David D. Limbrick Jr., MD, PhD, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and neurosurgeon-in-chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Limbrick succeeds Tae Sung Park, MD, who has served as director since 1989. Park has assumed the role of vice chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery.
“David is a great neurosurgeon-scientist,” said Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, head of the Department of Neurosurgery. “He is also an outstanding surgeon, clinician and humanitarian. His research on hydrocephalus and a developmental abnormality called Chiari malformation holds great promise for changing the way we take care of children with these conditions.”
Limbrick joined the department in 2008 as an assistant professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. His research focuses on surgical treatments and follow-up care for Chiari malformation, an abnormality in which the lowest portion of the brain descends through the base of the skull into the spinal canal in the neck. This results in fluid building up within the spinal cord, causing pain, weakness, loss of sensation and paralysis.
He earned his doctorate in 2000 in pharmacology and toxicology and his medical degree the following year, both from the Medical College of Virginia. In 2001, Limbrick came to St. Louis, where he completed a surgery internship, a neurosurgery residency and postdoctoral research, all at Washington University, before going on to a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Since 2009, Limbrick has traveled to Haiti with mission partners Keith Rich, MD, Daniel Nieva, MD, and many others from the Washington University community every four to six months to treat children with hydrocephalus, a potentially fatal condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain causing developmental deficits and severe disability. Between their efforts in Haiti and more recently in the Dominican Republic, the group has treated more than 200 children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida.