Natural History of Conservatively Managed Patients With Chiari Malformation Type I and Syringomyelia

Chiari malformation type 1 (CM1) describes caudal ectopia of the cerebellar tonsils. Though often asymptomatic earlier in life and found incidentally on imaging, CM1 can disturb cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow and generate an array of symptoms. Surgical treatment for CM1 centers around procedures to increase the posterior fossa volume and improve CSF circulation. Many surgeons elect to operate on CM1 patients in the setting of a syrinx, making it difficult to understand the natural history of these patients.

Optimization of Number and Range of Shunt Valve Performance Levels in Infant Hydrocephalus: A Machine Learning Analysis

Shunt surgery is the main treatment modality for hydrocephalus, the leading cause of brain surgery in children. The efficacy of shunt surgery, particularly in infant hydrocephalus, continues to present serious challenges in achieving improved outcomes. 

MHFP Research

The Margaret Hackett Family Program (MHFP) supports and engages in research dedicated to improving treatments and bettering surgical outcomes for patients with CNS congenital anomalies. 

MHFP Database

The primary goal of the Margaret Hackett Family Program (MHFP) Database is to gather comprehensive patient medical histories into a database to monitor and store information that may be helpful in bettering patient care. The MHFP Database uses REDCap to collect extensive information about patient symptoms, treatments, and surgical history. By collecting this information, the MHFP and its collaborating institutions will have access to data that may help better understand and improve patient treatments and surgical outcomes. Current collaborating sites are located in Los Angeles, CA, Boston, MA, and Charlotte, NC.


Research Professional, MHFP

Dr. Seif Gholampour is a professional researcher for the MHFP at the Univ. of Chicago. He has over 14 years of research experience in Biomedical Modeling of CNS Disorders, Machine and Deep Learning in CSF Anomalies, Neuroinformatics, Image Processing in Neuroimaging, Image-based AI, Cerebral Blood Hemodynamics, CSF Hydrodynamics, and Image-based Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid-Structure Interaction Simulations in Neuroscience. His current projects focus on the diagnosis and evaluation of treatment options in CNS disorders using AI.


Clinical Research Analyst, MHFP

Jesse recently graduated from the Johns Hopkins University,  where he earned dual degrees in Biophysics and Applied Math & Statistics. During his studies, Jesse also worked as a research assistant focusing on neurodegenerative diseases at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, where he developed an interest in medicine involving the brain. Currently, he hopes to be able to explore the field of neurosurgery through clinical research at the Margaret Hackett Family Program and plans on applying to medical school in the near future.


The Margaret Hackett Family Program (MHFP) supports and engages in research dedicated to improving treatments and bettering surgical outcomes for patients with CNS congenital anomalies. Learn more about the MHFP’s research below.

Perioperative Complications Following Spine Surgery in Adult Patients with Achondroplasia

Skeletal dysplasias, or osteochondroplasias, encompass hundreds of disorders which affect the growth, development, and maturity of bone and cartilaginous structures. The most common of these is achondroplasia which occurs in around 1/25,000 births.

How We Predict and Improve Shunt Outcomes? Cerebrospinal Fluid Hydrocephalus Shunting

Cerebrospinal fluid shunt failure in patients with hydrocephalus is a complex process. This study aims to use the MHFP database to evaluate various factors that regulate shunt outcomes. 

Hydrocephalus: Can Intracranial Compliance Predict Clinical Oscillations?

The impact of this study can gain insight into the quantitative evaluation of material property and relaxation behavior of brain tissue and their relationships with diagnosis, prognosis, and management of hydrocephalus patients. 

Special Considerations in Pediatric Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

Originally pioneered in adults, endoscopic endonasal approaches for skull base pathology are being increasingly applied as a minimally invasive alternative for young children.

Questions to Solve When Blood, Brain & Cerebrospinal Fluid Interact

This study tries to understand the interaction of cerebral blood and cerebrospinal fluid with brain tissue to alleviate the pathophysiological ambiguities in cerebrospinal fluid dyscrasia.

Skull Base Drilling: How Coolants Can Reduce Thermal & Physical Damage?

This project will study novel gas coolants to decrease the risk of thermal death in cells of the skull, blood coagulation, adjacent nerves injury, and micro-fractures during skull base drilling.