in his research lab. The team has treated about 100 patients with positive results. “And with the most aggressive cancer, called a gleoblastoma, we’ve shown that we can increase the chance of survival at two years from 8% to 42%, using this vaccination in combination with chemotherapy and surgery,” says Black. Through such leadership, Black has made Cedars-Sinai one of the top neurosurgical centers in the country. Sheiresa McRae
The following physcians are listed by their board certifications:
Michael A. LeNoir, M.D., Title: CEO and Medical Director, Bay Area Multicultural Clinical Research and Prevention Center; President, Ethnic Health Institute at Summit Medical Center; Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco
Specialties: Pediatrics, Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
LeNoir has been a practicing allergist and pediatrician for 25 years. He has been active in both clinical and academic medicine. He is a nationally recognized expert in treating asthma in the African American community and inner cities. LeNoir founded the Ethnic Health Institute in Oakland, California.
Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Health Sciences and Technology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital;
Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School
A practicing clinical anesthesiologist, Brown continues to conduct groundbreaking research on developing algorithms to interpret brain signals, which can be applied in research on the use of motor signals in prosthetic devices such as robotic arms for people with spinal cord injuries or neurodegenerative diseases.
David G. Nichols, M.D., M.B.A.
Title: Mary Wallace Stanton Professor, Vice Dean for Education,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Nichols is the editor-in chief for a number of leading textbooks in pediatric critical care medicine and sits on the board of directors for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nichols received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics section of Critical Care Medicine.
Augustus O. Grant, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Vice Dean for Faculty Enrichment, Duke University Medical Center
Grant is professor