Dr. Fehlings is the Vice Chair Research for the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a Neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. Dr. Fehlings is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, holds the Robert Campeau Family Foundation / Dr. C.H. Tator Chair in Brain and Spinal Cord Research at UHN, is a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute and a McLaughlin Scholar in Molecular Medicine. In the fall of 2008, Dr. Fehlings was appointed the inaugural Director of the University of Toronto Neuroscience Program (which he held until June 2012) and is currently Co-Director of the University of Toronto Spine Program. Dr. Fehlings combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery with a translationally oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments to improve functional outcomes following spinal cord injury (SCI). He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 112; cited over 49,000 times) chiefly in the area of central nervous system injury and complex spinal surgery. His seminal 1991 paper, cited over 2,000 times, outlined the severe and lasting consequences of SCI due to a cascade of secondary injury mechanisms following the initial trauma. His research on secondary injury mechanisms ultimately led to the commencement of the multicenter, international Surgical Timing in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (STASCIS), aimed at establishing the need for early surgical decompression to prevent the negative effects of the secondary injury cascade. His work examining the use of regenerative approaches including neural stem cells to repair the injured nervous system has led to numerous international awards and has helped lead the field toward clinical translation in this area. Dr. Fehlings has received numerous prestigious awards and has been published in prominent journals such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Lancet Neurology, and Science Translational Medicine.
Dr. Michael Fehlings has received numerous prestigious awards including the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (1996), nomination to the Who’s Who list of the 1000 most influential scientists of the 21st century (2001), the Lister Award in Surgical Research (2006), the Leon Wiltse Award from the North American Spine Society for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care (2009), the Olivecrona Award (2009) -- the top award internationally for neurosurgeons and neuroscientists awarded by the Nobel Institute at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm for his important contributions in CNS injury repair and regeneration, the Reeve-Irvine Research Medal in Spinal Cord Injury (2012), the Golden Axon Leadership Award (2012), the Mac Keith Basic Science Lectureship Award for significant contributions to the basic science of cerebral palsy and childhood onset disabilities (2012), and was the Mayfield Lecturer (2012). In 2012, Dr. Fehlings served as the 40th President of the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS) -- the only Canadian to do so -- and was honoured with the CSRS Presidential Medallion for outstanding leadership and contributions to cervical spine research. In 2013, Dr. Fehlings was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presented to him by the Honourable Stephen Harper, the H. Richard Winn Prize from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the Jonas Salk Award for Scientific Achievements from the March of Dimes Canada and the Henry Farfan Award from the North American Spine Society. In 2014, Dr. Fehlings was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada and to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and in 2016 won the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Mentor of the Year Award. In 2019, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New
Zealand, presented him with the Ryman Prize for his work enhancing the quality of life for older people. He also received the Vilhelm Magnus Medal (2019) for his contributions to the neurosurgery field and the American Spinal Injury Association Apple Award (2016 & 2022) for excellence in spinal cord injury research publishing.
Dr. Christopher P. Ames is a Professor of Neurological and Orthopaedic surgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF. Dr. Ames is the director of spinal deformity and spine tumor surgery and co-director of the combined high risk spine service, the Neurospinal Disorders Program, and the UCSF Spine Center. He is board certified in neurosurgery. His tumor practice focuses on en bloc tumor resection for chordoma, chondrosarcoma, giant cell tumor, soft tissue sarcoma, sacral tumors, and other primary and metastatic tumors. While at UCSF, Dr. Ames developed and published the transpedicular approach to previously unresectable cervical and cervical thoracic tumors. He serves as Spine Section Lead editor for Operative Neurosurgery.
Dr. Ames serves as the UCSF site director for the International Spinal Deformity Study Group and the AO Scoli-Risk Study. He also directs the neurosurgical spinal deformity service, which performs over 200 cases per year for correction of scoliosis, kyphosis, flat back, and chin-on-chest deformity in ankylosing spondylitis. His research work in spinal deformity has won the prestigious Hibbs award, as well as the Moe award, the Goldstein award, and Whitecloud awards from the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Ames developed and published the first ever classification for cervical spine deformity and cervical osteotomy with the international spine study group.
He is internationally recognized for his work in spine tumor, deformity, scoliosis and cervical kyphosis and has published over 640 peer-reviewed publications. He has been the honored international guest lecturer of the Australian Spine Society, the Argentine Spine Society, the Kuwait Neurosurgical Society, and the Asian Pacific Spine Society. He has served as chairman for over 40 national courses to teach advanced tumor and deformity techniques to neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons and has been visiting professor at Cedars Sanai, University of Southern California, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Ames is known for developing many innovative concepts to allow safer treatment planning and risk characterization for complex spine surgery such as the adult deformity frailty index, the adult deformity invasiveness index and co-founding and directing the nonprofit research group Global Spine Analytics which has pioneered the use of Artificial Intelligence Decision Support Tools for Adult Scoliosis and Deformity Surgery. In 2019, Dr. Ames published the first Machine Learning based Adult Scoliosis Classification.
Since 2008, Wilco Peul has been a Professor of Neurosurgery and head of the LUMC Neurosurgery Department. He is also chairman at the University Neurosurgery Centre Holland (UNCH), a cooperative between the LUMC, HMC and the Haga Hospital. The UNCH board is responsible for coordinating neurosurgery activities at 8 hospitals located in Leiden, The Hague, Haarlem, Schiedam, Delft, Gouda and surrounding areas. By concentrating specialized care within these hospitals, UNCH aims to realize high-quality and equal treatment with added value for all patients. On behalf of the European Association for Neurosurgical Societies (EANS), Professor Wilco Peul has been active in the UEMS Neurosurgery located in Brussels since 2015, where he is developing a European Training Curriculum for spinal surgery together with the Orthopedics and Neurosurgery divisions. As of 2020, he will lead the development of the training program as president of the UEMS Neurosurgery division. In 2021, he became Editor-in-chief of the newly initiated scientific journal ‘Brain and Spine’. The journal is led by 2 scientific societies, EANS and Eurospine, in collaboration with the publisher Elsevier. Due to his role as a clinical researcher, outside the LUMC he was appointed as a board member of ZonMW in 2020, for a period of 3 years.
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