Our Team

Our team of adult and pediatric surgeons performs approximately 2,000 neurosurgical procedures each year. Each of our neurosurgeons has specific neurosurgical subspecialty expertise.

Neurosurgeon-in-Chief, Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital

Ziya L. Gokaslan, MD, FAANS, FACS, serves as the chief of neurosurgery at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, director of the Comprehensive Spine Center at Rhode Island Hospital, and clinical director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. In addition, Dr. Gokaslan is the Gus Stoll Professor of Neurosurgery, chair of the department of neurosurgery, and director of the Complex Spinal Surgery Fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Gokaslan earned his medical degree from the University of Istanbul in Turkey. He completed an internship in general surgery, a fellowship in neurotraumatology, a residency in neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and a fellowship in clinical spinal surgery at New York University Medical Center. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards and an active member of several professional societies.   

Gokaslan comes to Lifespan from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where he was vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery, director of the neurosurgical spine program, and director of the neurosurgical spine metastasis center, as well as professor of neurology, oncology, and orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His practice focuses on complex spinal reconstruction and radical surgical treatment of both primary and metastatic spinal tumors, sacral neoplasms, and spinal cord tumors.

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 Potenial 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 Scandanavian J. Nsurg.
Director of Functional Neurosurgery and Epilepsy Program, Co - Director of Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center, and Director of Laboratory for Cognitive Neurophysiology and Neuromodulation

Wael Asaad, MD, PhD received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1993, then earned a PhD in systems neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, and his MD from Yale University in 2003. Asaad completed a general surgery internship and neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During his residency, he undertook additional training in functional neurosurgery. In 2011, he joined the department of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Asaad's clinical interests include functional neurosurgery for movement disorders and psychiatric disease, traumatic brain injury, and general neurosurgery of the brain and spine.

His basic science interests focus on the ways in which neuronal circuits in the frontal cortex and basal ganglia underlie visual-motor learning, memory and decision-making, and how a better understanding of these might lead to strategies to alleviate the cognitive aspects of psychiatric and neurological diseases, including traumatic brain injury and stroke.

Learn more about Deep Brain Stimulation.

Learn more about the Department of Neurosurgery.

Learn more about the Movement Disorders Program.

See Dr. Asaad's publication list at Google Scholar.

Director, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Program Director, Peripheral Nerve Surgery Division

Deus Cielo, MD received his medical degree from the Brown-Dartmouth Medical Program of Dartmouth Medical School and Brown Medical School. He remained at Brown where he completed his internship in general surgery, as well as his residency training in neurological surgery.

After completion of his training, he joined the department of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where he is an assistant professor.

Dr. Cielo is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and specializes in adult general neurosurgery. He is also a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Director, Spinal Surgical Outcomes Laboratory
Director, Center for CSF Disorders of the Brain and Spine, Director, Pediatric Neurosurgery Division

Petra Klinge, MD is an internationally renowned general neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of patients with brain tumors, hydrocephalus and Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric diseases and treatment of congenital diseases like Chiari and spinal malformations.

Dr. Klinge is a professor of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Prior to this, she was professor of neurosurgery at the Medical School Hannover, Germany. She received her medical degree at the University of Kiel in 1993 and completed her neurosurgical residency at Hannover Medical School in Germany in 2002. She was senior associate professor of neurosurgery at the International Neuroscience Institute in Hannover, Germany, where she had the opportunity to be educated by Professor M. Samii, a founder of modern skull base surgery.

Dr. Klinge is an active member of the American Association of Neurosurgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. She is editor in chief of the Elsevier journal Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management (INAT) and associate editor of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery (CNN). She also serves as reviewer for international scientific journals including NeurosurgeryJournal of NeurosurgeryJournalof NeurologyNeurosurgery & Psychiatry and others. She is past president of the International Society for Hydrocephalus and CSF disorders.

Dr. Klinge’s scientific interests comprise the development of advanced techniques for diagnosing and treatment of dementia, experimental work to advance the understanding of normal aging and dementia and to develop novel biotechnical treatment approaches including stem cell therapy. Her scientific publications are listed by the US National Library of Medicine.

Professional Papers

  • Multiplicity of Cerebrospinal Fluid Functions: New Challenges in Health and Disease Conrad E. Johanson; John A. Duncan; Petra M. Klinge; Edward G. Stopa and Gerald PD. Silverberg. Cerebrospinal Fluid Research 2008
  • Modified calcium accumulation after controlled cortical impact under cyclosporin A treatment: a (45)Ca autoradiographic study. Mirzayan MJ; Klinge PM; Ude S; Hotop A; Samii M; Brinker T; Korkmaz Z; Meyer GJ; Knapp WH; Samii A. Neurol Res. 2008
  • Correlates of local cerebral blood flow (CBF) in normal pressure hydrocephalus patients before and after shunting-A retrospective analysis of [(15)O]H(2)O PET-CBF studies in 65 patients. Klinge PM; Brooks DJ; Samii A; Weckesser E; van den Hoff J; Fricke H; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Berding G. Clinical Neurol Neurosurg 2008
  • A positron emission tomography study of cerebrovascular reserve before and after shunt surgery in patients with idiopathic chronic hydrocephalus. Klinge PM; Berding G; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Samii M. J Neurosurg. 1999 Oct; 91(4): 605-9.
  • Outcome of shunting in idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus and the value of outcome assessment in shunted patients. Klinge P; Marmarou A; Bergsneider M; Relkin N; Black PM. Neurosurgery. 2005 Sep; 57 (3 Suppl):S40-52
  • Correlates of local cerebral blood flow (CBF) in normal pressure hydrocephalus patients before and after shunting-A retrospective analysis of [(15)O]H(2)O PET-CBF studies in 65 patients. Klinge PM; Brooks DJ; Samii A; Weckesser E; van den Hoff J; Fricke H; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Berding G. Clinical Neurol Neurosurg 2008
  • Amyloid and Tau accumulate in the brains of aged hydrocephalic rats. Gerald D. Silverberg, Miles C. Miller, Jason T. Machan, Conrad E. Johanson, Ilias N. Caralopoulos, Crissey L. Pascale, Anna Heile, Petra M. Klinge. BRAIN RESEARCH 1317 (2010) 286 – 296
Director, Spinal Surgery Division, Surgical Director, Comprehensive Spine Center

Adetokunbo Oyelese, MD, PhD, FAANS is the director of the spinal surgery division and the surgical director for the Comprehensive Spine Center at Rhode Island Hospital. He is board certified by The American Board of Neurological Surgery and specializes in complex spinal disorders. He is an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the assistant program director of the neurosurgery residency program at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His research interests lie in understanding repair and plasticity within the spine and spinal cord.
 
His practice includes patients with trauma to the spine. He also has a special interest in the management and treatment of complex degenerative diseases of the spine, including spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal deformity, as well as treatment of tumors arising from the spine and spinal cord. He offers patients cutting-edge surgical techniques such as minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc replacement surgery and Cyberknife stereotactic radiosurgery for tumors involving the spine and spinal cord.
 
Dr. Oyelese earned his medical and doctoral degrees from Yale University School of Medicine, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor medical society. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at Stanford University and fellowship training at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders.

Director, Brain Tumor Immunology Program, Rhode Island Hospital
Director, Center for Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Spinal Surgery

Albert Telfeian, MD, PhD, leads the endoscopic spine surgery program. A world-renown leader in endoscopic spinal surgery with national and international patient referral base, has been also appointed as the Director of newly established Center for Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Spinal Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University. He is board certified by The American Board of Neurological Surgery and is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Previously he was an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and associate professor of neurosurgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Telfeian also serves as Vice Chair for Quality Improvement to improve the quality of care for patients.

He is a graduate of the MD/PhD program at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University and his neurosurgical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed fellowship training in spine and functional epilepsy surgery at Switzerland’s Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Telfeian has published extensively in the areas of epilepsy, functional and spine surgery and is currently involved in the research and development of ultra-minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. He was the recipient of the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Research Award, the American Epilepsy Society Young Investigator Award, and the J. Kiffin Penry Pediatric Epilepsy Award, and was named one of the nation’s 15 leaders in neurosurgery in the October 2011 edition of Newsweek.

Professional Papers

  • Smith SE, Kirkham FJ, , Deveber G, Millman G, Dirks PB, Wirrell E, Telfeian AE, Sykes K, Barow K, Ichord R.Outcome following decompressive craniectomy for malignant middle cerebral artery infarction in children. Dev Med Child Neurol 2010 Aug 30.
  • Simon SL, Auerbach JD, Garg S, Sutton L, Telfeian AE, Dormans JP. Efficacy of spinal instrumentation and fusion in the prevention of postlaminectomy spinal deformity in children with intramedullary spinal cord tumors. J Pediatr Orthop 2008 vol 28, No. 2.
  • Porter BE, Zhang G, Celix J, Hsu FC, Raol YH, Telfeian AE, Gallagher PR, Coulter DA, Brooks-Kayal AR.Heterogeneous GABAA receptor subunit expression in pediatric epilepsy patients. Neurobiol Dis 2005 Apr;18(3):484-91.
  • Sestokas AK, Telfeian AE, Duhaime AC, Sutton L, Sestokas LO, Schwartz DM.Intraoperative motor cortex mapping in children with intractable seizures using motor evoked potential (MEP) threshold gradients. J Clin Neurophys 2005 Oct;22(5).
  • Telfeian AE, Judkins A, Younkin D, Pollock AN, Crino P. Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma with cranial and spinal metastases in a patient with tuberous sclerosis. Journal of Neurosurgery (Pediatrics 5) 2004;100:498-501.
  • Telfeian AE, Landa J, Drummond D. Congenital formation of an intraspinal osseous vertebral ring causing spinal cord compression. Spine 2004 Jan;29(1):E1-3.
Director, Brain Tumor and Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program