Katie Pricola Fehnel | Medical Services
Katie Pricola Fehnel | Education
2004, New Haven, CT
2010, Palo Alto, CA
2011, Boston, MA
2017, Boston, MA
2018, Boston, MA
Katie Pricola Fehnel | Professional History
I am an academic neurosurgeon with subspecialty training in pediatric neurosurgery. I devote my time both to clinical practice and academic research. The over-arching goal of my work is to improve pediatric neurosurgical care through translational research with a focus on tumor and cerebrovascular disease. In addition to this I have a general neurosurgical practice in which encompasses a broad spectrum of pediatric disease including congenital malformations of the brain and spine.
My research and training to date highlight my commitment to advancing the field of neurosurgery. I graduated from Yale with a B.A. in political science and a focus on neurovascular research. Interested in understanding the molecular biologic basis for cerebrovascular anomalies, I studied the proteins encoded by the 3 genes known to be mutated in familial cerebral cavernous malformations-Krit1, Malcalvernin, and PDCD10 in the Gunel Lab. As a medical student at Stanford University, I studied vascular injury and repair through stem cell homing and recruitment in the Rabinovitch Lab and was then awarded a one-year Howard Hughes Research Fellowship at the NIH to focus on mesenchymal stem cell biology in the Tuan Lab. As a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, my clinical interest in vascular injury and dysregulation extended beyond primary vascular pathologies to oncologic processes as well.
As a post-doctoral fellow in the Boston Children’s Vascular Biology Program at Harvard, I began formulating my research questions with a focus on bench to bedside translation. Under the mentorship of both Edward Smith, M.D. and Marsha Moses, PhD., I studied urinary biomarkers and discovered a urinary biomarker fingerprint unique to juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas. This non-invasive test serves as a potential adjunct tool for long-term clinical follow in low grade glioma. Under the same mentorship, I have studied the role of axonal guidance factors in congenital pediatric neurovascular disease and have demonstrated contributions to pathologic vascular endothelial dysfunction. This work has been presented on a national level at both the International Stroke Conference as well as the AANS/CNS Pediatric section meetings.
I completed my clinical pediatric neurosurgical training here at Boston Children’s Hospital as the Shillito fellow where I was mentored by an incredible group of surgeons and clinicians with whom I am thrilled to continue to work. As a faculty neurosurgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, I am passionate about my patients. I continue to honor my commitment to improve the treatment of neurosurgical disease, both in and outside of the operating room, through translational research.