An Ounce of Prevention

Dr. Steven Schiff

Hydrocephalus and neural tube defects (specifically, spina bifida) are the two most common neurosurgical conditions in children. Untreated, both are potentially fatal and survivors are profoundly disabled for life. Both are vastly more common in lower-income countries. And both are preventable.

Dr. Schiff collecting environmental samples in Uganda (c. 2008)

Dr. Steven Schiff is a global leader in researching and implementing effective strategies for prevention of these conditions. Dr. Benjamin Warf and many of the people involved with NeuroKids have worked with Dr. Schiff for the past 20 years. While Dr. Schiff and his work are not new to us, we are thrilled to officially welcome Dr. Schiff to the NeuroKids team. In his role as Senior Research Advisor, Dr. Schiff will provide research and public health policy expertise and leadership in the prevention of hydrocephalus and spina bifida.

Dr. Schiff preparing samples with Dr. John Mugamba

With Dr. Schiff on board, NeuroKids is uniquely positioned to significantly reduce the burden of hydrocephalus and spina bifida around the world. Along with Dr. Warf and NeuroKids’ co-founders—Dr. Michael Dewan, Dr. Jacob Lepard and Ashley Birch—we have the expertise and experience to go after these devastating conditions and change the circumstances for hundreds of thousands of children and their families for good.

Dr. Schiff with Dr. Edith and Dr. Ronnie

Dr. Steven Schiff is a pediatric neurosurgeon with interests in neural control engineering, sustainable health engineering and global health. He founded the Center for Neural Engineering at Penn State University, wrote the first book on Neural Control Engineering (MIT Press, 2012), and is now developing the Center for Global Neurosurgery at Yale University. He received the NIH Director’s Pioneer and Transformative Awards in 2015 and 2018, respectively, which have enabled him to pursue his interests in the sustainable control of infant infections in the lower-resourced countries.