Residency Program - Research

Information about Neurosurgery Residency Research.

AHN Neurosurgical Resident Research Council

The AHN Neurosurgical Resident Research Council consists of a group of core faculty members along with scientists and support staff that meet with the residents individually on a monthly basis to help support each resident in their personal research endeavors.

The AHN Department of Neurosurgery encourages resident research involvement in all areas including clinical, laboratory, cadaver, animal, and biomechanical studies.  All research must be in full compliance with the AHN Institutional Review Board and the resident must be appropriately credentialed to perform the research according to the AHN Neuroscience Institutional Research Requirements.  The resident is encouraged to participate in any type of research project they find interesting and follow the projects through to completion culminating in a manuscript accepted for publication. 

The purpose of the AHN Neurosurgical Resident Research Council is to support the residents in developing their own research project within their area of interest and to surmount any obstacles facilitating project completion.

AHN Neurosurgical Residency Research Council Meeting

1st Tuesday of every month, 6:30-8:30am


Boyle Cheng, PhD 

Saadyah Averick, PhD

Trish Blenk – Research Coordinator 

Alex Yu, MD 

Jody Leonardo, MD 

Robert Sclabassi MD, PhD

Lara Massie, MD

Neurosurgery Residents 

AHN Neurosurgery Residency Program Research requirements

The AHN Department of Neurosurgery Annual Resident Research Requirements are announced prior to the beginning of the new academic year along with a monthly schedule to help facilitate compliance.  Prior to the monthly meeting, the resident must complete the monthly assignment for their research project and come to the meeting prepared to discuss their project as well as to identify any obstacles which are interfering with their research goals.  Each neurosurgical resident is required to complete the annual requirement culminating in a submitted manuscript each year (if applicable according to project type/year of training).


Minimum Requirements (PGY 1 & 2): 

  • Submitted manuscript of case study or series produced by end of academic year.

Minimum Requirements (PGY 3 – 7): 

  • Retrospective or prospective review (Class III) culminating in manuscript to be submitted by the end of academic year. 

                                                         - OR  - 

  • Significant new data available for analysis for long term projects.

Recommendations (All): 

  • Continuation of long term project recommended.
  • Encouraged to continue other publications as well.

AHN Annual Combined Neuroscience Institute Resident Research Symposium

Neurological Surgery residents at AHN Annual Combined Neuroscience Institute Resident Research Symposium

Symposium Description

The AHN Neurological Surgery Residency Program takes great pride in supporting and encouraging the Neurological Surgery residents the opportunity to present their research endeavors on an annual basis.  The presentations are held annually at the end of the academic year for residents to highlight their accomplishments throughout the year.

In 2017 we joined forces with the AHN Neurology Department and established the Annual AHN Combined Neuroscience Institute Resident Research Day Symposium.  The Symposium is an all-day event with approximately 16-18 presentation between the two departments.  Residents are expected to present their individual contribution on the project, acknowledge their faculty mentor, and include the IRB status, if applicable. The Symposium is held on a Saturday in June and the intended audience is all physicians in the Neuroscience Institute, any interested allied healthcare providers and the APP’s, RN’s and clinical support staff from both departments. 

The overall purpose of the AHN Neuroscience Institute Resident Research Symposium presentations are to integrate changes necessary by keeping physicians abreast of emerging medical knowledge and advanced technology in the treatment of the neurosurgery and neurology patients.

The presentations may cover case reports, review of scientific literature, research studies, review of clinical protocols and statistical algorithms, advanced diagnostic, surgical, and techniques with outcomes specific to Neurology and Neurosurgery.   

These presentations are judged on the clinical relevance, study design, quality of the investigation, clarity of the presentation and the specific contribution from the resident.  Prices are awarded for the top 3 presentations.

The educational content for the program is accredited through our Continuing Medical Education department and attendees are awarded 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

In conjunction with the Symposium presentations, vendors from industry companies are invited to exhibit their products for attendees to review and discuss the latest products and technology available for the specialties.

AHN Neuroscience Institute Annual Resident Research Awards


1st Place: Dorian Kusyk, MD

2nd Place: Kristen Stabingas, MD

3rd Place: Rocco DaBecco, MD


1st Place: Brandon Kujawski, MD

2nd Place: Kristen Stabingas, MD

3rd Place: Daniel Meyers, MD


1st Place: Raj Nangunoori, MD

2nd Place: Chen Xu, MD

3rd Place: Christopher Payne, MD


1st Place: Raj Nangunoori, MD

2nd Place: Christopher Payne, MD

3rd Place: Brandon Kujawski, MD

AHN Neuroscience Institute Clinical Trials

At the AHN Research Institute, the path to advancing the science of medicine starts with discovery. Our dedicated research scientists and physician investigators are forging new medical frontiers looking for clues and cures to some of the most complex causes of disease. 

We offer new drug therapies, revolutionize surgical procedures, and offer innovative devices and wearable technology reducing the impact of chronic disease. We partner with industry, government, academia, and health systems across the region to work toward one common goal: develop the next “best practice” in medicine. By redefining the way we treat disease, we are improving the health of our patients while advancing the science of medicine.

View active clinical trials at AHN.  

AHN Center for the Surgical Arts

The AHN Center for Surgical Arts is open to institutions that are inside, as well as outside of AHN


The AHN Center for Surgical Arts is a purpose-built, state of the art cadaver lab located within Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We provide a comfortable learning environment for a broad area of medical specialties, accommodating up to 250 people and an array of technologies. The facility is open to institutions inside, as well as outside of AHN. 


Rocco Dabecco, DO, PGY 6  - resident of the Neurosurgery Residency Research program

“Having access to the center of surgical arts is an amazing resource as a resident. The space is equipped with C-arm, O-arm, navigation, multiple microscopes and a plethora of cadaveric specimen for immediate use. These resources enable the residents to complete cranial and spine dissections to deepen the understanding of the surgical approaches prior to stepping foot in the OR. There are dedicated faculty and staff available to help facilitate the individual needs of each resident. It is a resource that is unmatched at most residency programs throughout the country.”

- Rocco Dabecco, DO                                                                                                              PGY 6