Thanks to Littleton Adventist Hospital, STEM students were able to attend a lecture on Jan. 14, 2020 given by Dr. VanSickle.
After earning a masters and doctorate in bioengineering, Dr. VanSickle pursued a career in neurosurgery. He earned a medical degree and completed a six-year residency. With the help of a robot he adapted, he can find the exact spot to implant electrodes in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease - Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery. He brought a new method of DBS in which a patient goes under general anesthesia thus reducing the patient's fear. The surgery sets back symptoms of neurologic disorders by 7-10 years.
In October of 2019, he successfully used a new type scanner during asleep robotic DBS, a pioneering effort at Littleton Adventist Hospital - a first such case in the world.
Meeting Dr. VanSickle was truly a dream come true. I loved having the experience to talk to a neurosurgeon along with my fellow STEM students.
- Tjaden (STEM Student)
The lecture at LAH was amazing this morning. The staff were excited to have our kids,and I was told Dr. VanSickle was really happy to have them too. The lecture was groundbreaking medical work and I think it had a big impact on the kids to see someone who started as an engineer, then took what they knew to enhance medical science. The ways Dr. VanSickle has innovated procedures and reduced invasiveness, while improving accuracy and recovery is staggering, and he attributed his innovations to his engineering background, and the mindset of solving problems. He interacted with the students a lot during the lecture and afterward the students asked incredible questions; everything from issues regarding battery changes and recharging on some of the devices, to how to manipulate neural plasticity to better help with the procedures. The kids spoke with him at length after the talk as well and came out energized and excited. It was a wonderful experience!
~Dr. Jennifer Campbell-Smith
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