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Farzad Massoudi, M.D., F.A.C.S.Farzad Massoudi, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery
Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery, UCLA

Dr. Farzad Massoudi is a board certified neurosurgeon with a primary specialty in spine surgery. His areas of clinical interest include minimally invasive brain and spine surgery, complex spine surgery, brain tumors, and frameless stereotactic radiosurgery of the brain and spine. Dr. Massoudi has participated in several research studies, written clinical articles, and presented numerous lectures on neurosurgery and spine surgery.

Dr. Massoudi completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine and received degrees in both biology and mathematics, graduating in the top 5% of his class. He earned his medical doctorate from Georgetown University School of Medicine and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 1991. He completed his neurosurgical residency at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Massoudi currently holds the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at UCLA, where he enjoys teaching residents the most advanced surgical treatments of the brain and spine.

Dr. Massoudi has been practicing for over 10 years and is President of Orange County Neurosurgical Associates in Laguna Hills, California. OCNA is dedicated to providing world-class, contemporary neurosurgical services with the utmost of care and compassion. The practice is dedicated to treating patients as unique individuals, with special attention and respect. Operating at Mission Hospital and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Massoudi averages over 500 cases per year. Dr. Massoudi is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, California Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

In addition to Dr. Massoudi's dedicated role as a surgeon, he is also a seasoned entrepreneur. Having founded and operated numerous medical-related businesses, Dr. Massoudi also is President of Neurotrack, Inc., President of Outpatient Care, Inc., Founder and Medical Director of Eastbluff Medical and Urgent Care. His latest endeavor includes Inventor of a new spinal device called Phoenix M.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Massoudi click here


Robert J. Jackson, M.D.Robert J. Jackson, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Diplomat American Board of Neurological Surgery
Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, University of California Irvine

Dr. Robert Jackson was born and raised in Southern California. He attended Mater Dei High School and subsequently the University of San Diego, where he graduated magna cum laude from the honors program with a degree in chemistry and biology. While in San Diego, Dr. Jackson competitively raced bicycles at the collegiate level. He earned a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine with honors and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.

After training a decade in Houston, Texas at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Jackson has returned home to Orange County, California to practice neurosurgery. Dr. Jackson is a board certified neurosurgeon, who specializes in minimally invasive surgery of the brain and spine, complex spine surgery including spinal tumor resection, spinal stabilization procedures, disc replacement of the cervical and lumbar spine and stereotactic radiosurgery for brain and spine tumors. In 2003, he was honored to accept the appointment of Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of California Irvine. In addition to teaching techniques of spine surgery to neurological and orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Jackson is currently involved in clinical research.  He has authored several peer-reviewed papers in the journals Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery Spine, and Neuro-Oncology, and has presented at local and national neurosurgical meetings including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).  Away from work he enjoys trail running, mountain biking, surfing, paddleboarding, and spending time with his wife and children.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Jackson click here


K. Anthony Kim, M.D.K. Anthony Kim, M.D., F.A.A.N.S.

Dr. Kim was born in Athens, Greece to a diplomatic family. During his childhood, he attended schools in Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Libya, and South Korea. He is fluent in Korean. He graduated from Yale University with a B.S. intensive in Biology and a B.A. in Music.  He also underwent one year of Masters in Musical Arts at Yale University.  He earned his M.D. at the Keck-University of Southern California School of Medicine and graduated with Highest Distinction and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society in 2000.

Dr. Kim completed both a neurosurgery residency and a complex spine fellowship at the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Neurosurgery. His spine fellowship included reconstructive spine techniques in tumor, deformity, and trauma as well as travel to Australia to study the latest advancements that have not yet reached the United States. His areas of current interest include the natural history of facet degeneration and diseases of the posterior spine; posterior-only approaches to the cervico-thoracic junction and thoracic ventral lesions; penetrating traumatic brain and spinal cord injury; transpedicular and en bloc trauma and tumor spine reconstructions; the use of biologics in neuro-regeneration and repair; scoliosis and adult deformity; failed back syndrome and adjacent segment degeneration; patients with prior surgery and worsening conditions; minimally invasive spine techniques; advanced imaging modalities (e.g. MR myelography, fusion bone CT-SPECT, and tensor DWI) in the care of spine patients; posterior dynamic stabilization; and rare tumors of the cerebral nervous system. 

He has been invited to meetings to present before the Plenary Session at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the Western Neurological Society (WNS), the AANS-CNS section of Spine and Peripheral Nerve Disorders (“Spine section”), and the AANS-CNS section of Pediatric Neurosurgery to name a few. He has published in the main neurosurgical journals, Journal of Neurosurgery, the Spine journal, Neurosurgery, and Neurosurgical Focus among others, and reviews for Neurosurgery in the field of penetrating trauma and solitary fibrous tumors. He is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) and fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (FAANS).  He aims to become a nationally recognized pioneer in the advancement of Neurosurgical Spine.

First and foremost, Dr. Kim is dedicated to the care and well-being of his patients. His goal is to combine compassionate patient care with the most up-to-date evidence-based medicine, and to provide patients with teaching, insight, and knowledge of the pros and cons of recent advances in the field.

Away from work, Dr. Kim enjoys swimming and being with his wife, son, and daughter.

Dr. Kim will waive co-pays for musicians, artists, doctors, and all Disney employees "cast members."

Last revised 7 Jan 2011.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Kim, click here


Sylvain Palmer, M.D., F.A.C.S.Sylvain Palmer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Sylvain Palmer grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Cornell University and completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree at The Johns Hopkins University, in 1974, where he was in the top 10% of his class and was admitted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in 1977, where he was in the top 10% his class and was admitted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honors society. He completed his surgical internship and his neurosurgical residency at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital, ranked the number one hospital in the US by The US and World Report.

Dr. Palmer has been board certified since 1986. He is a member of numerous neurosurgical societies including The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, The Congress of Neurological Surgeons, The Joint Spine and Peripheral Nerve Section, The Joint Brain Trauma Section, The California Association of Neurological Surgeons, The American Medical Association, The California Medical Association, and The Orange County Medical Association. He has served as Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the Orange Country Neurosurgical Society. He has also served as Chief of Neurosurgery, Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff, and was a board member of Mission Hospital and Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Palmer has practiced Neurosurgery in Orange County, California since 1981. He has done groundbreaking research and development, since 1996, in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS). He has development minimally invasive techniques in MIS that are now used around the world. He has a particular interest in the MIS treatment of herniated cervical and lumbar disks and spinal stenosis with or without instrumentation. He lectures and teaches extensively in this area as well as having published numerous articles and book chapters on MIS techniques.

Dr. Palmer was an early and pivotal member of the Mission Hospital Trauma Team, since 1981, which won the 2000 Ernest B. Codman award from the National Joint Committee on Accreditation of Hospitals. He was a pioneer in the treatment of traumatic brain injury and has published numerous articles and has lectured world- wide in this area. He was a founding member of the Adam Williams Traumatic Brain Injury Initiative, which has trained over 50 hospitals in advanced brain injury treatment techniques.

Dr. Palmer and his staff’s main focus is on the patient experience from first consultation, through treatment, until final discharge. The patient is encouraged to fully understand his problem, his treatment options, and his anticipated outcomes. The patient, thereby, becomes an active participant in his health care leading to improved results and higher patient satisfaction.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Palmer, click here


Chiedozie Nwagwu, M.D.Chiedozie Nwagwu, M.D.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Nwagwu, click here






Alexander Taghva, M.D.Alexander Taghva, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery, Ohio State University

Dr. Alexander Taghva was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where he was a national champion tennis player featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”  He then attended the University of Southern California, graduating Summa Cum Laude in Biochemistry.  He completed his medical education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine before returning to Southern California for residency training at USC.  While at USC, Dr. Taghva trained in complex techniques of brain and spine surgery, including complex spine surgery as well as minimally-invasive spine surgery. In addition, he was a team doctor with the USC Trojan Football team and held a position of Clinical Instructor of Neurological Surgery at USC.

Dr. Taghva completed a prestigious fellowship in neuromodulation and functional neurosurgery at Ohio State University with Dr. Ali Rezai, a world leader in deep brain stimulation (DBS).  During that time, Dr. Taghva, treated conditions including Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and chronic pain via stimulation of the brain and spinal cord.

Dr. Taghva is well-published and actively engaged in research. He is currently a principal investigator on clinical trials for spinal cord stimulation. His current practice is based in Orange County and consists of general neurosurgery, brain tumor and epilepsy surgery, complex and minimally-invasive spine surgery, and neuromodulation, including deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain.

Media links:

Dr. Taghva was recently featured on PBS to discuss deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Click here to view.

Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Obesity? August 20, 2012

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Taghva, please click here


Darin Johnson, PA-CDarin Johnson, PA-C

Darin Johnson grew up in California and attended Westmont College, in Santa Barbara where he graduated magna cum laude in 2001. While at Westmont he played rugby and worked as team trainer.  He then attended Loma Linda University where he received his Masters degree as a Physician Assistant. He received the Faculty Award for outstanding academic and professional achievement (2004). He began working as a surgical PA in Loma Linda for three years until he moved to Orange County and has been working with the practice since 2007. Darin now functions as PA for Dr. Jackson as well as research coordinator managing multiple ongoing research trials. He enjoys playing golf, biking and spending time with his wife and two kids, Eli and Faith.

For a complete Curriculum Vitae of Darin Johnson, click here