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Neurosurgery Happenings

Laura Ngwenya Promoted to Associate Professor

The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has approved the promotion of Laura Ngwenya, MD to Associate Professor. Since joining the Department of Neurosurgery in 2016, Ngwenya has distinguished herself in the areas of clinical service, administrative leadership, teaching, and research in the subspecialty of neurotrauma. She also became Board Certified in Neurosurgery and secured well over a million dollars of external funding, including a National Institute of Health K08 and Department of Defense grant. Or, as Dr. John Kitzmiller, UC Professor of Surgery and Plastic Surgery Division Chief put it, "She has only been here a short time, yet she has made a big difference." As the Director of the Neurotrauma Center, Ngwenya has increased the commitment of UC Health to treating TBI patients. She has expanded the TBI clinic volumes from approximately 200 patients a year, to now close to 400 patients a year. Department of Neurosurgery Chair, Joseph Cheng says, "She leads by example as a model physician scientist, and an important pillar for our Department as Director of the Division of Neurotrauma.  She has improved the lives of countless patients with her work creating a neurotrauma registry for quality improvement in traumatic brain injury patients, along with co-founding the Collaborative for Research on Acute Neurological Injuries (CRANI) to foster a multi-departmental initiative promoting translational research."

Ngwenya has been recognized for her commitment and excellence in the field of neurotrauma at a regional, national and international level. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Kentucky, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Louisville and Ohio State. As recently as October 2021, she gave three invited talks at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons' annual meeting in Austin, Texas (pictured left), and was a session chair for the 2019 International Conference on Spreading Depolarizations in Yokohama, Japan. "While in Cincinnati she has rapidly achieved remarkable success and recognition as a true clinician scientist with a focus on traumatic brain injury," says Kitzmiller. In 2019, Ngwenya held the inaugural UC Neurotrauma Symposium, which was attended by over 60 regional providers and provided education on frontiers in TBI treatment. "Dr. Ngwenya has been a leader in the field of Neurotrauma at the University of Cincinnati, and a rising star in the our field of neurosurgery," says Cheng.
In fact, Ngwenya was recognized as a Rising Star Medical Leader by Venue Magazine and she received the L.I.F.E. Foundation Award in 2017. In 2020, she received the 2020 UC Health Doctor’s Day Impact Award for her service to UC Health.

Ngwenya's promotion to Associate Professor became effective September 2021. Dr. Cheng sums up Dr. Ngwenya by saying, "She truly is an amazing talent in our Department of Neurosurgery at UC."

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