Internationally renowned brain surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., a pioneer in minimally invasive brain surgery, has announced that he is teaming with scientists and technologists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., to design the next generation of high-tech surgical instruments - technology that also will be useful for planetary exploration.
Shahinian, the founder and medical director of the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles, started his work nearly two decades ago and has performed more than 4,000 minimally invasive procedures to remove different brain tumors (i.e acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, pineal tumors, and pituitary tumors) and correct such abnormalities as hemifacial spasms and trigeminal neuralgia. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and a textbook on the subject and is considered to be on the vanguard of this development.
"I'm proud and honored to be working with some of the greatest minds in science to develop the next generation of surgical instruments that I, no doubt, believe will help save lives and improve the quality of life for so many," said Shahinian.
Added Dr. Harish Manohara, a technologist with JPL, "Joining forces with Dr. Shahinian is a shining example of the relevance and importance of the space program as the technological advances that we're developing as a team will better the lives of future generations."
Shahinian and the nonprofit Skull Base Foundation have contracted with JPL to the cost of millions of dollars. The first production prototypes will debut within the next 18 months.
The validity of Shahinian's minimally invasive approach to brain surgery has stood up to the test of time and now many top medical centers have adopted his techniques including those at Mayo Clinic, UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins and others.