Board of Directors

President - Maryam Rahman, MD

Maryam Rahman, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery, is affiliated with the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy in the Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. She specializes in the treatment of patients with brain or spinal tumors and cortical mapping for brain tumors.

Dr. Rahman graduated from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She attended medical school at the University of Florida, where she also completed her neurosurgical residency. During her training at UF, she completed a two-year neuro-oncology fellowship under the direction of Dr. Brent Reynolds studying tumor stem cells and their role in developing novel therapy for brain tumors. Additionally, she earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation through the Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation, an NIH-sponsored program. After residency, she completed a surgical neuro-oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins under the direction of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. During training she was granted the Chuck Shank award for Excellence in Neurosurgery and the Resident Highest Board Score recognition.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Rahman is dedicated to teaching young doctors in training. In 2009, Dr. Rahman won the Resident Teaching Award from the UF College of Medicine and the 2011 Course Director Teaching Award from the UF department of neuroscience. Dr. Rahman serves as the co-director of the neuroanatomy course in the College of Medicine.

President-Elect - Benjamin Brown, MD

Benjamin Brown, M.D. is an assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He has a special interest in Vascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery. Dr. Brown graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Sciences (Magna Cum Laude). He attended medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his Residency in Neurological Surgery. Dr. Brown completed his fellowship at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

Program Chair - Michael E. Ivan, MD

Dr. Michael E. Ivan is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami where he acts as Jackson South's Chief of Cranial Neurosurgery and Neuro-oncology Service and Co-Director of Neurosurgery. He is also the Director of Research for the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative within Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and is a leader among his peers, serving as an executive member of the Young Neurosurgeon's Committee for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Ivan graduated from Cornell University and received his Doctorate of Medicine and Master's Degree from UMDNJ/Rutgers University. While at Rutgers Medical School, he served as President of his class and was honored as a Gold Humanism Scholar. He then completed his neurological surgery training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF, Dr. Ivan focused on the treatment and management of brain tumors, vascular malformations, and skull base lesions. He was awarded the Howard Naffziger award for best clinical resident and received multiple awards for his research on brain tumors and stereotactic neurosurgery. As a testament to his dedication to medical education, Dr. Ivan was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for Cherished Housestaff from UCSF. After residency, he moved to Miami and completed a fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the University of Miami (UM). At UM, he continues his research on minimally invasive brain tumor management with state of the art treatments, including laser interstitial thermal therapy and fluorescence guided surgery.

The primary focus of Dr. Ivan's clinical, academic, and research interests has been on the microenvironment of brain tumors and their invasive qualities. In recognition for his post-doctorate work on the role of glioma pathogenesis and invasion, he received a research grant from the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF). Dr. Ivan's laboratory is currently continuing his brain tumor research with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Treasurer - Raul Olivera, MD FAANS

Raul Olivera, MD, FAANS is the Chief of Neurosurgery at the University of South Florida, Tampa - Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair. He also serves as an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine Neurosurgery, Medical Director in the Primary Stroke Center and a Faculty Neurosurgeon. Dr. Olivera received his medical education from the Universidad Automoma De Centro America, 2000. Dr. Olivera is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Secretary - Jason Blatt, MD

Jason E. Blatt, MD is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he was a National Merit Scholar and graduated magna cum laude. While in Nashville his honors included election to Alpha Epsilon Delta, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, and an Alpha Phi Omega Distinguished Service Key. He then completed his medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the Harold C. Pillsbury Student Research Award.

After receiving his MD, he remained at the University of North Carolina to complete his internship and residency, both in Neurological Surgery. He received numerous awards during his training, including both the Hydrocephalus Association Award and the Resident Traveling Fellowship, both from the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurosurgery, was elected to UNC’s Academy of Educators, and was named a Socioeconomic Fellow of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies. Finally, he relocated to Pittsburgh to complete a prestigious subspecialty fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh under renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Ian Pollack, MD.

Dr. Blatt’s clinical interests include all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, with special focus on brain tumors, epilepsy, minimally-invasive and transnasal (through-the-nose) brain surgery, and craniofacial disorders. His research interests include not only those aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, but also medical and surgical education, surgical simulation, and physician process automation. He collaborates with computer modeling researchers at Old Dominion University and with the large Brain Tumor Immunotherapy group at UF Shands/McKnight Brain Institute.

Dr. Blatt is passionate about the care and wellbeing of children, and prides himself on the ability to make complex neurosurgical decisions easy to understand for patients and their parents. Caring for an ill child is never easy, but Dr. Blatt and his team strive to alleviate worry and suffering, and provide world-class care for kids of all ages. The UF Pediatric Neurosurgery Team recognizes that children with brain and spine disorders aren’t just “small adults,” and need to be treated by expert subspecialists with extensive experience. Shands Children’s Hospital accepts all pediatric neurosurgery referrals for assessments or second opinions.

Immediate Past President - Glen Manzano, M.D.

Dr. Glen Manzano completed his undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame and earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He went on to complete his neurosurgery residency and complex spine fellowship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Manzano has resided in south Florida for over 30 years, and is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Manzano is subspecialized in the field of complex spine and spinal cord surgery. His clinical expertise includes the treatment of degenerative spine disease, spine trauma, spine and spinal cord tumors, spinal inflammatory/infectious disease and osteoporotic compression fractures. He works with a multidisciplinary team of specialists who can offer comprehensive care for the spine patient. His philosophy includes maximizing conservative therapy as well thoroughly educating and communicating with those patients who require surgery in order to optimize their potential for success. He employs minimally invasive techniques, whenever applicable, to treat the complete spectrum of spine pathology.

Commercial Support Chair - Mark Shaya, M.D.

Dr. Mark Shaya is a Board-Certified Neurosurgeon. Dr. Shaya completed his medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and his general surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He obtained his neurological surgery residency and spine fellowship from Louisiana State University. While in residency, he published extensively on spinal disease and brain tumors. He has presented topics at many national and international neurosurgery meetings. He developed a grading system for hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage and authored two neurosurgery review textbooks which are used extensively by the neurosurgical community.He is a member of many prestigious societies which include the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, North American Skull Base Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, Southern Neurosurgical Society, and the Michael E. Debakey International Surgical Society.

Rep to the CSNS - Greg Murad, MD

Reps to FMA House of Delegates
Gazanfar Rahmathulla, MD
Adam Oliver, MD

Resident Liason - Matthew Decker, MD

Members at Large
Merl Stringer, MD
Ian Cote, MD
Matthew Pearson, MD
Adam Oliver, MD