US University honours Dr Nduom as Daniel Louis Barrow Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery

Story: Atta Kwaku Boadi

The Emory University School of Medicine in the United States of America (USA)  has appointed  Dr Edjah Kweku Nduom,  son of a  renowned Ghanaian  entrepreneur and  a businessman, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom to the rank of Daniel  Louis Barrow Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery. 

The designation of distinguished professor is one of the highest honours Emory bestows upon a member of its faculty.

Dr Edjah  K. Nduom, whose new appointment took effect on January 27, 2023 is the second born of Dr  Papa Kwesi Nduom. In a letter dated February 17, 2023  and sighted by Today Newspaper, the President of Emory School of Medicine, Gregory L. Fenves  said, “ this level of distinction recognizes your (Dr. Edjah K. Nduom) eminence as a scholar, as well as the accomplishments that have placed you at the top of your field”.

The letter added: “Conferral of the title also signifies  that you have made substantial contributions to Emory University’s  mission to create, preserve, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity” .

The President  of Emory University also noted in his congratulatory letter  to  him that,  the honour bestowed on  Dr Edjah  Nduom is worth deserving since he has enriched Emory’s intellectual community.

The ceremony was held at the Burge Club near Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It was preceded by lunch, family interactions and sports activities including hunting.  The formal introduction to the event was made during dinner by Professor Daniel L. Barrow, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery.  Dr. Nduom’s background was presented to the gathering of family and professionals by Dr. Nelson Oyesiku Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at University of North Carolina.  Dr. Nduom’s wife Kelley and two children Joseph and Emily were there.  Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom and Mrs. Yvonne Nduom were present to participate in the day’s events.

 His  appointment is for an initial term of five (5) years, renewal for additional five-year periods at the discretion of the Dean  as long as he remains at Emory and continues to be an exceptional academic leader in the School of Medicine.

About Dr Edjah K. Nduom

Edjah Nduom is an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Cancer Immunology Research Programme at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and serves as a member-at-large on the Winship Executive Committee.

A neurosurgeon-scientist, Nduom specializes in the surgical management of brain and spinal cord tumors, particularly in the safe resection of malignant tumors located in eloquent areas of the brain. His basic research laboratory works to discover novel treatments for brain tumors for which there are limited options. 

Nduom holds numerous positions in national and international medical societies. Notably, he was elected Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, where he also serves as vice-scientific programme chair. He is co-founder and diasporan representative of the Society for Neuro-Oncology Sub-Saharan Africa and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Brain Tumor Society.

Nduom’s lab, The Emory Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Laboratory, attempts to harness the power of the immune system to fight brain tumors. His work is supported by The Musella Foundation, the American Brain Tumor Association, the GBM Foundation and the Intramural Research Programme of the National Institute of Neurological Disoders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health. He has presented at numerous national and international meetings and has been an invited professor at neurosurgery departments across the country.

After earning his bachelor of science degree in biomechanical engineering from Stanford University, Nduom received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a residency in neurosurgery at Emory University during which he completed a research fellowship in neurosurgical oncology in the Surgical Neurology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Following his residency, he pursued an additional neurosurgical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre.

The endowed chair was created in 2020 and named in honor of Daniel L. Barrow, MD, the Pamela R. Rollins Chair and Professor of the Emory University Department of Neurosurgery and current chief of neurosurgery service at Emory Healthcare. The chair was established through the generousity of some of Barrow’s grateful patients, former and current trainees, colleagues and family.

“Edjah’s outstanding work and dedication to the field of neurosurgery have made him an invaluable asset to our department and the wider scientific community. This endowed chair is a well-deserved recognition of his achievements and will provide resources for the support of his research efforts to improve the lives of those affected by malignant brain tumors. I have no doubt that he will continue to make significant contributions to the field for years to come,” says Barrow. 

Through Barrow’s leadership as the chair of Emory Neurosurgery for more than 25 years, the department has seen significant growth, including the development of the first dedicated intensive care unit for neurosurgical patients in Georgia and the creation and development of the multidisciplinary Emory MBNA Stroke Centre.

Dr. Nduom has received several awards over the course of his career. Recent awards include: Academy Emerging Investigator by the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, National Institutes of Health Director’s Award  and 40 under 40 Leader in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum.

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