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Taylor Abel, MD, Named Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

February 2, 2024

Taylor Abel, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and chief of pediatric epilepsy surgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, has been announced as the next chief of pediatric neurosurgery at UPMC Children’s effective February 1, 2024, succeeding long-time pediatric neurosurgery chief Ian Pollack, MD.

In making the announcement, Robert Friedlander, MD, chair of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, said “I am delighted to announce that Dr. Taylor Abel has been selected and he has accepted to be our next chief of pediatric neurosurgery.”

Dr. Abel completed his undergraduate and medical degree at the University of Washington and neurosurgery residency at the University of Iowa. He completed a fellowship in epilepsy and functional neurosurgery at the Centre Hospitalier in Grenoble France and a second fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Abel also holds a Certificate in Healthcare Leadership and Business Fundamentals from the University of Pittsburgh.                                  

Dr. Abel’s clinical work is focused on the management of pediatric patients with epilepsy, brain tumors, and movement disorders. He holds multiple NIH, industry, and foundation grants. His research investigates 1) how the human brain perceives voice, music, and speech and 2) how to improve decision making in epilepsy surgery. He directs the Cost Effectiveness Analysis course for the Institute of Clinical Research and the Department of Health Policy and Management. Additionally, Dr. Abel serves on the board of directors for both the American Epilepsy Society and the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Alliance.

“I am incredibly grateful for Dr. Ian Pollack’s exemplary leadership as chief of pediatric neurosurgery for 20 years. Dr. Pollack is an iconic figure in our specialty. I am delighted that he will continue to contribute to our department and our institution. Dr. Polack is the Leland Albright Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery, past chair of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery, co-chair of the NCI Brain Malignancy Steering Committee, and past-director of the Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellowships. I congratulate Dr. Pollack for his great contributions as a gifted neurosurgeon and prolific neuroscientist,” says Dr. Friedlander.