Yale Bulletin and Calendar

February 1, 2002Volume 30, Number 16

Dr. Joseph Piepmeier

Dr. Joseph Piepmeier earns
Nixdorff-German Professorship

Dr. Joseph M. Piepmeier, the newly appointed Nixdorff-German Professor of Neurosurgery, is a renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in brain tumors and spinal cord traumas.

A member of the Yale faculty since 1982, Piepmeier serves as director of the Neuro-oncology Unit at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and is director of the School of Medicine's Neuro-oncology Laboratory. He focuses both his clinical and laboratory work in neuro-oncology.

Piepmeier has written nearly 100 scientific articles and papers on topics ranging from the use of methylprednisolone and naloxone to treat acute spinal cord injury to the management of low-grade gliomas and surgeries involving tumors of lateral ventricles. His writings have been published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Brain Research, the American Journal of Radiology, Cancer Research, Neurosurgery and the Annals of Surgical Oncology, among others.

Piepmeier is among the first neurosurgeons in Connecticut to use the gamma knife, an instrument that allows surgeons to operate on the brain without using a scalpel. The gamma knife has revolutionized brain surgery by precisely targeting and destroying abnormalities in the head with the use of highly focused gamma rays.

Piepmeier has served as a co-investigator on two research projects on spinal cord trauma, the National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study II and the National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study III. He has also been the primary investigator of several grant-funded research projects on brain abnormalities.

A graduate of Duke University, Piepmeier earned his M.D. from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training in neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was a research associate in neurosurgery at the School of Medicine 1979-1980. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery in 1982, was named an associate professor in 1987 and was promoted to a full professorship in 1997. Since 1982, he has been an attending surgeon at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital. He began an affiliation with the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1987 and has been chief of the Section of Neuro-oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery since 1996.

At Yale, Piepmeier has served on numerous committees. Among these are the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center's Cancer Advisory Committee, the neurosurgery department's Faculty Practice Credentials Committee and the Department of Surgery's Operating Room Advisory Committee.

Piepmeier has been a visiting professor or lecturer at universities across the globe, including the Nipon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, the Al Shorouk Hospital in Cairo, Egypt, the Hospital Sainte-Anne in Paris, France, the University of Lund in Sweden and the University of Torino in Siena, Italy. The chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) 1999-2001, he is currently secretary of the Neurosurgical Society of America and of the Connecticut Neurosurgical Society. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuro-oncology, and has served on the editorial boards of several other professional journals.

The neurosurgeon's honors include an Allied National Research Award and the Wakeman Award for Research in the Neurosciences.

Piepmeier is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the Neurosurgical Society of America, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the New Haven County Medical Society and the Joint Section on Tumors of the AANS/CNS. He has been a consultant to several organizations, including the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, Gaylord Hospital and the Department of Defense Centers of Excellence.


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