Dr. Keith Black showed a great affinity for science at an early age, and when his father observed this love, the family gave him all the support he required – such as buying him a cow’s heart when he was in grade three to aid his scientific experiment.
When the family relocated to Ohio, Dr. Black spent time at labs at Case Western University. When he got to 10th grade, young Keith performed his first organ transplant, using a dog in the surgery, and authored his first scientific paper on the implications of damaged artificial heart valves on red blood cells.
Born on September 13, 1957, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Dr. Black quickly rose through the academic ladder and gained admission at the University of Michigan when he graduated from high school. After two years of undergraduate study, he gained admission into medical school, which he completed in 1981. His research interest in the brain and the nature of human consciousness took off in earnest while studying at the university.
This path expanded his scope of work to take a look at the role religion plays in consciousness, which led him to work on treating brain tumors. His expertise in brain tumors earned him the position as the head of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program at the UCLA Medical Center, where he worked for a decade.
He later rose to the position of director of the division of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1997, according to history makers. He was also made the chairman of the Department of neurological surgery as well as a professor at the University of California-Irvine in 1998.
One of the findings Dr. Black has made as an acclaimed neurosurgeon is to identify that natural peptide generally helps deliver drugs to the brain to fight tumors. Over the years, he has published hundreds of scientific papers on brain tumors and science-related subjects, and has also been very key in helping raise funds to help in the fight against cancer.
His appeal earned him support from some top celebrities in Hollywood, and his efforts in campaigning against cancer over the years have brought him laurels and accolades, including appearing on the cover of Time Magazine and Newsweek International. Dr. Black was named one of the “21 Most Important People of the 21st Century” by Esquire Magazine.
He was also recognized with an Essence Award in 2001. Though the standard for surgeons is to perform an average of 100 brain surgeries, Dr. Keith has raised the bar, conducting 250 to 300 operations annually. Though his profession has been very demanding, he prioritizes time with his family, and spends his weekends with his wife, fellow doctor Carol Bennett, and their children, Keith and Teal.