Taylor Abel, MD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Surgical Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program

Taylor Abel, MD, is a pediatric neurosurgeon specializing in epilepsy surgery. He is surgical director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  

Dr. Abel is from Seattle, Wash. and completed his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Washington. After his medical education in Seattle, Dr. Abel completed neurosurgery residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he received specialized training in epilepsy surgery and brain mapping techniques. During his time at Iowa, Dr. Abel completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship focusing on human brain electrophysiology, specifically the identification of language and auditory cortex in patients with epilepsy. After finishing residency, Dr. Abel joined the University of Iowa as an attending neurosurgeon.  

Dr. Abel’s clinical interest is in pediatric neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, and neuromodulation. He completed a fellowship in epilepsy surgery and deep brain stimulation with Philippe Kahane, Dominique Hoffmann, and Stephan Chabardes at University Hospital of Grenoble in Grenoble, France. In Grenoble, Dr. Abel received special training in identification of epileptic foci using stereoelectroencephalography and use of the ROSA robot for epilepsy surgery. Dr. Abel then completed a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship with Jim Drake and Jim Rutka at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada focusing on epilepsy surgery, neuro-oncologic surgery, craniofacial surgery, and endoscopic techniques.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Pediatric neurosurgery; epilepsy surgery; stereoelectroencephalography; deep brain stimulation; craniofacial surgery; congenital spinal abnormalities; hydrocephalus (including endoscopy); minimally invasive neurosurgery.

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital
UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Epilepsy Society
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
International League Against Epilepsy
Joint Section on Pediatric Neurosurgery (AANS/CNS)

Education & Training

  • BS, Neurobiology, University of Washington, 2005
  • MD, University of Washington School of Medicine, 2010
  • Residency, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 2016
  • Fellowship, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 2016
  • Fellowship, Epilepsy Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Grenoble, Grenoble, France, 2017
  • Fellowship, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Robin and Judith Humphreys Fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery, 2017-18
  • NIH Clinical Research LRP Award, 2014-16
  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, 2014
  • Neurosurgery Resident Award, AANS/CNS Section on Stereotactic and Functional, 2014
  • Mary Gates Research Scholar, 2005

Selected Publications

Abel TJ, Varela Osorio R, Amorim-Leite R, Mathieu F, Kahane P, Minotti L, Hoffmann D, Chabardes S. Frameless robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography in children: technical aspects and comparison with Talairach frame techniqueJ Neurosurg Pediatr 22(1):37-46, 2018.

Chabardes S, Abel TJ, Cardinale F, Kahane P. Commentary: Understanding Stereoelectroencephalography: What's Next? Neurosurgery 82(1):E15-E16, 2018.

Abel TJ, Woodroffe RW, Nourski KV, Moritani T, Capizzano AA, Kirby P, Kawasaki H, Howard M 3rd, Werz MA. Role of the temporal pole in temporal lobe epilepsy seizure networks: an intracranial electrode investigation. J Neurosurg 129(1):165-173, 2018.

Abel TJ, Rhone AE, Nourski KV, Ando TK, Oya H, Kovach CK, Kawasaki H, Howard MA 3rd, Tranel D. Beta modulation reflects name retrieval in the human anterior temporal lobe: an intracranial recording study. J Neurophysiol 115(6):3052-61, 2016.

Abel TJ, Manzel K, Bruss J, Belfi AM, Howard MA 3rd, Tranel D. The cognitive and behavioral effects of meningioma lesions involving the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. J Neurosurg 124(6):1568-77, 2016.

Perrodin C, Kayser C, Abel TJ, Logothetis NK, Petkov CI. Who is That? Brain Networks and Mechanisms for Identifying Individuals. Trends Cogn Sci 19(12):783-796, 2015.

Abel TJ, Kawasaki H, Barrash J. Naming and recognition after laser amygdalohippocampotomy: Is the hippocampus involved? Epilepsia 56(8):1317, 2015.

Abel TJ, Rhone AE, Nourski KV, Howard MA 3rd, Tranel D. Investigating the Anterior Temporal Lobe With Direct Intracranial Recordings. Neurosurgery 62 Suppl 1:185-9, 2015.

Abel TJ, Rhone AE, Nourski KV, Kawasaki H, Oya H, Griffiths TD, Howard MA 3rd, Tranel D. Direct physiologic evidence of a heteromodal convergence region for proper naming in human left anterior temporal lobe. J Neurosci 35(4):1513-20, 2015.

Abel TJ, Rhone AE, Nourski KV, Granner MA, Oya H, Griffiths TD, Tranel DT, Kawasaki H, Howard MA 3rd. Mapping the temporal pole with a specialized electrode array: technique and preliminary results. Physiol Meas 35(3):323-37, 2014.

Media Appearances