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Black History: Contemporary Keith Black, MD
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Black History: Contemporary Keith Black, MD - February 4, 2011, 09:43 AM

Keith Black - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keith Black is a world-renowned neurosurgeon and highly regarded researcher. I first heard of Keith Black in 2001 when my late mother was diagnosed with glioblastoma. I was in grad school, and a former student of my coadvisor had recently joined Black's lab at Cedars-Sinai in LA. My coadvisor, John Wu, suggested I take my mother there for surgery. That didn't work out because of the short timeline we were on, but I did become familiar with Keith Black's program and accomplishments during that period.

In fact, my mother received excellent surgical treatment from Dr. Craig H. Yorke, neurosurgeon in Topeka, Kansas, also African-American. I asked him about Keith Black and of course, he knew him and found inspiration in Black's accomplishments. One of the very first thing that my mother's neuro-oncologist at M.D. Anderson said was, "Whoever did your brain surgery did fantastic work."

Among other things, Black's is a story of parental perseverance. Check it out (from wiki page):
Keith Black was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. His mother, Lillian, was a teacher and his father, Robert, was the principal at a racially segregated elementary school in Auburn, Alabama; unable to integrate the student body, Black's father instead integrated the faculty, raised standards, and brought more challenging subjects to the school. Unwilling to send their son to the substandard segregated high school in Auburn, Black's parents found new jobs and relocated the family to Shaker Heights, Ohio. Black attended Shaker Heights High School. Already interested in medicine, Black was admitted to an apprenticeship program for minority students at Case Western Reserve University, and then became a teenaged lab assistant for Frederick Cross and Richard Jones (inventors of the Cross-Jones artificial heart valve) at St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland. At 17, he won an award in a national science competition for research on the damage done to red blood cells in patients with heart-valve replacements. He attended the University of Michigan in a program that allowed him to earn both his undergraduate degree and his medical degree in 6 years. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1981.
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