This month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Debraj “Raj” Mukherjee, director of neurosurgical oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and assistant professor of neurosurgery and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Mukherjee earned his M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School. He went on to study epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical design at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and served as co-director of the Neuro-Oncology Surgical Outcomes Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery. He did his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an open and endoscopic skull base fellowship at the Center for Skull Base Surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Mukherjee was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA; his answers follow.
What inspired you to choose your career path?
My interest in pursuing a career in medicine was sparked by very personal experiences. As the son of immigrant parents who settled just outside of Chicago, I found the physicians caring for my family and me were always compassionate and provided wisdom, guidance, and support that was truly life-altering, regardless of our ability to pay for their services. Beyond this initial curiosity, as I began to interact more with patients as a clinic volunteer in high school and college, I found my ability to connect with patients on an individual level to be inspiring and deeply meaningful. As a medical student, I was drawn to neurosurgery, given its promise of dramatically improving patients’ lives through the surgical sciences. During my training, I found that I excelled in the skull base cases that were often the most challenging, including dissection along critical neurovascular structures with significant implications for patients’ quality of life. As an attending neurosurgeon focused on the surgical treatment of skull base tumors (inclusive of pituitary lesions), I have been fortunate to merge all of these interests and skills into a comprehensive skull base tumor practice that allows me to demonstrate empathy toward my patients and their families, while also providing excellent surgical care and pushing the field forward with my research initiatives focused on quality-of-life issues.
This month the PNA Medical Corner presents a study co-authored by multiple members of the PNA: Drs. Theodosopoulos, Kunwar, Blevins and Aghi, all colleagues at UCSF. The study looks at whether a patient’s socioceconomic status has any predictive value as to the presentation or outcomes after the resection of a nonfunctioning pituitary tumor. They looked at five indicators of SES (race, ethnicity, insurance status, estimated income, and having a primary care provider) and conclude that having a primary care provider was the most significant factor and protected low-income patients from increased risk of recurrence.
Socioeconomic predictors of case presentations and outcomes in 225 nonfunctional pituitary adenoma resections
Robert C Osorio 1, Matheus P Pereira 1, Rushikesh S Joshi 2, Kevin C Donohue 1, Patricia Sneed 3, Steve Braunstein 3, Philip V Theodosopoulos 4, Ivan H El-Sayed 5, José Gurrola 5, Sandeep Kunwar 4, Lewis S Blevins 4, Manish K Aghi 4 Affiliations expand
Objective: Clinical presentations and outcomes of nonfunctional pituitary adenoma (NFPA) resections can vary widely, and very little prior research has analyzed this variance through a socioeconomic lens. This study sought to determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) influences NFPA presentations and postoperative outcomes, as these associations could aid physicians in understanding case prognoses and complications.
In August, Stanford University neurosurgeon Dr. Juan Fernandez-Miranda was able to help a young man from Lebanon named Ali Daoud. The surgeon removed a tumor that had recurred despite two surgeries in Beirut. The tumor was hiding in the cavernous sinus, an area that Dr. Fernandez-Miranda has studied for many years. Read more:
Photo caption: Dr. Juan Fernandez-Miranda and patient Ali Daoud. Photo courtesy of the Daoud family.
Pituitary Story: Dealing With the Trauma of a Pituitary Tumor
Pituitary patient Paris Dancy recounts the emotional trauma he suffered before and after his diagnosis with a pituitary tumor. It’s part of his “Surviving and Thriving” column for Cushing’s Disease News. Read more here:
Researchers Look at the Role of Gene Splicing in Hyperthyroidism
A blog from the University of Michigan looks into the work of geneticists there – who are investigating gene splicing defects and their possible role in hormone deficiencies and hypothyroidism. Read more:
Longtime PNA Member Dr. Shlomo Melmed Wins Transatlantic Alliance Award
The PNA would like to congratulate longtime member Dr. Shlomo Melmed, on winning the first-ever Transatlantic Alliance Award. The award is the first time the Endocrine Society and the European Society of Endocrinology have collaborated to honor a worldwide leader in the field. Dr. Melmed is executive vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the Medical Faculty and distinguished professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Melmed will be a featured speaker at the European Congress of Endocrinology in May 2022 in Milan. He will also speak at ENDO 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia in June.
Pituitary Story: Life after Pituitary Hemorrhage
A story on Braintumorcharity.org tells the story of 42-year-old Jo Hutchinson from the U.K., who suffered a hemorrhage of a tumor on her pituitary at age 16. She had most of her pituitary gland surgically removed, which led to a series of ongoing challenges. Read more:
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Disclaimer: PNA does not engage in the practice of medicine. It is not a medical authority, nor does it claim to have medical expertise. In all cases, PNA recommends that you consult your own physician regarding any course of treatment or medication.
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