The 4th Annual MHFP Symposium

Research Perspectives and the Study of CNS Congenital Anomalies


The 4th Annual Margaret Hackett Family Program (MHFP) Symposium introduced a variety of central nervous system congenital anomalies and the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. Specific congenital syndromes were discussed in detail to describe various approaches to each entity. In addition, models of care as well as future approaches were discussed.

At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants had learned how to:

  • Discuss the complexities of living with a central nervous system congenital anomaly;
  • List the various tools used to diagnose and treat specific congenital anomalies of the central nervous system;
  • Identify congenital anomalies of the central nervous system that remain difficult to treat;
  • Describe current research approaches to several common congenital anomalies of the central nervous system.


This webinar event was designed for neurosurgeons, neurologists, pediatricians, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the treatment of central nervous system congenital anomalies.

A total of 45 participants attended the webinar event. A variety of facilities were represented by these participants, such as the University of Chicago, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Advocate Children’s Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General, Boston Children’s Hospital, Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Duke, Naples Neighborhood Clinic and other nonprofit organizations such as Chicago Public Schools, and Illinois Spina Bifida Association.  Of course, many more institutions attended as well!


Perspectives in Pediatric Neuro-Endoscopy

Perspectives in Pediatric Neuro-Endoscopy

Lissa Baird, MD

Dr. Lissa Baird is the Director of Neurosurgical Oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery. She specializes in the care of children with neurological disorders of the brain and spine, with specific expertise in brain and spinal cord tumors, cerebrovascular malformations, and skull base neurosurgery. Dr. Baird has expertise utilizing neuro-endoscopic and minimally invasive techniques to treat brain tumors, hydrocephalus, and cerebral cysts. She also cares for children with complex spine disorders. She was previously Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Director of Pediatric Surgical Neuro-Oncology at Oregon Health & Science University/Doernbecher Children’s Hospital before returning to Boston to join the Department of Neurosurgery and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Baird received her medical degree from Columbia University, followed by residency and chief residency at UC San Diego Medical Center. She completed fellowship training in skull base and cerebrovascular neurosurgery at LSU Health Science Center and pediatric neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Baird is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. Her scientific research has focused on neuro-oncology and clinical outcomes of children with brain tumors. She is an author for several national clinical guidelines for the practice of pediatric neurosurgery, is actively involved in national scientific and leadership committees, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Congenital Spine Disorders

Congenital Spine Disorders

David Bauer, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Bauer is an expert in the production of clinical practice guidelines. He is chair of the national guidelines committee of the AANS/CNS Section of Neurological Surgery, and he has helped produce guidelines on many topics including hydrocephalus, plagiocephaly, myelomeningocele, and Chiari malformation. He collaborates with other organizations, and he is co-author on upcoming guidelines for the surgical treatment of epilepsy with the American Epilepsy Society, diagnosis of brain death with the American Academy of Neurology, and transfusion of blood products after traumatic brain injury with a multi-society collaborative. Through his research, Dr. Bauer advocates nationally for standardized, high-level surgical care based on the best available medical evidence.

Morphometric Differences in Chiari Malformation

Morphometric Differences in Chiari Malformation

Francis Loth, PhD

Francisco Loth joins the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department in January 2022 at Northeastern University as a Professor with a joint appointment in Bioengineering. His research interests include Biological flows, experimental fluid mechanics, computational fluid mechanics, blood flow simulation, cerebrospinal fluid simulation, Chiari malformation, syringomyelia, medical image processing, magnetic resonance imaging.

Craniofacial Research

Craniofacial Research

Russell Reid, M.D., Ph. D

Russell R. Reid, MD, PhD, is a highly skilled surgeon who specializes in pediatric plastic surgery. He is fellowship-trained in craniomaxillofacial surgery and has particular expertise in the area of surgery of the face, jaw, palate and skull.

An accomplished author, Dr. Reid has published book chapters and several peer-reviewed journal articles on a variety of topics, from craniofacial surgery techniques to wound healing.

Dr. Reid’s research interests include the regeneration of bone for the repair of complex craniofacial defects, the biology of skull and facial sutures, and genetic expression in craniofacial development. He also studies ways to improve diagnostic testing for craniofacial patients.

Post-event Feedback

At the conclusion of this event, participants were given a post-event survey while claiming their continuing medical education (CME) credits. Around 24 participants completed the survey, and the majority of these participants (70%) rated the webinar as “Excellent” and 25% rated the webinar as “Very Good”, with the survey responses being almost all positive or enthusiastic.

54% of the respondents found the content presented by the speakers to be extremely helpful and 37% found the content to be very helpful. 

The majority of the survey participants also marked the instructional effectiveness and expertise of the faculty speakers as excellent and would recommend this activity to others.

Many comments by the participants included “Great quality of presentations” that were very insightful and informative.  In fact, participants requested more content next year with the option to attend in person!