The Yale Department of Neurosurgery is both happy and sad to announce that Joseph Piepmeier, MD, Nixdorff-German Professor of Neurosurgery, will retire on December 31, 2020, and transition to emeritus status. This retirement marks a bookend in an illustrious 44-year career at Yale School of Medicine, where he served as section chief for surgical neuro-oncology and operated on thousands of patients. During this time, he has also served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology and president of the Joint Section on Tumors of AANS/CNS. He has also served as the president of the Neurosurgical Society of America and the Connecticut Neurosurgical Society.
Clinically, Dr. Piepmeier has made an indelible mark on the department. Over the years, he helped establish and expand the Brain Tumor Program at the Smilow Cancer Center to facilitate multidisciplinary management for brain tumor patients.
He also served on the Scientific Review Committee of the Goldhirsh Foundation and the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, B*CURED Foundation, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation, and the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance.
Dr. Piepmeier was a sought-after lecturer on neuro-oncology throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. He collaborated with Mark Saltzman, Ph.D., at the Yale School of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Jiangbing Zhou, Ph.D., on groundbreaking work to develop a novel delivery mechanism utilizing biodegradable nanoparticles. In addition, he worked closely with Anthony van den Pol, Ph.D., to facilitate developing oncolytic viruses to attack malignant gliomas. Dr. Piepmeier received the Bittner Award from the AANS for his research and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
We are grateful for all that Dr. Piepmeier has given to the department and wish him the best on a well-deserved retirement!