Dr. Venkatesh Aiyagari named new leader of neurocritical care

By Julie Kirchem, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics

Dr. Venkatesh Aiyagari
Dr. Venkatesh Aiyagari
Section Head of Neurocritical Care

DALLAS - Sept. 26 2012 - Dr. Venkatesh Aiyagari has been named the new head of Neurocritical Care, a joint program of the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics.

Dr. Aiyagari comes to UT Southwestern from the University of Illinois where he was Co-Director of Neurocritical Care. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Earlier this year, Dr. Aiyagari had a chance meeting with Neurology Department Chair Dr. Mark Goldberg at a stroke conference. The two had been colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Dr. Goldberg and I were having a discussion about how to staff neurocritical care units and he told me about his vision for the future and creating a world-class neuroscience institute,” said Dr. Aiyagari.

Dr. Aiyagari was impressed with the commitment of the institution to the neurocritical care program and wanted to be a part of its future.

“Here at UT southwestern, we have not one, but two neuro-intensive care units and I’m especially excited about the new one being built at Parkland,” he said. “That will bring about a very interesting mix of patients.”

Dr. Aiyagari says the neurocritical care program will also grow in staff size.

“The plan is right now we have three faculty members, but that will double to six,” he said. “Another major change we’re planning to bring about is to increase the number of mid-level providers."

One recent addition to the program is DaiWai Olson, Ph.D., R.N., CCR, who has a strong research background. Dr. Aiyagari says Olson will bring a unique feature to the program.

“There aren’t many places in the country where Neuro-ICU nurses develop their own questions about patient care and conduct research, but that is just what DaiWai Olson does,” he said.

Dr. Aiyagari is also looking forward to working with the new Chairman of Neurosurgery, Dr. Hunt Batjer, a world-renowned neurosurgeon.

Dr. Aiyagari is Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics.