Pioneers Giving Forward

Sight + Sound, Spring 2022

Much headway has been made in endowing the Pioneers in Skull Base Surgery Chair, but $300,000 remains before the goal is met. The hope is to have it funded by the end of the fiscal year.

To endow a Chair at Pitt/UPMC is $2 million. Once $1 million has been raised, UPMC has agreed to match the funds up to $1 million.

Dr. Eugene Myers, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Otolaryngology and Emeritus Chair, Department of Otolaryngology, and Dr. Joseph Maroon, Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery and the Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, contributed significantly and have been raising additional support to establish this Chair.

More recently, the Coury family made a generous donation as did Dr. E. Ronald Salvitti, founder and medical director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Eye Center and Eye & Ear Foundation Board member.

The Pioneers Chair in Skull Base Surgery – which will become the Myers & Maroon Chair once Dr. Maroon retires due to UPMC rules – is housed in the Department of Otolaryngology with a focus on the world class training aspects of skull base surgery that were developed by Drs. Myers and Maroon at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The inaugural holder of the chair will be Dr. Carl Snyderman, who refined the techniques over the last 25 years. Along with Dr. Paul Gardner, Dr. Snyderman trained not only this generation of surgeons on minimally invasive skull base techniques but is now working on training the next generation on even more advanced treatment modalities.

“The Pioneers Chair will provide world class training opportunities every day of the year to surgeons in Pittsburgh via hands on classes, and from around the globe via tele-mentoring opportunities,” said Dr. Jeff Myers, Chair, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the son of Dr. Eugene Myers. “This training opportunity is so important because skull base tumors require highly sub-specialized techniques for removal, and these tumors are relatively rare.”

Dr. Jeff Myers was a resident in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine when Dr. Carl Snyderman and his colleagues first performed minimally invasive skull base surgeries. “I am proud to have been witness to this historical medical technological advancement,” he said, “and I would like to see the Department and individuals involved and their trainees retain their leadership in this important field.”