In the early 1980s, Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeon Gene Barnett, MD, MBA, had an “aha” moment when he saw an advertisement for a 3-D digitizer and envisioned how the technology could be used to map brain tumors. The ultimate result was his invention of the first of the frameless, freehand neuronavigation systems that have since become the standard used around the world for brain and spine surgery.
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That invention, together with Dr. Barnett’s instrumental role in developing laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for brain tumors a decade ago, are the foundation for his newly announced selection as recipient of Cleveland Clinic’s 2017 Sones Innovation Award.
Dr. Barnett, who is Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, was presented the award March 21, 2018, by Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, MD. The annual honor recognizes achievements that reflect the spirit of pioneering Cleveland Clinic cardiologist F. Mason Sones, MD, to advance the Cleveland Clinic tradition of innovation to improve patient care.
This three-and-a-half-minute video profiles the neuronavigation advancements that earned Dr. Barnett this honor as well as the boundless commitment to patients that fuels his innovative spirit.