North Shore-LIJ Neurosurgical Residents Recognized

MANHASSET, NY -- Sal Zavarella, DO and Sudhakar Vadivelu, DO, neurosurgical residents from North Shore-LIJ’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute (CNI) have each been selected to receive the “Annual Neurosurgery Resident Paper Award,” which was presented to them at the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) meeting on September 29. Of the many submissions received, the ACOS recognized only the top three resident papers.

 Dr. Zavarella received first-place honors for a paper entitled, “Identification of the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Trio as novel therapeutic target for medulloblastoma invasion.” Dr. Zavarella said of the study, “We explored different proteins that control the movement of medulloblastoma (a common brain tumor that occurs mostly in children) tumor cells. We found one protein called Trio that plays a significant role in the invasive characteristics of medulloblastoma. Interestingly, this protein can be targeted with small molecule inhibitors or drugs . We are now focusing on understanding this molecular pathway and creating new drugs to target this protein.”

 Dr. Vadivelu received second-place honors for a paper entitled, “Occipital nerve stimulation for refractory headache in the Chiari malformation population.”

Dr. Vadivelu said of the study, “We reviewed a select group of patients with intractable headaches over the back of the head with an underlying diagnosis of Chiari malformation. Most of the patients had undergone multiple medical and surgical therapies without headache improvement. Neurostimulation is a novel therapy aimed at stimulating peripheral nerves for chronic pain. We found this to be an efficacious approach for this group of patients as well.”
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About North Shore-LIJ’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute

CNI was established in 2006 and is a multidisciplinary continuum of neuroscience programs that combines medicine, scientific research, technology, clinical programs, surgical techniques and education to advance the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases. CNI’s team of neurospecialists is dedicated to providing high-quality, world-class medical and surgical care, while maintaining the highest ethical standards. To request an appointment, email CNI at [email protected] or call the Neuro Hotline at (516) 562-3822. To visit CNI’s website, go to

About North Shore-LIJ’s Neurosurgical Residency Program

The Department of Neurosurgery's residency program, through North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) and Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), has over 25 physicians on staff, 19 of whom are dedicated neurosurgeons. Each facility has an Intensive Care unit (ICU) including a dedicated 16-bed Neurosurgical ICU at NSUH. These units are staffed by full-time neurointensivists.

The North Shore-LIJ neurosurgical residency program is overseen by Raj K. Narayan, MD chair, department of neurosurgery and director of CNI, along with Michael Schulder, MD, vice chair, neurosurgery and program director for residency training.

Over the years, the North Shore-LIJ neurosurgical residency program has evolved from a purely clinical, one-hospital program to an academic program at three hospitals, and with a significant research component. Trainees are exposed to a diverse caseload and an intense and rewarding educational experience. The ongoing development and growth of CNI promises continued advancement in training both from the clinical and research standpoints.

For more information about North Shore-LIJ’s neurosurgical residency program go to,

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