Benjamin C. Kennedy, MD

Benjamin C. Kennedy, MD

Benjamin Kennedy, MD, is an attending neurosurgeon and the Director of Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery in the Division of Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Epilepsy, Spasticity, Dystonia, Movement disorders, StereoEEG, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, Deep brain stimulation, Functional neurosurgery, Brain tumors, Spine tumors, Complex spine, Endoscopic surgery, Spinal dysraphism, Chiari malformations
Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

Background

The highest level of care comes from a multidisciplinary approach to any medical problem, and this is embraced wholeheartedly here at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In neurosurgery we collaborate closely with experts from every field of pediatric medicine and surgery. I have a broad interest in all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, including epilepsy and functional neurosurgery, brain and spine tumors, congenital and traumatic spine surgery, and craniovertebral junction abnormalities. 

It is a great privilege to serve as Director of Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery at CHOP. In our Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program, I have the pleasure of working with our epileptologists, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, social workers and pathologists to develop a highly personalized approach to each epilepsy patient. When a child’s epilepsy is not able to be controlled with medication, we formulate the most minimally invasive surgical plan to address the problem. We can avoid large operations for many children who require epilepsy surgery with a variety of techniques. These include robotic-assisted stereoEEG, which is percutaneous depth electrodes, for precise monitoring of the epileptic network and identification of the source of seizures. We use laser ablation for corpus callosotomy, hypothalamic hamartoma, mesial temporal sclerosis, or small, deep seizure sources. We employ purely disconnective techniques for hemispherotomy through a small craniotomy, and provide vagal nerve stimulators that do not require brain surgery at all. What inspires me is providing children and their families with the best possible seizure control while minimizing discomfort, and getting them back to their lives as quickly as possible. Our research is focused on understanding the complex interplay among epilepsy genetics, EEG, and clinical information to provide both better medical and surgical therapies. 

In our multidisciplinary cerebral palsy and spasticity clinics, I work with our rehabilitation doctors, physical and occupational therapists, neurologists, orthopaedists, social workers, neurophysiologists, nursing and other staff to develop a multi-faceted treatment plan for patients with spasticity, which sometimes involves neurosurgery, including selective dorsal rhizotomy or baclofen pump placement. In our deep brain stimulation program, I collaborate with our movement disorder neurologists to identify children with dystonia who will benefit from deep brain stimulation. When we are able to improve our patients’ control and function or help a child walk with these procedures, it is deeply gratifying. 

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY

Residency

Neurosurgery - Columbia University - New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY

Fellowship

Pediatric Neurosurgery - Children's Hospital of Philadephia, Philadelphia, PA

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery

Attending Neurosurgeon

Departments and Services

Publications

Papers

2016

Kennedy BC, Kelly KM, Anderson RCE, Feldstein NA. Isolated thoracic syrinx in children with Chiari I malformation. Childs Nerv Syst, 2016 Mar;32(3):531-4.

Kennedy BC, Brown LT, Komotar RJ, McKhann GM. Stereotactic catheter placement for Ommaya reservoirs: A large single-center series. J Clin Neurosci, 2016, May;27:44-7.

2015

Kennedy BC, D’Amico RS, Youngerman BE, McDowell MM, Hooten KG, Couture D, Jea A, Leonard J, Lew S, Pincus D, Rodriguez L, Tuite GF, DiLuna M, Brockmeyer DL, Anderson RCE. Long-term growth and alignment after occipitocervical and atlantoaxial fusion with rigid internal fixation in young children. J Neurosurg Pediatr, 2015 Oct 9:1-9.

Kennedy BC, Nelp TB, Kelly KM, Phan MQ, Bruce SS, McDowell MM, Feldstein NA, Anderson RCE. Delayed resolution of syrinx after posterior fossa decompression without dural opening in children with Chiari I malformation. J Neurosurg Pediatr, 2015 Aug 28:1-8.

Kennedy BC, Brown LT, Komotar RJ, McKhann GM. Frameless stereotactic Ommaya reservoir placement: efficacy and complication comparison with frame-based technique. Stereot Funct Neuros, 2015, 93(6):418-8.

Goldstein HE, Kennedy BC, Anderson RCE, Feldstein NA. “Bilateral occipital endoscopic choroid plexus cauterization for persistent hydrocephalus following frontal endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization - The "Bowling Ball" technique.” Childs Nerv Syst, 2015 Oct 12.

Kennedy BC, Kelly KM, Phan MQ, Bruce SS, McDowell MM, Anderson RC, Feldstein NA. Outcomes after suboccipital decompression without dural opening in children with Chiari malformation type I. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2015 May 1:1-9.

Kennedy BC, Cloney MB, Anderson RCE, Feldstein NA. Superior parietal lobule approach for choroid plexus papillomas without preoperative embolization in very young children. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2015 Apr 10:1-6.

Surapaneni K, Kennedy BC, Yanagihara TK, DeLaPaz R, Bruce JN. Early cerebral blood volume changes predict progression after convection-enhanced delivery of topotecan for recurrent malignant glioma. World Neurosurg. 2015 Mar 12.

2014

Kennedy BC, McDowell MM, Yang PH, Wilson C, Li S, Hankinson TC, Feldstein NA, Anderson RC. Pial synangiosis for moyamoya syndrome in children with sickle cell anemia: a comprehensive review of reported cases. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Jan 36(1).

D’Amico R, Kennedy BC, Bruce JN. Neurosurgical Oncology: Advances in operative technologies and adjuncts. J Neurooncol. 2014 Jun 27.

Sonabend A, Basnal M, Guarnieri P, Lei L, Amendolara B, Soderquist C, Leung R, Yun J, Kennedy B, et al. The transcriptional regulatory network of proneural glioma determines the genetic alterations selected during tumor progression. Cancer Res. 2014 Mar 1;74(5).

2013

Kennedy BC, Showers CR, Anderson DE, Anderson L, Canoll PC, Bruce JN, Anderson RC. Tumor-associated macrophages in glioma: Friend or Foe? J Oncol. 2013 May 8.

Anderson R, Kennedy B, Yanes C, Garvin J, Needle M, Canoll P, Feldstein N, Bruce J. Convection-enhanced delivery of topotecan into diffuse intrinsic brainstem tumors in children: Report of two cases. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Mar; 11(3):289-95.

2012

D’Amico R, Lei L, Kennedy BC, Sisti J, Ebiana V, Crisman C, Christensen JG, Gil O, Rosenfeld S, Canoll P, Bruce JN. The addition of Sunitinib to radiation delays tumor growth in a murine model of glioblastoma. Neurol Res. 2012 Apr;34(3):252-61

2011

Kennedy BC, Shimato S, Anderson RCE, Bruce JN. Defining the mechanisms of CD8 T cell tumor tolerance. Immunotherapy. 2011 Jan;3(1):23-6.

Kennedy BC, Bruce JN. Surgical approaches to the pineal region. Neurosurgical Clinics of North America, 2011 Jul.

Yanagihara TK, Kennedy B, Surapaneni K, Bruce JN. Power in quantitative diffusion MRI of tumor response strategies for future studies. Acad Radiol. 2011 Dec 15.

Bruce JN, Fine RL, Canoll P, Yun JP, Kennedy BC, Rosenfeld SS, Sands SA, Lai R, Yanes CL, Bagiella E, DeLaPaz RL. Regression of recurrent malignant gliomas with topotecan by convection-enhanced delivery. Neurosurgery, 2011 May 10.

2009

Kennedy BC, Maier LM, D’Amico R, Mandigo CE, Fontana EJ, Waziri A, Assanah MC, Canoll P, Anderson RC, Anderson DE, Bruce JN. Dynamics of central and peripheral immunomodulation in a murine glioma model. BMC Immunol. 2009 Feb 18; 10:11.

Posters and Presentations

Lectures by Invitation

2017

Kennedy B, et al. “Neurosurgery Resident Well-Being” Invited Oral Presentation, American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2017, L.A., CA

2016

Kennedy B, et al. “Neurosurgery Resident Well-Being” Invited Oral Presentation, Society of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2016, Indianapolis, IN

2015

Kennedy B, et al. “Isolated Thoracic Syrinx in Children with Chiari I Malformation” Poster, CNS/AANS Joint Section on Pediatric Neurosurgery Annual Meeting, 2015, Seattle, WA

Kennedy B. “Life in the Next Accreditation System: A Resident’s Perspective.” Invited Oral Presentation, Society of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2015, Miami, FL

Kennedy B, et al. “Delayed Resolution of Syrinx After Posterior Fossa Decompression Without Dural Opening in Children with Chiari I Malformation” Oral Presentation, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2015, New Orleans, LA

Awards and Honors

2012, Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism & Excellence in Teaching Award

2009, Donald Palatucci Prize, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

2009, Peterson Scholarship, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

2007, Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship

2006, Student Success Network Teaching Award, Columbia University College of P & S

2005, NIH Medical Student Summer Research Grant

2002, Northwestern Alumni Association Scholastic Achievement Award

2002, Buntain Family Endowed Football Scholarship, Northwestern University

Editorial and Academic Positions

2016, Reviewer, Pediatric Neurosurgery

2015-present, Journal Oversight Committee, Journal of Graduate Medical Education