Prof. Dr. Ziya Gokaslan
Head of Spine Surgery department
Gus Stoll, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Neurosurgeon-in-Chief, Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital
Clinical Director, Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute
President, Brown Neurosurgery Foundation
Dr. Ziya L. Gokaslan completed his medical education at the Medical Faculty of Istanbul University. In 1984, Dr. Gokaslan returned to the U.S. and worked as the Clinical Director of Sleep Disorders Center of the Department of Psychiatry for 1 ½ years. He then entered General Surgery Residency under Dr. Michael E. DeBakey in 1985. After one year of internship, he joined Department of Neurosurgery of Baylor College of Medicine as Clinical Neurotrauma Research Fellow. In 1988, he became a Neurosurgery Resident under Dr. Robert G. Grossman and completed his training at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1993. He was, then, accepted into Neurosurgery/Orthopaedic Spine Surgery Fellowship Training under Drs. Paul Cooper, Thomas Erricoand Gordon Englerat the New York University Medical Center in New York. After the completion of his Fellowship Training in Spinal Surgery, Dr. Gokaslan returned to Houston and joined the faculty of Department of Neurosurgery as Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center under Dr. Raymond Sawaya. That is where Dr. Gokaslan specialized in the surgical treatment of spinal neoplasms, published extensively on the topic and developed novel surgical approaches in managing these tumors.
In 2000, Dr. Gokaslan became the Director of Neurosurgical Spinal Oncology Section and, in 2002, he was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2002, Dr. Gokaslan was recruited to Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurosurgery and became the Director of the Spine Division, Vice-Chairman, and Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, and Orthopaedic Surgery under Dr. Henry Brem. Later that year, he was awarded the Donlin M. Long Professorship at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Gokaslan’s clinical practice focuses on the radical surgical treatment of both primary and metastatic spinal tumors, sacral neoplasms and spinal cord tumors. He developed many novel approaches for resection of pancost tumors, primary and metastatic spinal neoplasms, as well as sacral tumors, including total sacrectomy and complex spinal and pelvic reconstruction.Dr. Gokaslan performs whole spectrum standard spinal/reconstructive procedures, but he also has developed at least five novel surgeries and has refined a half-dozen others He has devised methods for removal of multiple vertebral segments along with the tumor in an enbloc fashion with negative tumor margins and developed techniques for reconstruction of the spinal column and preservation of the spinal cord function in patients with spinal/sacral and spinal cord tumors that are otherwise deemed inoperable. His basic research focuses on the development of new animal models to study the pathophysiology of neoplastic spinal cord compression and to define the roles of proteolytic enzymes in tumor invasion as well as to devise novel therapeutic approaches to spinal tumors.He was voted one of the Best Doctors in America in 2005 and garnered Baltimore Magazine’s Top Doctors recognition in 2007. He is also the recipient of “Patients Choice Award”, “Most Compassionate Doctor Award” and is on the “List of Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors”.
Dr. Gokaslan has authored over 350 peer-reviewed papers and has presented over 250 national and international lectures since 1996. He serves on the editorial boards of top academic journals, including the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques, The Spine Journal, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, The European Spine Journal, Nature Reviews in Neurology, Journal of Surgical Oncology, and World Neurosurgery. Dr. Gokaslan is a member of numerous prestigious societies, notably, American Academy of Neurosurgeons, the Society of Neurological Surgeons, Cervical Spine Research Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, America Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and North American Spine Society, as well as Scoliosis Research Society.Dr Gokaslan served as the Chair of the North American Spine Society (NASS) Scientific Program Committee in 2004 and has been a member of the Ethics Committee of the North American Spine Society (NASS) since 1999. Dr. Gokaslan is the Co-Chair of AO International and AO North America knowledge Forum on Spinal Oncology. He is the Past President of AANS/CNS Section on the Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerve and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Section. He was the recipient of Leon Wiltse Award in 2014 by North American Spine Society for his excellence in leadership and clinical research in spine care.
In 2015, Dr. Gokaslan became the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital. He is also the Director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital.