Our Staff

Dr. Catherine Mazzola M.D.

Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Co-Director, NJCC

Dr. Catherine Mazzola is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery.  Dr. Mazzola completed her Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 and did her neurosurgery residency at New Jersey Medical School, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Carmel, the President of the AMA in 2011-2012.  Dr. Mazzola served on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and is an active member of the Executive Committee of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS). She is the Chair of the Medicolegal Committee of CSNS and is a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Joint Guidelines Committee of the AANS/CNS. Her special interests include hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury and concussion, pediatric brain and spine tumors, craniofacial surgery, plagiocephaly, torticollis, Chiari malformation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spine deformity, epilepsy surgery and the management of movement disorders such as dystonia and spasticity.  Dr. Mazzola published several peer reviewed articles and presented at many national neuroscience meetings. Dr. Mazzola is involved in mentorship, training and education of pre-medical undergraduates, medical school students, and residents.


Dr. Catherine Mazzola is the founder of the Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, the Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumor Center (now called GNOP) and the Spasticity and Gait Disorder Center of Goryeb Children’s Hospital.  She has been the Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurological Surgery since 2005.  Dr. Mazzola serves Morristown Medical Center on the Operating Room Committee and she is a Member-at-Large of the Morris County Medical Society Executive Board.

Dr. Catherine Mazzola has gone on neurosurgical missionary trips to Kenya and is currently planning a mission trip to Cebu, Philippines, for pediatric neurosurgery outreach.
Dr. Catherine Mazzola serves on the Bergen County Republican Organization County Committee and is a member of Most Blessed Sacrament, where she taught CCD for four years.  Dr. Mazzola grew up in Queens, NY and currently lives with her husband and five children in northern New Jersey. She is the founder, President and CEO of four LLC’s.
Click to download Dr. Mazzola’s complete resume

LinksPublished In:
www.medtronic.comThe ABCs of Pediatric Head Trauma
www.sbaa.orgCritical care management of head trauma in children
www.atlantichealth.org/GoryebPrevention of Early-Onset Group B Streptococcal Disease
www.healthgrades.comRevision surgery for chiari malformation decompression in the New Millennium
www.cns.orgEfficacy of Neurosurgery Resident Education in the New Millennium
www.acpa-cpf.orgAmerican Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association


Lori Catania, PhD

Pediatric Neuropsychology
Co-Director, NJCC

lori-cataniaDr. Lori Catania is a licensed pediatric neuropsychologist who has been practicing clinically since receiving her Ph.D. from Drexel University in 2001. She completed her internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/ Johns Hopkins Medical School, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School.
Before entering private practice in 2007, Dr. Catania was the Director of Training in the Department of Neuropsychology and Neurorehabilitation at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Clinically, she has extensive experience working with a variety of pediatric populations, including, but not limited to, children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury, other medical conditions, learning issues, and behavioral concerns. In addition to her clinical and training responsibilities, Dr. Catania has also been involved in teaching at the college level, most recently as a Visiting Assistant Professor at William Paterson University. Her current research interests include assessing concussion activity in young athletes.




Luke D. Tomycz, M.D.

Pediatric Neurological Surgery

tomycz-lukeHailing from Flint, Michigan, Luke Tomycz attended Powers Catholic High School and finished first in his class of over 200 students. A national merit scholar and all-state tennis athlete, he then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge where he double-majored in biology and chemical engineering. After college he was awarded the prestigious Dean’s Full-Tuition Scholarship to attend medical school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he first developed an interest in neurosurgery. Dr. Tomycz commenced his formal neurosurgical training at Vanderbilt University where he was mentored by the late Noel Tulipan, MD, a pioneer in fetal surgery for myelomeningocele. During residency he spent two years obtaining a fellowship in neuro-endovascular surgery, becoming proficient in the treatment of aneurysms, AVMs, and complex dural AV fistulae of adults and children. He spent an additional year at Seattle Children’s Hospital performing a large volume of complex epilepsy surgery with Jeff Ojemann, MD as part of a post-graduate pediatric neurosurgery fellowship. His first three years of practice were spent in Austin, TX where he did a combination of open vascular and endovascular surgery on adults as well as the full gamut of pediatric neurosurgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center, a pediatric level-one trauma center.

Dr. Tomycz specializes in all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery including brain tumors, epilepsy, spinal deformity, Chiari malformation, tethered cord syndrome, CSF shunting, and intracranial endoscopy. As one of the only dual-trained, pediatric and endovascular neurosurgeons in the country, he is particularly interested in moya-moya disease, brain aneurysms and AVMs, arteriovenous fistulae, and other complex neurovascular disorders in children as well as adults. His current research interests include the use of engineering innovations to improve treatments for hydrocephalus, and he has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on a wide variety of neurosurgical topics. He was asked to curate and edit a special edition on hydrocephalus for the journal Pediatric Neurosurgery, and in the past year he has been invited to speak nationally and internationally at neurosurgical conferences. He was recently elected to be a member of the AANS/CNS Young Neurosurgeons committee.

Outside the operating room, Luke enjoys reading and writing, playing guitar, and hiking in the mountains. He has travelled extensively to perform neurosurgery, taking part in short-term medical mission work in Cuba, Kenya, Honduras, Ecuador, and Ukraine. In 2016, he and his wife, Mariya, launched the Co-Pilot Project, an initiative of Razom for Ukraine (501c3) which seeks to raise the level of neurosurgical training in Ukraine.


Leyda Sanchez-Ortiz

Pediatric Neurologist/Epileptologist

Leyda1We are proud to announce Dr. Sanchez-Ortiz has joined New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Sanchez-Ortiz was an Assistant Attending Pediatrician at New York-Presbyterian and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine in the Division of Child Neurology. She is board certified in Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology. Since the beginning of my medical education, I knew that I would focus my career on children. As my education progressed, I started to develop a special interest for neurology and epilepsy. Pediatric neurology and epilepsy are fascinating and continuously evolving fields with ongoing discoveries. For me, it is very rewarding to positively impact the lives of children with neurological disorders. I am committed to medical excellence and exceptional patient care, working together with patients and their families.

• Pediatric Epilepsy
• General Child Neurology

Her clinical interests include pediatric epilepsy, childhood epilepsy syndromes, neuro-genetic diseases, epileptic encephalopathies, as well as other general child neurology areas such as ADHD, tics, learning problems, and headaches. Dr. Sanchez-Ortiz is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Dr. Sanchez-Ortiz received her medical degree at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. She completed a General Pediatrics residency at the University Pediatric Hospital of Puerto Rico, where then she also completed Pediatric Neurology Research training, followed by a Pediatric Neurology Fellowship. She later completed an Epilepsy Fellowship at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.


Thomas Sernas

Physician Assistant

thomas-sernasThomas Sernas completed is education at UMDNJ-RWJ School of Health Related Professions in 1993 and holds the 53rd physician assistant license in the state of New Jersey. Tom joined Atlantic Health Systems in May, 2010 as the coordinator of The Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital.
Mr. Sernas is a seasoned physician assistant. He trained for three years in trauma surgery at University Hospital in Newark and then joined the Department of Neurological Surgery under the tutelage of Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Carmel. His training encompasses specialties in operative technologies using advanced stereotactic navigation of brain and spine, intra-operative MRI scanning using the first Polestar iMRI system in the United States and deep brain stimulation. During his employment at UMDNJ-Newark, he was appointed to Clinical Assistant Professor through UMDNJ-NJMS for teaching pre-med, medical students, physician assistant/nurse practitioner students, residents and post doctoral fellows. Tom has co-authored several papers in The Journal of Trauma, Stereotact Funct Neurosurgery, Radiosurgery and others. Mr. Sernas has presented numerous posters and abstracts at the scientific meetings of AANS, CNS, ASSFN, and AAPA. He maintains memberships in many prestigious organizations including the AANS, AAPA, CNS, ASSFN and NJSSPA.
Tom continued his love as a physician assistant in the neurological Division of UMDNJ-Robert Wood University Hospital refining his surgical skills until accepting his new position at New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute. He looks forward to the challenge of developing the Craniofacial Center, assisting in developing a Childhood Movement Disorders Center, coordinating support groups for brain tumors and epilepsy and broadening his medical and surgical skills by caring for patients on a daily basis.



Tatiana Sikorskyj, R.N., BSN, MSN, PNP

Pediatric APN


Tatiana Sikorskyj graduated from Rutgers University College of Nursing in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Tatiana began working as a registered nurse at Hackensack University Medical Center in September of 2005 in the Surgical Intensive Care Stepdown Unit. In 2007, Tatiana pursued her love for pediatrics and transferred to the Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit where she acquired a strong knowledge of epilepsy patients.
In February of 2009, Tatiana further pursued her interest in pediatrics and challenged her critical thinking skills by transferring to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. In the PICU, Tatiana managed a variety of neurosurgery patients aiding in their diagnosis and treatment.
Tatiana graduated from Rutgers University College of Nursing with her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree in January 2012. Tatiana maintains membership to the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Nurses Credentialing Association, New Jersey State Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing.

Outside of her professional responsibilities, Tatiana is an active member of Plast, a non-profit Ukrainian scouting organization, where she mentors youth and volunteers in the summer camp clinic.



Mike Ruebenacker

Center Coordinator, NJCC

MikeMike Ruebenacker specializes in Athletic Training and Concussion.  Mike was named the NJCC’s Center Coordinator in 2013 and has been with the practice for the past 3 years.  He has been working closely with Ice Hockey Rinks and Youth Sports leagues in the Bergen, Passaic, Morris and Essex Counties to develop concussion programs to be implemented among club and travel Ice Hockey programs.  He has also implemented numerous Concussion protocols among football programs in New Jersey.
Mike specializes in sports concussion education as well as training.  During his free time, Mike enjoys coaching youth sports.  He currently is the Head Coach of the 11U Franklin Lakes War Eagle Travel Baseball Team, which were League Champions at the 8U level.

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