Our Doctors

Our Doctors

Dr. Joseph Neimat

Joseph S. Neimat, MD

Professor and Chairman

The appointment of Joseph S. Neimat, M.D., was approved by the UofL Board of Trustees at its Jan. 14 meeting.

“In Joseph Neimat, the UofL School of Medicine is getting a chair with an excellent balance of expertise in research, clinical care and medical education,” Dean Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., said. “His knowledge and skills will greatly benefit our students, residents, patients and community.”

Neimat comes to UofL from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he has held a variety of positions: associate professor and the director of human neurophysiological research, neurotrauma, epilepsy surgery and the functional neurosurgery fellowship in the Department of Neurosurgery; and a founding member of the Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering. He was medical director of inpatient neurosurgery and neurosurgery operating rooms at Vanderbilt, and served on the curriculum planning committee of Vanderbilt University Medical School.

He also was chief of neurosurgery for Tennessee Valley Health Care of the Veterans Administration and held joint appointments with Vanderbilt’s Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program and Department of Psychology.

Neimat’s current research interests include investigation of the affective and cognitive properties of the basal ganglia – structures located deep in the brain that are responsible for normal movement. His research also examines the clinical application of neural stimulation in the treatment of refractory medical disease, or disease that is resistant to current therapies. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as from industry to support his research.

He serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for the NIH Study Section on Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He is the lead or co-author of approximately 90 peer-reviewed articles, published abstracts and textbook chapters.

Neimat earned a bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth, double majoring in music and biochemistry, and then earned a master’s in neurobiology and a medical degree from Duke University. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. He is board certified in neurological surgery.

 

 

 Darryl L. Kaelin, MD

Chief, Professor and Residency Director, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Specialty: Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. Kaelin specializes in neurorehabilitation with a focus on traumatic brain injury and stroke. He is a nationally-renowned speaker on the subjects of concussion, spasticity management and neuropharmacology.

Darryl L. Kaelin, M.D. is a physician board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He is the Division Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, where he directs the clinical inpatient rotation for the Division’s residents and serves as Residency Director.

Dr. Kaelin has published widely in peer-reviewed journals on brain injury medical education, pharmaceutical treatments, spasticity and service reimbursements. He has also led numerous, non-published medication trials sponsored through pharmaceutical funding. He has delivered presentations at regional and national conferences in the areas of spasticity management, pharmaceutical management of brain injury and medical business practice issues. He holds several positions within the Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Association of Academic Physiatrists. He speaks nationally and internationally on several rehabilitation topics including the management of spasticity, deep vein thrombosis, and neuropharmacology.

Dr. Kaelin obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame where he played varsity baseball. He earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his specialty training at the Medical College of Virginia where he presided as their chief resident.

Prior to assuming his current positions with the University of Louisville and Frazier Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Kaelin spent six years as the Medical Director of the Acquired Brain Injury Program at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, a catastrophic care hospital for people with spinal cord and brain injuries. While at the Shepherd Center, he also served as the Medical Director of Brain Injury Research and was a Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in Emory University’s School of Medicine.

Previously, Dr. Kaelin served for 10 years as the Medical Director of Brain Injury Rehabilitation at the Hook Institute in Indianapolis, where he managed patients with neurological trauma.

Dr. Kaelin is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, where he currently lives with his wife and their three children. Dr. Kaelin enjoys coaching sports and traveling in his leisure time.

 

Matthew Adamkin, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Curriculum Vitae

Miami University, B.A. Zoology, Oxford, Ohio
University of Louisville School of Medicine, M.D., Louisville, Kentucky
PGY 1 Intern, Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
PGY 2-4 Resident, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
    
   

Thomas J. Altstadt, MD, FAANS

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Indiana University School of Medicine, M.D.

Neurological Residency Training at Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Altstadt specializes in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery and the application of image-guided navigation to the treatment of spinal disorders. He also performs general and peripheral nerve neurosurgery.

Dr. Altstadt joined the University of Louisville Department of Neurosurgery in August, 2012. Prior to coming to UofL, he practiced neurosurgery from 2008-2012 in Oregon with Southern Oregon Neurosurgical & Spine Associates, PC. He is licensed in Kentucky, Indiana and Oregon.

As a junior in medical school, Dr. Altstadt was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He went on to complete his medical degree, general surgery internship, neurological surgery residency, and an additional postgraduate fellowship in complex spinal surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Dr. Altstadt is the recipient of the American College of Surgeons Award and the Pittman Surgical Scholarship Award and is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles.

 

Maxwell Boakye, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, FAANS

Professor
Ole A., Mabel Wise & Wilma Wise Nelson Endowed Chair
Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery

Curriculum Vitae

Rutgers University, B.S. Mathematics and Physics
Weill Cornell Medical College, M.D.
Neurosurgical Residency Training at SUNY-Upstate
Subspeciality training in complex spinal neurosurgery at Emory University
Training in spinal oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Boakye specializes in general and complex spinal neurosurgery, spinal radiosurgery and minimally invasive neurosurgery.

In January 2011, Dr. Boakye moved his outcomes research laboratory and spinal cord injury labs from Stanford University to the Center for Advanced Neurosurgery at the University of Louisville. He recently submitted 4 neurosurgical outcomes research grants and one KSCHIRT grant investigating longitudinal outcomes of morphological sequelae of traumatic brain injury. Accomplishments this year include 6 published peer-reviewed publications, 1 accepted peer-reviewed publication, completion of University of Louisville enrollment for use of Riluzole in acute spinal cord injury, development of neurotrauma registry at the University and establishment of human transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS lab) at Frazier rehab institute. He has also helped to implement a protocol for diffusion tensor imaging, voxel based morphometry and resting state FMRI at the Department of Neuroradiology at the University of Louisville.

The overall goals of my lab is to understand the physiology and plasticity of the sensorimotor system in health and in patients with spinal cord and brain injury and to use that knowledge to develop new surrogate markers of recovery, new methods of injury prognostication and new therapies for spinal cord and brain injury. Research in this section uses noninvasive multimodal methodologies including functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP), and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) technologies to gain a comprehensive understanding of the physiology and plasticity of the sensorimotor system in healthy patients and in patients with spinal cord and brain injury.

 

Camilo Castillo, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Director of Spinal Cord Injury

Escuela De Medicina Juan N Corpas, MD and Surgery, Bogota, Columbia
PM&R Residency, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Chief Resident, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Vice Chief Resident, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
SCIFM PM&R, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

Dr. Camilo M. Castillo is the program director for the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at Frazier Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Centers and an assistant professor for the department of Neurosurgical Surgery at the University of Louisville. He works with SCI patients admitted to the Frazier inpatient unit as well as with the University of Louisville Physician clinic. Dr. Castillo expertise includes acute and long term management of neurogenic bowel, bladder, cardiovascular and spasticity after an SCI. He is also heavily involved in SCI research and he is a faculty member for the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) working with SCI researchers to help develop successful SCI strategies to improve functional outcomes. Prior to come to Louisville, Dr. Castillo worked at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MNRH) as a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) attending and later appointed as the interim director for the same program. During his years at MNRH, he was very active in teaching with an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R at Georgetown University helping mentoring residents during their PM&R training. He also worked very closely with administrators including quality & safety teams to develop a Highly Reliability Organization (HRO) to promote safety. Dr. Castillo graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, Va., where he completed his residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) as well as a fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. During his PM&R training, he acted as Vice Chief Resident as well as Chief Resident for its VA site.

Prior to starting his residency, Dr. Castillo worked at the VA in Richmond as a clinical researcher. During his time as a researcher, as well as his graduate medical education, he was involved in clinical, pharmaceutical and investigator initiated research studies. He has co-authored and published manuscripts in peer review journals as well as a book chapter. He has presented on his research and clinical areas of interest including the long-term effects after SCI, as well as medical and social issues affecting minorities in rehabilitation. He is the recipient of awards related to his research, including the Research Excellence Award in the Department of PM&R at VCU.

Dr. Castillo completed his surgical internship at Carillion Health System in Roanoke, Va., and received his Medical Degree in Medicine and Surgery from Juan N. Corpas School of Medicine in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia. He is Board Certified in PM&R and SCI. He is a member of the American Academy of PM&R, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA), the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) and the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).

Dr. Castillo is a physician with a worldwide view of medicine. He strives to make systems more efficient, improve quality and access of care to promote health for those SCI patients living in our community and beyond and to deliver a comprehensive, responsible and holistic interdisciplinary care with human compassion.  Dr. Castillo enjoys exercising, spend time with family and friends, traveling with his wife and daughter as well as reading. 


 

Priya Chandan, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Chandan is a physician-scientist who specializes in PM&R health services research.  She also engages in research that addresses health disparities experienced by people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.  Dr. Chandan is Clinical Director for MedFest, a program that provides free sports physicals to Special Olympics athletes.  Dr. Chandan is passionate about medical education, including teaching PM&R residents about the research process and about delivering quality healthcare for people with disabilities.

Dr. Chandan completed medical school at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  She completed her residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.  In addition to her appointment in the University of Louisville's School of Medicine, Dr. Chandan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Health Management & System Sciences.

 

Jonathan Couch, DO

Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae

University of Kentucky, B.S., Biology
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM)

Dr. Couch recently completed a minimally invasive spine surgery fellowship at Semmes-Murphey Neurology and Spine Institute in Memphis, TN.  He finished his neurosurgery residency at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. Dr. Couch attended the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, KY.  In addition to minimally invasive neck and back surgery, Dr. Couch provides general neurosurgical procedures including craniotomy, shunting, and tumor surgery.

Amr El-Naggar, MD, FACS

Clinical Professor

Ain Shams School of Medicine, Abasia, Cairo, Egypt
Residency with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
Fellowship with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Fellowship with University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Dr. Amr El-Naggar. M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.N.S. has joined the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Louisville as a Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery.

Dr. El-Naggar graduated from The Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University. He completed his Neurosurgery Residency at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. He completed clinical fellowships of Neurosurgery at The Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University as well as the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Dr. El-Naggar is the President of Lake Cumberland Neurosurgical Clinic and President of DREZ one LLC.
He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. El- Naggar was awarded the Hallett Prize by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Dr. El-Naggar will be performing Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Louisville and The Jewish Hospital in Louisville. This will include DBS deep brain Stimulation for Parkinson's disease, Essential Tremors and Dystonia.

In addition Dr. El-Naggar will be performing neurosurgical operations for relief of intractable pain including intractable facial pain and Trigeminal Neuralgia, Dorsal Root Entry Zone Lesioning, and Nucleus Caudalis DREZ surgery. This will also include placement of MRI compatible Dorsal Column Stimulators and Morphine Pumps.

 

 

John Gormley, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Specialty: General Rehabilitation

Dr. Gormley is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is committed to providing his hospital and office patients compassionate personalized attention as well as providing the most innovative, advanced health care in the region. In addition to general rehabilitation, he specializes in neuromuscular diseases.

 

 

 

 

Robert F. James, MD, FAANS

Associate Professor
Chief, Vascular Neurosurgery

Curriculum Vitae

West Chester University, B.S., Chemistry and Biology
Tulane University School of Medicine, M.D.
Neurosurgical Residency Training at University of Maryland Medical Center and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
Interventional Neuroradiology Training at University of Maryland Medical Center
Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. James’ clinical interests include open and minimally-invasive brain aneurysm treatments, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), arteriovenous fistulas, acute stroke, cavernous malformations, carotid artery stenosis treatments including carotid stenting and open carotid endarterectomy, carotid-cavernous fistula, peripheral nerve entrapment surgery, trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux) microvascular decompression, Adult Chiari syndrome, Moyamoya disease, traumatic brain injury, sports-related concussion, meningiomas, head and neck tumor embolization, and radiosurgery (Gamma Knife and Cyberknife).

Past Experience: Dr. James is board-certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a Senior Member of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery. Dr. James is a member of an elite group of neurosurgeons dual-trained in both open cranial neurovascular surgery and minimally-invasive endovascular neurosurgery. Dr. James served as faculty and Instructor of Clinical Neurosurgery with the Department of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. James then joined the faculty at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and was successful in building the first joint cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery program in eastern North Carolina serving a population of over 1.3 million people.

Current Position and Expertise: Dr. James was recruited to join the University of Louisville School of Medicine as Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Chief of Vascular Neurosurgery. Dr. James is a nationally known and highly regarded expert in both open cerebrovascular and minimally-invasive endovascular neurosurgery. This dual-training allows Dr. James to offer an unbiased medical opinion in regards to which treatment option is best for his patients.

Dr. James has been invited to speak at numerous national neurosurgery and neuroendovascular meetings in his area of expertise and has published many scientific articles on cerebrovascular disease treatments. He is a committed educator having taught dozens of residents and fellows as faculty at national neuroendovascular practical courses. Dr. James gained recent recognition as the only neurosurgeon invited to write two chapters in the cerebrovascular section of Neurosurgery Knowledge Update, a new book planned for publication by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

Cerebrovascular and Stroke Research: Dr. James won the 2012 Robert Simon Chair of Research from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and the East-West Collaboration Grant Award for his research evaluating heparin in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. He has gained additional grant funding to lead a national, multi-center clinical trial based out of the University of Louisville that will evaluate low-dose heparin administration following cerebral aneurysm rupture. This study is designed to reduce neuroinflammation and prevent memory and cognitive deficits commonly seen in patients who survive a ruptured brain aneurysm. In addition, Dr. James will be bringing the HEAT aneurysm coiling trial to the University of Louisville that will compare gel coated coils to traditional coils in an attempt to understand which type of coil is better at fixing brain aneurysms. Dr. James will also be bringing a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded clinical trial named MISTIE 3 to the University of Louisville that will evaluate new surgical treatments for hemorrhagic stroke, where current treatment options are very limited. Dr. James’ interest in clinical research stems from his commitment to find the safest and most effective methods to treat his patients who often have the most complex neurovascular problems. He would like to improve our understanding of these potentially devastating cerebrovascular disorders and to improve outcomes for all patients who suffer from them.

 

 

James Jason Miller, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Curriculum Vitae

Bellarmine College, B.S., Louisville, Kentucky
University of Louisville School of Medicine, M.D., Louisville, Kentucky
Residency Training at University of Louisville, PM&R, Louisville, Kentucky
Residency Training at University of Louisville, Department of Internal Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky

Dr. Miller practices general in-patient rehabilitation at Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital (SIRH) in New Albany, Indiana where he also serves as the hospital Medical Director. At SIRH, Dr. Miller cares for a vast array of medically complex rehab patients in a free-standing, community based rehab hospital.

Dr. Miller earned his BA in Biology/Pre-med from Bellarmine College in Louisville, KY. He earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2003, where he remained to complete his Intern year in Internal Medicine and subsequently his specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Prior to assuming his current positions in November of 2016 with the University of Louisville and Southern Indiana Rehab, Dr. Miller initially spent time in private practice with a 60/40 in-patient/outpatient mix, before focusing entirely on in-patient rehabilitation. Dr. Miller spent the 8 years prior to November 2016 practicing subacute in-patient rehab, serving as Chief Clinical Officer and Department Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for two premier skilled nursing companies – Elmcroft Senior Living and Signature Healthcare. During his time in subacute rehabilitation, Dr. Miller worked to establish a consistent rehabilitation model across a network of skilled nursing facilities.

Dr. Miller is a native of Louisville, KY where he currently lives with his wife and daughter. Dr. Miller enjoys High-Performance Driving in his free time.

 

 

Haring J.W. Nauta, MD, PhD, FACS

nauta

Professor
Neurosurgery Residency Program Director

Curriculum Vitae

Duke University, B.S., Biology and Chemistry; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, M.D.; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ph.D.; Neurosurgical Residency Training at University of Toronto

Dr. Nauta’s long and distinguished career began when he was a Guest Investigator at the Institut fur Hirnforschung der Universitat in Zurich, Switzerland. From there he became an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. Two years later, he joined the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery.

He then spent an eight year stint as an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Afterwards, he returned to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, this time as a Professor of Neurosurgery. He later served as Chairman of their Neurosurgery department.

Dr. Nauta joined the University of Louisville in 2010. At UofL, he specializes in brain and spinal cord tumors, aneurysms and AVMs, lumbar stenosis, cervical disc disease, Chiari malformation, syringomyelia, adult hydrocephalus and special procedures for pain. He is also the Director of the department’s Residency Program.

 

 Megan B. Nelson, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Specialty: Cancer Rehabilitation

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Nelson is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist with fellowship training in Cancer Rehabilitation. Focusing on the unique functional needs of cancer patients, she works with oncologists and the comprehensive cancer team serving patients from initial diagnosis, throughout treatment and after treatment. She treats the whole patient, including musculoskeletal and neurological complaints, neuropathic pain, spasticity, lymphedema, fatigue and overall quality of life.

 

 

Catherine Schuster, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Schuster is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and gathers expertise from a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals to offer a comprehensive approach to children and adolescents with conditions affecting motor development, function and independence.  Through the use of state-of-the-art equipment, advanced rehabilitation techniques and access to the most progressive research available, she is committed to bringing each child to their highest level of function possible for their specific condition.

 

 

 

John Shaw, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery/General Rehab

Curriculum Vitae 

Dr. Shaw specializes in the treatment of spasticity with Botox, implant and management of Baclofen pumps, stroke rehab including tendon transfer, and restoring function in the tetraplegic hand. In addition to rehabilitation, Dr. Shaw is board certified in orthopedic surgery.

 

 

 

 

 Sarah Wagers, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Specialty: Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. Wagers is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She completed her undergraduate degree, medical school and residency at the University of Louisville. She has a special interest in patients with acquired brain injury in both the civilian and veteran populations.

 

 

 

 

Brian Williams, MD

Assistant Professor

Director of Brain Tumor Program

Dr. Brian Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Louisville. He joined the faculty in August 2016 after completing his residency in neurological surgery and specialty training in neurosurgical oncology and skull base surgery. Dr. Williams has special expertise in treating primary and metastatic tumors of the brain, spine, and skull base. He has multiple awards recognizing his excellence in research including the Integra Foundation Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Crutchfield Gage Award from the Neurosurgical Society of the Virginias. His laboratory effort focuses on understanding the stem cell biology of glioblastoma tumor cells and the role of hypoxia signaling in peritumoral edema.

In addition to his sub-specialty, Dr. Williams performs general neurosurgery and spinal surgery including spinal deformity correction procedures and minimally invasive procedures. He is licensed in Kentucky and Texas.

 

 

William Williamson, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Specialty: Stroke - Sub Acute Rehab

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Williamson specializes in stroke rehab and geriatrics. He directs the subacute and acute units in the Louisville metro area and is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.