Vale selected as MCG Neurosurgery Chair

Dr. Fernando L. Vale, vice chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, is the new chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Vale, who has served as USF vice chair for a decade and also directs the department’s Functional & Epilepsy Division and Neurosurgery Residency Program, starts at MCG Feb. 1.

“Dr. Vale has helped build and sustain innovative educational and clinical programs at USF as well as collaborations with affiliated hospitals, all of which are essential in today’s dynamic health care and medical education environments,” says Dr. David C. Hess, MCG dean. “He will be a servant leader who works alongside the great neurosurgery faculty here as well as collaborators across our medical school, state and nation to foster innovation and build every aspect of what we do here at MCG. We welcome him.”

Vale has served as chief of the Department of Neurosurgery at Tampa General Hospital, a teaching hospital for USF that serves west Florida, for a dozen years and as director of the Neurosciences Interdisciplinary Program at Florida Hospital Tampa, a USF teaching hospital that is part of the not-for-profit Adventist Health System, for six years.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of USF’s Signature Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and has served as neurosurgery track director for the Fourth Year Medical School Curriculum Committee since 2010.

He is an examiner in functional and epilepsy surgery for the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and has served as a guest examiner for the board multiple times. Vale has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Neurosurgical Society since 2005, including terms as secretary from 2009-12 and president in 2013.

Vale’s clinical expertise includes epilepsy, low-grade brain and spinal tumors, or gliomas, pituitary tumors, movement disorders and spine surgery. His research interests include new minimally invasive approaches for epilepsy surgery as well as new techniques to study the molecular basis of the condition that affects about three million adults and a half million children nationwide. He also is a principal investigator on studies to improve the treatment and recovery of patients with spinal cord injury and spine disease and evaluating sealant options following brain or spine surgery.

He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan and completed his neurosurgery training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital in 1997. Vale joined USF faculty that year as co-surgical director of the Parkinson’s Disease Surgery Program at USF and Tampa General Hospital, and surgical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Tampa General.

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