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Neurosurgeon Adam Mamelak Brings Expertise In Pituitary Surgery, Epilepsy, Tumor Research

January 7, 2006 • By

Neurosurgeon Adam N. Mamelak, M.D., has joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute to conduct brain tumor research, provide additional expertise in epilepsy and skull base surgery, and serve as co-director of the medical center’s Pituitary Center.

“He is a leader in the field of neurosurgery, epilepsy, pituitary tumors and brain tumors,” said Keith L. Black, M.D., director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Cedars-Sinai’s Division of Neurosurgery. “His research interests and background contribute ideally to our investigations, and the quality of his clinical skills will be appreciated by the patients who come to us for care.”

Mamelak, who earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, has conducted research in a variety of neurological areas, including epilepsy and seizures, memory formation, and innovative techniques for imaging brain tumors.

He recently participated in a Phase I study of a synthetic version of a substance derived from scorpion venom in the treatment of malignant brain tumors called gliomas. The compound, TM-601, is not toxic to normal cells but it seeks out and binds to tumor cells. TM-601 acts as the guidance system to deliver a dose of radiation directly to its target, precisely killing tumor cells while minimizing damage to neighboring cells. The experimental treatment is now in a Phase II trial.

Among recent research efforts, Mamelak was a principle investigator in a study of genetically engineered T-cells designed to target glioma cells. He is also investigating the ability of the brain to differentiate novel from familiar information by recording the activity of individual brain cells in patients undergoing monitoring for seizure, and the utility of magnetoencephalography to identify seizures.

In 1999, Mamelak received the award for Best Translational Research by a Practicing Neurosurgeon from the National Brain Tumor Foundation through the American Association of Neurosurgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). He also is the winner of the Young Investigator Award from the Research Foundation of the AANS and the Junior Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society.

Board-certified in neurological surgery, Mamelak is active in numerous professional organizations, including the American Epilepsy Society, the Society of Neuro-Oncology and the American College of Surgeons. He also serves on several committees and editorial boards.

Named among America’s Top Surgeons in 2003 and America’s Top Doctors for Cancer in 2005, Mamelak recently served as associate professor and section head of neurosurgery at City of Hope National Medical Center and neurosurgical director of the Epilepsy and Brain Mapping Program at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

After completing medical school, he served as chief resident in neurological surgery at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, where he also received fellowship training at the Epilepsy Research Laboratory. He completed a neuroscience research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology and Huntington Medical Research Institutes.

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