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28 Spine Surgeon Leaders at Academic Medical Centers Featured

Written by  Anuja Vaidya and Heather Linder | Friday, 20 December 2013 11:53
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Here are 28 spine surgeons who lead the spine centers or practice at academic medical centers.

If you would like to recommend another surgeon for inclusion on this list, please contact Anuja Vaidya at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Todd J. Albert, MD (Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia). Dr. Albert is the chairman of the orthopedics department and Richard H. Rothman Professor at the Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. He is also president of Philadelphia's Rothman Institute. Dr. Albert's clinical interest is in reconstructive spinal surgery, and he is the co-director of the reconstructive spine surgery and spine fellowship program and TJH. In addition to his clinical work, he serves on the board at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. He is also the American Orthopaedic Association's Chair of the Development Committee. He earned his medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and a spine surgery fellowship at Minnesota Spine Center.

Christopher Ames, MD (University of San Francisco Medical Center). Dr. Ames is director of spinal tumor and spinal deformity surgery at UCSF Medical Center. He is also co-director of the Neurospinal Disorders Program and the UCSF Spine Center. He has a professional interest in scoliosis, spinal cord tumors, spine trauma, spondylolisthesis and kyphosis. He also has an active interest in research and in 2005 he won the International Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine research award for his work on spinal fusion in tumor reconstructions requiring radiation therapy. Dr. Ames earned his medical degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of California, San Diego and a spine fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.    

Howard S. An, MD (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago). Dr. An serves as the director of the division of spine surgery and the spine fellowship program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He also serves as a professor of orthopedic surgery at Rush and is a physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. He is a member of several professional societies, including North American Spine Society, American Orthopaedic Association and president of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. An has published more than 140 articles and 15 books on spine surgery and instrumentation. He is currently involved in researching spinal biomechanics and tissue engineering with funding from the National Institutes of Health, industries and foundations. Dr. An earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

Neel Anand, MD (Cedars-Sinai Spine Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Anand is a clinical professor of surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society and Scoliosis Research Society. He has been published extensively published in peer-reviewed publications, such as the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Journal of Orthopedic Trauma. He has a professional interest in minimally invasive surgical techniques for spinal disorders and trauma in adults and children. He is also actively involved in the development of emerging technologies involving non-fusion spinal surgery. Dr. Anand earned his medical degree at the University of Bombay in India and completed residencies at University of Bombay as well as the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He has also completed a fellowship in reconstructive spine surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Vincent M. Arlet, MD (Penn Medicine, Philadelphia). Dr. Arlet is a professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of orthopedic spine surgery at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. He has a professional interest in pediatric and adult spinal deformity. He developed a software database for logging cases of scoliosis called Scolisoft, so scoliosis specialists may compare surgical outcomes among patients for educational, informative, and publication-based purposes. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has also served as editor of the European Spine Journal. Dr. Arlet earned his medical degree at University of Paris and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at various hospitals in Paris. He has also completed an orthopaedic fellowship at Montreal General Hospital in Quebec, in addition to orthopedic surgery fellowships in Paris.

Darrel S. Brodke, MD (University of Utah Healthcare, Salt Lake City). Dr. Brodke is the director of the University Spine Center and vice chair at the medical school. He has a professional interest in cervical spine disorders and complex spine reconstruction. In addition to his clinical interests, Dr. Brodke conducts research in spinal biomechanics. Prior to serving with the university, Dr. Brodke practiced with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group. He also served on the board of directors for the Resources for Medical Education & Collaboration. He earned his medical degree at the University of California in San Francisco and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Evalina Burger, MD (University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora). Dr. Burger is vice-chair and an associate professor of the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. She practices at the Spine Center at University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has a professional interest in adult deformity reconstruction and experience with spinal trauma and oncology. Her research interests include metal properties as they relate to disc pathology and implants. She is affiliated with the Scoliosis Research Society, North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She earned her medical degree at the University of the Orange Free State and completed her orthopedic surgery residency at University of Pretoria, both in South Africa.

Theodore J. Choma, MD (University of Missouri Health System). Dr. Choma is the chief of the division of spine surgery at University of Missouri Healthcare and the director of the Missouri Spine Center. He also serves as the vice chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his career, Dr Choma has served as the chief of spine surgery at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Ga., and an assistant professor of surgery, uniformed services, at the University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He has a professional interest in cervical spine stabilization, lumbar disc disease, spine tumors, spine trauma and spinal biomechanics. Dr. Choma is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research interest includes the pedicle screw performance in osteoporotic bone and the testing of bioactive cement in pedicle screw fixation. Dr. Choma earned his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk and completed his residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. His additional training includes a fellowship at Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis.

William F. Donaldson, MD (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Dr. Donaldson has served as the chief of the division of spine surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also was recently promoted to professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Donaldson also conducts research on several topics, including cervical spine conditions, and has published articles based on his research in professional journals. He earned his medical degree at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and completed his residency at Rockefeller University in New York City. His additional training includes a fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Thomas J. Errico, MD (NYU Hospital for Joint diseases, New York). Dr. Errico is chief of the spine service and chief of the division of spine surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York. He is also a professor of both orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at the NYU School of Medicine. He focuses on spinal deformity surgery and has served as president of the North American Spine Society. He holds upwards of 100 spine device patents. During his career, Dr. Errico has served as president of the North American Spine Society and International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery. He earned his medical degree at New Jersey Medical School and completed his orthopedics residency training at NYU Medical Center. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Toronto General Hospital in Canada.

 

Michael A. Gleiber, MD (Michael A. Gleiber, MD, PA, Spine Surgery, Jupiter, Fla.). Dr. Gleiber was recently appointed the spine surgeon clerkship surgeon for Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine. He is a board certified orthopaedic spinal surgeon with a professional interest in the latest microsurgical, minimally invasive and motion preserving spinal procedures. He is President and CEO of Michael A. Gleiber, MD, PA. He treats all types of spinal disorders, including complex spinal problems such as spine tumors, deformity, and spinal trauma. He has been an invited guest lecturer at research institutions, including Scripps Research Institute. In addition to his clinical practices in Jupiter and Boca Raton, Fla., Dr. Gleiber has a strong research interest in the development and design of spine surgical implants and instrumentation. He was also selected to the Castle Connolly's Top Doctors list for 2013. Dr. Gleiber earned his medical degree with honors at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, where he was selected as a Chief Resident in his final year. His additional training includes the renown Kenton D. Leatherman Spinal Surgery Fellowship, where he spent a significant portion of his time focusing on spinal trauma and spinal cord injuries. He is on staff at five hospitals in South Florida, including The University of Miami Hospital.


Ziya Gokaslan, MD (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore). Dr. Gokaslan is the vice-chairman of neurosurgery and director of the Neurosurgical Spine Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is also a professor of neurological surgery and a professor of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and he focuses on the surgical treatment of both primary and metastatic spinal tumors, sacral neoplasms and spinal cord tumors. He is a member of Cervical Spine Research Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology and America Association of Neurological Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at the University of Istanbul in Turkey and completed his residency in neurotrauma at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has also completed a fellowship in spine surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. 

Jeffrey Goldstein, MD (NYU Langone Medical Center, New York). Dr. Goldstein is the Director of the Spine Service and Director of the Spine Fellowship at NYU Langone Medical Center's Hospital for Joint Diseases. His clinical interests include the surgical treatment of degenerative diseases of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, deformity, trauma and tumors. Dr. Goldstein is a co-author in the studies for the FDA trials on single level cervical and lumbar disc replacement as well as two-level ProDisc artificial lumbar disc replacements. He has served on the editorial board of The Spine Journal and is a reviewer for several other publications. He earned his medical degree at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and completed his orthopedic surgery training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has also completed a fellowship in spine surgery at the Maryland Spine Fellowship in Baltimore.

Purnendu Gupta, MD (Weiss Memorial Hospital, Chicago). Dr. Gupta is the medical director of the Chicago Spine Center at Weiss Memorial Hospital. He is also a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at University of Illinois at Chicago. His clinical interests include cervical and lumbar degenerative spinal disorders, adult and pediatric scoliosis and kyphosis, spondylolisthesis, tumors, traumatic injuries and complex spinal reconstruction. He serves on the editorial board for several journals, including The Spine Journal and Clinical Biomechanics. He has volunteered with The Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine and has traveled to Ghana to serve needy populations. Dr. Gupta earned his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he also completed his residency. He has completed fellowship training in spine surgery at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis.

 

Andrew Hecht, MD, (Mount Sinai Hospital, New York). Dr. Hecht is an orthopedic surgeon, co-chief of spinal surgery and assistant professor of orthopedics and neurosurgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. His clinical and research interests include cervical and lumbar spine surgery, the evaluation and surgical management of degenerative disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, minimally invasive spine surgery, microsurgery, spine trauma and tumors. Dr. Hecht is a spine surgical consultant for the New York Jets and New York Islanders. He also sits on the NFL Brain and Spine Committee and leads a team of specialists from Mount Sinai in a program that treats retired NFL players. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he also completed his orthopedic surgery residency. He has completed a spine surgery fellowship at Emory Spine Center in Atlanta.

Patrick Hsieh, MD (Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles). Dr. Hsieh leads the spine center at the Keck School of Medicine. He is also an assistant professor of neurological surgery. His areas of professional interest include complex reconstructive spine surgery, degenerative spine disorder, instrumentation, minimally invasive spine care, spinal decompression and spinal oncology. He has co-authored more than 15 peer-reviewed journal articles in scientific publications. He is a member of American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and Scoliosis Research Society. He earned his medical degree at University of Southern California in Los Angeles and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicao, where he also completed a complex reconstructive spinal surgery fellowship and an advanced minimally invasive spine surgery fellowship. Additionally, he has completed a fellowship in spinal oncology and complex spine surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Lawrence Lenke, MD (Washington University Physicians, St. Louis). Dr. Lenke is chief of spinal surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and provides care at Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Spine Center, which comprises 10 spine and neurosurgeons. His clinical interests include complex reconstructive surgery and spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. Dr. Lenke earned his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, where he also completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric spinal surgery.

Steven C. Ludwig, MD (University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore). Dr. Ludwig is the chief of spine surgery in the department of orthopedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center and the co-director of the University of Maryland Spine Center. He has a professional interest in adult reconstructive spine surgery, sports-related injuries, traumatic injuries to the cervical spine and disc herniation and replacement. He also engages in research of spinal disorders and technology. His research has received recognition from the Cervical Spine Research Society and American Orthopaedic Association. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Ludwig also serves as a professor of orthopedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the editor for cervical spine in Current Opinion in Orthopaedics. Dr. Ludwig earned his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. His additional training includes a combined Thomas Jefferson University-Rothman Institute residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in spine surgery at Emory University in Atlanta.

Rex Marco, MD (University of Texas Medical School, Houston). Dr. Marco is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the department of neurosurgery and chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology. He has a professional interest in reconstructive surgery for spinal column tumors and spinal trauma. He also performs revision spine surgery, microscopic discectomy and surgery for degenerative spinal disorders. During his career, Dr. Marco has served as a team physician for the U.S. Snowboard Team. He also engages in research endeavors, which have resulted in articles published in journals such as the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Dr. Marco earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md. His additional training includes a residency at the UC Davis Medical Center and a fellowship in spine surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.

Vikas Patel, MD (University of Colorado Hospital, Denver). Dr. Patel serves as the chief of orthopedic spine surgery at the University of Colorado in Denver. His practice currently focuses on spinal non-fusion technologies, including disc replacement, dynamic stabilization, alternative bone graft materials for fusion and minimally invasive procedures. He also has an interest in computer assisted surgery and has experience in treating cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal disorders. During his career, Dr. Patel has published articles based on his research in professional journals such as Spine and the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques. Prior to earning his medical degree, Dr. Patel worked as an engineer. Dr. Patel earned his medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis and completed his residency at the University of California in San Francisco. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at The Spine Institute at St. John's Health Center.

Themistocles Protopsaltis, MD (New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City). Dr. Protopsaltis is the director of the Bellevue Orthopaedic Spine Service and an assistant professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. He has a professional interest in pediatric cervical disorders, thoracic and lumbar disc herniation and pediatric and adult scoliosis treatment. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Protopsaltis has conducted research on several spine topics, including cervical laminectomy and fusion. He has published his work in professional journals such as Spine. Dr. Protopsaltis earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes fellowships in hand surgery at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and at New York University in spine surgery.

Barton L. Sachs, MD (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston). Dr. Sachs is the associate executive medical director at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has a professional interest in minimally invasive spine surgery, motion preservation during spine surgery and spinal deformity surgery. During his career, Dr. Sachs has also served as a professor of orthopedics at MUSC. He has also served as the president and founder of the Texas Back Institute Research Foundation and as a board member for Innovative Spine Technologies. He is a fellow of the International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine and the North American Spine Society. He is also a member of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Sachs earned his medical degree at the State University of New York in Syracuse and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland. His additional training includes a fellowship in spinal disorders at Twin Cities Scoliosis and Spine Center in Minneapolis.

Nick Shamie, MD (UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Shamie is chief of orthopedic spine surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as an assistant professor in orthopedic surgery at UCLA School of Medicine. His professional interests include bone protein implants, cervical spine surgery and metabolic bone disease. During his career, Dr. Shamie has shared his expertise in spine surgery with several media outlets, including MyFox Los Angeles. He also conducted extensive research in spine-related topics, which has been published in The Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques. His research has earned him the UCI School of Medicine Excellence in Research recognition. Dr. Shamie earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center. His additional training includes fellowships in spine surgery and bone research at UCLA School of Medicine.

Harvey E. Smith, MD (Penn Medicine, Philadelphia). Dr. Smith is an assistant professor of orthopedics at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. In addition to being a practicing spine surgery clinician, Dr. Smith is interested in degenerative disc disease and surgical image-guidance systems. He is a reviewer on the editorial boards of seven orthopedic surgery journals and has served as editor of the Jefferson Orthopedic Journal. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and AO Spine North America. He earned his medical degree at Penn State Hershey (Pa.) College of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University/Rothman Institute in Philadelphia.

William Taylor, MD (UC San Diego Health System). Dr. Taylor is the vice chairman-academic affairs at UC San Diego Health System. He is also a clinical professor of surgery and serves on the admissions committee and the education committee for the division of neurosurgery. He is on the international board of directors for the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and also serves as editor of The Scientific World Journal. He is a member of the American Medical Association and American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He has a professional interest in endoscopic surgery of brain and spine motion preservation as well as scoliosis. Dr. Taylor earned his medical degree at UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles and completed his residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He has also completed a fellowship in spine surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

 

Alexander Vaccaro, MD (Rothman Institute, Philadelphia). Dr. Vaccaro is the vice chairman of the department of orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and co-director of the hospital's spine fellowship program. He also serves as the co-director of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of Delaware Valley and assistant team physician for the Philadelphia Eagles. Dr. Vaccaro has contributed to several device innovations throughout his career and has experience serving on scientific advisory boards for spine device companies. Dr. Vaccaro has received the Leon Wiltse award for excellence in leadership and clinical research for spine care from the North American Spine Society and currently serves as President of the Association for Collaborative Spine Research. Dr. Vaccaro earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and received his PhD in the field of spinal trauma. His additional training includes an orthopedic surgery residency at Thomas Jefferson University and spine fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.


Kirkham B. Wood, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston). Dr. Wood is chief of the orthopedic spine service at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is also program director of the spinal surgery fellowship program and an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He focuses on scoliosis, degenerative spinal conditions, thoracolumbar spinal injuries, flatback, trauma and spinal stenosis. He earned his medical degree at Albany (N.Y.) Medical College. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and has completed a spine fellowship at the Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis.

Michael J. Yaszemski, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.). Dr. Yaszemski is a professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedics. He practices at the Minnesota branch of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. His clinical interests include adult scoliosis and general spine surgery. His research interests include the bone tissue engineering-polymer synthesis. He has served as chair of the American Orthopedic Association and is currently chair of the Scoliosis Research Society. He earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and then completed his residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and received fellowship training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston.

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Last modified on Thursday, 13 February 2014 14:21
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