Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD, a groundbreaking neurosurgeon and scientist, died suddenly on April 13, 2015 at the age of 48. Dr. Parsa was the Michael J. Marchese Professor and chair of the departments of Neurological Surgery at Feinberg and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

One of Dr. Parsa’s major career accomplishments was his research on the creation of vaccines using a patient’s innate glioblastoma tumor tissue, according to an obituary published by his family. Early results of the experimental cancer vaccine were promising and showed potential for increased longevity and improved quality of life in newly diagnosed and recurrent malignant gliomas.

Andy was internationally renowned for his specialization in complex tumors of the brain and spine, and for being a well-respected leader, colleague and educator.

“We are all shocked and saddened by this great loss. Andy was a distinguished scholar, an extraordinarily talented surgeon, and a dedicated mentor to students and faculty alike,” Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean, said in the release. “He was a pioneering neurosurgeon and an innovative investigator who pushed the boundaries of scientific understanding. His presence will be sorely missed within the Northwestern Medicine community and across the country.”

Andy is survived by his wife, Charlotte Shum, a Northwestern associate professor of orthopedic surgery, and their three children: Julia, Micheline and Ismail. He is also survived by two younger siblings: his brother, Tim, and his sister, Tania.