Two department chairs for the Health Sciences Center Campus have been named following approval by the UofL Board of Trustees.

They are Joseph S. Neimat, MD, named chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, and Sean L. Francis, named chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.

Both appointments were approved Jan. 14.

Neimat is an accomplished medical researcher, clinician and educator.

“In Joseph Neimat, the UofL School of Medicine is getting a chair with an excellent balance of expertise in research, clinical care and medical education,” Dean Toni M. Ganzel, MD, said. “His knowledge and skills will greatly benefit our students, residents, patients and community.”

Neimat comes to UofL from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he has held a variety of positions: associate professor and the director of human neurophysiological research, neurotrauma, epilepsy surgery and the functional neurosurgery fellowship in the Department of Neurosurgery; and a founding member of the Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering. He was medical director of inpatient neurosurgery and neurosurgery operating rooms at Vanderbilt, and served on the curriculum planning committee of Vanderbilt University Medical School.

He also was chief of neurosurgery for Tennessee Valley Health Care of the Veterans Administration and held joint appointments with Vanderbilt’s Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program and Department of Psychology.

Francis had been the interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health since February 2015.

“Dr. Francis brings a patient-centered approach to care that enables him to partner with our patients to identify the best treatment options and infuses that approach in his work leading the department, its residents and students,” Ganzel said.

Francis came to UofL in 2012 as associate professor and chief of the divisions of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMR) and Minimally Invasive and Gynecologic Surgery. He also is FPMR fellowship director and practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Urogynecology. Prior to his tenure at UofL, he was on the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Francis is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and FBMR and completed a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale’s Department of Gynecology, Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery.

He has been named to “Top Doctors in America,” “Best Doctors in America,” “Top Doctors in Louisville” and “Top Surgeons in Louisville.” The author or co-author of chapters in two reference manuals and 20 journal articles, Francis has made 47 oral, video and poster presentations at professional meetings in the United States, Canada and Wales.

He is a past winner of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education by the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists’ Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures Award.

Francis earned a bachelor’s of science degree, cum laude, in biology from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga., and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Case Western’s Mount Sinai Hospital and another in obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia.

Neimat’s current research interests include investigation of the affective and cognitive properties of the basal ganglia – structures located deep in the brain that are responsible for normal movement. His research also examines the clinical application of neural stimulation in the treatment of refractory medical disease, or disease that is resistant to current therapies. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as from industry to support his research.

He serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for the NIH Study Section on Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He is the lead or co-author of approximately 90 peer-reviewed articles, published abstracts and textbook chapters.

Neimat earned a bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth, double majoring in music and biochemistry, and then earned a master’s in neurobiology and a medical degree from Duke University. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. He is board certified in neurological surgery.

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Jill Scoggins is proud of her role as an academic communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience with universities in four states. At UofL, she manages communications for several departments, divisions, institutes and centers within the School of Medicine. Her areas include women’s health, pediatrics, family medicine, geriatric medicine, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery and oncology/hematology, among others.