Neuro-Oncology Team | Tampa General Hospital

Neuro-Oncology Team

As an academic health system, Tampa General Hospital offers a collaborative approach to all patient care with experts representing multiple specialties. Our multidisciplinary team includes neuro-oncology specialists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, psychologists, physicians assistants, nurses, an integrative medicine team, nutritionists, social workers and more. Additionally, Patients work directly with a care navigator to answer any questions they may have and ensure their experience is as seamless as possible.

Neuro-Oncology Specialists

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Sajeel Chowdhary, MD

Dr. Sajeel A. Chowdhary is an esteemed neuro-oncologist and the Director of Translational Research/Neuro-Oncology with the Cancer Institute at Tampa General Hospital who takes a multidisciplinary/multi-modality approach to delivering world-class care. He returns to Tampa General, where he was a staff neuro-oncologist and neurologist from 2004–2009. He was also an Assistant Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Neurology at the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida (USF) between 2004 – 2009.


Noman Ashraf, MD

Dr. Noman Ashraf is a hematologist-oncologist with Tampa General Hospital who specializes in solid tumor oncology. He has been an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine since 2019.

Dr. Ashraf has been an invited speaker and presenter at several regional, national and international conferences, and has served as principal investigator for clinical trials and is credited with several peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and presentations on his areas of expertise.

Neurosurgery Specialists

Headshot of Harry Van Loveren

Harry van Loveren, MD
Chief of TGH Neuroscience Institute, Neurosurgery
Professor & Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Harry van Loveren focuses on providing patients with comfort and confidence with his combination of medical practice, surgical skills, and bedside manner. Specializing in neurosurgery, Dr. Harry van Loveren obtained his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and serves as a member of the American Association of Neurological and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. van Loveren's clinical and research interests include pain, functional neurosurgery, trauma, vascular neurosurgery, and skull base surgery. Since 1982, Dr. van Loveren has contributed over 115 academic papers in various publications and has lectured at more than 200 conferences across the United States and around the world.


Siviero Agazzi, MD, MBA, FACS
Chair, Pituitary Clinic

Dr. Siviero Agazzi pursued advanced training in complex cranial surgery by completing a fellowship in Skull Base and Cerebrovascular Surgery. In 2005  Dr. Agazzi joined the faculty of the University of South Florida Department of Neurosurgery. Since then he has dedicated his practice to complex brain surgery and has gained significant experience in the treatment of tumors (acoustic neuromas, meninigiomas, gliomas), vascular diseases (aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations), trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. His expertise has been solicited several times by other neurosurgical teams for complex cranial procedures both in adults and children. At the national level, Dr. Agazzi has been recognized as an expert in complex cranial surgery.


Kunal Vakharia, MD
Neurosurgeon, Neuro-oncology

Dr. Kunal Vakharia specializes in complex cranial and endovascular pathologies. Trained in all aspects of brain surgery, Dr. Vakharia has a particular focus in complex cranial and cerebrovascular pathologies, including aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and fistulas, carotid and cerebro-occlusive disease, acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, meningiomas, and other skull base tumors. He has over 70 peer-reviewed research articles and over 25 book chapters. He is also trained in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery.


Puya Alikhani, MD, FAANS
Neurosurgeon, Neuro-Oncology

Dr. Alikhani is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with special emphasis on minimally invasive spine surgery for treatment of complex spinal disorders including tumor, scoliosis, trauma, fractures,neck and leg pain and degenerative spinal pathologies. He manages patients with spinal cord tumors as well as peripheral nerve disease. Having published several papers on minimally invasive approaches to spine surgery, Dr. Alikhani has a strong passion for teaching and is constantly involved with multiple research projects. He also lectures on spinal disorders both domestically and internationally.

Radiation Oncology Specialists

 Doctor Brian Collins Headshot

Brian Collins, MD, FCCP
Radiation Oncologist, TGH Cancer Institute

Dr. Brian T. Collins is a board-certified radiation oncologist with significant clinical experience in treating brain, breast and lung cancers. Regarded as a world-renowned expert in CyberKnife® radiotherapy technology, Dr. Collins specializes in cutting-edge radiation oncology techniques and tools. Dr. Collins has frequently contributed to scientific journals, books and publications in areas of his expertise. He is a Fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and a member of numerous related professional organizations.

Neuro-Oncology Support Team

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Lacey Clement, PhD
Clinical Psychology

Lacey Clement, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with Tampa General Hospital who specializes in cancer care. Her primary focus is on the assessment and treatment of patients with chronic, serious and complex medical issues, most notably life-limiting, progressive illnesses. She has served as the primary adult psycho-oncologist in the TGH Cancer Institute, seeing patients throughout the cancer continuum in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Additionally, Dr. Clement is a member of TGH’s interdisciplinary palliative medicine team, and her numerous other roles include working as a consultation liaison psychologist on inpatient medical units, including oncology, trauma and complex medicine.

Dr. Clement received her doctorate in clinical health psychology and master’s degree in clinical psychology from University of Colorado Denver. She is credited with several peer-reviewed publications and presentations in her areas of expertise and has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, Translational Behavioral Medicine, and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Dr. Clement is a member of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC) and the Society for Health Psychology.

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Elia E Villalobos Soto, PsyD
Clinical Psychology

Dr. Elia E. Villalobos Soto is a licensed psychologist who joined the staff of Tampa General Hospital in 2022 to provide specialized cancer care. In her role, Dr. Villalobos provides consultation, assessment, and intervention services to individuals experiencing emotional distress in the context of medical conditions, with a particular focus on breast cancer. Additionally, Dr. Villalobos has experience in conducting pre-surgical psychological evaluations, including assessments for bone marrow and stem cell transplant. Regarding her assessment experience, she completed a master’s degree in neuropsychology and behavioral neurology at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, where she conducted neuropsychological evaluations to a wide range of patients with neurological and comorbid medical conditions. Dr. Villalobos has the added skill of being bilingual and can provide psychological services in Spanish.

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Jessica Neil, APP
Physician Assistant

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Samantha Roberts, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner

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Waleska Gonzalez
Neuro-Oncology Coordinator

Phone: (813) 844-5047

 Laura Kate Miller headshot

Laura Kate Miller
Neuro-Oncology Navigator

Phone: (813) 844-3463

Community Involvement

The TGH Neuro-Oncology Team proudly supports the American Brain Tumor Association. The Tampa General Hospital Cancer Center and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine sponsor the annual Brain Tumor 5k (BT5K) event in Tampa. Team members participate in the event and raise funds to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goal of improving, extending, and, ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis.

tgh neuro-oncology team members at the abta bt5k event in tampa