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102 Surgeons Focused on Spine Surgery Research Featured

Written by  Laura Miller | Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:04
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Here are 102 surgeons who have made significant contributions to the field of spine surgery through research, innovation or leadership positions.

Please contact Laura with any questions about this list or upcoming lists at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Heather Linder also contributed to the research on this list.

Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD, is the medical director at the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders and a clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. He has been president of the Scoliosis Research Society and a driving force in the Growing Spine Study Group. Dr. Akbarnia founded the Growing Spine Foundation to support research and educational activities related to early onset scoliosis.

Todd Albert, MD, is director at large of the Scoliosis Research Society and the chairman of the department of orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals in Philadelphia. He is the president of Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Albert also serves as the co-director of reconstructive spine surgery and the Spine Fellowship Program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. He is a past president of the Cervical Spine Research Society and a past chair of the International Meeting of Advanced Spinal Techniques for the Scoliosis Research Society.

Howard An, MD, served as the director of spine surgery for eight years at the Medical College of Wisconsin before moving to Rush University Medical Center, where he now serves as the director of the division of spine surgery and spine fellowship program. He is currently active in researching spinal biomechanics and tissue engineering and is a member of professional organizations, such as North American Spine Society and International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. "I am excited about the future of orthopedic and spine surgery in that the treatment options are becoming less invasive and biological or tissue engineering approach to many orthopedic conditions may become a reality, including intervertebral disc degeneration," says Dr. An.

Neel Anand, MD, is the director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. He is involved in developing emerging technology involving non-fusion spine surgery and has a special interest in less invasive procedures. He pioneered a minimally invasive technique for deformity correction combining three different procedures. He is the treasurer with the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and a member of North American Spine Society. "The ability to truly help someone who has been disabled with pain and see to them in the follow-up after surgery as a completely new person leading a pain free life is the most rewarding part of my job," says Dr. Anand. "I take tremendous pride in helping my patients regain a high quality of life that was taken from them because of their condition."

D. Greg Anderson, MD
, is an orthopedic spine surgeon with Rothman Institute and the clinical director of the spine section of the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University, both in Philadelphia. He is currently the president of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and an active member of the Cervical Spine Research Society. In 2011, he was the ABC Traveling Fellow of American Orthopaedic Association.

Gunnar B. J. Andersson, MD
, is chairman emeritus and chair of spinal deformities at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. During his more than 30-year career, Dr. Andersson has co-authored more than 250 academic papers and 150 books and book chapters. He is credited with designing the seat in Volvo automobiles as an orthopedic surgeon at Sahlgren Hospital in Sweden and recently received the Henry Farfan Basic Science Award from the North American Spine Society. He has also received the Freedom of Movement Award from the Arthritis Foundation and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. "I am convinced that there is a biological solution to many of the problems we treat surgically today," says Dr. Andersson. "I don't know whether it's going to happen in the next decade, but certainly at some point we will be able to treat degenerative disc disease and its consequences biologically. Having said that I think one has to be realistic about the effect of aging on all tissues of the body and the futility in trying to prevent indefinitely what ultimately is not preventable. If we can give people a better quality of life for more years I would be highly satisfied."

Hyun Bae, MD, is the co-director of the spine fellowship program at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. He is a pioneer in motion preservation, stem cell research and non-fusion technologies. He also has an interest in treating spinal cord injuries and has published extensively in professional journals. He was among the first surgeons to use growth factor tissue engineering for intervertebral discs, multi-level artificial disc replacement for both lumbar and cervical spine and other medical devices.

Robert Banco, MD
, is a member of Boston Spine Group and previous spine section chief for New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, where he grew the department from six to 14 surgeons. He is on the board of directors for the American Board of Spine Surgeons and a member of the North American Spine Society. He has participated in 12 FDA IDE studies with research interests including lumbar fusions, prosthetic disc replacement, image guided surgery and bone morphogenic protein. Dr. Banco is also a member of the Society for Lateral Access Spine Surgery.

Gordon Bell, MD, is the director of the Center for Spine Health at Cleveland Clinic, where he has been the head of the spinal surgery section since 1994. He has head leadership positions with the North American Spine Society and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. Dr. Bell is a co-editor for two spine text books and an associate board member for The Spine Journal. His research has been awarded the Volvo Award and he received the Award for Professionalism from the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa.

Edward C. Benzel, MD
, is the chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cleveland Clinic and former director of the Center for Spine Health. He is one of the founding members of the Lumbar Spine Research Society and was co-chairman of the editorial review board for the Journal of Neurosurgery. He is currently chairman of the review board for the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine and has authored seven text books. Dr. Benzel is medical co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Spine Research Laboratory and holds several patents for his innovations.

Scott Blumenthal, MD, Dr. Blumenthal was among the first spine surgeons to perform lumbar artificial disc replacement in the United States. He is a spine surgeon with Texas Back Institute in Plano and has been a spine consultant with the Dallas Mavericks. He was on the executive committee for the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine and is a member of the North American Spine Society and International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery. He is one of the leaders of TBI's Center for Disc Replacement. "The most fulfilling aspect of my career has been being the lead FDA investigator and performing the first artificial disc in the U.S.," says Dr. Blumenthal. "I am most excited about disc regeneration with stem cells, genetic engineering or other proteins or materials [in the future]."

Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, is the chief of the scoliosis service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He is also the founder and president of the Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine, which provides care for underserved populations in third world nations. He received the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and has been president of the Scoliosis Research Society. This past year he has been instrumental in the construction of an orthopedics hospital in his native country, Ghana.

Scott Boden, MD
, is a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta. During his career he has been the clinical director of The Whitesides Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society. He holds multiple patents for medical devices and his research focuses on spinal fusion and bone regeneration. "I am excited about continued progress in the area of second generation biologic solutions for bone regeneration and potentially first generation solutions for cartilage regeneration/repair," says Dr. Boden. "I am also excited about the opportunity to re-design a care delivery model that focuses on delivering value and service that will be required to survive in the evolving healthcare environment."

Christopher Bono, MD, is the chief of spine service at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and serves as treasurer of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Bono is also a deputy editor for The Spine Journal and section editor for SpineLine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Bono is an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston and chaired the evidence-based guideline development committee for NASS.

Charles L. Branch, MD, is the chair of the surgical sciences-neurosurgery at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. He holds leadership positions with the Collaborative Spine Research Foundation, which was created in 2011. Dr. Branch is a member of several other professional societies, including the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. "The most fulfilling aspects of my career are balanced between the opportunity to develop new lumbar fusion and minimally invasive technology and training of young neurosurgeons who have become dedicated spine surgeons," says Dr. Branch. "Coupled this with leadership roles in NASS and the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and I have helped bring the fields of neurospine and ortho-spine closer together."

Robert S. Bray, MD, is founding director and CEO of DISC Sports and Spine Center in Marina del Rey, Calif. DISC is the official medical service provider for the US Olympic Team and Red Bull America athletes. DISC includes two outpatient surgery center locations. Dr. Bray previously founded The Institute for Spinal Disorders at Cedars-Sinai and served as a major while stationed as chief of neurosurgery at the David Grant Medical Center with the United States Air Force. He has been involved in the development of several surgical devices, including the Zeiss Microscope. "Helping further the development of spine surgery into a minimally invasive approach has been and continues to be a source of great professional fulfillment," says Dr. Bray. "Taking part in the design and application of the tools and techniques, specifically those of the microscope and microsurgical instruments, has led me first hand to experience the dramatic benefits of this approach."

Darrel S. Brodke, MD
, is the director of the University Spine Center at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of several professional organizations. Dr. Brodke also serves as a vice chairman of the department of orthopedics at the University of Utah and director of the spine surgery fellowship. During his career he authored more than 100 publications and served on the editorial board for professional journals. Dr. Brodke is on the executive committee for the Cervical Spine Research Society, FOSA and AO Spine North America.

Frank Cammisa, MD
, is the chief of spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and has expertise in computer-assisted spinal surgery. He also has a professional interest in athletic spinal injuries and has treated professional athletes from the New York Giants, Jets and Knicks. During his career, Dr. Camissa published more than 100 research articles and created the National Spinal Research Foundation. He is associated with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Eugene Carragee, MD
, is the chief of the spine surgery division at Stanford University Medical Center and editor-in-chief of The Spine Journal. During his career Dr. Carragee has been a medical officer in the US Army Reserve and won several research awards, including the Leon Wiltse Award, from the North American Spine Society. His current research is associated with spinal deformities, assessment of surgical treatment and spinal infections. "As a poor kid from New York's Lower East Side, I was taught by the Christian Brother's that the only real work was dedicated service to help people," says Dr. Carragee. "The best part of my career has been the privilege to care for all patients in difficult circumstances to [the] best of my ability regardless of personal financial considerations here at Stanford. It has been an honor to work with residents and fellows with similar goals, who enriched my practice and my life with their energy and compassion. Wouldn't change a thing."

John R. Caruso, MD, is a neurosurgeon who has performed numerous spinal procedures including minimally invasive procedures as well as complex instrumentation of the thoracic and lumbar spine. He serves as chairman of the board and medical director of Parkway Surgery Center in Hagerstown. He is co-founder of "Save Our Doctors, Protect Our Patients," a physician rights group that brought liability reform awareness to Maryland. Dr. Caruso is a board member of the Maryland State Surgical Association and a national spokesman for Doctors for Medical Liability Reform.

Kingsley R. Chin, MD
, is a founding spine surgeon with the Institute for Modern & Innovative Surgery in Palm Beach, Fla., and former chief of spine surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia. He is also an inventor with 23 issued and pending patents on spinal devices, including the MANTIS minimally invasive pedicle screw system and FacetFuse, which received FDA approval in 2008. He is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Domagoj Coric, MD
, is chief of neurosurgery at Carolinas Medical Center and president of the North Carolina Spine Society. He is a partner with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and a member of the North American Spine Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Coric has held leadership positions with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurosurgeons. He has a professional interest in artificial disc replacement and endoscopic spine surgery.

Bradford L. Currier, MD
, is a spine surgeon with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and has been president of the Lumbar Spine Research Society. During his career, Dr. Currier has been published in several professional journals and his current research interests include tissue engineering strategies for spinal issues. He also directs the Mayo Clinic's spine fellowship and is a member of the North American Spine Society.

Bruce V. Darden, II, MD
, is a spine surgeon with OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, N.C., and president-elect of the Cervical Spine Research Society. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Darden has participated in studies comparing artificial disc replacement to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery has recognized his research. He is also a member of the North American Spine Society and Scoliosis Research Society.

Rick B. Delamarter, MD
, is the vice chair for spine services at the department of surgery and co-medical director at the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. During his career, Dr. Delamarter has earned national recognition from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Orthopaedic Research Society and North American Spine Society for his research. He is a pioneer of artificial disc replacement technology and has a leading interest in spinal cord injury, focusing on the use of growth factors for fusion as well as stem cells to repair degenerative disc disease.

William F. Donaldson, MD
, is the chief of the division of spine surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His research into spinal biomechanics, anatomy and clinical studies has been published in numerous papers and received national recognition. He also serves as the vice chairman for administrative service in the department of orthopedics at UPMC.

John P. Dormans, MD
, is the chief of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and has a special interest in spine and tumor cases. He is president-elect of the Scoliosis Research Society and past president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. He is a member of the Spine-health.com medical advisory board and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "My practice is 50 percent pediatric spine deformity and 50 percent pediatric tumor surgery here at CHOP/Penn.," says Dr. Dormas. "Spine surgery, while challenging, [is] intellectually and technically rewarding in that one can make a huge difference in the life of a child or young adult. Often the benefit is preventative in the sense that the deformity surgery correction prevents progressive deformity and associated conditions that would ultimately affect the quality of a patient's life."

Frank Eismont, MD
, is the fellow education director, spine division chief and chairman of the department of orthopedics at University of Miami Health System. He has a professional interest in treating the cervical spine. He is also chairman and chief of the Jackson Memorial Hospital Orthopedics services, program director for the orthopedic residency training program and program director for the spine surgery fellowship at Jackson Memorial.  He has authored more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has served on the editorial boards for The Spine Journal and Spine.

Stanford E. Emery, MD
, is the chair of the West Virginia University Department of Orthopaedics and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has also been director-elect of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and on the executive committee for the National Spine Network. He has held leadership positions with the Cervical Spine Research Society and his research has been recognized by the Scoliosis Research Society.

Thomas Errico, MD
, is the chief of the division of spine surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. He has been president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and North American Spine Society. His research has been recognized by the Scoliosis Research Society and he holds more than 100 patents in the field of spinal innovation. He has a clinical interest in minimally invasive spinal procedures. "I have been performing spine surgery for nearly 30 years and have seen immense progress in the field," says Dr. Errico. "There however still exists many burning questions about who to operate on and what specifically should be done and can it be done successfully in a minimally invasive fashion. I look forward to answers to many of these questions as we apply a more rigorous approach to data collection and analysis of the results of spinal surgery."

Thomas Faciszewski, MD
, is a spine surgeon at Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin and former president of the North American Spine Society. During that time, he led efforts for increased transparency of the physician-industry relationship among the NASS board of directors. He was recently given the David Selby Award for his contributions to the art and science of spinal disorder management through his services to NASS and has been instrumental in advocacy efforts for appropriate reimbursement for spinal procedures.

David Fardon, MD
, is a spine surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and a previous president of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Fardon received the David Selby Award for his contributions to spine care, including the NASS clinical guidelines formation. During his career, Dr. Fardon has authored spine textbook chapters and published three books for the general public on spine care. He previously practiced with Southeastern Orthopaedics.

Richard Fessler, MD
, is a spine surgeon with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and former chief of neurological surgery at the University of Chicago. He was the first surgeon in the United States to perform human embryonic spinal cord transplant in 1997 and has been the honored guest of neurological societies in Japan, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa and China. Dr. Fessler is on the board of directors for the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Jeffrey S. Fischgrund, MD
, is a spine surgeon with Beaumont Health System and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has held leadership positions within the North American Spine Society and Cervical Spine Research Society. During his career he has authored and lectured on spinal surgery, and he instructs orthopedic residents and spine fellows at William Beaumont Hospital.

John Finkenberg, MD
, is in private practice with Alvarado Orthopedic Medical Group and serves as the advocacy chair on the North American Spine Society board of directors. He has been chief of the orthopedic department at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center and director of the Alvarado Spine Center. He has participated in the development of reconstructive spinal instrumentation and currently coordinates multi-center prospective outcomes studies on lumbar and cervical spine fusion.

Kevin Foley, MD,
is a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Health Science Center and director of complex spine surgery at Semmes-Murphy Clinic in Memphis. He is also director of the spinal fellowship program and medical director for the Medical Education & Research Institute and the Image-Guided Surgery Research Center at the University of Tennessee. He previously served in the United States Army as chief of neurosurgery at Tripler Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center. He is on the board of directors for the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Steven Garfin, MD
, is the chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery and chief of spine surgery at UC San Diego. Dr. Garfin is the president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and has served on the board of directors for several national spine societies. Throughout his career, Dr. Garfin has published more than 260 articles and edited nine books. His work has contributed to the development of international standards in spine surgical care. "I am excited about the opportunity to continue to work with academic and spine surgical leaders and industry innovators on new products, concepts and ideas," says Dr. Garfin. "This also leads to an unfortunate 'burden' in trying to work with insurance and government and academic spine societies in developing plans, protocols and guidelines to enhance care for spine surgery patients that will move us forward in what we can diagnose and treat."

Zoher Ghogawala, MD
, is director of the Wallace Trials Center at Greenwich Hospital and serves as principle investigator for several national clinical trials. He practices with CSI-Greenwich Neurosurgery and serves on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Ghogawala has been awarded multiple research grants, including support from the National Institutes of Health, and is on the executive committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons-Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Spine Section.

Steven D. Glassman, MD
, is a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Louisville (Ky.) and practices at Norton Leatherman Spine Center in Louisville. He is a member of the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society and has been a program chair for the North American Spine Society. His research has earned him NASS honors and a series of other national awards. He focuses on patient-based outcomes and cost-effectiveness for spinal surgery, as well as the role of biologics in spinal fusion.

Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
, is the director of spine service and associate director of the spine fellowship at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. He is on the board of directors for the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and a member of the North American Spine Society. His research has garnered recognition from ISASS and he serves on the editorial and advisory boards for several publications, including The Spine Journal. He is currently involved in several clinical trials and instructs other surgeons on disc replacement and minimally invasive techniques. "The most fulfilling aspect of my career bas been the opportunity to perform spine surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center Hospital for Joint Diseases with a group of some of the most accomplished spine surgeons in the world while having the privilege to care for a group of patients with a variety of spinal disorders," says Dr. Goldstein.

Charles R. Gordon, MD
, is co-founder of the Texas Spine and Joint Hospital and founder of Gordon Spine Associates, both in Tyler. Dr. Gordon also founded the medical device company Flexuspine and holds patents for more than four spinal devices. Throughout his career he has served as principle investigator for numerous research trials and is a member of several professional organizations, including North American Spine Society.

Richard Guyer, MD
, is the director of the Texas Back Institute Spine Fellowship Program and founder and chairman of the board of Texas Back Institute Research Foundation. During his career, he has served as an editorial board member for Spine and The Spine Journal. He has also served as president of the North American Spine Society and received the organization's David Selby Award.  Dr. Guyer also serves as vice-chairman of the department of orthopedics at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano (Texas). "I chose spine surgery because the surgery is challenging and 'high risk' compared to other specialties in orthopedics," says Dr. Guyer. "I also enjoy the cognitive aspects of spine as it is rarely black and white with regard to decision making of what you think is best for the patient. I also felt that it was one of the last frontiers of all the orthopedic specialties in which I could make a difference through research, publishing, training fellows and lecturing."

Thomas T. Haider, MD
, is chief of the spine division at Riverside Country Regional Medical Center and chairman of the biomedical advisory board of UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Haider and his wife are co-founders of Children's Spine Foundation and he has developed and patented instrumentation for use during spinal surgery. He is on the board of directors for the American College of Spine Surgery.

Mitch Harris, MD
, is the chief of the orthopedic trauma service at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a member of the North American Spine Society board of directors. Dr. Harris is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and he has a professional interest in spinal tumors, trauma, arthritis and peri-articular fractures. He is also a member of the Cervical Spine Research Society and Scoliosis Research Society.

Andrew Hecht, MD,
is the co-director of spine surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center and director of the NFL Spine Care Program for retired players at Mount Sinai. He serves as the spine surgical consultant and director of the acute spinal injury program for the New York Jets. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hecht founded the Newton-Wellesley Spine Center and was director of the spine surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "I am most excited by the increasing emphasis not only on minimally invasive and motion preserving procedures but on advances in the understanding of the biologic of spinal disorders such as disc degeneration," says Dr. Hecht. "Our lab continues to study basic processes involved in the pathophysicology of disc degeneration with the hope that someday this may lead to novel biologic treatments to halt or reverse the degenerative process that underlies the majority of the spinal disorders we treat."

Michael Heggeness, MD
, is the director of the spine surgery fellowship program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and immediate past president of the North American Spine Society. He continues to serve on the NASS board of directors and has an interest in orthopedic and spine research. He is currently active in developing new techniques for tissue engineering of bone seeking to use molecular genetic techniques to stimulate spinal fusion and the healing of fractures. "I view the future with both real fear and true anticipation," says Dr. Heggeness. "I am very concerned to see how all physicians in the United States have been subjected to so many additional costs — including EMRs, e-prescribing and meaningful use — and threats (of misdirected audits), that the independent practice of medicine is rapidly disappearing. That would drastically limit choice for both doctor and patient going forward. On the other hand, I am very excited to know that molecular medicine techniques for musculoskeletal medicine will soon be a reality. This will dramatically improve many of our treatment options in the very near future."

John G. Heller, MD
, is a professor of orthopedic surgery at Emory Healthcare and on the board of directors for the Cervical Spine Research Society. He has a professional interest in spinal fusion, scoliosis and spinal tumors, among several others. He studied under Henry Bohlman, MD, and has participated in the development of cervical spine instrumentation. His developments include disc arthroplasty and laminoplasty plates, and he lectures internationally on spinal surgery topics.

Harry Herkowitz, MD
, is the chairman and director of the section of spinal surgery and the spine surgery fellowship program at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. HE has served on the executive board for the North American Spine Society and currently serves on the board of directors for the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. He is on the editorial board for several professional journals and is a two-time recipient of the Volvo Award for Clinical Research in Low Back Pain. "The most fulfilling aspects of my career have been relieving severe neck and back pain and/or arm and leg pain by removing ruptured discs or bone spurs; correcting severe spinal deformities so patients can stand upright [and] stabilizing and correcting spinal fractures in patients with spinal cord injuries," says Dr. Herkowitz. "[Additionally], doing research that improves the field of spine surgery so we can improve technology [and] patient outcomes to restore their quality of life."

Stephen Hochschuler, MD
, is co-founder of Texas Back Institute and chairman of Texas Back Institute Holdings. He is a past president of the Spine Arthroplasty Society, now known as the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, and founded the spine division at Veterans Administration in Dallas. Dr. Hochschuler is a founding member of the American Board of Spinal Surgery and has earned recognition for his development and innovation with spinal implants. "Despite significant challenges facing medicine in general, I am quite excited by potential downstream opportunities for spine," says Dr. Hoschschuler. "There will be opportunities in telemedicine, physician extenders, integration of treatment, emphasis on prevention, application of nano and MEMS technology, development of biologic solutions, improvement in image guidance and robotics and more international integration."

Langston Holly, MD
, is an associate professor and co-chief of clinical affairs for the department of neurosurgery at UCLA Health. He is also co-director of the UCLA Spine Center and focuses on minimally invasive and image-guidance techniques. Dr. Holly is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National Medical Association and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Ken Hsu, MD
, is a senior spine surgeon at San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons and co-inventor of the X-STOP device for minimally invasive spine surgery. He was among the first spine surgeons in the western United States to use a pedicle screw and has participated in several clinical trials, including trails for artificial disc replacement. During his career, Dr. Hsu has been president of the San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons Medical Group and director of spine services at St. Mary's Spine Center.

Serena Hu, MD
, is a professor of clinical orthopedics at the University of California San Francisco with a clinical interest in adult scoliosis. Her research focus includes the prevention of metastatic fractures of the spine and disc degeneration. She is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Scoliosis Research Society and International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.

Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD
, is an orthopedic surgeon with M&M Orthopaedics in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., and a president of the Scoliosis Research Society. He is also a member of the North American Spine Society and fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He serves as a clinical professor at Loyola University in Chicago and has a special interest in treating scoliosis, spine deformities and hip conditions in children. "When I was completing my residency training and fellowship, it was a significant time for scoliosis surgery and the management of spinal deformity," says Dr. Ibrahim. "New knowledge about natural history of the disease was appearing in the literature. The long term results and problems with the traditional surgery of Harrington rods stated to be recognized. Emerging new procedures such as Cotrel-Debousset segmental system was revolutionary in the surgical correction of scoliosis, the new development in anesthesia such as hypotension during surgery which significantly decreased blood loss, the new experience in the management of adult complex spine problems were just starting to be discussed, which almost ignored the past for the lack of knowledge."

Ajay Jawahar, MD,
is the director of medical research at the Spine Institute of Louisiana and is on the board of directors for the American College of Spine Surgery. He has a special interest in spine research and outcomes. He has obtained six grants and served as a principle investigator on several projects. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and international member of the Congress of Neurosurgeons of America.

James D. Kang, MD
, is the vice chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery and director of the Ferguson Laboratory for Spine Research at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a program of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a member of the board of directors for the Cervical Spine Research Society and has authored around 300 publications during his career. His research has earned recognition from several organizations, including the North American Spine Society. He is currently involved in projects on the biochemistry of disc degeneration, gene therapy applications to disc degeneration and biomechanics of the spine.

Christopher Kauffman, MD
, is in private practice around Nashville, Tenn., and serves as the professional economic and regulatory committee chair for the North American Spine Society. He previously spent time teaching residents and fellows at the University of California San Diego and been involved with the NASS Surgical Coding Committee. He is the NASS representative to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee and has a strong interest in the development of outcome measures for spine care.

A. Jay Khanna, MD,
is an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine with a research interest in the clinical and functional outcomes after spine surgery. He is the director of the annual Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic Surgery Review course and spine section moderator for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board Review Course. He also serves as clinical director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Biomedical Engineering, Innovation and Design. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "I chose to become a spine surgeon because spine is one of the few areas in orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery that hasn't already been 'figured out'," says Dr. Khanna. "The spectrum of pathologies and treatment options are diverse and we are still trying to determine which treatment options are the best for which patients; I find this intellectually interesting and challenging."

Larry Khoo, MD
, is the director of the Spine Clinic of Los Angeles on the Good Samaritan Medical Center campus. He is on the board of directors for the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons and previously served as co-director of the UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center. He has been a pioneer of minimally invasive spine surgical techniques and has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. He holds 10 patents for his spine-related innovations and has given more than 400 scientific presentations.

Choll W. Kim, MD,
is director of the Minimally Invasive Spine Center at Alvarado Hospital and founder of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He also serves as an associate professor at the University of California sand Diego and trains specialists throughout the country on image-guidance and navigation techniques for spinal surgery. Dr. Kim is a qualified medical evaluator and past voting member of the FDA Orthopedic Devices Panel. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Carl Lauryssen, MD
, is the co-director of spine research and development at Olympia (Wash.) Medical Center and past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He practices at Tower Orthopaedics. He previously directed the advanced neurosurgical spine programs at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and was among the first neurosurgeons in the United States to inject stem cells into a human spinal cord as part of an FDA trial. His research interests focus on minimally invasive spine surgery and received the Yong Investigator Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons twice.

Mesafin A. Lemma, MD
, is the division chief of Johns Hopkins orthopedic and spine surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital and co-director of spine surgery. He was the first spinal reconstructive surgeon at Johns Hopkins Division at Good Samaritan and has published several book chapters throughout his career. His focus in on spinal deformity and problems in the elderly. Dr. Lemma also serves as a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Lawrence G. Lenke, MD
, is the chief of spinal surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the Complex Spinal Deformity Institute and fellowship at Washington University. He is on the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society, where he is a past president, and remains active in the North American Spine Society. He serves as an editor of several professional journals and chaired a task force to develop a new journal, Spinal Deformity, which will debut in January 2013.

Isador Lieberman, MD
, is director of the scoliosis and spine tumor center at Texas Back Institute in Plano. He previously practiced with Cleveland Clinic, where he earned the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Innovations Awards from 2004 to 2009. He was instrumental in developing a robotic spine system and holds numerous other patents. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Lieberman co-founded the Uganda Charitable Spine Surgeon Mission to treat underserved populations in Uganda.

Steven C. Ludwig, MD,
is chief of spine surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and co-director of the University of Maryland Spine Center. His research has earned him recognition from the Cervical Spine Research Society and the American Orthopaedic Association. Dr. Ludwig currently serves as editor of cervical spine in Current Opinion in Orthopaedics and is on the board of directors for CSRS.

James Lynch, MD, is a neurological surgeon who specializes in complex spine surgery, as well as minimally invasive spine surgery. He is the founder and CEO of SpineNevada and chairman and director of spine at the Surgical Center of Reno. He is on staff at St. Mary's Hospital and Renown Regional Medical Center, both located in Reno. Dr. Lynch has also served as director of spine services, for Regent Surgical Health, where he directs Regent's program to help physicians develop spine-focused ASCs and specialty spine hospitals. His work has been published in several professional publications including The Journal of Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery and Spine.

Robert Masson, MD, is founder and president of NeuroSpine Institute and a retired Lieutenant Commander of the United States Naval Reserve. He was the developer of the iMAS surgical principles for Synthes Spine and has treated several professional football and basketball players. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Masson is a member of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Robert F. McClain, MD
, directs the Spine Research Program at Cleveland Clinic and is the former director of the Spine Care Center at the University of California, Davis. He was awarded the North American Traveling Fellowship in 1992 and received the American Orthopaedic Association's American-British Canadian Exchange Fellowship two years later. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and Scoliosis Research Foundation.

Charles Mick, MD
, is an orthopedic surgeon with Pioneer Spine and Sports and currently serves as president of the North American Spine Society. He has been an active NASS member for 25 years and focused on healthcare policy, coding and reimbursement and delivering value-based spine care. "The most fulfilling aspect of my career is working with patients, particularly when a patient smiles and says 'thank you for giving me my life back'," says Dr. Mick. "As a physician, it reminds us what is most important and why we originally chose medicine as a profession. These days it is very easy to become distracted by the challenges of electronic records, rising costs, threats of liability, insurance authorizations, financial uncertainty and healthcare upheaval. In everything we do, we must remember these moments with our patients."

William Mitchell, MD
, is a neurosurgeon with the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute and on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society. He practices at CoastalSpine and is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurosurgeons. During his career, Dr. Mitchell has authored several articles in professional journals and is involved in ongoing research associated with minimally invasive spine surgery.

Pierce D. Nunley, MD
, is the director of the Spine Institute of Louisiana and chairman of the American Board of Spine Surgery. He also serves as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Louisiana State University Health Science Center and is on the board of directors for the American College of Spine Surgery. Throughout his career, Dr. Nunley has published several articles in professional journals.

Patrick F. O'Leary, MD
, is the former chief of spine service for Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he continues to serve as an associate attending spine surgeon. The hospital recently recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award and he is a member of several professional organizations. Dr. O'Leary has also served as a physician for professional athletes from the New York Mets and Knicks. He has spent his career advancing surgical technology and techniques with colleagues in Europe and the United States.

Stephen J. Parazin, MD
, is the chief of spine surgery at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and has a professional interest in scoliosis, minimally invasive surgical technique and spinal fractures. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Parazin is an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Parazin lectures nationally and regularly performs spine surgery at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on Bermuda. "The most fulfilling aspect of my career has been the ability to help as many people as I have been able to," says Dr. Parazin. "Having a career now that has spanned over 15 years to come across the patients that I have helped previously or to help their family members is very rewarding. The ability to help and return a wholeness to patients' lives is a tremendous benefit."

John Peloza, MD
, is a founding partner of the Center for Spine Care and Minimally Invasive Surgery Institute, an ambulatory surgery center. He is a pioneer in minimal access spinal surgery and was instrumental in launching the SEXTANT, MET-Rx and MAVERICK total disc replacement. He was among the first surgeons to use the coflex Interlaminar Technology for motion preservation in the United States earlier this year. He is a member of several professional organizations, including North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "I look forward to the future of spine care in spite of all the challenges ahead," says Dr. Peloza. "Science and technology are advancing providing exciting opportunities for spine physicians to improve care. This will require careful, honest, and ethical study combining the resources of the best research and clinical minds in the field. I am presently committed to several basic research and clinical studies in biologics, nanotechnology, and surgical techniques. Hopefully, these will lead to predictable, high quality, cost effective treatments in the near future."

Kenneth Pettine, MD
, is co-founder of Rocky Mountain Associates and Loveland (Colo.) Surgery Center. He is also founding member of the Society for Ambulatory Spine Surgery and co-inventor of the MAVERICK artificial disc. He has been chief FDA IDE investigator for the Raymedica lumbar nucleus disc replacement and has been instrumental with several other motion preservation technologies. He holds three patents for his technology and is a member of the North American Spine Society. "I remain most excited the last two and a half years of being involved in two FDA studies involving biologics to treat discogenic low back pain," says Dr. Pettine. "In addition we have injected over 130 patients with autogenous bone marrow concentrate. I believe biologics will soon change the practice of spine and am excited to be pioneering this advancement."

Frank Phillips, MD
, is the director of the section of minimally invasive spine surgery at Rush University Medical Center and founding member of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute at Rush. He was a founder, board member and past president of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and sits on the board of directors for the International Advocates for Spine Patients. He has been a pioneer of several techniques, including lateral access surgery and disc replacement.

Gregory Przybylski, MD
, is the director of neurosurgery at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J. He is also a past president of the North American Spine Society and a professor of neurological surgery at Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education in South Orange, N.J. His research interests include spinal biomechanics, spinal cord injury and clinical outcomes. He has several publications in professional journals and has held leadership positions with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He also serves the Physician Advisory Board of Human and Spine Advisory Board of UnitedHealthcare.

Raj Rao, MD
, is director of spine surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He is also on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society and previously served as its advocacy chair. He has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery, spinal trauma and deformity. He is an associate editor of The Spine Journal on editorial board for other national and international scientific journals. "The anatomy and functioning of the spine has fascinated me since early in my medical school days," says Dr. Rao. "Spine pain was often handled through nebulous diagnosis and irrational treatment algorithms. The chance to tackle some of our more difficult clinical challenges continued to fascinate me as I progressed in my residency and led me, 20 years ago, to select spine surgery for my career."

Ralph S. Rashbaum, MD
, is co-founder of Texas Back Institute in Plano and the Texas Back Institute Fellowship Program. He has been vice president of the Texas Pain Society and is a member of the North American Spine Society. He has served in the United States Military and has authored several publications related to spine care.

Charles Reitman, MD
, is chief of orthopedic surgery at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston and interim director of its trauma fellowship program. He has a professional interest in spinal trauma and disorders and has given presentations nationally on the subject. Dr. Reitman currently serves on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Daniel Resnick, MD
, is on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. He also sits on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society and has a special interest in minimal-incision surgery, spinal tumors and degenerative disorders. Dr. Resnick has authored several publications for professional journals throughout his career.

B. Stephens Richards, MD
, is the chief medical officer at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and serves on the board of directors and past president for the Scoliosis Research Society. He previously served as the hospital's director of inpatient services. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and past chairman of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. Dr. Richards sits on the editorial board of the Journal for Pediatric Orthopaedics and is a consultant reviewer for Spine.

K. Daniel Riew, MD
, is the chief of cervical spine surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is a former president of the Cervical Spine Research Society, where he continues to sit on the board of directors. He founded the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Cervical Spine Institute at UW and has research interests in enhancing bone healing and selective nerve root blocks for avoiding surgery. His research has earned awards from the North American Spine Society and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, among others.

Rick Sasso, MD
, is a founding member and president of Indiana Spine Group, as well as co-medical director of the St. Vincent Spine Center and chief of spine surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine. Throughout his career, he has been involved in pioneering research and developments of spinal implants and minimally invasive surgical technique. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, among many other organizations. "The ability to impact someone's life in such a positive fashion is the most fulfilling sensation any human can feel," says Dr. Sasso. "We are fortunate in our work as spine surgeons to be able to profoundly and overwhelmingly improve another's existence."

Thomas Schuler, MD
, is founder and CEO of Virginia Spine Institute as well as president of the Spinal Research Foundation. He was among the first surgeons in his region to perform robotic-guided spine surgery and has conducted research on the use of bone morphogenic protein to enhance spinal fusions. Dr. Schuler is a fellow of the American College of Spine Surgeons and a member of the North American Spine Society. He is also the spine consultant for the Washington Redskins. "I didn't choose to become a spine surgeon through a definite plan," says Dr. Schuler. "I followed my heart at major decision points in my life and fortunately fell in love with spine surgery…Decision making is paramount, and when paired with excellence in technical ability, patients' lives are truly improved. The ability to help an individual recover his or her life through knowledge and skills that require decades to acquire is the reward. Improving the lives of people is the most fulfilling aspect of my career."

David Schwartz, MD
, is a spine surgeon with OrthoIndy and director of the OrthoIndy Spine Fellowship. He also serves as an assistant clinical professor at the Indiana University Department of orthopedic surgery. Throughout his career, Dr. Schwartz has published several articles in professional journals and his research has been recognized by the North American Spine Society and International Intradiscal Therapy Society. Dr. Schwartz is also the inventor of the Anteres and Leverage Spinal Instrumentation Systems.

James Schwender, MD
, is a staff surgeon at Twin Cities Spine Center and former president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, where he continues to serve on the board of directors. He is a fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society and member of the North American Spine Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Schwender has published several articles in scientific journals and presented exhibits at national conferences.

A. Nick Shamie, MD
, is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at UCLA Health and president of the American Board of Spine Surgeons. He previously served as medical director of the UCLA Spine Center. He is actively involved in clinical research and trials related to spine surgery and authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals. "As physicians, we have the privilege and the unique opportunity to connect with our patients and their families in times of need, in times when they feel most vulnerable," says Dr. Shamie. "We are able to give strength through our expertise [and] cutting edge medicine, but most importantly through personal connections."

Paul Slosar, MD
, is president of SpineCare Medical Group and medical director of its affiliated San Francisco Spine Institute. He has served on the board of directors for the American Board of Spine Surgery and the Spinal Research Foundation. He has been an editorial board member of The Spine Journal and SpineLine. His research has earned recognition from the North American Spine Society and International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery. "I chose spine surgery as I made the most direct and meaningful connection with that subspecialty and those surgeons during my training," says Dr. Slosar. "At that time, spine surgery mainly consisted of deformity and scoliosis surgery. I had great mentors during my residency at Loyola who encouraged me to do a fellowship. This was a time when our discipline first began to understand and effectively treat the degenerative spine. This has become my primary area of focus both in practice and scientific research."

Brian R. Subach, MD,is president and director of research for Virginia Spine Institute in Reston. He is also director of research for and on the board of directors for the non-profit Spine Reserach Foundation and editor-in-chief for the foundation's journal. He has clinical expertise in non-operative and operative management of spinal disorders. Along with his role in developing bone morphogenetic protein, Dr. Subach has been a principal investigator for Medtronic's controlled investigation of the Prestige artificial cervical disc.  

Daniel J. Sucato, MD, is the chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and director of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society and on the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society. He has been the course chairman and a guest lecturer for several spine-related educational events.

William Taylor, MD
, is vice-chair of affairs at the University of San Diego Health System and past president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He has a professional interest in endoscopic and minimally invasive spine surgery and has published articles in several scientific journals. He has done research on lateral access spine surgery and trained other surgeons on the technique. "I chose spine surgery for the various options that were available to me," says Dr. Taylor. "As a neurosurgeon, not a lot of people wanted to go into spine back when I started it. It seemed to be a really growing field with lots of new things to do that I felt was going to change and become very vibrant over the next decade."

Eeric Truumees, MD
, is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Seton Spine and Scoliosis in Austin, Texas, and serves on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society. He is a former clinical director for the Harold W. Gehring Center for Biomechanical Research and Implant Retrieval at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Additionally, he is a site principle investigator for a clinical research study comparing kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.

Alexander Vaccaro, MD
, is vice chairman of the department of orthopedics and co-director of the spine fellowship program at Thomas Jefferson Hospital and co-director of the regional spinal cord injury center of the Delaware Valley. He is a partner with Rothman Institute and assistant team physician with the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a member of several professional societies, including the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "The most fulfilling aspect of my career is making someone neurologically better," says Dr. Vacarro. "Patients are extremely appreciative if you are able to improve their quality of life. This often is the result of making their extremity pain better or improving strength in their arms and legs. Being able to take someone with a spinal cord injury and bring them back to functional lifestyle is probably the most fulfilling aspect of my job."

Jeffrey Wang, MD
, is the co-director of the UCLA Spine Center and vice chairman of the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital department of orthopedic surgery. He holds leadership roles with the North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has been editor-in-chief of the Global Spine Journal and served on the editorial board for other publications, such as the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Spine Arthroplasty Society Journal. "I find spine surgery amazing and changing at a rapid pace," says Dr. Wang. "The combination of the varied types of surgeries and pathologies that we treat in spinal disorders always make each day an exciting experience."

William Watters, III, MD
, is a spine surgeon with the Bone & Joint Clinic of Houston and professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He is on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society and has leadership positions with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Board of Spinal Surgery. He has served on the task force for several NASS initiatives and has been president of the Texas Spine Society. Dr. Watters has also served on the governing board for MedCenter Ambulatory Surgery Center. "We are using techniques of evidence-based medicine to focus our interest on assessing patient outcomes with traditional and new technologies, allowing us to more carefully and thus more cost-effectively apply the correct technologies to a particular patient's surgical problem," says Dr. Watters. "By generating this evidence base we can better provide for our patients, increase the quality of patient outcomes and more forcefully make evidence-based arguments with payors for the appropriate surgical intervention in our patients."

Robert Watkins III, MD
, is the co-director of the Marina Spine Clinic. He has expertise in the treatment of sports-related spine injuries and has treated professional athletes from across the United States. He is a founding member of the North American Spine Society and previously served on its board of directors. During his career, Dr. Watkins has participated in several FDA-approved investigational studies, as well as the ProDisc artificial disc replacement study. Dr. Watkins has also trained several young spine surgeons. "The most rewarding aspects of my career is being able to combine spinal care, total patient care, spine surgery and the care of the athlete into a program we currently use in our center for which we are able to care for athletes from high school to the top professional ranks, from the minute of their injury to their complete return to their sport or desired level of function," says Dr. Watkins. "The final important rewarding aspect of seeing the success of younger surgeons and rehab specialists, some that trained with us in the care of spinal injuries in athletes."

James Weinstein, DO
, was appointed president and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon, N.H., in 2011. He created the hospital's orthopedics department and previously served as the director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He has a special clinical interest in spinal disorders and spinal tumors. He has authored several publications in scientific journals and participated in the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial.

F. Todd Wetzel, MD
, is the vice-chairperson for the department of orthopedics and sports medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. He serves on the board of directors for the North American Spine Society and has published several articles in scientific journals focused on spinal surgery. Dr. Wetzel is also a professor of neurosurgery at Temple University and has served in several leadership positions with NASS.

Richard Wohns, MD
, is founder and president of South Sound Neurosurgery and past president of Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Wohns also founded NeoSpine, a venture capital to develop a national network of outpatient spine surgery centers, which has been acquired by Symbion. He performs outpatient spinal surgery and was among the first neurosurgeons in the United States qualified to perform the XLIF procedure.

Kirkham B. Wood, MD
, is the chief of orthopedic spine surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and program director for its spine surgery fellowship. He has a professional interest in spine scoliosis, trauma and degenerative conditions. His research focuses on instrumentation for spinal deformity and he has worked extensively with European scientists on restorable implants for spinal fixation. Throughout his career, Dr. Wood has authored several publications in professional journals.

Hansen A. Yuan, MD
, is a professor of orthopedic and neurological surgery at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and past president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and North American Spine Society. He has authored more than 100 articles published in peer-review journals and his research has been honored by several organizations. He has been a presidential guest to the Republic of China to speak on orthopedic surgery.

James J. Yue, MD
, is the co-director of the Yale Spine Center and director for the center for motion preserving spine surgery and studies. Dr. Yue is also the director of the Yale Spine Fellowship. He has participated in several clinical trials related to spine surgery and was among the first spine surgeons in New England to use the ProDisc Implant in 2002. "I have been fortunate to have met and worked with spinal surgeons, scientists, fellows and residents across the globe," says Dr. Yue. "My relationship and didactic learning with these clinicians and scientists, and subsequent interactive didactic learning and development of spinal surgical procedures/devices which have been used to treat and restore the functional capacity of patients has been the most fulfilling aspect of my career."

Jim Zucherman, MD
, is program co-director for the Stanford/St. Mary's Hospital Combined Spine Surgery Fellowship Program and a founding member of the St. Mary's Spine Center. He is a partner with the San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons and co-developer of the X-Stop procedure. Dr. Zucherman is currently involved in developing the Starflex motion preservation minimally invasive spine stabilization device through Spartek and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals.

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