19-21 April 2013 | Pan Pacific, Perth
Spine Society of Australia 24th Annual Scientific Meeting

Keynote Speakers


International Speakers

Michael Fehlings

Professor Michael Fehlings


Dr. Fehlings is the Medical Director of the Krembil Neuroscience Center and heads the Spinal Program at the Toronto Western Hospital.  Dr. Fehlings is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, holds the Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration, a Scientist at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine and a McLaughlin Scholar in Molecular Medicine.  In the fall of 2008, Dr. Fehlings was appointed the inaugural Director of the University of Toronto Neuroscience Program and Co-Director of the newly formed University of Toronto Spinal Program.

Dr. Fehlings combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery with a translationally oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments for spinal cord injury.  This is reflected by the publication of over 350 peer-reviewed articles chiefly in the area of spinal cord injury and complex spinal surgery.  Dr. Fehlings leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers which is examining the application of stem cells, nanotechnology and tissue engineering for spinal cord repair and regeneration.  He is also a principal investigator in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation North American Clinical Trials Network, is co-chair of the internationally renowned Spine Trauma Study Group and leads several international clinical research efforts through AOSpine.

Dr. Michael Fehlings has received numerous prestigious awards including the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (1996), nomination to the Who’s Who list of the 1000 most influential scientists of the 21st century (2001), the Lister Award in Surgical Research (2006), the Leon Wiltse Award from the North American Spine Society for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care (2009) and the Olivecrona Award (2009) from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden (known as the “Nobel Prize of Neuroscience”) for his important contributions in spinal cord injury.

Dr. Fehlings is active in many medical societies and journal editorial boards including Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine (Past-Chairman Editorial Board), Journal of Neurotrauma and Spine where he holds the position of Deputy Editor. His commitment to patients with neurotrauma is further reflected in his volunteer work for ThinkFirst, a charitable organization which is focused on preventing brain and spinal cord injuries in children. 

Brian Kwon

Associate Professor Brian Kwon

M.D. Ph.D, F.R.C.S.C.

Dr. Kwon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of British Columbia, and the Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury.   He is a spine surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital and a research scientist at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD).   As a surgeon-scientist, he is particularly interested in the bi-directional process of translational research for spinal cord injury.    He has worked extensively on establishing biomarkers of human SCI, preclinical models for novel therapeutic strategies, and a framework for how promising therapies for SCI should be evaluated prior to translation into human patients.



Local Speaker

Stuart  Hodgetts

Associate Professor Stuart Hodgetts

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Stuart Hodgetts has extensive knowledge and expertise in cell based transplantation therapies and has been devoted to this area of research since 1998. Previous postdoctoral work includes, 2.5yrs at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, USA (immunological gene transcription), 7yrs in the Muscle Research Team at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology, (ANHB) at UWA (myoblast transfer therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy). In 2003, through collaboration with Giles Plant, SH has changed fields to apply his expertise to spinal cord repair using adult mesenchymal human bone marrow stromal stem cells.

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