WVU to Honor Fukushima for Advanced Brain Surgery

Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust Endows Chair


The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust has pledged $1.5 million to establish an endowed chair at the new Fukushima Center for Advanced Brain Surgery at West Virginia University.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust has pledged $1.5 million to establish an endowed chair at the new Fukushima Center for Advanced Brain Surgery at West Virginia University.

The chair honors celebrated WVU neurosurgeon Takanori Fukushima, M.D., D.M.Sc., and will support neurosurgery practice, research and teaching at WVU for generations to come. An auditorium in the new HSC Learning Center will be named in honor of Dr. Fukushima.

Internationally known for his clinical work and research in microsurgery, cranial base neurosurgery, and minimally invasive neurosurgical techniques, Fukushima attracts patients from around the globe who seek out his expertise and skill.

The Center is supported by the McQuain Trust and WVU Hospitals. It includes teaching space in the Learning Center, the Cranial-Base Surgery Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery, and the neurosurgery programs in WVU Hospitals.

“Dr. Fukushima is an internationally renowned pioneer in brain surgery,” said George R. Farmer, Jr., trustee of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Foundation. “He has invented countless new techniques and surgical instruments. Now, one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons will have a way to disseminate his skills from Morgantown, W. Va., to surgeons and patients around the world.

Fukushima received his degree from the University of Tokyo, and completed postgraduate training in neurosurgery at the University of Tokyo Hospital, the Free University of Berlin and the Mayo Clinic. Currently, he serves as professor of neurosurgery at WVU and at Duke University. He also holds professorships at Karolinska Institute (Sweden), the University of Frankfurt (Germany), and the University of the Mediterranean (France).

He also serves as co-director of the International Neurosurgery Education Foundation.

“Dr. Fukushima’s presence has made WVU Hospitals an international neurosurgery center,” said Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO. “We are pleased to have him here as his skills and knowledge have attracted patients from around the world. He has also helped advance neurosurgery education here, teaching residents and surgeons unique skills and techniques.”

He developed the Fukushima Skull Base Carotid Bypass Surgery, in use since 1986, and has invented a variety of Fukushima Microsurgical instruments. He specializes in the pathology of Cranial nerves with more than 6,000 cases, performed surgery for more than 4,500 skull base tumors, 2,000 cases of cerebral aneurysm surgery, performed more than 5,500 keyhole surgeries to cure hemifacial spasm, trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia with excellent results.

“When I started in neurosurgery, brain surgery was so big – big incisions, big craniotomies, lots of complications,” Fukushima said. “Now, I work in a five-millimeter space with few complications. Every day, I am thinking of new techniques, new approaches, and new ways to treat patients.”

At WVU, Fukushima has also arranged for four Japanese Research Fellows at different intervals who have worked on assigned projects continually in the Neurosurgical Cranial Base Laboratory. He has organized and held multiple international symposiums with hands-on workshops teaching cranial base dissection and temporal bone dissection in the Skull Base Laboratory. One third of the attendees in the program were international participants.

He has also generously donated highly specialized surgical instruments to WVU Hospitals and the Skull Base Laboratory. In addition, he has held several Neuroscience Teaching Weekends for residents, nurses and physician assistants, involving a variety of specialty speakers.

Fukushima performed 30 extraordinarily complex surgery cases at WVU Hospitals in 2006, and 14 so far in 2007. Since 2001, several of his cases have been international patients from Afghanistan, China, Greece, the Island of Malta, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Thailand.

The WVU Department of Neurosurgery, led by chair Julian Bailes, M.D.,  provides advanced care to adults and children with disorders of the brain, carotid and vertebral arteries, pituitary gland, spine and spinal cord, cranial and spinal nerves and autonomic nervous system. Expert treatment is given for spinal degenerative disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, neoplasms and trauma.

WVU neurosurgery faculty include highly skilled surgeons at the forefront of new techniques in cranial-base surgery, advanced stroke care, epilepsy surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, and pain and functional disorders.

To commemorate Fukushima’s work at WVU, the University has named a new 248-seat auditorium at the Health Sciences Center the “Fukushima Kodo.” (Kodo is the Japanese term for a lecture hall.)

Previous gifts from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust and its founder, Mrs. Hazel Ruby McQuain, established four other chairs at the WVU School of Medicine. McQuain, who died in 2002 at the age of 92, also made an $8 million gift toward the construction of Ruby Memorial Hospital, named for her late husband, J.W. Ruby. Additional gifts from the trust and Mrs. McQuain have supported various facets of the University, including recreational facilities, scholarships and research funds.

The trust was established by McQuain in support of philanthropic endeavors that support the University and local organizations.

WVU Celebrates the naming of the Fukushima Kodo

World renowned neurosurgeon, Takanori Fukushima, at the dedication of the Fukushima Kodo at the Robert C. Bryd Health Sciences Center at WVU.




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For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service (304) 293-7087

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