Surgeons Take to the Field to Raise Research Funds

Neurological surgeons at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center traded in their scrubs for softball gear to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research, raising more than $100,000 at the J. Lawrence Pool Neurosurgery Softball Tournament held in Central Park in New York City on June 11.

Led by Sylvester brain tumor surgeon Ricardo Komotar, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Glen Manzano, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery, and Allan Levi, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Robert M. Buck Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery, the UM team won the tournament for the second time in five years.

Komotar started the fundraising event 13 years ago as a resident at Columbia University, and in that time, it has grown from two to 34 participating teams. This year, six faculty from the Department of Neurological Surgery and nine residents and fellows played, as nurses and spouses cheered them on.

“What started out as a simple fundraiser has grown exponentially,” said Komotar. “We now gather colleagues from around the country to not only honor one of the pioneers in our field, but also to advance the field and help patients with our fundraising efforts. Research dollars are what will help us move the bar to find new treatments.”

Drawing approximately 500 neurosurgeons from around the nation, the tournament is the third largest neurosurgical gathering in North America. It is named after J. Lawrence Pool, renowned chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Neurological Institute of New York, who was instrumental in the development of new techniques and devices that changed the field of complex cerebrovascular procedures.

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