JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

November 23, 2000
MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: Marjorie Centofanti
PHONE: (410) 955-8725
E-MAIL: mcentofanti@jhmi.edu

Henry Brem Named New Director of Hopkins Neurosurgery

Henry Brem, M.D., a nationally acclaimed neurosurgeon, is the new director of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Brem succeeds neurosurgeon Donlin Long, M.D., the departmentís chairman for 27 years.

In his 16 years at Hopkins, Brem has been instrumental in building a research and clinical center widely credited with changing the outlook for brain tumor patients. A seasoned scientist as well as a neurosurgeon, Brem reinstituted Hopkinsí Hunterian Neurosurgical Research Laboratory ó originally founded by Hopkinsí first neurosurgeon, Harvey Cushing ó with a new focus on medical and surgical therapies for brain tumors. Heís one of few surgeons to be elected to the National Academy of Sciencesí Institute of Medicine. Brem also recently received the Grass Foundation Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the highest honor that society awards for leadership in neurosurgical research.

Yet Brem also has a surgical practice with worldwide referrals for brain tumors. Under his direction, Johns Hopkins has become one of the largest and highest clinical volume brain tumor centers in the United States.

"Weíre indeed fortunate to have someone with Dr. Bremís multiple skills to lead the Department of Neurosurgery," says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

As a graduate student in 1975, working at Harvard with Judah Folkman, Brem discovered the first angiogenesis inhibitor, one of a class of molecules scientists quickly recognized for their potential to block tumor growth. At Hopkins, Brem and his colleagues went on to isolate a specific angiogenesis inhibitor in the eye. He and his colleagues have subsequently discovered two new angiogenesis agents, both of which are currently in clinical trials.

Collaborating with scientists at MIT, Brem developed a polymer for direct delivery of chemotherapy into the brains of patients with brain tumors. He directed clinical trials of the polymer, called Gliadel, which led to the first FDA approval of a brain tumor treatment in 23 years. Bremís current research on brain tumor treatment includes anti-angiogenesis approaches, vaccines and implantation of microchips that direct the programmed release of potent anti-cancer therapeutic agents.

Brem is the principal investigator in a $14.8 million NIH-sponsored National Cooperative Discovery group that develops new drug delivery approaches for the brain.

Brem obtained his bachelorís degree from NYU and did graduate work in biochemistry at Harvard. His M.D. degree is from Harvard Medical School. He trained in surgery at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia University. Brem joined the Hopkins faculty in 1984. Heís presently a professor of neurosurgery, ophthalmology and oncology and, with this appointment, becomes the Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at Hopkins.

The author of more than 150 articles in scientific journals, Brem has profoundly influenced students and residents. He was awarded the Professorsí Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Department of Neurosurgery has 13 full-time neurosurgeons, 18 residents in training and performs more than 3,500 operations a year, making it one of the largest neurosurgery centers in the world.


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