Comprehensive Stroke Center Staff

Chief of Neurology, Rhode Island, The Miriam and Bradley hospitals

Karen Furie oversees the clinical research programs for the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. Furie is chief of neurology at Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Bradley Hospital, and serves as chair of the Department of Neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, which includes experts in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system, including stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders and epilepsy. Furie also serves as executive chief of neurology at each of the Alpert Medical School’s affiliated hospitals, including Butler Hospital and the Providence VA Medical Center, and is a member of the Brown Institute for Brain Science.

Furie comes to Rhode Island from Massachusetts General Hospital, where she served as a vascular neurologist and director of the stroke service. She held the position of associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and was an associate faculty member at the Center for Human Genetic Research. She has played a prominent role in national and international efforts to advance the field through participation in the development of guidelines such as Stroke Treatment Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) recommendations, and holds leadership positions within the American Stroke Association, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the American Academy of Neurology.

Furie is a graduate of Brown University’s program in liberal medical education and received her medical degree from Alpert Medical School. She received her master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her residency in neurology and a fellowship in stroke/neurosonology at Rhode Island Hospital. Furie has received awards that include the Women’s Health Research Award from Mass General and the Aronson Award for Excellence in Neurosciences from Brown University.

Tina M. Burton, MD is a vascular neurologist at Lifespan. Dr. Burton received her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine. She completed her residency in neurology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, becoming chief resident of research. She completed a clinical fellowship and research fellowship in vascular neurology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), becoming chief vascular neurology fellow. Dr. Burton was also an adjunct assistant professor of neurology at the University of Utah. 

Dr. Burton was an associate investigator in several studies regarding stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, and is the author of a number of published papers, abstracts and presentations. She is a member of several medical societies including the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the American Academy of Neurology.
 

Director, Cerebrovascular and Skull-Base Surgery

Curtis Doberstein, MD is the director of cerebrovascular and skull-base surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and executive vice-chair of clinical operations. In addition, Dr. Doberstein is director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program and professor of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Doberstein received his medical degree in 1988 from McGill University in Montreal and completed his residency in neurosurgery and fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Doberstein has been board-certified by the American Board of Neurosurgery since 2000. He served as interim chairman of neurosurgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University from 2007 to 2010. In 1995, Dr. Doberstein joined the Neurosurgery Foundation and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is an associate professor (clinical) in the department of neurosurgery at Brown and serves as the Brown University neurosurgery residency program director. He directs the section of vascular neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurologic Surgeons and serves as a MOC/CME committee member for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Doberstein specializes in surgery on the blood vessels of the brain, neck and spinal column. He sees many patients with circulatory problems such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and carotid artery disease. He also treats patients with nervous system tumors, including those of the brain and the skull base. Patients with degenerative spine disorders comprise another large part of his practice.

Research Interests

Dr. Doberstein, MD has conducted research on apoptosis after stroke and cerebral metabolic alterations following closed head injuries.

At present, he is investigating clinical outcomes following the removal of plaque from a carotid artery. He has performed more than 500 of these surgeries. Specifically, he is exploring the feasibility of same-day discharge after carotid endarterectomry.

Professional Papers

  • Group B Beta-Hemolytic Osteomyelitis of the Heel: A Case Report. Doberstein C, MacEwen GD, Lee MS Clin Orthop 213:225-228 1988
  • Intraoperative Angiography in Cerebrovascular Surgery. Martin NA, Doberstein C, Bentson J, Vinuela F, Dion J, Becker DP Clin Neurosurg 37:312-331 1990
  • Cystic Neoplasms of the Pancreas. Doberstein C, Kirchner R, Gordon L, Morgenstern L, Shapiro S Mt. Sinai J.Med 57:102-106 1990
  • Post-traumatic Cerebral Arterial Spasm: Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound, Cerebral Blood Flow, and Angiographic Findings. Martin NA, Doberstein C, Caron M, Zane C, Thomas K, Becker DP J. Neurosurg, 77:575-583 1992
  • Clinical Considerations in the Doberstein C, Hovda DA, Becker DB Ann Emerg Med, 22:993-997 1993
  • Metabolic Alterations Accompany Ionic Disturbances and Cellular Doberstein C, Fineman I, Hovda DA, Martin NA, Keenly L, Becker DP Acta Neurochir (Suppl)60:41-44 1994
  • Cerebral Blood Flow Measurement in Martin NA, Doberstein C Neurosurg Clin N. Amer, 5(4):607-618 1994
  • Post-traumatic Cerebral Arterial Spasm Martin NA, Doberstein C, Alexander MJ, Khanna R, Benzalcazar H, Alsina G, Zane C, McBride D, Kelly D, Houda D, Becker DB, McArthur D, Zavcha K J Neurotrauma, 12(5): 897-901 1995
  • Temporally Associated Rupture of Guglielmo MA, Doberstein C A Case Report. J.1998
  • The temporal Profile and Morphologic Features of Neuronal Death in Human Stroke Resemble Those Observed in Experimental Forebrain Ischemia: The Potential Role of Apoptosis. Guglielmo MA, Chan PT, Cortez S, Stopa E, McMillan P, Johanson CE, Epstein M, Doberstein CE Neurol Res 20:289-296 1998
  • Therapeutic Embolization Arteriovenous Malformations: The Case For and Against Martin N, Khanna R, Doberstein C, Benston J. Clinical Neurosurgery, Vol. 46, 295-318 1998
  • Assessment of the Value of MR Imaging for Examining Patients with Angiographically Negative Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rogg JM, Smeaton S, Doberstein C, Goldstein JH, Tung GA, Haas RA AJR 172:201-206 1999
  • Intracanalicular Aneurysm of the Anterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery Revealed by Multi- Detector CT Angiography. Jayaraman MV, Mayo-Smith WW, Doberstein CE AJR Am J Neuroradiol 24(7): 1338-40 2003
  • Recovery of choroid plexus function in aged rats subjected to transient forebrain ischemia Johanson C, Palm D, Doberstein C, Stopa E Neurosci. Lett., in press.
  • Sustained CA1 Neuronal Survival by FGF-Z Following Forebrain Ischemia In The Rat: A Possible Role For The Choroid Plexus-CSF System. Hayamizv T, Chan PT, Doberstein C, Sunwoo L, Guglielmo MA, Hayamizv T, Chan PT, Doberstein C, Sunwoo L, Guglielmo MA, Hayamizv T, Chan PT, Doberstein C, Sunwoo L, Guglielmo MA, Johanson, CE. Neurological Research
  • Spontaneous thrombosis of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation: A case report. Sungarian A, Doberstein C, Haas R Scandinavian J. Nsurg.

Sleiman El Jamal, MD, is a neurologist who specializes in vascular neurology. Dr. El Jamal completed his vascular neurology fellowship at Emory University Hospital/Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and his neurology residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. He is a consulting neurologist at the Miriam Hospital and a vascular neurologist at Rhode Island Hospital.

His research interests include carotid webs and their relationship to stroke, the role of cocaine and ischemic stroke of younger adults, and medical education of vascular ischemic disorders to medical students and residents. Dr. El Jamal speaks French, Armenian, English and Arabic.

Director of the Neurovascular Center, Rhode Island Hospital

Mahesh V. Jayaraman, MD is a neuroradiologist who specializes in interventional neuroradiology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is an associate professor of diagnostic imaging, neurology and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is also the director of the Neurovascular Center at Rhode Island Hospital.

Dr. Jayaraman’s research interest is in the minimally invasive therapy of neurovascular disease, including acute ischemic stroke. His work has been published in more than 90 peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters. He is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery. 

Brian C. Mac Grory, MD, is a neurologist who specializes in vascular neurology at The Miriam and Rhode Island hospitals. He completed his residency in neurology and a fellowship in vascular neurology at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Mac Grory is the author of several papers, book chapters, and presentations. He is a member of several medical societies including the American Academy of Neurology and the American Heart Association.

Ali Mahta, MD is a board-certified neurologist at Lifespan. He is also an assistant professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Mahta received his medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. He completed several research fellowships at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, and the University of California, San Diego. He completed his residency in neurology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and completed a clinical spine fellowship at Temple University School of Medicine, as well as a fellowship in neurocritical care at Columbia University Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Mahta was an assistant attending in clinical neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Mahta is the author of several published papers, book chapters, abstracts and presentations. He is a member of several medical societies including the Neurocritical Care Society, the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Physicians, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Director of Interventional Neuroradiology
Twitter: @mobilestroke4U
 

Ryan A. McTaggart, MD, is the director of interventional neuroradiology at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of diagnostic imaging, neurology, and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. McTaggart’s work has been published in over fifty peer-reviewed journals and he is the author of “Image-guided Ablation in the Thorax,” a chapter in a textbook about interventional oncology and cancer therapy. He has presented regionally and internationally on a variety of topics but is particularly  interested in discussing improving systems of care for patients with acute stroke.

In addition to his university teaching roles, Dr. McTaggart also instructs residents and fellows in neuroradiology and diagnostic imaging at Rhode Island Hospital. He is a senior member of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, American Heart Association, and the American Society of Neuroradiology. He serves on the Standards and Guidelines Committee for the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery.

N. Stevenson Potter, MD, PhD is a neurologist in the division of neurocritical care at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where he co-directs the school’s course in neurology. He is board certified in neurology and neurocritical care.

His research interests include studying the collection of signals from implanted intracranial electrodes to help analyze interictal physiology and seizure origin, propagation and cessation in patients undergoing craniotomy for epilepsy surgery. Other interests include informatics in the setting of acute stroke and critical care, overcoming communication barriers among the critically ill and neurologically injured, and the collection of neurologic signals to assist in movement.

He is also currently involved in a number of clinical trials focusing on treatment and outcomes in acute stroke and intensive care unit patients.

He is a member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, The Neurocritical Care Society and The American Academy of Neurology.

He graduated with honors from Harvard College and received his medical and graduate degrees (including a PhD in immunology) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Metrohealth Medical Center and a residency in neurology at the Cleveland Clinic, followed by a fellowship in vascular and critical care neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Michael Reznik, MD, is a board-certified neurologist in the division of neurocritical care at Lifespan. He is also an assistant professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Reznik received his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine, completed his residency in neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and completed a fellowship in neurocritical care at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Reznik’s clinical expertise includes management of acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and status epilepticus. His research interests include delirium and disorders of consciousness after stroke and other forms of acute brain injury, along with their impact on neuro-rehabilitation and ultimate outcomes. He is also interested in studying the long-term neurological effects of sepsis. Dr. Reznik has published multiple papers, book chapters, abstracts, and presentations and was an ad-hoc reviewer for JAMA Neurology. He is a member of the Neurocritical Care Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Ali Saad, MD is a neurologist who specializes in vascular neurology. After obtaining his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Dr. Saad completed his postgraduate training with a residency in neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital and fellowship in vascular neurology at Emory University.

He is employed as a consulting neurologist at The Miriam Hospital and vascular neurologist at Rhode Island Hospital.

Dr. Saad is also an assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He serves as the assistant program director for the neurology residency and co-director of the Neurovascular Center Advanced Practice Provider Program.

Neurologist

Daniel C. Sacchetti, DO, is a neurologist with subspecialty training in vascular neurology. He is the co-director of the Primary Stroke Center at The Miriam Hospital as well as a vascular neurologist with the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also an assistant professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Sacchetti's clinical interests include acute stroke management, stroke systems of care and hospital-based neurology. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Heart Association, the Neurohospitalist Society, the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, and the Rhode Island Neurological Society.

Christoph Stretz, MD, is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in stroke and critical care neurology at Rhode Island Hospital. He completed his residency in neurology at the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital, and his fellowships in neurocritical care/emergency neurology and vascular neurology at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Stretz’s clinical interests include outcomes research for patients with ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage and seizures and EEG patterns in critically ill neurologic patients. He is a member of several medical societies including the American Neurological Association, the American Heart Association and the Neurocritical Care Society.

Director of Neurocritical Care, Rhode Island Hospital

Bradford Thompson, MD is the director of the division of neurocritical care at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

His research interests include studying outcomes in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and traumatic brain injury. He has been involved in numerous clinical trials focusing on clinical research in acute stroke patients, including the use of desmoteplase in acute ischemic stroke, the use of high-flow oxygen in ischemic stroke and antihypertensive treatment in acute cerebral hemorrhage. He has also participated in trials evaluating endarterectomy versus carotid stenting in patients with carotid stenosis.

He is a member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, The Neurocritical Care Society, and The American Academy of Neurology. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the editorial board of the journal Stroke.

Thompson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center/Rush Medical College and his residency in neurology at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown Medical School, where he also served as chief resident.

He completed a fellowship in vascular and critical care neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and completed the program in clinical effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health.

Linda Wendell, MD is a neurologist in the division of neurocritical care at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she co-directs the psychiatry and clinical neurosciences clerkship. She is board certified in neurology and neurocritical care.

Her research interests include extubation outcomes in the setting of primary brain injury, prevention of ventilator and ICU-related infection, and acute stroke research.

Wendell graduated with honors from Rhodes College in Memphis and from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine, and completed her residency in neurology at Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she also served as chief resident in 2008, and a fellowship in neurocritical care at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is a member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, The Neurocritical Care Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

Nakeesha Brown
Administrative Coordinator
Jo-Ann Sarafin, MS, APRN, CNP, FNP-BC, SCRN
Stroke Program Manager
Ashley Shomer
Neurology Clinical Trials Coordinator
Melissa Harmon, RN, MSN
Assistant Clinical Manager
Joan Walsh, CNRN, SCRN
Neuroscience Nursing Quality and Safety Manager