Van Halbach, MD Gives the First Grant Hieshima, MD Luminary Lecture

On August 6, 2020, Van Halbach, MD, clinical professor of Radiology, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, and Anesthesiology at UC San Francisco gave the Grant Hieshima Luminary Lecture at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) Annual Meeting. This is the SNIS’ biggest honor and the first year of the lecture's investiture for late Grant Hieshima, MD, longtime UCSF faculty member and pioneer in the field of neurointerventional radiology. Dr. Hieshima started the program at UCSF in 1986 along with Drs. Alexander Margulis, T. Hans Newton, David Norman and Charles Wilson. He was the inaugural recipient of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery’s Luminary lecture in 2007.  

Dr. Halbach first met Dr. Hieshima while he was completing his medical training at UCLA. It was this meeting that convinced Dr. Halbach to enter the emerging field of neuorinterventional radiology. After he and Randall Higashida, MD, current chief of Neurointerventional Radiology completed their neuroradiology fellowships at UCLA, they came to UCSF to establish one of the dominant interventional radiology services in the world. Dr. Halbach remembers those days working with Dr. Hieshima as “being one of tremendous personal enjoyment and professional growth.”

As Principal and Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Halbach and his colleagues have developed clinical and basic science research protocols designed to perfect innovative techniques to treat life threatening neurovascular disorders. He and his group have pioneered many current techniques and developed many of the devices utilized in the expanding field of interventional neuroradiology. Dr. Halbach’s professional contributions include 315 peer reviewed publication and 89 book chapters. Much of his research interests involve the treatment of dural fistulas. His talk at the SNIS Annual Meeting was on "Management of Dural Fistulae: Lessons Learned over 30 Years."

“It was a great review of some of his seminal work, a trip down memory lane, and an ode to Grant,” said Christopher Dowd, MD, fellow faculty member in the Neurointerventional Radiology Section, who attended the meeting and heard Dr. Halbach’s lecture live online.

Dr. Dowd was also honored at the SNIS Annual Meeting. He was inducted into the 2020 SNIS Class of Fellows, earning the FNIS distinction, one of the most prestigious honors granted to SNIS’ members. Dr. Halbach was inducted in 2018 as part of the inaugural class along with Dr. Higashida.

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