​In episode 11 of the Princeton Spine & Joint Center podcast, Dr. Zinovy Meyler, Co-Director of the Interventional Spine Program at Princeton Spine and Joint Center, had a great conversation with Simon Hanft, M.D., who is the Director of Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery, the Surgical Director of the Pituitary Tumor Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Their conversation ranged from spine tumors, the way they present, what type of spine tumors exist in general scope, what type of treatments Dr. Hanft employs for those tumors and how he diagnoses and approaches a patient that may or may not need surgery. They also talked about the different aspects of non- oncological surgeries, how does someone with minimally invasive therapeutic background approach some of the more common degenerative entities like spinal stenosis and herniated disc, what type of surgeries are available and what’s on the horizon in the surgical world. They also talked about when its appropriate not to do surgery and some of the other considerations dealing with psychosomatics and personality types. They also talked about the nature of medicine in the US and how the mentality is somewhat different from Europe. So this is an in depth, wide ranging, long but very rewarding conversation with an expert in the field who has a tremendous background. Enjoy!

Simon Hanft, MD
Director, Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery
Surgical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program

I developed a focus on the treatment of brain and spine tumors while a resident at Columbia University in New York City. I then transitioned to a dedicated surgical neuro-oncology fellowship at the University of Miami, where I gained significant experience in treating malignant brain tumors, developing clinical trials, and delivering minimally invasive therapies for both primary and metastatic tumors of the central nervous system.

Prior to my surgical training, I received my undergraduate degree from Yale University, a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in England, and a medical degree from Stanford University. While at Stanford, I was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) fellowship award for research into the effects of inflammation and radiation on neural stem cells. The results from this research were published in a high impact journal on stem cell repair.


Jackson Hospital Systems Quality Improvement (QI) Grant for founding the Jackson Brain Tumor Bank, 2014
Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS) Socioeconomic Fellowship, 2011
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Training Fellowship, 2005
William B. Bean Research Award, American Osler Society, 2005
Stanford Medical Scientist Fellowship, 2004
Stanford Arts & Humanities Medical Scholars Grant, 2002
New York Arthritis Foundation Fellowship, 2001
Lupus Foundation of America Fellowship, 1997

Dr. Zinovy Meyler is a board certified, fellowship trained physician specializing in the non-operative care of spine, joint, muscle and nerve pain. After graduating from New York University and receiving his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Meyler performed his specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, where he was honored to serve as Chief Resident. Following residency, Dr. Meyler received additional training in ultrasound guidance at the Mayo Clinic and completed his fellowship training in interventional spine and joint medicine at the prestigious Beth Israel Spine Institute in Manhattan. Dr. Meyler is the author of multiple medical chapters and peer-reviewed papers. He serves as a reviewer for medical journals and lectures widely. Dr. Meyler’s expert medical opinion has been sought in newspapers and on radio shows, as well as on this podcast.


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