Physician spotlight: Ronald E. Warnick, MD
Ronald E. Warnick, MD, is a neurosurgeon and brain tumor specialist with Mayfield Brain & Spine and Co-Director of the Gamma Knife Center at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health. He served as Mayfield’s Chairman from 2004 through 2012.
Dr. Warnick reached a milestone in his career in 2021 when he treated his 4,000th patient with stereotactic radiosurgery. His career has spanned the entire spectrum of focused radiation techniques for brain tumors and other lesions, beginning in 1991 and continuing with LEXAR radiosurgery in 1999, linear accelerators in 2003, and Gamma Knife™ stereotactic radiosurgery in 2013.
"I have been a neurosurgeon for more than 30 years," Dr. Warnick says. "As I look back on my career, I am proud of my role in developing stereotactic radiosurgery as a treatment option for patients with brain metastases secondary to lung, breast, kidney, and skin cancer. The introduction of radiosurgery has essentially eliminated the need for whole brain radiation and saved countless patients from unnecessary side effects. It has been revolutionary and life-saving."
Dr. Warnick's clinical research into new treatments for malignant glioma and metastatic brain tumors has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals. In the mid-1990s, under his direction, the University of Cincinnati became one of the first four centers in the country to use gene therapy for the treatment of recurring brain tumors. Dr. Warnick was later honored for that pioneering work with the Mahaley Clinical Research Award and the National Brain Tumor Foundation Award for Excellence in Clinical Research.
Dr. Warnick continues to oversee research in the areas of stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy. Under his leadership, Mayfield was awarded membership into the prestigious International Radiosurgery Research Foundation, a consortium of academic and clinical centers of excellence. The consortium's nearly 40 centers are committed to performing clinical research that will establish best practices and lead to improved outcomes for patients.
Also under Dr. Warnick's leadership, Mayfield joined 20 other leading sites across the United States in a national registry for stereotactic radiosurgery treatment of brain tumors. The registry is a project of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA). Over 4,000 patients have been entered into the registry with the goal of improving the consistency and quality of stereotactic radiosurgery throughout the United States.
Dr. Warnick earned his MD with honors from the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York, and was initiated into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He completed his internship in general surgery and his neurosurgery residency at New York University and a neuro-oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.
He came to Cincinnati in 1991 as Director of the Division of Surgical Neuro-Oncology. He was a faculty member at UC from 1991 to 2017, becoming a full professor in 2001. He held the John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology and for nine years was Medical Director of the UC Brain Tumor Center.
He served as Chairman of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Section on Tumors from 2005 to 2007 and remains on the Advisory Board. He has given 170 national or international presentations, has authored or co-authored 100 journal articles and book chapters, and has trained 57 neurosurgical residents and neuro-oncology fellows. He has been listed among the best doctors in America and in the Greater Cincinnati region every year since 2004.
Dr. Warnick was part of the Leadership Cincinnati team that created Project Heart ReStart, which has provided 210 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to non-profit organizations in Greater Cincinnati and has trained more than 4,200 people in CPR. Dr. Warnick is an avid supporter of CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) for Clermont Kids. In 2008 he established a community outreach program at Mayfield Brain & Spine.
Dr. Warnick with his wife, Ana, at Mayfield's 75th Anniversary Gala
Dr. Warnick with his daughter, Katarina