Igor Fineman, M.D., FACS

Igor Fineman, M.D., is a board-certified neurosurgeon

Dr. Fineman’s clinical practice encompasses a variety of disorders of the brain and spine. His
areas of focus and expertise are:

  • functional and stereotactic surgery for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
    essential tremor, and dystonia; stereotactic radiosurgery and microvascular decompression
    for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.
  • treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the brain and spine, including minimally-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery and trans-nasal approaches for pituitary-region tumors; and
  • treatment of degenerative conditions of the spine, including minimally-invasive microscopic
    approaches and spinal instrumentation.

Dr. Fineman’s research interests have been focused on traumatic brain injury and plasticity
following injury, as well as the development of a cortical neural prosthesis to bypass the injured central nervous system, and to allow paralyzed patients to communicate with their environment. Development of a neural prosthesis is currently under way in collaboration with Dr. Fineman’s colleagues at Caltech.

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Professional Experience

  • Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA
    Director, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, 1/02-Present
  • Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale, CA
    Director, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, 1/02-Present
    Director, Section of Neurosurgery, 1/01-1/06
  • City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA
    Faculty Neurosurgeon, 6/07-Present
    Director, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, 2/02- 6/07
  • California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology, Pasadena, CA
    Visiting Associate, 7/00-Present
  • Pasadena CyberKnife, Pasadena, CA
    Director, Neurosurgery 12/09-Present


  • UCLA Medical Center, Division of Neurosurgery
    Clinical Instructor, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, Radiosurgery, 7/00-12/00
  • UCLA Medical Center, Division of Neurosurgery
    Chief Resident, 07/99-06/00
  • UCLA Medical Center, Division of Neurosurgery
    Resident, 07/95-06/99
  • UCLA Medical Center, Department of Surgery
    Surgical Intern, 06/94-06/95
  • UCLA School of Medicine
    M.D. with Thesis, 06/94
  • UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science
    B.S. Engineering (Bioengineering), 06/90

Board Certification

  • National Board of Medical Examiners Steps 1, 2, 3 (1992, 1994, 1995)
  • Diplomate, American Board of Neurological Surgery (2004)


  • UCLA Brain Injury Research Program Young Investigator Award, 2000
  • Western Student Medical Research Forum Presentation Award, 1992
  • Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, 1990
  • UCLA Alumni Scholar Achievement Award, (4 times) 1985-1989
  • American Heart Association Student Research Award, 1988
  • UCLA Medical Center Student Volunteer Scholarship Award, 1988

Select Publications

  • Ross, I.B. and Fineman, I. Delayed neurologic complications of vertebral bone cement
    injections. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 2010; 37:125-127
  • Munoz, C., Juarez, G., Munoz, M.L., Portnow, J., Fineman, I., Badie, B., Mamelak, A.,Ferrell,
    B. The quality of life of patients with malignant gliomas and their caregivers. Social Work
    Health Care, 2008; 47(4): 455-78
  • Rizutto, D.S., Mamelak, A.N., Sutherling, W.W., Fineman, I., and Andersen, R.A. Spatial
    selectivity in human ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 2005, 8: 415-417
  • Scherberger H., Fineman, I., Musallam, S., Dubowitz, D.J., Bernheim, K.A., Pesaran, D.,
    Corneil, B.D., Gilliken, B., and Andersen, R.A. Magnetic resonance image-guided implantation
    of chronic recording electrodes in the macaque intraparietal sulcus. Journal of Neuroscience
    Methods, 2003, 130(1): 1-8
  • Andersen, R.A., Burdic, J., Musallam, S., Scherberger, H., Pesaran, B., Meeker, D., Corneil,
    B., Fineman, I., Nenedic, Z., Cham, J., Greger, B., Tai, Y., and Mojarradi, M. Recording
    advances for neural prosthetics. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 204; 7: 5352-5355
  • Kelly, D.F., Oskouian, R.J., and Fineman, I. Collagen sponge repair of small cerebrospinal
    fluid leaks obviates tissue grafts and cerebrospinal fluid diversion after pituitary surgery.
    Neurosurgery, 2001, 49: 885-890
  • Fineman, I., Giza, C.C., Nahed, B.V., Lee, S.M., and Hovda, D.A. Inhibition of neocortical
    plasticity during development by a moderate concussive brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma,
    2000, 17: 739-749
  • Fineman, I., Johnson, J.P., Di-Patre, P., and Sandhu, H. Chronic renal failure causing brown
    tumors and myelopathy: case report and review of pathophysiology and treatment. Journal of
    Neurosurgery (Spine 2), 1999, 90: 242-246
  • Doberstein, C., Fineman, I., Hovda, D.A., Martin, N.A., Keenly, L., and Becker, D.P. Metabolic
    alterations accompany ionic disturbances and cellular swelling during a hypoxic insult to the
    retina: an in vitro study. Acta Neurochirurgica, 1994, Sup. 60: 41-44
  • Fineman, I., Hovda, D.A., Smith, M., and Becker, D.P. Concussive brain injury is associated
    with a prolonged accumulation of calcium: a 45-Ca++ autoradigraphic study. Brain Research,
    1993, 624: 94-102
  • Hovda, D.A., Yoshino, A., Kawamata, T., Katayama, Y., Fineman, I., and Becker, D.P. The
    increase in local cerebral glucose utilization following fluid percussion brain injury is prevented
    with kynurenic acid and is associated with an increase in calcium. Acta neurochirugica, 1990,
    Sup. 51: 331-333
  • Fineman, I., Hart, D., and Nord, E.P. Intracellular pH regulates Na+ -independent C1- base
    exchange in JTC-12 (proximal tubule) cells. American Journal of Physiology, 1990, 258:

Research Support

  • A Human Cortical Prosthetic to assist severely paralyzed patients. Funding source: The
    McKnight Endowment for Neuroscience (Co-PI), Funding period: 2/05-2/08
  • Smart MEMS Recording Systems for Visual Cortical Studies. Funding source: National
    Institutes of Health – 1 R01 EY015545 (Co-PI), Funding period: 11/04-11/09

Professional Organizations

  • American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • North American Spine Society
  • Society for Neuroscience