Josh Abecassis, M.D.

Josh Abecassis's Portrait
Job Title
Resident, PGY-7

Josh was born in Toronto, Canada, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University as part of the Honors Program in Medical Education, with an early matriculation after 3 years into the Feinberg School of Medicine. He interrupted his medical training to complete a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar in Dr. Howard Fine's laboratory. There he studied the molecular underpinnings of tumor stem cells. Since joining the residency program, Josh has identified an interest in endovascular and open-vascular neurosurgery, with active clinical projects spanning the gamut of aneurysms, dural arteriovenous fistulae, arteriovenous malformations, and tumor vascularity. He completed 1-year of endovascular training as a resident and will complete his endovascular training after residency with 1 year of post-graduate fellowship. In the lab, Josh is investigating spine-computer interface and peripheral nerve-computer interface applications in spinal cord injury in a rodent model. In his free time, Josh enjoys hiking, camping, playing guitar, DJing, or making new friends in the Seattle area with boat access on the weekends.

Select Awards and Honors:
2017    Codman Fellowship in Neurotrauma and Critical Care – Resident Recipient
2012    Member, Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society
2012    Phi Rho Sigma Dennis Award
2010    Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Scholar

Clinical Interest

Endovascular and Open-Vascular Neurosurgery


Research Interests

Brain Computer Interface (BCI)
Functional Outcomes in Neurosurgery


Undergraduate Education

Northwestern University

Medical Education

Northwestern University


1.    El Tecle NE, El Ahmadieh,TY, Daou MR, Abecassis IJ, Rahme RJ, Bendok BR. Enhancing microsurgical skills through deliberate practice. World Neurosurg 80:229-30, 2013 PMID: 23871810

2.    Abecassis IJ, Smith T, Chandler JP. Brain tumors and the area postrema. J Clin Neurosci 20:1795-7, 2013 PMID: 24035420.

3.    Abecassis IJ, Adel JG, Ayer A, Batjer HH. A ruptured infectious intracranial aneurysm with a combined fungal and bacterial etiology. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 115:2393-6, 2013 PMID: 24034820.

4.    Smith TR, Lall RR, Lall RR, Abecassis IJ, Arnaout OM, Marymount MH, Swanson K, Chandler JP. Survival after surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery for patients with multiple intracranial metastases – results of a single-center retrospective study. J Neurosurg 23:1-7, 2014 PMID: 24857242

5.    Abecassis IJ, Xu DS, Batjer HH, Bendok BR. Natural history of brain arteriovenous malformations: a systematic review. Neurosurg Focus; 37(3):E7, 2014. PMID: 25175445

6.    Abecassis IJ, Morton RP, Nerva JD, Kim LJ. Immunotherapy for secondary glioblastoma multiforme: toward an isocitrate dehydrogenase vaccine. World Neurosurg; 82(6): 933-5, 2014. PMID: 25311977

7.    Morton RP, Nerva JD, Abecassis IJ, Silbergeld DL, Kim LJ. Operative cytoreduction for recurrent glioblastoma. World Neurosurg, 82(6): 929-31, 2014. PMID: 25311979

8.    Nerva JD, Abecassis IJ, Morton RP, Kim LJ. Hemicraniectomy in older patients with malignant middle cerebral artery infarction. World Neurosurg; 83(4): 397-8, 2015. PMID: 25681285

9.    Smith TR, Hulou MM, Abecassis J, Das S, Chandler JP. Use of preoperative FLAIR MRI and ependymal proximity of tumor enhancement as surrogate markers of brain tumor origin. J Clin Neurosci, 22(9); 1397-1402, 2015. PMID: 26055954

10.    Karras CI, Abecassis IJ, Abecassis ZA, Adel JG, Bit-Ivan EN, Chandra RK, Bendok BR. Clival Ectopic Pituitary Adenoma Mimicking a Chordoma: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Case Rep Neurol Med, 2016; 2016: 1-8. PMID: 26885420.

11.    Morton RP, Abecassis IJ, Hanson JF, Barber J, Nerva JD, Emerson SN, Ene CI, Chowdhary MM, Levitt MR, Ko AL, Dellit TH, Chesnut RM. Predictors of infection after 754 cranioplasty operations and the value of intraoperative cultures for cryopreserved bone flaps. J Neurosurg 15;1-5, 2016. PMID: 26771856

12.    Hong CS, Wang AC, Bonow RH, Abecassis IJ, Amlie-Lefond C, Ellenbogen RG. Moyamoya disease in a patient with VACTERL association. World Neurosurgery, 16; S1878-8750, 2016. PMID: 26844876

13.    Abecassis IJ, Levitt MR. Understanding neurogenesis in the subventricular zone and the capacity for transcriptional modulation in ischemic brain injury. World Neurosurg, 2016; 87: 477-480. PMID: 26828460.

14.    Abecassis IJ, Nerva JD, Barber J, Rockhill J, Ellenbogen RG, Kim LJ, Sekhar LN. “Towards a comprehensive assessment of functional outcomes in pediatric brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) patients: the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL 4.0).” J Neurosurg Pediatr, 2016; 18(5): 611-622. PMID: 27540697.

15.    Abecassis IJ, Nerva JD, Ghodke BV, Sekhar LN, Levitt MR, Kim LJ. “The dual microcatheter technique for transvenous embolization of dural arteriovenous fistulae.” J Neurointerv Surg, 2016; Epub Ahead of Print. PMID: 27821474.

16.    Morton RP, Abecassis IJ, Moore AE, Kelly CM, Levitt MR, Kim LJ, Sekhar LN. The use of ultrasound for postoperative monitoring of cerebral bypass grafts: a technical report. J Clin Neurosci, 2017; Epub Ahead of Print. PMID: 28215461.

17.    Abecassis IJ, Nerva JD, Feroze A, Barber J, Ghodke BV, Kim LJ, Sekhar LN. “Multimodality management of Spetzler-Martin grade 3 brain arteriovenous malformations with subgroup analysis.” World Neurosurg, 2017, Epub Ahead of Print. PMID: 28323192.

18.    Abecassis IJ, Kim LJ. “Craniotomy for chronic subdural hematoma”. Neurosurgery Clin N Am, 2017; 28(2): 229-237. PMID: 28325457.

19.    Xu DS, Levitt MR, Kalani MY, Rangel-Castilla L, Mulholland CB, Abecassis IJ, Morton RP, Nerva JD, Siddiqui AH, Levy EI, Spetzler RF, Albuquerque FC, McDougall CG. “Dolichoectatic aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar system: Clinical and radiographic factors that predict poor outcomes.” J Neurosurg, 2017; Epub Ahead of Print. PMID: 28387624.

20.    Abecassis IJ, Osbun JW, Kim L. “Classification and pathophysiology of spinal vascular malformations.” Handb Clin Neurol, 2017; 143: 135-143. PMID: 28552135.

21.    Abecassis IJ, Morton RP, McGrath L, Hanson J, Xue AH, Kelly CM, Levitt MR, Sekhar LN, Kim LJ. “Respiratory and swallowing outcomes based on aneurysm location in 360 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage.” World Neurosurg, 2017, Epub Ahead of Print. PMID: 28559079.

22.    Abecassis IJ, Hanak B, Barber J, Mortazavi M, Ellenbogen RG. “A single institution experience with pineal region tumors: 50 tumors over 1 decade”. In press, Operative Neurosurgery.

23.    Morton RP, Abecassis IJ, Hanson JF, Barber JK, Chen M, Kelly CM, Nerva JD, Emerson SN, Ene CI, Levitt MR, Chowdhary MM, Ko AL, Chesnut RM. “Timing of cranioplasty: a 10 year single center analysis of 754 patients”. In press, J Neurosurg.