Roland named director of selective dorsal rhizotomy program 

Jarod L. Roland, MD, one of our leading academic pediatric neurosurgeons, has been named the new director of the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) program in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He begins his new role on July 1. 

Roland is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine and director of the pediatric epilepsy surgery program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on how functional networks in the brain develop and reorganize in response to injury or intervention.

Roland succeeds T.S. Park, MD, the Margery Campbell Fort Professor of Neurological Surgery, who will be retiring on June 30. Park served as the first-ever chief of the pediatric division of neurosurgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 1989-2016. Park’s pioneering improvements to SDR are known globally and he is considered the expert on managing cerebral palsy spasticity. 

“It is hard for me to imagine WashU Neurosurgery without Dr. Park, but his legacy of compassionate care and surgical excellence will live on at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the School of Medicine for years to come,” said Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, the Ralph G. Dacey Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.  “Dr. Jarod Roland is a skillful surgeon, an enthusiastic researcher, and a thoughtful physician. I am very confident that he will continue to build upon the global success of the SDR program.”

To date, Park has treated more than 5,200 SDR patients from 87 countries. In addition, he has mentored innumerable pediatric neurosurgery fellows and faculty, including Dr. Roland.

“I am very grateful to the families who have entrusted the care of their children to me and our entire SDR team for the past 35 years,” said Park. “I have carefully watched Dr. Roland’s progression from neurosurgery resident to pediatric fellow and now my colleague. His judgement and surgical skills are excellent.”

Roland obtained his BS in Computer Science with Minors in Biology and Mathematics from the University of Texas at Dallas and his MD with Research Honors from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. 

“It is an honor to be chosen as Dr. Park’s successor to the SDR program,” said Roland. “Dr. Park represents a St. Louis Children’s Hospital institution. He is a legend within the neurosurgery community and his commitment to his patients is inspiring.”

As a medical student, Roland first came to Washington University as a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow under the mentorship of neurosurgeon Eric C. Leuthardt, MD. He returned after medical school as a resident in the Department of Neurosurgery, followed by fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.