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University of Iowa News Release


May 13, 2008

Howard appointed to VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery

Matthew Howard, M.D., professor and head of neurosurgery in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been appointed the John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery. The five-year appointment was effective March 1.

The endowed VanGilder Chairmanship honors the achievements and contributions of the late John VanGilder, M.D., UI emeritus professor of neurosurgery, and was created by gifts to the UI Foundation from colleagues, former trainees, friends and the VanGilder family. John VanGilder died in 2007.

Howard, who joined the UI faculty in 1993, has led the UI Department of Neurosurgery since it was first created in 2001. He is an expert in neurosurgical treatment of epilepsy, and his cutting-edge research explores how the brain processes sounds and emotions. Howard also is active in the development of new medical devices. He helped pioneer the invention of the Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation System, which uses magnets to precisely guide surgical instruments through the human body.

Howard is the first UI faculty member to hold the John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery, which is the department's first endowed faculty award.

"Matt Howard is an exceptional physician scientist nationally known for his expertise in epilepsy surgery, his research on neuronal processing and his development of medical devices," said Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "Under his leadership, neurosurgery, which is one of the college's youngest departments, has established a national reputation for excellent patient care, research and teaching. The VanGilder Chair will support research and teaching endeavors of early-career faculty in neurosurgery and in doing so will honor and extend the legacy of John VanGilder, who was a distinguished surgeon, scientist, teacher and role model."

Howard earned a bachelor of science degree in physics and biology from Tufts University in Medford, Mass. and received a medical degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, including one year training at Atkinson Morley's Hospital in London, England. Howard also holds a joint appointment in the UI Department of Neurology.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information, visit the UI Foundation's Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, UI Health Care Media Relations, 319-335-9917,