AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018


NREF Continues to Grow by Leaps and Bounds

As the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is dedicated to funding groundbreaking neurosurgical research and providing extraordinary educational opportunities for neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers.

  • In 2016, the NREF welcomed the following new members of the Cushing Circle of Giving with their commitment of $25,000 or more: 

David Adelson, MD, FAANS
Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS
Lawrence S. Chin, MD, FAANS
Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS
Mark J. Kubala, MD, FAANS
Raymond Sawaya, MD, FAANS
Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD, FAANS
Robert F. Spetzler, MD, FAANS
Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS
Roland A. Torres, MD, FAANS
Edward Vates, MD, PhD, FAANS
Ahmet Yildizhan, MD, IFAANS
Mario Zuccarello, MD

California Association of Neurological Surgeons (CANS)
Cleveland Clinic
Louisiana Neurosurgical Society (LANS)
New England Neurosurgical Society
University of Pennsylvania Department of Neurosurgery

  • In addition to opportunities for contributions to education, research and outcome studies, there are now 27 Honor Your Mentor (HYM) Funds with pledges totaling over $2.5 million from 528 donors. Click here to view a list of current HYM Fund honorees, view the lists of donors for each fund or to make a donation.

Two HYM Funds were recently established. One is the Ed Benzel Fund that was created to honor the outgoing Neurosurgery Department Chair of the Cleveland Clinic and is funded through contributions of the department staff, those he has mentored and grateful patients.

The other is the Military Heroes Fund, which provides the opportunity to send an impactful message to honor the brave men and women who have served selflessly in the military for our country. If a former or active military surgeon has inspired, taught or mentored you or someone you know, we encourage you to make a contribution to this fund in support of the groundbreaking work in regenerative medicine that is being done to improve outcomes for patients and change the practice of medicine. 

Military Image
Pinnacle Partners in Neurosurgery Program 
The Pinnacle Partners in Neurosurgery Program for NREF corporate supporters goes beyond traditional sponsorships. It is a corporate commitment to advancing neurosurgery and Pinnacle Partners Imageimproving patient care. The Pinnacle Partner Program benefits include participation in the Corporate Leadership Council Meeting, recognition at the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and on the NREF website and in electronic publications, such as this one.

As stated by former NREF chair Griffith R. Harsh IV, MD,FAANS, “Working with the NREF provides corporate sponsors a highly visible avenue for the support of neurosurgery, unparalleled opportunities for collaboration with current and future leaders and early awareness of future trends in the field.”

The NREF gratefully acknowledges these corporations for demonstrating their sustained commitment to research, education and training this year:

Codman Neuro
DePuy Synthes
Leica Microsystems
Varian Medical Systems

Newest Recipients of The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship 
Van Wagenen Image-resizedCelebrating the 50th Anniversary of the fellowship this year, the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship Selection committee proudly announces the newest recipients of this prestigious award. Darrin J. Lee, MD, PhD, has been selected as the 2017-18 Van Wagenen Fellow. A resident at the University of California-Davis, Dr. Lee will begin his fellowship at the University of Toronto in July 2017. Under the mentorship of Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD, FAANS, Dr. Lee will pursue his research topic of “Septohippocampal stimulation for cognition in epilepsy.”

Kai Joshua Miller, MD, was selected as the 2018-19 Van Wagenen Fellow. A resident at Stanford University, Dr. Miller will begin his fellowship at UMC Utrecht in The Netherlands in July 2018. Under the mentorships of Peter van Rijen, Nick Ramsey and Pierre Robe, Dr. Miller will pursue his research topic of “Network neurophysiology for implanted closed-loop brain computer interfaces.”

Awarded annually since 1968, the Van Wagenen Fellowship is offered for post-residency study in a foreign country for a period of 12 months. The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship was established by the estate of Dr. Van Wagenen, who was one of the founders and the first president of the Harvey Cushing Society, now the AANS. The Van Wagenen Fellowship was designed to provide freedom in scientific development without the restrictive limitations usually imposed by many research grants and fellowships.

Contributions to NREF support education and research as well as the opportunity for us to collaborate and advance the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and improve patient care in neurosurgery. To make a gift to the NREF in your subspecialty or to honor your mentor, please visit our secure Donate page. Together, we are making a difference in patients’ lives.


Second International Brain Mapping Course
April 26-27, 2018; New Orleans

Surgical Approaches to Skull Base
April 26-28, 2018; St. Louis, MO

2018 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting
April 28-May 2, 2018; New Orleans

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