New grant will accelerate innovation in technology and clinical care to treat complex neurovascular disease
By Brian Loew and Nate Cernosek
The USC Neuro Revascularization Center (USC NRV Center) performs approximately 40-50 complex revascularization procedures per year, making it one of the most clinically robust programs in the country. Its multidisciplinary approach—combining plastic surgery, vascular surgery, and neurosurgery—is what allows the center to treat the most complex clinical cases and answer some of the toughest research questions.
A recent $500,000 gift from Alfred E. Mann Charities will support clinical excellence, novel research, and educational opportunities at the Center with a clear focus on leveraging technological innovation to engineer solutions for complex clinical problems.
“We are delighted to provide this funding for the USC Neuro Revascularization Center at Keck Medicine of USC,” said Mike Dreyer, President of the Alfred E. Mann Charities. “We are very impressed with the great work being done by the dedicated medical professionals at the Center. We hope and expect that these funds will help accelerate the groundbreaking work being conducted, and we look forward to seeing the center accelerate its clinical work in treating and curing potentially fatal or debilitating conditions.”
The USC NRV Center was created in 2014 as a joint venture between Jonathan Russin, MD, associate director of neurorestoration at Keck Medicine of USC, and Joseph Carey, MD, associate professor of clinical surgery in plastic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The Center’s initial work was pioneering surgical solutions to restore, improve, or replace blood flow to the brain.
As the goals of the NRV Center have grown to feature work to improve blood flow to the spinal cord when treating complex aortic aneurysms, the leadership team has expanded to include Sukgu Han, MD, MS, co-director of the Aortic Center at Keck Medical Center of USC, and associate professor of surgery in the vascular surgery division at the Keck School of Medicine.
“We are very grateful for the generous gift that will allow us to continue innovative, cross-disciplinary research to advance the care of patients who face the most complex aortic and neurologic diseases,” said Sukgu Han.
“We believe the best opportunities for innovation occur in the interstices between specialties,” added Joseph Carey. “We are very lucky to have the support of the Alfred E. Mann Charities as we continue to evolve this unique center.”
The center created and leads a monthly, multi-institutional conference on complex vascular disease that includes Stanford University, Barrow Neurological Institute, New York University and University of California San Diego. The center is one of only 10 sites in the United States approved to offer training in open cerebrovascular surgery by the Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training.
“What sets the USC NRV Center apart is the sharing of ideas between surgical experts to solve each other’s most challenging clinical and research problems,” said Jonathan Russin. “I don’t know of any other initiative that allows for surgical subspecialists to share time in the operating theatre, the lab, and the classroom to innovate, discover, and educate without boundaries.”
The Alfred E. Mann Charities, Inc. support for the USC NRV Center comes on the heels of the organization’s restructuring of a $85 million gift to rename the Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.