Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, M.D., also well-known as "Dr. Q," is a consultant and serves as chair of the Department of Neurologic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in August 2016 and is recognized with the distinction of a named professorship, the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professorship.
Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa earned his B.A. in psychology at the University of California–Berkeley and his M.D. at Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude. He completed an internship in general surgery, postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology, and residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa’s clinical interests are surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors with emphasis in motor and speech mapping during surgery, as well as treatment of patients with pituitary tumors and skull base tumors using minimally invasive approaches. He leads NIH-funded research to cure brain cancer.
His research focuses on brain tumors and stem cell migration, healthcare disparities for minorities and clinical outcomes for neurosurgical patients. Currently, he has 11 submitted patents and started a new company named Sidera Medicine, LLC. Furthermore, he is frequently invited to give presentations on his research to both national and international audiences, and he has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, abstracts and other written publications. He is an editorial board member and reviewer for several prominent publications. Most notably, Dr. Quiñones is the Editor-in-Chief for one of the most well-respected and widely read operative neurosurgical textbooks in the world –Schmidek and Sweet’s Operative Neurosurgical Techniques (6thedition). As well, he is one of the authors for–Controversies in Neuro-Oncology, which was awarded first
prize by the British Medical Association.
In recognition of his work, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has received many awards and honors, including being named as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in 2008, the 2014 Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award and Neurosurgeon of the Year, and by the 2015 Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most brilliant minds in the world. He has received honorary degrees from Southern Vermont College, Lackawanna College, Dominican University, University of Notre Dame and Loyola University.
In addition, he has published an autobiography, “Becoming Dr. Q,” about his journey from migrant farm worker to neurosurgeon and recently Annapurna with Plan B Entertainment productions announced that his inspirational life story is going to be featured in a movie.
Besides his clinical and research activities, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa is active in education and provides mentorship to many postdoctoral fellows.
Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa is co-founder and serves as president of mission:brain, Bridging Resources and Advancing International Neurosurgery a 501 (c)(3) non-profit foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Voices Against Brain Cancer, and he is co-chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Tumor Section International Committee. Moreover, he serves on many study sections of the National Institutes of Health, including being chair of meeting sessions.
Michael T. Lawton MD is the chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute, as well as its President and Chief Executive Officer and the Robert F. Spetzler Endowed Chair in Neurosciences. He is chief of vascular and skull base neurosurgery, specializing in the surgical treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, cavernous malformations, and cerebral revascularization, including carotid endarterectomy. As chief of one of the busiest cerebrovascular services in the country, he has experience in surgically treating over 4200 brain aneurysms and over 800 AVMs. He is also practices the endovascular treatment of aneurysms and skull base tumor surgery.
Dr. Lawton co-directs and conducts his research at the Barrow Aneurysm and AVM Research Center, a collaborative research group funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health that investigates the physiology of cerebral circulation and the pathophysiology of vascular malformations. His basic science investigations study the formation, underlying genetics, and rupture of brain AVMs, as well as the hemodynamics, rupture, and computational modeling of brain aneurysms. His clinical investigations study the anatomy of microsurgical approaches to vascular lesions and the outcomes of aneurysm, AVM, and bypass surgery. He is the principle investigator of a NIH U54 grant and program director of the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium (BVMC), a multicenter group studying malformations associated with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, cavernous malformations, and Sturge Weber Syndrome.
He has published over 450 peer-reviewed articles, over 70 book chapters, and 3 textbooks, including Seven AVMs: Tenets and Techniques for Resection and Seven Aneurysms: Tenets and Techniques for Clipping, which has won numerous awards and sold more copies than Yasargil’s Microneurosurgery. His awards include the Young Neurosurgeon Award from the World Federation of Neurological Societies, the Harold Rosegay Teaching Award, and the Diane Ralston Clinical and Basic Science Teaching Award. He has given over 600 invited lectures nationally and internationally, including visiting professorships at over 40 neurosurgical institutions. He has been active in resident teaching, directing the CNS Anatomy Course for Senior Residents, co-directing the AANS Vascular Skills Course, and directing industry-sponsored anatomy courses. He sponsors an observership in vascular neurosurgery that has hosted more the 100 neurosurgeons and residents nationally and internationally. He co-founded mission:brain, a teaching mission to raise the level of neurosurgery practiced in developing countries, and has conducted 7 missions in Mexico and the Philippines.
Alejandro has more than 20 years of professional experience, started as a business and financial consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton participating in over 20 projects with local and global companies and later participated, for the last 14 years, as a Managing Director in the pharmaceutical industry.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from ITAM, a top Mexican university, with two master’s degrees, Financial Economics from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and an Executive MBA from the OneMBA program at Tecnológico de Monterrey, #1 private university in Mexico, where additionally he has been an associate professor of statistics
He has served on the board of Beca Rosaura Romero, which focused on providing aid and scholarships for middle schoolers, as well as developing infrastructure for middle school at Ejido Malvas in Guanajuato. Additionally, he participates as a mentor /board member for Enlace, an initiative of Tecnológico de Monterrey that provides advisory to business nationwide for owners to scale and grow their businesses.
"I believe in humanity's ability to improve, to surpass ourselves and to help others, as well as in the power of generosity and effort to change the world. Mission Brain is a means to materialize that change for the better.
Will Aarsheim is Managing Partner of Q Surgical, Northern California’s largest distributor of neurosurgical instruments and products. Will’s career has been focused on neurosurgical equipment distribution since the year 2000. In 2009, after learning of the admirable work of the many neurosurgeons who dedicate their time and resources to helping patients in areas around the world where neurosurgery care is not widely available, Will founded the Circle of Willis Foundation in an effort to support neurosurgeons engaged in bringing top quality neurosurgical care to overextended health care systems and their patients world-wide. In 2011 he helped launch the mission:brain foundation, the mission of which is closely aligned to his Circle of Willis Foundation, and since that time he has focused his surgical philanthropic efforts solely with mission:brain.
As a neurosurgical products distributor, Will is able to use his industry connections to obtain donations or lowest cost products in support of mission:brain’s overseas missions. In addition, due to his experience in the neurosurgical instrument/product field, he is in a unique position to use his expertise to understand and fill the equipment needs of the hospitals served by mission:brain. Will also serves as mission:brain's Treasurer.
Will’s philanthropic interests outside the world of neurosurgery include serving on the Board of Legal Aid of Marin, the mission of which is to provide access to the civil justice system to low income, vulnerable and otherwise underserved residents of Marin County.
In his personal life Will resides in Corte Madera with his two sons. He enjoys kayaking, sailing, and mountain biking and has run over sixty ultra-marathons.
April Sabangan is an Operating Room Nurse specializing in Neurosurgery at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and has been practicing for over 20 years. She's been deeply involved in training nurses and residents for many years and has been a recipient of the Teaching and Service Awards. She is a member of the Department of Neurosurgery's Diversity Committee, aiming to promote diversity and improve representation. As part of this effort, she is also the O.R. liaison and mentor for the Oasis for Girls, a program devoted to providing girls 14-17 years old with exposure to health care and STEM careers.
Ms. Sabangan's pursuit of improving access to educational opportunities has also led to her involvement with Backpacks for the Future. She serves as secretary to this nonprofit that provides backpacks with school supplies to grade school children in rural areas in the Philippines. Additionally, she's worked as an operating room capacity-building volunteer in Ethiopia with Footsteps to Healing, and project liaison for a blood banking project in the Philippines with Global Healing. She has also volunteered with Operation Rainbow in Haiti and with Habitat for Humanity in Jordan.
Born and raised in the Philippines, she received her Nursing education and training in a large public hospital caring for some of the poorest in the country. Her first-hand experience in health care delivery disparities has galvanized her commitment towards improving access and quality of care in underserved and underdeveloped areas.
She is an avid traveler who has been to 30 countries and all seven continents. She is also an amateur photographer and a member of the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery. Finally, she likes to call herself the slowest but the most determined marathoner who believes showing up, and persevering to finish the race no matter the challenges, even if you finish last, is just as important as finishing first.
Paola Suarez-Meade, M.D.
My name is Paola Suarez Meade, I was born and raised in Mexico City. I decided to go to medical school at Anahuac University in Mexico with the desire to help others and earned my degree in 2020. After
graduating, I became a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Neurological Surgery in Mayo
Clinic Florida, where I study brain cancer under the mentorship of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa.
I first joined the Mission:BRAIN team in 2016, as I was given the opportunity to participate during the
outreach trips in Mexico City. In 2020, I became and active volunteer for the Foundation. My role is to
facilitate communication with our Latin-American partners, to help with the organization of our virtual
educational and fundraising events, our board meetings, our new student chapters, and – once the
COVID pandemic allows us to travel – organize Missions in different countries. I’m very passionate about contributing to Mission:BRAIN and to continue to do so, I am pursuing a career in neurosurgery to be
able to assist our patients as a treating physician in the future.
Dr. Ramos has been a volunteer for mission:brain since 2016 when he first joined the team.
Dr. Ramos received his medical degree from Universidad Anahuac (February 2020) in Mexico City, Mexico. During his medical training he completed several rotations in the United States including a research rotation as a trainee in the Department of
Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
Once Dr. Ramos obtained his medical degree, he was accepted as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Neurosurgery of Mayo Clinic in Florida under mentorship of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa (Director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory). His research focuses on translational and regenerative medicine
in patients with brain malignancies, especially glioblastoma. By the way of clinical trials using the therapies developed in the laboratory, Dr. Ramos seeks to improve patient
care in the brain tumor population. As a member of the clinical research team, he has contributed to several book chapters and peer-reviewed publications.
I am a final year medical student, who aspires to be a cardiologist and an idealist. I believe in the power of human-kind. I’m a sports enthusiast and enjoy photography. Interacting with people from diverse cultures is something I adore. Join me in my mission to create a better future place.
Juan Pablo Navarro Garcia de Llano
IMG, soon to be Research Trainee at Mayo Clinic Florida. I obtained my medical degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara where I founded one of the first and the fastest-growing chapter in Mexico. I did my last med school year (social service) doing neurosurgical clinical research with Dr. Edgar Nathal at Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía in Mexico City, which reassured my passion for neurosurgery, especially for vascular cases. I work hard every day to reach equal global healthcare access and I see mission: brain as the perfect tool to combine education, empowerment, and helping the ones who need it the most.
Adrian is currently a 6th year medical student at Humanitas University in Milan, awarded with a merit-based scholarship. He is the founder of the first Mission:BRAIN European chapter at Humanitas, and he recently was nominated Regional Director of MB Europe.
His greatest dream is to combine both the clinical and the research side of Neuroscience, and he has joined this unique translational approach by working in Dr.Q’s team at Mayo Clinic Florida. He would like to contribute to the humanitarian field of global neurosurgery by empowering and promoting the network of medical students around the world, as he truly believes that building bridges is the key to have a meaningful impact on the community
Haan is the founding President of the Harvard Medical School chapter of Mission Brain and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board. He is currently wrapping up his clerkship year at Massachusetts General Hospital and pursuing research opportunities while studying for his licensing exams.
As a first-generation immigrant from Guyana, Haan is the first in his family to attend college. Before medical school, he graduated as a Jenkins Scholar from the University of Miami and went on to work in education at Teach for America. Recognized for his impact on the students and communities while teaching, he won the prestigious Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award and completed his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Johns Hopkins University. Haan decided to transition careers due to his experiences with the inequities in healthcare he witnessed while working in Baltimore, Camden, and Philadelphia. His time in the classroom, coupled with family health circumstances, ignited a passion for medicine and he enjoys his work with Mission Brain because it allows him to work at this intersection of health disparities, innovation, and education. Haan was also admitted to Harvard Business School, where he plans to complete an MBA before applying to Residency Programs. He is intent on creating innovative solutions to the healthcare barriers we face at home and abroad.