Fellowship Training

The University of Virginia’s Lars Leksell Gamma Knife Center and the fellowship training program have been in existence since 1989. U.S. and foreign physicians come to our center to learn the principles and practice of radiosurgery. Many of our fellows have gone on to distinguished careers in stereotactic radiosurgery. The fellowship is recognized by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons.


The fellowship lasts for 12 months.

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria

A prospective fellow should have previous neurosurgical training. Ideally, the fellow should be a good microsurgeon and should have some experience in the principles and practice of stereotactic surgery. In addition, the fellow must have appropriate clinical credentials to see patients at the University of Virginia Health System.

Educational Program

During the period of the fellowship, a physician accepted into our program will function as an integrated member of our treatment team. He or she will learn all aspects of gamma knife radiosurgery including the principles, indications, contraindications, technique of the procedure, and followup studies. The fellow will actively participate in pre-operative and post-operative consultations as well as assist in the delivery of treatments. Fellows will also be encouraged to pursue independent research projects that take advantage of both their own interests in the field as well as contribute to ongoing research at the center.

Didactic components of the fellowship include participation and attendance at our Advanced Gamma Knife Course offered here at the University of Virginia. This consists of 23.5 hours of CME credit.

Goals and Objectives

It is supposed that at the end of the fellowship the participant will master the basics of Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Teaching Staff

Primary teaching staff is led by Jason Sheehan, MD, PhD, who will supervise the instruction of the fellow and will control the fellow’s participation in clinical activities.

Other teaching resources

James Larner, MD, and Paul Read, MD, PhD – Radiation Oncology
Zhiyuan Xu, MD – Neurosurgery
David Schlesinger, PhD, and Alan Aqualino, PhDMedical Physicist
Frances Taylor, RT – Radiation Therapist


Fellows will be evaluated and appraised of their performance continuously by Dr. Sheehan during the period of the fellowship.


The Lars Leksell Gamma Knife Center is located in the University of Virginia’s Medical Center. The radiosurgical suite includes offices for research, patient consultation, neuroimaging analysis, and teaching. Fellows interested in spinal radiosurgery may take advantage of the University of Virginia’s Tomotherapy unit. Fellows can also utilize the range of facilities found in the Health System.