Melissa Macias, MD, PhD, FAANS

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Mon - Fri
8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday
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Sunday
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Education

Neurosurgical Residency/Integrated Complex and Comprehensive Spine Training Dept. of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 7/03-6/09

Internship

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI  (7/02-6/03)

Medical Schoool

M.D. Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI  (8/98-5/02)
Ph.D. Dept. of Cell. Biology and Anatomy Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI (6/90-6/96)

Undergraduate School

B.S. University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX  (6/87-5/90)
St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX  (6/85-5/87)

Medical Licensure

Wisconsin Current
Illinois Current
Texas Current

Board Certification

Fellow of American Association of Neurological Surgeons/
American Board of Neurological Surgeons 2013

Positions Held

Proctor for Nuvasive Spine MAST (3/11-3/13)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dept. of Neurosurgery, MCW, Milwaukee, WI (7/96-9/99)
NASA Payload Specialist,
Kennedy Space Center, Coco Beach, FL. and Moffett Field, Palo Alto, CA (7/90-6/96)
Eye Bank Technical Specialist
Wisconsin Lion’s Eye Bank (6/91-8/93)
Undergraduate Research Fellow,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, CSH, Long Island, NY (5/88-8/88)

Current Clinical Interests and Strenghts

I was very fortunate to have undergone a rigorous training focused on spine disease and pathology.  A full year was dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of spine pathology.  As such, my surgical strengths are in but not limited to the treatment of complex and degenerative spine disease with and without instrumentation.  My clinical interests have led me to pursue excellence in minimally destructive approaches to the spine for treatment of degenerative, infectious and tumor pathologies.   I have served as a surgeon proctor for teaching these techniques.  I enjoy a general practice with responsibilities that also include treatment of cranial trauma, tumor and infection.
My postdoctoral work in stem cell therapies for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) created a foundation of interest in the confounding enigma of SCI but also the broader potentials of stem cell therapies.  My current interests involve the clinical utilization of stem cells in treating degenerative spine conditions.

Dissertation

For my dissertation entitled, “Temporal and morphological analysis of myelinated sensory and motor axons in post-axotomized peripheral nerves of adult rats,” I developed a basic science animal model to address confounding clinical issues regarding the timing and location of peripheral nerve repair. The discriminate responses of motor and sensory axons following axotomy and their distribution within a neuroma were investigated. My overall findings suggest that both inherent differences in the injury response between myelinated sensory and motor axons and distance from cell body to injury site are significant factors in regeneration. Regenerating motor axons were shown to lag considerably compared to their regenerating sensory axons. Neuroma analysis revealed a dynamic structure whose composition and distribution of motor and sensory axons changed with time. Combined, these results provide insight to peripheral nerve regeneration that may facilitate and guide the timing of nerve repair.

During my doctoral work, I served as a payload specialist with NASA. I participated both in NASA’s space life sciences missions (SLS-1 and SLS-2) and several international pilot studies. The two missions, launched on the space shuttle Columbia, contained experiments designed to study the effects of antigravity and re-entry forces on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

Academic Awards

Resident Travel Award, 11th International Symposium on Neural Regeneration (12/05)
Department of Neurosurgery Medical School Scholarship (9/98-7/02)
American Association of Anatomists Travel Award (2/95)
Three Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy Travel Awards to Soc. for Neuroscience,
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and Midwest Neurobiologists
National Meetings (93-94)
Graduate Division Fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin (7/90-6/96)

Research Grants

Aurora Leadership Training Program 2016
Surgical Quality Control Committee—SAMG (6/13-12/14)
Spohn Trauma Review Committee (9/11-12/12)
MCWAH Internal Review Committee of the Neurology Residency Program (12/06)

Memberships in Professional Societies

American Association of Neurological Surgeons (02-Present)
Congress of Neurological Surgeons (02-Present)
American Board of Neurological Surgeons (02-Present)
North American Spine Society (07-Present)
American Orthopedic Society (07-Present)
Texas Medical Association (09-Present)
Wisconsin Medical Society (02-Present)
MCW Surgical Interest Group /Secretary and Principle Fundraiser (99-2000)
Society for Neuroscience (93-99)
Graduate Student Association /Dept. Rep and President (92-95)

Lectureships and Media

Rockford Community Lectureship Series
Doctor, Why Does My Back Hurt? (2013-2014)
Corpus Christi /Ask The Doctor KiiiTV- Segments of Spine Disease (2010/2011)
Nuvasive Surgeon Proctorship
LaJolla, CA (2/11 & 11/11)
Dallas, Texas (8/11)
Junior Medical Student Lectureship
Spine and Spinal Cord Surgical Pathologies/Conditions (2-6/09)
Brain Dissection and Neuroscience:
Applications to Disorders of Language and Speech Functions
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI ( 7/07; 8/05)
Brain and Spinal Cord Dissection Course,
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (7/05)
12th International Conference on Mathematical & Computer Modeling & Scientific Computing
Lecture, Chicago, IL. (5/99)
Advanced Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology Course Lecturer
MCW, Milwaukee, WI (11/98)
Annual Faculty Conference Invitation
North American Spine Society, New York, N.Y. (11/97) 
Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences 20th Intl. Brain Research Summer School
Amsterdam, Holland (8/97)
Brain Awareness Week, MCW, Milwaukee, WI (3/97)