Brain Tumor Research
Local research, global impact
Dr. Sarkar is a scientist as well as a neurosurgeon, and when federal funding for brain tumor research diminished, he decided to make a different kind of contribution. Thanks in part to his financial support, the work he and his team are doing at Geisinger may have implications for cancer diagnosis and treatment worldwide.
Research has always been important to Atom Sarkar, an accomplished neurosurgeon with a PhD in Biophysics. As director of functional and stereotactic neurosurgery at Geisinger’s Neurosciences Institute, he treats patients with brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. He also likes to figure out why people get sick in the first place.
“Research is fundamental to medicine,” says Dr. Sarkar. “There is often a long lead time until research bears fruit, but without it, we are not making progress.”
Dr. Sarkar has seen the effects of today’s increasingly austere funding environment — including how cuts to vital research slow progress and discourage scientists who might otherwise make a difference. “It’s my own stimulus package,” he says of his gift to Geisinger for brain tumor research.
Dr. Sarkar is excited about what he and his team can learn about the genetics of brain cancer. “Geisinger gave us a wonderful lab and said ‘Go make some magic,’ and that is what we are doing. We have the equipment, the techniques, and the passion to make a difference. We are also asking the right questions.
“Our lab is small and lean, but we are doing amazing things with brain tumor biology and genetics. Even though our research center cannot compare in size to the bigger labs, we are poised to have a significant impact on the field.”
- Atom Sarkar, MD, PhD
Director, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery
Geisinger Neurosciences Institute