CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati (UC) today announced the inauguration of the John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology, a $2 million endowment at the UC College of Medicine.
Tew, professor of neurosurgery, radiology and surgery at UC and clinical director of the UC Neuroscience Institute, served as chairman of UC's department of neurosurgery for 20 years before co-founding and taking the helm of the institute in 1998. The Mayfield Clinic neurosurgeon has been a neurosurgical pioneer in the areas of microsurgery, lasers, image-guided surgery and trigeminal neuralgia.
The announcement was made by Mario Zuccarello, MD, professor and chairman of the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery. Zuccarello, who holds the Frank H. Mayfield Chair for Neurological Surgery, also announced the appointment of Ronald Warnick, MD, professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology, as the Tew Chair.
Warnick is medical director of the Brain Tumor Center at the UC Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes of the College of Medicine and UC Health, and a Mayfield Clinic neurosurgeon. He specializes in the treatment of primary malignant brain tumors (brain cancer) and brain metastasis.
"Endowed chairs are a core pillar in the success of academic institutions like UC,” Zuccarello says. "They bestow prestige upon leading clinician-researchers, facilitate recruitments, help lay the foundation for future research and solidify relationships with the community through the promise of health care discoveries. They also provide steady income for ongoing research during the inevitable ebbs and flows of federal support.”
Tew says the chair is a testament to the community’s support for the university and its mission to treat patients, educate future doctors and discover new treatments. "The chair will help ensure our success in treating and understanding malignant brain tumors for years to come.”
"To be named the Tew Chair is the greatest honor of my career,” Warnick says. "Thousands of individuals have been touched by the care John Tew has provided and the neurosurgical advances he has led. From Dr. Tew, my most valued mentor, I have learned to relentlessly pursue the right course, no matter how improbable it may seem at the start. I have also learned that the most important job of a brain tumor physician is to provide hope.”
The John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology represents the second completed chair in the Department of Neurosurgery and the first since the establishment in 1993 of the Frank H. Mayfield Chair.
Tew graduated from Wake Forest University in 1957 and the Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1961. He performed his neurosurgical residency at the Harvard University-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. In 1969, as the recipient of the prestigious Van Wagenen Fellowship, he trained under Gazi Yasargil, MD, the founder of micro-neurosurgery, at the University of Zurich.
He is co-chairman of the Acoustic Neuroma Association’s Medical Advisory Board, a member of the Hemifacial Spasm Association’s Medical Advisory Board and a member of the UC Brain Tumor Center’s community advisory council. He has published more than 200 papers and 75 book chapters, has co-authored four books, including the Atlas of Operative Microneurosurgery, has trained more than 60 neurosurgeons and has held more than 60 visiting professorships in the United States and around the world.
Warnick came to Cincinnati as director of the division of surgical neuro-oncology in 1991, following a neuro-oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. In the mid-1990s, under his direction, UC became one of the first four centers in the country to use gene therapy for the treatment of recurrent brain tumors. Warnick was later honored for that pioneering work with the Mahaley Clinical Research Award and the National Brain Tumor Foundation Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. Warnick has continued to oversee research in the areas of radiation seeds and chemotherapy wafers, frameless radiosurgery and radiotherapy, multimodal brain imaging and tumor biomarkers.
In addition to serving as vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery and chairman of Mayfield’s board of directors from 2004 to 2012, Warnick served as chairman of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Section on Tumors from 2005 to 2007. He has given more than 130 national or international presentations, has authored or co-authored 61 journal articles and has trained 43 neurosurgical residents and neuro-oncology fellows.