Neurosurgeon Collaborators | Human Cell Types Program

Gathering data for the Human Cell Types program is made possible through collaborations with Seattle-area neurosurgeons. With patient consent, small pieces of cortical tissues removed during surgery to treat conditions like epilepsy or brain tumors are transported to the Allen Institute where researchers study the shape and behavior of live human brain cells. 

Learn more about this work as well as more research highlights from the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Charles Cobbs, M.D.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Cobbs is the Director of the Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. He is an authority in the area of glioblastoma surgery and research. He first hypothesized that malignant gliomas and other tumors may be associated with chronic viral infection with human cytomegalovirus (CMV), and he published the first evidence that CMV is associated with glioblastoma. His group has subsequently found evidence of cytomegalovirus infection in other tumor types and evidence that the CMV receptor is a major receptor tyrosine kinase involved in tumor growth. These findings have led other researchers to explore treating these tumors with antiviral drugs and tumor vaccines against the CMV pp65 protein. Preliminary studies demonstrate unexpected prolonged survival in these glioblastoma patients.

Dr. Cobbs received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He completed a residency in Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he also completed a fellowship in molecular neuro-oncology. Dr. Cobbs has previously been a principal investigator on NIH R01 grants, Special Project in Oncology Research (NCI SPORE) grants at UAB and UCSF, as well as an editor at Journal of Neuro Oncology and other journals. He has been a member of the NCI SPORE and PO1 brain tumor study sections. His laboratory group published a new molecular classification of glioblastoma in conjunction with the Allen Brain Institute in the journal Science.

Richard Ellenbogen, M.D., F.A.C.S.

UW Medicine

Dr. Richard Ellenbogen is Professor and Theodore Roberts Endowed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  He is an attending neurological surgeon at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital with research and clinical activities focused on treatment of pediatric and adult brain tumors, trauma surgery, Chiari malformations, minimally invasive endoscopic brain surgery and concussion.  He received his bachelor's degree and M.D. from Brown University and completed his neurological surgery training at The Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Program.

Dr. Ellenbogen is Director of the UW Neurosciences Institute, Director of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program, and Co-Director of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program, a joint program sponsored by Seattle Children's and UW Medicine.  He has published extensively and is actively involved at the national level including as Chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, which is focused on certification of professional practice and resident education. He has also served as President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and as Co-Chair of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee. 

Manuel Ferreira, Ph.D.

UW Medicine

Dr. Manuel Ferreira is the Chief of Neurological Surgery Service at UW Medicine, Director of Skull Base and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, Director of UW Medicine Multi-disciplinary Pituitary Program and Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery. He received his training at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he received specialized neurosurgical training in the treatment of neurofibromatosis and acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas) with Dr. Robert Martuza (the discoverer of the NF2 gene) and Dr. Fred Barker. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and fellowship-trained in the treatment of complex tumors of the brain and skull base. Dr. Ferreira utilizes traditional open skull base approaches, minimally invasive endoscopic procedures and Gamma Knife radio-surgery to provide a multifaceted approach to the tumor patient. He runs a NIH funded research laboratory at the University of Washington. His research uses genomic and proteomic profiling in primary human meningiomas, chordomas, pituitary tumors and cerebral aneurysms to predict the natural history of disease and develop novel therapeutic options for brain tumor patients.

Ryder Gwinn, M.D.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Gwinn is the Medical Director of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute Center for Neurologic Restoration, which is dedicated to restoring the best possible functional abilities to patients with chronic neurological diseases. He earned his M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed his residency in Neurosurgery at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a fellowship in Surgical Epilepsy at Yale University. 

He is board certified and specializes in the surgical treatment of epilepsy and chronic neurologic disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, trigeminal neuralgia, and other pain syndromes. He uses advanced minimally invasive techniques such as responsive neurostimulation and focused ultrasound, as well as other more traditional techniques such as deep brain stimulation, Gamma Knife surgery, spinal cord stimulation, and awake brain surgery.

He is also the principal investigator for numerous ongoing studies to create and validate the next generation of therapies using neuromodulation and MR guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of epilepsy, movement disorders, and pain.

C. Dirk Keene, M.D., Ph.D.

UW Medicine

Dr. Keene is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology. He is the Nancy and Buster Alvord endowed chair in neuropathology, associate professor of pathology, adjunct associate professor of ophthalmology and neurological surgery, director of neuropathology division and fellowship, and leader of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) neuropathology and targeted molecular testing core at University of Washington.

Dr. Keene's clinical specialty is neuropathology, which includes the clinical practice of neurosurgical, neuromuscular, ophthalmic, and autopsy subspecialities. He enjoys significant teaching and training opportunities through diverse teaching commitments and as director of the neuropathology fellowship. His research is focused on neurodegenerative diseases and precision medicine.

Dr. Keene received his B.S. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His post-graduate medical training in anatomic pathology and neuropathology was at the University of Washington.

Andrew Ko, M.D.

UW Medicine

Andrew L. Ko is the Director of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at UW Medicine. He specializes in surgery for movement disorders, epilepsy, brain tumors and pain. Dr. Ko graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor's in philosophy before pursuing his medical degree at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in neurological surgery at the University of Washington, followed by a fellowship in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at Oregon Health and Sciences University.

His clinical interests focus on surgery for movement disorders, including Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS); surgery for epilepsy, including resection, laser ablation, and responsive neuromodulation; open and percutaneous treatments for chronic pain syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia; and the mapping of brain function during surgery for tumors and epilepsy. His research interests include development of biomarkers of effective DBS, the development of a demand-driven DBS system for Essential Tremor, and the electrophysiological correlates of functional imaging of the brain.

Jeffrey Ojemann, M.D.

UW Medicine and Seattle Children's Hospital

Dr. Ojemann is a Professor of Neurological Surgery and Vice-Chairman for Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He holds the Richard G. Ellenbogen Chair in Pediatric Neurological Surgery and is Chief of Neurosurgery at Settle Children's Hospital.  He is Director of Epilepsy Surgery at the Regional Epilepsy Center at Harborview as part of the University of Washington Neurosciences Institute.

He earned his M.D. and completed a residency in neurosurgery and a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  He joined the University of Washington faculty in 2003.  Dr. Ojemann specializes in epilepsy and pediatric neurosurgery, including surgery for childhood brain tumors and laser-based neurosurgery. He strives to create active partnerships with his patients to achieve the best possible outcomes. 

His research has been funded by NIH and NSF since 2001, with a focus on brain signals related to motor control and learning.  These signals have been used to control computers and other devices as part of research into neuroprosthetics. Dr. Ojemann's research also looks at ways to deliver stimulation as a feedback to the brain and to restore function after stroke. The timing of brain signals and how different parts of the brain interact with each other is studied with direct brain recording and with other methods, such as functional MRI. Collaborative work with the Allen Institute is a natural fit to his ongoing network research at different scales of time and space in the human brain.

Daniel Silbergeld, M.D.

UW Medicine

Dr. Daniel Silbergeld received a B.S. in psychology from Duke University, then spent a year doing research studying the effects of heavy metals on the brain at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston, Texas. From there, he earned his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati, followed by a neurosurgical residency at the University of Washington. During residency, he became interested in glioma cell motility and invasion. After two fellowships, in epilepsy surgery and neuro-oncology, he joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, where he ran an NIH-funded laboratory investigating glioma invasion. Five years later, he returned to the University of Washington, and in 2005 received the honor of being named the Arthur A. Ward Professor of Neurological Surgery, a position he still holds.  Board certified in neurological surgery, his primary clinical focus is primary and metastatic brain tumor. He participates in clinical research activities with the Alvord Brain Tumor Center, is an associate staff member of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and works in an advisory capacity for a number of glioma laboratories at the University of Washington.  He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.