SUNY Upstate Medical University 750 E Adams St Syracuse NY 13210 United States of America
Academic (Residency Program)
Born in Bogota, Colombia and raised in San Cristobal, Venezuela. She was educated at the Universidad de los Andes Medical School, where she graduated cum laude. Dr. Tovar-Spinoza completed an internship in general surgery, trauma, and neurosurgery at Hospital IVSS Patrocinio Penuela Ruiz in San Cristobal, Venezuela before entering the Rabin Medical Center Neurosurgery Training Program in Petach Tikva (University of Tel Aviv), Israel in 1997 under the supervision of Prof. Zvi Harry Rappaport. She was the first female resident accepted to this program.
Upon conclusion of her neurosurgical residency and her board certification by the Israeli Society of Neurological Surgery in 2005, Dr. Tovar-Spinoza completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric epilepsy and epilepsy surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada under the supervision of Professors James Rutka, James Drake, and Carter Snead.
She assumed her appointment as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 2009. In 2015 she was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics.
Dr. Tovar-Spinoza’s research and clinical interests relate to the surgery of pediatric brain tumors and epilepsy, hydrocephalus, endoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus and brain tumors, minimally invasive surgery, spina bifida, congenital and developmental malformations of the nervous system, Chiari malformation, craniofacial surgery, and pediatric brain trauma. Her main clinical current interests is the use of laser ablation in the surgical treatment of brain tumors and epilepsy in children . Dr. Tovar-Spinoza has authored several chapters and peer reviewed publications and is a frequently invited speaker on national and international conferences and international neurosurgical training courses for peers and the Listserv International Neurosurgery Resident Training Course.
She is a senior member of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery (ASPN), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Women in Neurosurgery, Women in Medicine, American Epilepsy Society (AES), American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, AANS/Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care. She has long-standing contributions with the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN) where she is the Chair of Liaison Committee, member of the scientific committee. Dr. Tovar-Spinoza speaks Spanish, English, and Hebrew.
Clinical department with teaching programme
- Trained paediatric neurosurgeon
Professional affiliations / memberships
- Spinal dysraphism
- Neuroendoscope Rigid
- Frameless navigation
- Spinal instrumentation