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Leading Neurosurgeon-Scientist Dr. Graeme Woodworth Named Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

April 01, 2020

Dr. Woodworth, Protégé of Longtime Chair Dr. Howard Eisenberg, Continues Groundbreaking Work in Treating Brain Tumors

Howard Eisenberg, MDUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Graeme F. Woodworth, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery at UMSOM and leading neurosurgeon-scientist recognized for his leadership and innovation in research and clinical care, has been named the new Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Woodworth, who worked closely with longtime Neurosurgery Chair Howard Eisenberg, MD, has been nationally renowned for his groundbreaking research using Focused Ultrasound to enable life-saving treatment for brain tumors. He is Director of the Brain Tumor Treatment and Research Center at the UM Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, and has served as Interim Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery since July, 2019.

Dr. Woodworth joined the UMSOM in 2012 and advanced to his current role as Professor in 2018, with secondary appointments in the UMSOM Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.

“Dr. Woodworth is an award-winning scientist, scholar and surgeon who is highly regarded nationally for his pioneering discoveries in treating glioblastoma,” said Dean Reece, who is also Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.  “His dynamic leadership, and collaborative approach to research and surgical care, make him ideally suited to succeed his distinguished mentor, Dr. Eisenberg.”

Rajabrata Sarkar, MD, PhDWilliam Regine, MD, FACR, FACRODean Reece noted that a distinguished multi-disciplinary group of senior faculty and staff led by William Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO, the Isadore and Fannie Foxman Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, and Rajabrata Sarkar, MD, PhD, the Barbara Baur Dunlap Professor of Surgery, conducted an extensive review involving internal and external medical and scientific faculty, staff, trainees and others regarding Dr Woodworth and his leadership. This distinguished group unanimously recommended his appointment.

Anthony Kim, PhDAs the director of the Brain Tumor Treatment and Research Center at the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center, Dr. Woodworth  provides leadership and surgical care within a multidisciplinary group of radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and pathologists treating brain tumor patients and developing new brain tumor treatments. His clinical activities facilitate and guide the cross-disciplinary group of engineers, cancer biologists, and clinician-scientists within the Translational Therapeutics Research Group (TTRG).  This is a unique research team co-led by SOM faculty members, Anthony Kim, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Jeffrey Winkles, PhDJeffrey Winkles, PhD, Professor of Surgery, that is addressing critical obstacles to counteracting the patho-biology and improving treatments for brain cancer.  In this role, Dr. Woodworth has brought together experts within University of Maryland Medicine, helped recruit new key team members, and raised with his team over $10 million in extramural funding and contracts to support the clinical and research programs. 

Alison G. Brown, MPH“The University of Maryland Medical Center is very pleased to have Dr. Woodworth leading our neurosurgery program,” said Alison G. Brown, MPH, Interim President, University of Maryland Medical Center and President of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus. “His collaborative approach in working with colleagues to deliver innovative and high-quality patient care, education and research make him the ideal leader for our shared academic enterprise. In particular, his work with focused ultrasound and penetrating the blood-brain barrier for the delivery of chemotherapy, are illustrative of the department’s contributions to advance improvements in human health.”

Kevin Cullen, MDAdded Kevin Cullen, MD, the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished Professor in Oncology, Director of UMSOM’s Program in Oncology, and Director of the UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC): “Dr. Woodworth is a brilliant surgeon-scientist whose innovative research effort are providing new hope to patients with brain tumors. He has been a great addition to UMGCCC’s research efforts, and I am absolutely delighted to welcome him as Chair of Neurosurgery.” 

Among his numerous honors and awards, Dr. Woodworth has received the Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, the Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the University of Maryland Research and Innovation Award from the University’s M-Powering the State Program. 

“This is an exciting time to be at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Medical Center, with significant investments occurring in the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center, multi-disciplinary programs and facilities, and the new Center for Biomedical Innovation.” Dr. Woodworth said. “I am excited to integrate the resources and expertise of the Neurosurgery Department with these initiatives.” 

“At the same time,” he added, “I am honored to follow Dr. Eisenberg, who has been an exceptional leader and role model as a Department Chair and neurosurgeon-scientist.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 45 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $540 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 student trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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