Academic Reference Centers
Dr. Claudia Robertson is the Medical Director of the Neurosurgical ICU at Ben Taub General Hospital, which is one of two level one trauma centers in Houston. She is the President of the National Neurotrauma Society. Dr. Robertson’s research interests are the acute care management of traumatic brain injury patients, the mechanisms of brain damage and neuroprotection following traumatic brain injury, and cerebral blood flow physiology.
Dr. Robertson attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completed her residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She went on to complete a fellowship in critical care medicine at West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. Dr. Robertson is board certified in internal medicine with certificate of special qualifications in critical care medicine. She has published numerous papers on neurotrauma and related topics.
Joseph C. Maroon, MD
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Dr. Maroon is Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He obtained his medical and neurosurgical training at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University in England and the University of Vermont.
Dr. Maroon is regarded as a premiere specialist in the surgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the brain and spine, particularly with microscopic and minimally invasive procedures. His research into brain tumors, concussions and diseases of the spine has led to many innovative techniques for diagnosing and treating these disorders. Consistently listed in America’s Best Doctors, Dr. Maroon’s patients travel from all over the world to seek his care.
Team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for approximately 25 years, Dr. Maroon has successfully performed surgery on numerous professional football players and other elite athletes with potentially career-ending neck and spine injuries, safely returning them all to their high level of athletic performance. He serves as advisor to the NFL Head and Neck Trauma Committee. Along with Mark Lovell, Ph.D., in the early 1990’s, Dr. Maroon co-developed ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), the first, most-widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a world-wide standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of sports-related concussions for athletes of all ages. Dr. Maroon is a medical consultant and member of the Medical Advisory Board for MedLogic, LLC, U.S. Exclusive Civilian Distributor of the Infrascanner™.
Dr. Maroon is frequently quoted as an expert source by national media, recently including the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and ABC News Nightline.
Ivar Mendez, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Dr. Ivar Mendez is Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Neural Transplantation Laboratory at Dalhousie University and the Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Mendez received his MD and PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he also completed his post-graduate training in Neurosurgery. After completion of his neurosurgical residency, Dr. Mendez was awarded the Resident Research Prize by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. His research Fellowship was done at the Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden.
Dr. Mendez is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Surgeons. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, robotic neurosurgery and computerized systems in neurosurgical applications. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from a number of sources including the Canada National Centers of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Atlantic Innovation Fund, and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of USA. He is recognized internationally as an expert in his field, having over 200 international and national presentations as well as over 200 scientific publications. For the past decade he has worked in the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery and primary care in remote First Nation communities in the Canadian Arctic. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world.
Dr. Mendez has taken an active role in humanitarian and global health issues. He has been instrumental in establishing and equipping neurosurgical units in several developing countries. He has extensive contacts and collaboration with academic and medical institutions around the world and has established humanitarian programs for nutrition, dental care and education in remote communities of the Bolivian Andes.
For his pioneering work in the use of remote presence devices to deliver health care to underserviced populations, Dr. Mendez received the 2012 Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award, the 2011 Health Canada Award for Contributions to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians, and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Richard Hamilton, M.D., FAAEM, FACMT, FACEP
Dr. Richard Hamilton is Professor and Chair of the department of Emergency Medicine of Drexel College of Medicine. Dr. Hamilton has a Medical Doctorate from Hahnemann University, now Drexel University College of Medicine, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hamilton completed his Post-Graduate training in Aerospace Medicine at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida and is a Designated Naval Flight Surgeon. He is board certified in emergency medicine and medical toxicology and is a retired U.S. Navy Captain.
Dr. Hamilton is the chief medical physician at the National AeroSpace Training And Research (NASTAR) Center. He has over 25 years experience monitoring pilots’ physiological and cognitive stresses under G and possesses deep understanding of pilot human performance. Dr. Hamilton has monitored or man-rated a number of human centrifuges throughout the world, including the Naval Air Development Center Centrifuge in Warminster, PA, the Royal Singapore Air Force Centrifuge, Royal Korean Air Force Centrifuge, and Egyptian Air Force Centrifuge. He was part of the team that medically cleared and trained the Virgin Galactic Founders in the suborbital flight profiles.
José León-Carrión, Ph.D.
José León-Carrión is professor of Neuropsychology and Director of the Human Neuropsychology Laboratory at the University of Seville. He is also Director of the Research, Development and Innovation Department at the Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation (C.RE.CER.) in Seville, Spain. He studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, receiving a BA Degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Psychology. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA). He is a founder and member of the World Academy for Multidisciplinary Neurotraumatology and a member of the European Brain Injury Society. He is a reviewer and consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Program. He has participated in conferences world-wide and was recently nominated for the “Premio Rey Jaime de España” award for medical research. Professor León-Carrión is a member of various journal editorial boards in his field and is recognized for his work in neurorehabilitation as well as in neuropsychology textbooks and international books and articles related to assessment and rehabilitation of brain injury. He is also an international expert on consciousness studies and rehabilitation and treatment of patients in coma, vegetative state, minimal conscious state, locked -in syndrome and severe neurocognitive disorders.
To facilitate neuropsychological assessment, he has developed various tools: the Computerized Sevilla Neuropsychological Test Battery for the assessment of frontal patients, Luria’s Memory Words-Revised Test and The Neurologically-related Changes of Personality Inventory (NECHAPI). Professor León-Carrión has developed methodologies for the assessment and intervention of patients in vegetative state, minimal conscious state and low-level states. He has also developed activities designed to aid in the rehabilitation of disabled individuals, in order to increase their social equity and improve their quality of life.
Over the last two decades, Professor León-Carrión has developed a solid and extensive scientific career in rehabilitation and brain injury, both nationally and internationally, publishing extensively in specialized journals and books, as well as being a principal and co-investigator in numerous studies on TBI rehabilitation.
Commander (ret.) Luis I. Becerra, M.D.
Aventura , Florida
Luis I Becerra, M.D., is a Board Certified Neurologist and Neuro-Ophthalmologist in Aventura, Florida. He served for twenty two years in the United States Navy and, after numerous tours of duty in Operational Medicine, Primary Care, Emergency Medicine (Trauma), Neurology and Neuro-Ophthalmology, retired honorably in 2010. He served as Head of Neurology at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, CA, Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan, and Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA. He was the principal investigator for the Department of Defense and Veteran Administration Head Injury Project in 1996 and the Brain Injury Center in 2002. In his six years of service as Fleet Marine Force Medical Officer with the United States Marine Corps, he served with the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In addition to his service in academic hospitals in the United States and overseas as neurologist and neuro-ophthalmologist, he served as Emergency-Trauma Physician with the Fallujah Surgical Hospital and the Fallujah Shock Trauma Platoon. He introduced the Infrascanner’s Brain Hematoma Detector to the battlefield in 2008. Dr. Becerra is an alumnus of Pontifical Xaverian University in Bogota (Medical School), Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship), Yale University in New Haven (NIH sponsored Pain Fellowship), Temple University (Neurosurgery), University of Pennsylvania (Neurology), Wills Eye Hospital of Thomas Jefferson University (Neuro-Ophthalmology) and, University of Southern California-LA County Hospital (Trauma). He became an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences in 2002. He is in private practice with Aventura Neurology Associates and practices as neurology consultant at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, one of the Top-One-Hundred-Hospitals in the United States.