The University of Miami has launched an International Neurooncology Scholars Program (INOSP), allowing trainees to rotate with internationally renowned tumor experts in other countries in order to increase their experience. The goal is to enhance education and facilitate multi-institutional collaboration.
The inaugural recipient of INOSP was Dr. Daniel Eichberg, who spent two weeks in Sydney, Australia, learning from highly accomplished neurosurgeons Dr. Charles Teo and Dr. Michael Sughrue at the Prince of Wales Hospital. The opportunity to learn minimally invasive keyhole approaches to complex brain and skull base tumors in one-on-one training sessions from two of the most experienced neurosurgeons in that technique was a powerful experience and augmented Dr. Eichberg’s skillset for cranial neurosurgery.
Drs. Sughrue and Teo have also developed the world’s most advanced technology for mapping the brain’s functional and structural connectivity, which may be markedly abnormal in patients with brain tumors. Providing a better understanding of an individual’s connectome may have a critical impact on brain tumor surgical outcomes by minimizing postoperative deficits, predicting recovery, and maximizing the amount of tumor that can safely be removed during surgery. Furthermore, this brain mapping technology utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to guide non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-based Interventional Neurorehabilitation to improve strength and speech deficits in postoperative brain tumor patients. As a result of the international collaboration fostered by INOSP, the University of Miami Department of Neurosurgery will partner with the Sydney team in the Glioma Connectome Project (an endeavor that seeks to learn how gliomas cause the brain to reorganize its connectome), and will initiate a TMS Neurointerventional Rehabilitation prospective clinical trial.
The INOSP program is made possible by generous donations from a grateful family. The plan is to support four rotations each year.