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Meet the Cerebrovascular Team

Cerebrovascular team meeting

Cerebrovascular team meeting


Demetrius Lopes, MD
Demetrius Lopes, MD, director of neuroendovascular surgery at Rush University Medical Center, is highly skilled in neuroendovascular therapy, an innovative approach in treating brain and spinal cord diseases from inside the blood vessels.

Kiffon Keigher, RN, MSN, ACPN and Demetrius Lopes, MD

Kiffon Keigher, RN, MSN, ACPN
and Demetrius Lopes, MD

Lopes specializes in the revascularization of brain including the treatment of brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cerebral ischemia, stroke and the conditions leading to stroke. He has written many articles and chapters on various aspects of neuroendovasclar therapy, including carotid stenting.

Lopes began his medical education in 1987 at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. After completing his doctorate in medicine in 1993, he held a surgical internship at the University of Illinois and Cook County hospitals. In 1994, he accepted a residency in neurology at the Indiana University Medical Center, and in 1995 accepted a residency in neurological surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He remained at SUNY-Buffalo, where he completed an endovascular fellowship. Lopes joined the medical staff of Rush University Medical Center in 2001.

Roham Moftakhar, MD; Valerie Toll, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC; and Michael Chen, MD

Roham Moftakhar, MD; Valerie Toll, MSN,
RN, ACNP-BC; and Michael Chen, MD

Roham Moftakhar, MD
Roham Moftakhar, MD, received his medical degree from the George Washington School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Moftakhar went on to complete fellowships in endovascular and cerebrovascular neurosurgery as well as skullbase and complex brain tumor surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Cerebrovascular team meeting

Cerebrovascular team meeting

With this dual training, Moftakhar specializes in treating vascular diseases of the brain with either endovascular techniques or open surgery, depending on which route is better for the patient. He also has expertise in the treatment of complex brain tumors and other cranial pathologies. In addition, Moftakhar performs general and spinal neurosurgical consultations and procedures.

Moftakhar’s areas of expertise include brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), cavernous malformation, carotid disease, extracranial to intracranial bypass surgery, spinal AVM and dural fistula, acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, pituitary tumors, astrocytomas, fourth ventricular tumors, brainstem tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and spine surgery.

Moftakhar’s areas of research and laboratory interests include minimally invasive skullbase and micro neurosurgery, neuroendovascular device development, MR imaging to study risk of cerebral aneurysm rupture, and use of neuroprotective drugs in acute stroke.

Michael Chen, MD
Michael Chen, MD, is an experienced neurointerventionalist with an appointment as associate professor in neurology, neurosurgery and radiology. He received his medical degree in his home state at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. His training includes a neurology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a cerebrovascular disease fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an interventional neuroradiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Chen’s practice focuses on minimally invasive treatments of brain and spinal cord vascular disease and he has personally treated hundreds of patients throughout the Midwest. He was awarded a 2012 Brain Aneurysm Foundation grant to study cerebral aneurysms in women. He has also led hospital initiatives that combine checklists and electronic medical records to further improve the quality of care for the patient with cerebrovascular disease. Chen was recently elected to serve on the Rush University Medical Staff Executive Committee.


Kiffon Keigher, RN, MSN, ACPN
Kiffon Keigher is a nurse practitioner with many years experience in neurosurgery and neuroscience nursing.  She has been at Rush University Medical Center since 2003. She worked for seven years as a neuroscience ICU nurse before starting her career as an advanced practiced nurse. She completed both her BSN and MSN degree at Rush University. She has certification as an acute care nurse practitioner. She also holds certifications as a CNRN (certified neuroscience RN) and CCRN (certified critical care RN). She is BLS, ACLS, PALS and NIHSS certified.

She is published in the journals of Endovascular Today. She is a member of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau.

Kiffon currently works primarily with Demetrius Lopes, MD.

Valerie Toll, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC
Valerie Toll is an acute care nurse practitioner for Michael Chen, MD, in the Neuroendovascular Services Section of Cerebrovascular Disease and Neurologic Critical Care. She received her Master of Science in nursing degree from Rush University. Valerie’s background as an emergency room staff nurse at both West Suburban Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center has exposed her to variety of patient populations and disease entities; with her main area of interest being neurologic critical care.

Valerie currently works primarily with Michael Chen, MD and Roham Moftakhar, MD.


Magdalena (Lupe) Chavez-Sedlacek
Nora Aguirre


Christy Anton
Michele Smreczak


George Patalinghug
Katie Welch
Amanda Andrews
Haley Roy
Humberto Rodriguez
Matt Breeding


Ana Kisielente
Michele Strzelinski
Joel Delacruz
Julio Villegas
Sadie Wangler
Christine Arnold

Top and bottom images courtesy of Rush University Medical Center.