Aaron Cohen-Gadol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
Aaron Coehn-Gadol Portrait.jpg
Born (1970-11-23) November 23, 1970 (age 49)
EducationUniversity of California, San Diego
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Years active2006–present
Known forThe Neurosurgical Atlas
Medical career
InstitutionsIndiana University School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery
Indiana University Health, Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis
Sub-specialtiesBrain tumors
Skull Base Surgery

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol (Persian: هارون کهن-گادل‎, born November 23, 1970) is an American neurosurgeon specializing in surgical treatment of brain tumors and aneurysms. He is currently a professor in the department of neurosurgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and a neurosurgeon at Indiana University Health. He was selected as one of the most effective 100 neurosurgeons in the United States by the prestigious American Academy of Neurological Surgery.[1]

He has extensive experience with surgeries of brain tumors, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and microvascular decompression surgery for hemifacial spasm and trigeminal neuralgia. He is one of the few surgeons in the United States who performs removal of complex brain tumors via endoscopic techniques, which use the natural nasal pathways instead of opening the skull. This technique provides patients with more effective surgeries and faster recovery.[2][3]

He has contributed to the refinement of intraoperative fluorescent technologies to maximize removal of brain tumors and improve patients' survival. The fluorescent technology causes the brain tumor to "glow," enabling the surgeon to detect invisible margins of the tumor.[4]

Cohen is also the creator and chief editor/president of The Neurosurgical Atlas Inc, a non-for-profit organization. The Neurosurgical Atlas and its web-based learning resource promote excellence and safety in neurosurgical techniques. The development of the Atlas lasted for 10 years and was partly delayed due to the technological limitations of the internet at the time. It finally was introduced in 2016. Within four years of its introduction and by February 2020, The Neurosurgical Atlas had served a total of over 35,000 national and international neurosurgeon/resident members and an average of 1,700 viewers per day. This Atlas is the most trusted and comprehensive resource for learning complex brain operations in the world, reflecting the surgical experience of Dr. Cohen, who has performed more than 4,000 complex brain operations. The Atlas remains the most respectable, advanced and accessible platform for the introduction of innovative and safe neurosurgical cranial procedures. Many countries depend on the Atlas for the care of their patients. [5]

Cohen is also involved in guiding and teaching fellow neurosurgeons in handling complex surgical procedures including brain tumors, aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations.[6] As of 2018, he is the Director of fNeurosurgical Oncology/Brain Tumor Surgery at the Indiana University Department of Neurosurgery.[7]

Cohen serves as the associate editor-in-chief of Neurosurgical Focus, a highly reputable journal in the field of neurosurgery.[8] He has also served in numerous leadership roles nationally and was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurosurgeons (AANS) and the “Senior” Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS).[9]

Cohen is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for the Cure of Glioblastoma, part of the Indiana University School of Medicine. He founded this center to facilitate new treatment options for brain tumor patients by mentoring neuroscientists and researchers. This research is funded in part by Mary Ann and Gene Zink whose remarkable generosity have made world class research in brain tumors possible, bringing hope to patients suffering from brain cancer.[10]

Cohen also has a master's degree in business administration and is actively involved in national efforts to improve access and quality of care for patients.

Early life[edit]

Cohen was born into a Conservative Jewish family in Tehran, Iran. His father is a businessman and his mother is a homemaker. Following the Iranian revolution in 1979 and subsequent discrimination against Jews, he escaped Iran through the Kavir Desert in Southeast Iran (considered one of the most hostile climates in the world) and became a refugee at the United Nations in Pakistan. He ultimately was able to reach the United States through the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in Austria at the age of 19.[11]

When asked about his escape, he said, “It improved my determination for reaching excellence and taught me that hardships in life can have good results if you overcome them. I’m proud and blessed to be an American citizen and live in the land of opportunity.”

He completed his undergraduate (B.A. in bioengineering) and M.D. degrees from the University of California at San Diego and Keck School of Medicine of USC, respectively.


Cohen completed his residency training in neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He also completed advanced fellowship training in two subspecialties: epilepsy surgery (Yale University) and skull base/cerebrovascular surgery (University of Arkansas Medical Sciences.) He also attained a master's degree in Clinical Research from Mayo Clinic Graduate School.

He is currently involved in the care of patients requiring brain surgery, specifically for a variety of brain tumors (gliomas and meningiomas,) complex brain tumors (skull base, acoustic, and pituitary tumors,) cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, and seizures. Yearly, Cohen performs approximately 400 brain operations.[12]

Cohen is an internationally renowned neurosurgeon who takes on the most difficult surgical cases with optimal results. He is among the few surgeons in the world who has successfully performed such a high number of complex brain tumor and aneurysm surgeries.[13] Cohen became a leader in developing endoscopic techniques that allow a surgeon to remove a brain tumor without opening the patient's skull, via the nasal passage. He also has helped refine fluorescent technologies that cause a brain tumor to “glow,” making it easier for a surgeon to see precisely where its margins are.[12]

He has written and contributed to approximately 438 peer-reviewed publications, advancing the efficacy of neurosurgical operations.[14][15]

He has created several apps to assist patients and health care professionals. In cooperation with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and The Neurosurgical Atlas, he created the Brain Aneurysm app, a collection of instructional videos and information that assists in raising public awareness of brain aneurysms. The app also connects to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation patient forum so users can stay connected wherever they are. The tool is intended to empower patients about their condition and encourage them to make well-informed decisions about their aneurysm care.[16]

He founded the AANS Operative Grand Rounds in 2009, which is a comprehensive web-based resource for training neurosurgeons across the world.[17]

In addition, the AANS Grand Rounds apps contain a comprehensive collection of videos that were produced jointly by Cohen, the Neurosurgical Atlas, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). These videos are in-depth discussions with experts on surgical techniques, approaches, pearls and pitfalls.[18][19]

Awards and honors[edit]

Cohen was voted the Health Care Hero of the Year in the State of Indiana[20][21] for leading the efforts to advance surgical care of brain aneurysms and tumors previously considered inoperable/untreatable. He is among a small group of surgeons performing such operations in the United States. He was granted the Hemispherectomy Foundation's Humanitarian award for his efforts to support children who undergo the complex seizure surgery called hemispherectomy. He is also the co-chair of the Medical Advisory Board for this foundation.[22]

Cohen's surgical success stories have been featured on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," CBS’ "The Doctors" and many others television shows. He was featured on CNN for removal of a brain tumor located in a crucial part of the brain controlling important functions in a 19-year-old man while the patient was awake.[23] He created a map of the function of his brain and avoided the important brain areas while removing the tumor.

Whether it's performing operations on children with extreme forms of epilepsy or removing tumors through the nasal passage, Cohen works tirelessly to heal what is arguably the most delicate part of the human body: the brain. “I have always treated my job as an art and passion, and that’s why I love coming to work every day,” said Cohen. “If you really enjoy what you do, then you really want to put everything you have into it and you will always want to excel in every possible way but it has to be a passion.” In addition to a desire to heal, he feels driven to perfect new and unusual brain surgeries to ensure the least possible harm and the greatest possible benefits to patients. To achieve this goal, he uses a wide range of methods to refine and improve the effectiveness of known surgical techniques.[24]

In all recent years (2013-2020), Cohen was named one of Indianapolis Monthly's Top Doctors for Neurological Surgery.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Cohen is married to Isabelle Saparzadeh and has two daughters (Lianna and Serene) and one son (Aaron Leon). In his free time, he studies non-medical technologies including 3-D animation and photography. He also volunteers to perform therapeutic surgery on dogs with brain tumors.[12]


  1. ^ "Official Website for the American Academy of Neurological Surgery".
  2. ^ "Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery Providing Faster Recovery for Patients".
  3. ^ "Man has brain tumor removed through nose". Archived from the original on 2013-08-04.
  4. ^ "How Making Brain Tumors Glow Saves Lives".
  5. ^ Rutka, James T. (2017-01-20). "Editorial: Mastering the art of complex neurosurgical procedures: The Neurosurgical Atlas and the Journal of Neurosurgery". Journal of Neurosurgery. 126 (4): 1029–1032. doi:10.3171/2016.12.JNS163140. ISSN 0022-3085. PMID 28106493.
  6. ^ Guzman, Juan (14 November 2013). "Brain surgeon strives to make the impossible possible". INScope. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  7. ^ Brown, Diane. "New cancer research centers at IUPUI win Signature Center Initiative funding". IUPUI Newsroom. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Neurosurgical Focus | focus".
  9. ^ "AANS Committees and Committee Members". www.aans.org. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  10. ^ "Methodist Health Foundation Annual Report" (PDF). Methodist Health. Methodist Health. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  11. ^ "About". The Neurosurgical Atlas. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  12. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2016-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Guzman, Juan. "Brain surgeon strives to make the impossible possible". INScope. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, M.D., M.Sc" (PDF). Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  15. ^ "aaron cohen-gadol - PubMed - NCBI". PubMed. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Brain Aneurysm Foundation". itunes. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  17. ^ AANS Operative Grand Rounds Master Series On-Demand http://www.aans.org/Education%20and%20Meetings/Master%20Series/AANS%20Operative%20Grand%20Rounds.aspx
  18. ^ "AANS Grand Rounds". itunes. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  19. ^ "AANS Grand Rounds". Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  20. ^ Kenninger, Judy (March 9, 2009). "His specialty: operating on the inoperable" (PDF). Indianapolis Business Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  21. ^ Health Care Heroes: Past Recipients http://www.ibj.com/health-care-heroes-past-recipients/PARAMS/article/22777
  22. ^ "Medical Advisory Board". Hemispherectomy Foundation. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  23. ^ Awake Brain Surgery by Dr. Aaron Cohen-Gadol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiUMy0P7ewM
  24. ^ "Brain surgeon strives to make the impossible possible: Faculty & Staff Spotlights: Spotlights & Profiles: InScope: Indiana University".
  25. ^ "Top Doctors 2013 > NEUROLOGICAL SURGERY". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved 27 February 2014.

External links[edit]