Upstate News

March 29, 2007
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Walter Hall, M.D., pioneering neurosurgeon, named neurosurgery chair at SUNY Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Walter A. Hall, M.D., M.B.A., a leading neurosurgeon and researcher who pioneered the use of intraoperative MRI-guided neurosurgery, has been named the Robert and Molly King Professor of Neurosurgery and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University. The appointment, effective April 1, was announced by Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine. Hall succeeds Charles Hodge, M.D., who served as chairman for 19 years. Hodge remains as a member of the faculty and an attending physician at University Hospital.

Hall comes to SUNY Upstate from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he served as the Shelley N. and Jolene J. Chou Chair in Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.

Hall, who currently serves as director of the Brain Tumor Center of Minnesota, has extensive clinical and laboratory experience in developing new therapeutic modalities for treating brain tumors, including stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, blood-brain barrier disruption chemotherapy and targeted toxin therapy. In addition, Hall has authored more than 140 publications on brain tumors, targeted toxins, and central nervous system infections.

Hall’s appointment to the SUNY Upstate faculty brings to Central New York a pioneering neurosurgeon who developed the use of intraoperative MRI-guided neurosurgery. The procedure allows neurosurgeons to monitor their progress in removing tumors during surgery by taking an MRI scan in the operating room while the patient is still under general anesthesia.

During his training, he spent two years at the National Institutes of Health in the Surgical Neurology Branch as a Medical Staff Fellow from 1987 to 1989. He was the 1990 recipient of the Van Wagenen Fellowship of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons which he spent working in the Department of Tumor Biology of the Norwegian Radium Hospital in Oslo, Norway. Hall joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in February 1991. In 1996 he was awarded the Mahaley Clinical Research Award in brain tumors by the Joint Section of Tumors of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Hall received his master’s degree in business administration in 1998 from the Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1979 and his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1983. He completed his general surgery internship in 1984 and neurosurgical residency in 1990, at the University of Pittsburgh.

SUNY Upstate’s Department of Neurosurgery, treats more than 17,000 patients from all across New York state and maintains a significant research focus, including participation in numerous clinical trials throughout the year.

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