Meet Dr. David VanSickle
Dr. VanSickle, board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, specializes in helping patients with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders gain years of active, fulfilling life through deep brain stimulation (DBS). As an experienced neurosurgeon, Dr. VanSickle saw the reluctance of patients to undergo DBS, which is traditionally performed while the patient is awake. Understanding his patients’ fears, he set out to help develop a technique that allows patients to remain asleep during the procedure. Adding robotic-guidance, Dr. VanSickle now performs Asleep DBS with results that far outperform national averages.
Dr. VanSickle started his career in engineering. By the time he had completed his master’s degree and doctorate in bioengineering, Dr. VanSickle had published roughly 40 papers. As someone with dyslexia, Dr. VanSickle has been able to use his approach to learning as an advantage, understanding systems and strategy in a way that has helped bridge the gap between engineers, scientists, and physicians. This perspective to learning and life led Dr. VanSickle to go on to pursue a career in neurosurgery. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a six year neurosurgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. While there, he was named Surgical Intern of the Year and later the Neurosurgery Resident of the Year. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society as his commitment to research, leadership, and learning continues to this day.
Dr. VanSickle has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and has given multiple presentations. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and the American Medical Association (AMA). He is married and has two children.
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering – University of Kansas
- Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering – California State University, Sacramento
- Ph.D. in Bioengineering – University of Pittsburgh
- Doctor of Medicine – University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- Internship in General Surgery – University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
- Resident in Neurological Surgery – University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
- Neurosurgery One (Littleton, CO)
- Human Engineering Research Laboratories (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Human Engineering/Biomechanics Laboratories (Sacramento, CA)
- Assistive Device Center (Sacramento, CA)
- Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Center (Palo Alto, CA)
- Human Engineering Research Laboratories (Pittsburgh, PA)
- DBS Economic Value Advisory Board Meeting (Minneapolis, MN)
- Colorado Medical License 2005-Present
- American Board of Neurosurgery, board qualified 2007
- United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step III 2002
- United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step II 2000
- United Stated Medical Licensing Exam, Step I 1999
- Certificate of Engineer in Training 1991
Professional Society Memberships and Activities
- American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (2016-present)
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons (2002-present)
- Congress of Neurological Surgeons (2002-present)
- Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society (2000-present)
- American Medical Association (1997-2007)
- Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society (1997-2007)
- Biomedical Engineering Society (1997-2007)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (1993-2001)
- RESNA (1992-2001)
- American Medical Student Association (1996-2001)
- Medical History Society Member (1997-2001)
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1989-1994)
- Society of Automotive Engineers (1989-1994)
- Neurosurgery Outstanding Resident of the Year (2005)
- General Surgery Intern of the Year (2002)
- Outstanding Clinical Teacher Award (2002)
- Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society (2000)
- University of Pittsburgh Honoree (1998)
- Recipient of a fellowship at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (1994-1997)
- Winner of the RESNA Whitaker Foundation Student Scientific Paper Competition (1994 & 1996)
- Honorable Mention, RESNA Whitaker Foundation Student Scientific Paper Competition (1995)
- Winner of the RESNA Easter Seals Student Design Competition (1994)
- Finalist in the IEEE-Whitaker Foundation Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Student Paper Competition (1993)
- Recipient of a Rehabilitation Engineering Training Fellowship (1991-1993)
- Board of Directors, Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies (2009-present)
- Student Interviewer, Committee on Medical School Admissions (1997-1999)
- Volunteer, Pittsburgh Cares Community Days (1998)
- Volunteer, Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsbugh Medical Center (1995)
- Volunteer, National Wheelchair Athletic Association/United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Training Camp (1992, 1993, 1994)
- Wilson-Holden TJ, VanSickle DP, Lenke LG, The benefit of neurogenic mixed evoked potentials for intraoperative spinal cord monitoring during correction of severe scoliosis: A case study. Spine, Vol. 27, No. 10, pp. E258-265, May 2002.
- Conti SF, Kirckner JS, VanSickle DP, Midfoot Osteotomies. Foot and Ankle Clinics, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 519-532, September 2001.
- Tomaino MM, Brach PJ, VanSickle DP, The rationale for and efficacy of surgical intervention for electrodiagnostic-negative cubital tunnel syndrome. Journal of Hand Surgery (American), Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 1077-1081, November 2001.
- VanSickle DP, Cooper RA, Boninger ML, DiGiovine CP, Analysis of vibrations induced during wheelchair propulsion. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 409-421, 2001.
- VanSickle DP, Cooper RA, and Boninger ML, Road loads acting on manual wheelchairs. IEEE Transaction on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 371-84, September 2000.
- DiGiovine MM, Cooper RA, Boninger ML, Lawrence BM, VanSickle DP, and Rentschler AJ, User assessment of manual wheelchair ride comfort and ergonomics. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 81, pp.490-494, 2000
- O’Connor TJ, Cooper RA, Fitzgerald SG, Dvorznac MJ, Boninger ML, VanSickle DP, Glass L, Evaluation of a manual wheelchair interface to computer games. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 21-31, 2000.
- VanSickle DP, Cooper RA, Boninger ML, Robertson RN, and Shimada SD, A unified method for calculating the center of pressure during wheelchair propulsion. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 26, pp. 328-336, 1998.
- Cooper RA, Gonzalez J, Lawrence B, Renschler A, Boninger ML, and VanSickle DP, Performance of selected lightweight wheelchairs on ANSI/RESNA tests. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 78, No. 10, 1997.
- Cooper RA, Boninger ML, VanSickle DP, Robertson RN, and Shimada SD, Uncertainty analysis of wheelchair propulsion dynamics. IEEE Transaction on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 130-139, 1997.
- Cooper RA, Robertson RN, VanSickle DP and Boninger ML, Methods for determining 3-dimensional wheelchair pushrim forces and moments. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 162-170, 1997.
- VanSickle DP, Cooper RA, Robertson, RN, and Boninger ML, Determination of wheelchair dynamic load data for use with finite element analysis. IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 161-170, 1996
- Cooper RA, Robertson RN, VanSickle DP, Boninger ML and Shimada SD, Projection of the point of force application onto the palmar surface of the hand during wheelchair propulsion. IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 133-142, 1996
- Cooper RA, Robertson RN, Lawrence B, Heil T, Albright SJ, VanSickle DP and Gonzalez J, Life-cycle analysis of depot versus rehabilitation manual wheelchairs. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 45-55, 1996.
- Cooper RA, VanSickle DP, Albright SJ, Stewart KJ, Flannery M, and Robertson RN, Power wheelchair range testing and energy consumption during fatigue testing. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 255-263, 1995
- Cooper RA, VanSickle DP, Robertson RN, Boninger ML and Ensminger G, Center of pressure during manual wheelchair propulsion. IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 289-298, 1995
- Cooper, RA, Robertson, RN, VanSickle, DP, Stewart, KJ, Albright, SJ Wheelchair impact response to ISO pendulum and ISO standard curb. IEEE Transactions Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 1994, pp. 240-246.
- Cooper, RA, Stewart, KJ, VanSickle, DP Evaluation of methods for determining static stability of manual wheelchairs. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 31 No. 2, 1994, pp. 144-147.
- Shrawan, K Ed., Perspectives in Rehabilitation Ergonomics, “Wheelchair Ergonomics,”Cooper, RA; Robertson, RN; Boninger, ML; Shimada, SD; VanSickle, DP; Lawrence, B; Singleton, T. Taylor & Francis, Edmonton, 1997, pp. 246-272.
- Pending: “ActiveInvasive EEG Device And Technique” – PCT/US2004/042488