UofL neurosurgeon appointed to NIH review panel


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A University of Louisville neurosurgeon is now a member of the group that makes recommendations on neurological research funding to the National Institutes of Health.

    Maxwell Boakye, M.D., the Ole A., Mabel Wise and Wilma Wise Nelson Chair in Clinical Geriatrics Research in UofL’s Department of Neurosurgery, has been named to the Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters Study Section (CNNT) of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review. The appointment was announced earlier this month by Richard Nakamura, Ph.D., director of the center.

    The CNNT reviews grant applications and makes recommendations on grants to be funded for laboratory research in the areas of epilepsy, spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetic neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Boakye’s term on the 21-member panel is effective immediately and ends in 2017./p>

    Boakye earned his bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University and his M.D. degree at Weill Cornell Medical College. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at State University of New York-Upstate and subspecialty training in complex spinal neurosurgery at Emory University and in spinal oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He also earned a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master of business administration from the University of Tennessee.

    He moved his spinal cord injury and outcomes research laboratory labs from Stanford University to UofL in January 2011. The overall goal of his spinal cord and brain injury research is to understand the physiology and plasticity of the sensorimotor system in health and in patients with spinal cord and brain injury and to use that knowledge to develop new surrogate markers of recovery, new methods of injury prognosis and new therapies for spinal cord and brain injury.

    Boakye also heads an outcomes and health services research lab that investigates costs and comparative effectiveness of neurosurgical procedures, predictive models and quality improvement models for neurosurgical outcomes and disparities and variations in neurosurgical care.

    In addition to the endowed chair he holds, Boakye is associate professor of neurosurgery and Chief of spinal neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery; principal investigator with the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at UofL; a practicing physician with University of Louisville Physicians; and an attending neurosurgeon at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center and at Frazier Rehab Institute, a part of KentuckyOne Health.

    More information about Boakye and the Department of Neurosurgery at UofL is available on the department website.

    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.