Howard Yonas, M.D., has joined the faculty of the UNM School of Medicine as Division Chief for Neurosurgery. Before coming to UNM, Dr. Yonas was at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he was Vice Chair of Neurosurgery, a Peter J. Jannetta professor of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; co-director of the UPMC Stroke Center and director of the Xenon/CT Cerebral Blood Flow Program.
"Dr. Yonas's recruitment signals a new era for Neurosurgery both at UNM and within the state," said Paul Roth, M.D., in announcing the appointment. "As an academic institution, I believe it is imperative we develop an integrated clinical and research Neurosurgical program to provide patients with the most innovative surgical techniques as well as access to national surgical research programs."
Paul Turner, M.D. who served as interim division chief for Neurosurgery remains on faculty. "We are grateful to Paul for his outstanding efforts in guiding the Neurosurgery division during our national search for a permanent chair and we know the referring physicians who have worked with him look forward to his continued practice at UNM," said Roth.
Yonas earned his M.D. from Ohio State University and completed a surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland and fellowships in microvascular surgery in Zurich, Switzerland and at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1978.
His professional memberships include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Mid-Atlantic Neurological Society, Neurological Society of America, Pennsylvania Medical Society and Fellowship in the American Heart Association Stroke Council.
Dr. Yonas arrives at the university with a long research history with an emphasis on stroke prevention, treatment and the development of new decision-making strategies to improve the health outcomes for patients with hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.
He is one of the pioneers in modifying CT/scanning technology through the development of a xenon/CT cerebral blood flow methodology, a technology that has allowed neurosurgeons to better monitor oxygen-flow in the brain.
At UNM he will be developing a Neurosciences program that integrates research, teaching and clinical activities from a number of areas around the Health Sciences campus. "We want to be known as the people who are thinking about stroke and other brain disorders and developing new techniques to treat them after everyone else has given up," he said.