Advisory Board

James Killeffer, MD, FAANS
Chairman of the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Killeffer has been in clinical neurosurgical practice since 1997, after completing medical school at the University of Tennessee and neurosurgical training at West Virginia University. In addition to his private practice, he also serves on the full-time faculty at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine as Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery and Assistant Professor. Throughout the last decade, he has maintained an interest in the interface of engineering and neurosurgery. He has worked with numerous students and faculty members at the University of Tennessee School of Engineering and with them has co-authored publications published in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of head injury biomechanics and hydrocephalus. Having been frustrated with the inadequacy of hydrocephalus care throughout his career and the complacency of technology development in the field, Dr. Killeffer, along with private-sector engineers Dr. Seaver and Chris Arnott, founded Arkis Biosciences in 2011. His goal at Arkis is to efficiently develop commercially available tools and devices to put in the hands of practicing neurosurgeons to improve the care of patients with hydrocephalus, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

Michael DiLuna, MD, FAANS
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Michael L DiLuna is an assistant professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at Yale University and chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He joined the Yale faculty in 2010 after medical school and a neurosurgical residency at Yale. Dr. DiLuna completed his fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. DiLuna is attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and a consultant in neurosurgery at the West Haven Medical Center. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in pediatric neurosurgery.

Richard D. Penn, MD, FAANS (L)
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Richard Deren Penn is a professor of neurosurgery at Rush Medical School in Chicago and of bioengineering at UIC, having retired from clinical practice in 2010. He is particularly interested in the use of drug pumps to treat movement disorders, spasticity and pain. He is probably best known for originating and then proving the efficacy of intrathecal baclofen for spinal spasticity. Dr. Penn has published several studies related to hydrocephalus in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery, and is a contributing author to Surgical Management of Adult Hydrocephalus Operative Neurosurgical Techniques. 5th Edition. Dr. Penn began doing basic research in medical school at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He demonstrated for the first time that liver cells are electrically coupled. At the National Institute of Health, working with William Hagins, he showed that rod cells hyperpolarize with light and found the source of the “dark current” of the retina. During his residency at the Neurological Institute at Columbia, his research began to focus on the use of new technology in neurosurgery. With Dr. Hilal in neuroradiology, he worked on techniques to occlude cerebral blood vessels with catheters and glues. When CT scanning began in the 1970s, he devised an image processing system using CT scans for stereotaxic biopsies. He also used subtraction CT scans to measure regional cerebral blood volumes. In 1982, he implanted the first programmable pump to deliver drugs to the nervous system. The technique was used initially to deliver morphine to treat intractable cancer pain. Later baclofen was given by drug pump to treat intractable spasticity. The intrathecal delivery of baclofen was approved by the FDA in 1991. In that same year, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded Penn an Orphan Drug Award for his work on baclofen. Presently, he is working on neurotrophic medications for Parkinson’s disease and the distribution of IT and intra-parencyhimal drugs.

Gentry Savage, MD, FAANS
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Jennifer Gentry Savage is a board qualified neurological surgeon and is fellowship trained in pediatric neurosurgery. Currently, Dr. Savage is associated with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, University of Tennessee Medical Center, and is a member of Neurosurgical Associates P.C. Dr. Savage earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center. She completed her residency at University of Texas Health Science Center and her fellowship at University of Indiana School of Medicine. Dr. Savage’s writing has been published in books, journals, and abstract pieces. She is also a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Kevin Sheth, MD, FAANS
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Sheth graduated from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He was an intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a neurology resident and chief resident at Partners Neurology (Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women’s Hospitals). After a fellowship in vascular neurology and neuro-critical care at Harvard, he was appointed the first neurology trained neuro- intensivist at the University of Maryland and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. He was recruited to Yale as the founding chief of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology and Chief of Clinical Research for the Department of Neurology. His interests are in the advancement of therapies and care of patients with devastating acute neurological syndromes, especially those complicated by brain swelling and hemorrhage. He is a nationally recognized clinical and translational scientist and has directed a number of multicenter studies testing potential therapies against brain swelling, stroke, and hemorrhage. His research group also develops novel imaging and serum based biomarkers for the neuro-ICU and furthers understanding of prognosis. He is the winner of the prestigious Robert Siekert Award from the American Heart Association, and his research has been funded by the NIH, American Academy of Neurology, American Heart Association (AHA), US Army, and the Passano Foundation. He has also led several innovative academic-industry partnerships. He has led the initial American Heart Association working group for large stroke and swelling. Dr. Sheth is the author of over 100 publications in critical care neurology and stroke. He serves on six editorial boards including Stroke, Neurocritical Care, Neurology and Neurosurgery and has served on study sections for the NIH, AHA, FDA and NASA. His highly collaborative work is dedicated to the improved understanding of neurological disease in the critically ill, and Dr. Sheth is committed to the care of his patients with acute brain injury.

Lawrence M. Shuer, MD, FAANS
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Lawrence M. Shuer received his medical degree from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1978. He completed his Neurosurgical Residency training at Stanford University in 1984. He then joined the faculty of Stanford Neurosurgery as an Assistant Professor and rose through the ranks to become Professor of Neurosurgery in 2002. He was the acting chair of the Department of Neurosurgery between March of 1992 and December of 1995. He was the Chief of Staff of Stanford University Hospital and Clinics between June of 1996 until May of 2008. He was the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Affairs between June of 1996 and May of 2011. He is currently the Vice Chair for Quality of the Department of Neurosurgery. He has been involved in the training of medical students, interns, residents and fellows in Neurosurgery over the time since he joined the faculty in June of 1984 to the present day. He maintains an active role in the clinical management of patients with neurosurgical problems primarily with spinal disorders, including degenerative disc disease, spinal tumors, syringomyelia and congenital anomalies of the spine. He also is involved with the management of hydrocephalus, brain tumors, the surgical management of patients with epilepsy, congenital malformations of the brain and cranial nerve compression syndromes. He is involved with the treatment of peripheral nerve compressive disorders and the management of peripheral nerve tumors.

Karl A Sillay, MD, FAANS
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Sillay has been in clinical neurosurgical practice since 2007, after completing medical school at the Medical College of Georgia and neurosurgical training at Vanderbilt University and the University of California at San Francisco. He has active academic and industry collaborations in the health and engineering sciences and has cofounded and advised startup medical companies. He shares enthusiasm for Arkis and the Arkis team for efficiently developing commercially available tools and devices to put in the hands of practicing neurosurgeons to improve the care of patients with hydrocephalus, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

Marvin Sussman, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisory Board Member

Dr. Sussman has nearly 40 years of experience in medical device development and regulation. He has been an officer of NOMOS Corporation, where he guided the development of the organizational structure, implementation of their quality system through ISO 9001 certification and developed the strategy that gained U.S. regulatory clearance for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) devices, which revolutionized the field of radiation therapy. He was Director of Research and Technology for CORDIS Corporation where he supervised the development of a number of products through the 510(k), PMA and foreign regulatory approvals as well as market introductions. He has been involved in a number of “firsts” in disruptive technologies including the first totally-implantable neural stimulator (including participating in preparing and presenting the PMA to the FDA), flow regulated hydrocephalus shunt, IMRT system and qEEG for neurosurgical clinical applications such as traumatic brain injury. Marvin served as co-chairs of the AAMI Neurosurgery Committee, the AAMI ICP and ASTM CNS Shunt Standards Committees and was the industry representative on the FDA Neurological Devices Panel for 2 terms. Marvin’s doctoral degree and postdoctoral studies were from the University of Miami, School of Medicine in Neurophysiology and Biophysics. He holds over 10 patents for devices in Neurosurgery and the sterile packaging/testing of medical devices.

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