UC San Diego Neurosurgical Chair Dr. Alexander Khalessi has been named 2023 president-elect of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the leading academic society for neurosurgical professionals, it was announced Wednesday.
Khalessi specializes in complex cranial and endovascular neurosurgery for the treatment of cerebrovascular and oncologic conditions. He became chair of neurosurgery at UCSD in 2018 and was named the inaugural chair holder of the Don and Karen Cohn Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in 2021.
“Neurosurgery is about applying technology in a decisive moment to care for people,” he said. “Today, we are saving lives and reversing disability from neurological disease considered inoperable just a decade ago.
“To be trusted by my peers to serve as a steward for this future progress is a generational opportunity,” Khalessi said. “Adding to this joy is the opportunity to bring deserved visibility to the incredible work being done right here in San Diego.”
Khalessi has served the congress, which has more than 10,000 members worldwide, for nearly a decade in multiple executive committee and officer roles. He further represents neurosurgery on the Board of Governors for the American College of Surgeons.
“Dr. Khalessi and his faculty partners have expanded and elevated the breadth and depth of neurosurgical sub-specialty care available to our patients locally and nationally,” said Patty Maysent, CEO of UCSD Health. “We are certain Dr. Khalessi will bring the same energy and expertise to lead surgeons, scientists and educators in the worldwide treatment of neurological disease.”
Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim, neurosurgeon at UCSD Health, will join Khalessi in a leadership role for the congress. She has been elected member-at-large to the CNS Executive Committee and was recently named chair-elect of Women in Neurosurgery — a group dedicated to advancing female neurosurgeons.
Khalessi said he sees opportunities to create early awareness of the field among medical students and residents, especially women and members of underrepresented groups, and to spur innovation by inviting engineers and neuroscientists into the operating room.
“It’s important to give fellow neuroscientists, engineers and entrepreneurs visibility to the current limits of neurosurgical capabilities,” he said. “Through the congress, we can ensure the best minds are working on techniques, surgical visualization, device implants and delivery methods for neuromodulation and biologics to restore brain and spine health.”
–City News Service, Inc.