Department of Neurological Surgery leadership transition

Kim Burchiel, M.D., to step down as chair of the department; Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D., is appointed next chair

May 18, 2015

Dr. Kim BurchielKim Burchiel, M.D., John Raaf Professor and Chair, will step down as chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine at the end of 2015. Dean Mark Richardson has appointed Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Campagna Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery, as next chair of the department.

As part of this leadership transition, the department is undergoing an internal and external review, led by Jeffrey Kirsch, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. 

“While the formal leadership change is still several months away, I am making this announcement now so we can work together to ensure a smooth transition, as well as to take the time to honor the exceptional leadership provided by Kim Burchiel over nearly three decades,” said Dean Richardson.  

Neurosurgery has been a discipline of focus since OHSU’s earliest days, first established as a division in the Department of Surgery in the 1930s. Dr. Burchiel joined the OHSU faculty in 1988 as the head of the division and was appointed chair when the division was named a free-standing department in 1998.

Under Dr. Burchiel’s leadership, the department’s 31 faculty members have achieved a national reputation for excellence in patient care while contributing significantly to the advancement of the discipline through innovative research and education programs. Dr. Burchiel is known worldwide for his pioneering work in deep-brain stimulation as a treatment for movement disorders. In addition to his departmental role, he plays a key leadership role at OHSU, previously serving as president of the former OHSU Medical Group and now a member of the Board of Directors of the OHSU Faculty Practice Plan within the School of Medicine. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and served in numerous national leadership positions, including past-secretary and president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and current chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery. In recognition of his contributions, he received two of the highest honors in neurosurgery this year: the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the 2015 Honored Guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting.  

“With vision, tenacity and dedication, Dr. Burchiel has led the department through several evolutions, anticipating changes in the external environment and building the department into its current success,” said Dean Richardson. “I, along with several deans who have come before me, am grateful for Dr. Burchiel’s wise stewardship and thank him for his steadfast service.”

Dr. Nathan SeldenDr. Burchiel will remain a member of the OHSU faculty and will continue to provide clinical care, as well as be involved in research, education and key strategic university-wide initiatives. 

Dr. Selden joined the OHSU faculty in 2000. He is currently vice-chair of education and residency program director in the Department of Neurological Surgery. Under his direction, the OHSU neurosurgical residency program has become a national model, with its emphasis on lifelong learning, basic science education, research methodology, leadership and more. In recognition, Dr. Selden received the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the ACGME in 2013. Dr. Selden’s clinical focus is on neurosurgery for children, including epilepsy, congenital malformations, brain tumors and hydrocephalus. At OHSU, he performed the first transplantation of neuronal stem cells in a human patient in 2007. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles on pediatric neurosurgical and scientific topics. Dr. Selden is currently President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest neurosurgical professional organization in North America.

“Consideration of a leadership transition in this department has been underway for some time. For several years, Dr. Selden has demonstrated a strong and effective leadership approach and has made clear that the future of the department is in highly capable hands,” said Dean Richardson. “Please join me in congratulating Dr. Selden and thanking Dr. Burchiel for his service to the school.” Additional communications and detail will be provided, as needed, closer to the time of the leadership transition in late 2015.