Congratulations to Dr. Karin Marie Muraszko, Neurosurgery VP&S Alumna ’81

Winner of the 2024 Virginia Kneeland Frantz Award for Distinguished Women in Medicine

April 18, 2024

Columbia Neurosurgery is proud to announce that on Friday, April 19th, 2024, Dr. Karin Marie Muraszko received the VP&S Alumni Association’s Virginia Kneeland Frantz ’22 Award for Distinguished Women in Medicine. This prestigious honor is named for Dr. Virginia Kneeland Frantz ’22, a pioneering female in medicine and the first woman to enter a two-year surgical residency program at what is now NewYork-Presbyterian

At Columbia, Dr. Muraszko received her medical degree, completed her residency training in Neurological Surgery and fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery. Following her training at Columbia, Dr. Muraszko was a researcher at the National Institutes for Health for two years before joining the team at the University of Michigan. In 2005, Dr. Muraszko was the first woman to chair an academic neurosurgery department, where she served in the role until 2022. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2020.

Dr. Muraszko is no stranger to rising to challenges. Born with closed spina bifida, she underwent pediatric surgeries at Columbia and spent her early years in a full-body cast.

“I am innately driven and innately an optimist,” Dr. Muraszko told Columbia Medicine in 2021. “I view a roadblock as nothing more than an alternative journey.”



Some of Dr. Muraszko’s fellow residency classmates reflected on training together:

Dr. Robert Solomon, Neurosurgery’s past chair for twenty-two years, says, “Karin’s career has been an inspirational role model for women in Neurosurgery.”

Dr. Michael Sisti, James G. McMurtry III, MD Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Radiation Oncology & Otolaryngology, Co-director, Center for Radiosurgery reflected, “Over eleven years Karin and were both P&S classmates and co neurosurgery residents. We always had each other’s backs through thick and thin, so we loved working together. A living profile of courage, relentless in her dedication to her patients, colleagues, and our profession, she never lost her humanity and otherworldly positive outlook. I still marvel, but not in the least surprised, over her amazing accomplishments and this well-earned recognition from VP&S.”

Dr. Jeffrey Bruce, Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Center, Director of the Bartoli Brain Tumor Research Laboratory and Vice Chairman of Academic Affairs, remarked, “Karin was a great friend and colleague during our time together in residency, and we are proud of her impressive career and accomplishments. We are delighted that she is being recognized with this prestigious award.”

Finally, Dr. Donald Quest, Co-Director of Neurosurgery’s Alumni Affairs shared, “Congratulations to Karin - a worthy recipient of this award for her many accomplishments as an indomitable and humane leader in Neurological Surgery and American Medicine.”