Dr. Fehlings is the Vice Chair Research for the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Head of the Spinal Program at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. Dr. Fehlings is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, holds the Gerry and Tootsie Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration, is 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 (which he held until June 2012) and is currently Co-Director of the University of Toronto Spine Program. Dr. Fehlings combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery with a translationally oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments to improve functional outcomes following spinal cord injury (SCI). He has published over 850 peer-reviewed articles (h- index 85) chiefly in the area of central nervous system injury and complex spinal surgery. His seminal 1991 paper, cited over 1400 times, outlined the severe and lasting consequences of SCI due to a cascade of secondary injury mechanisms following the initial trauma. His research on secondary injury mechanisms ultimately led to the commencement of the multicenter, international Surgical Timing in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (STASCIS), aimed at establishing the need for early surgical decompression to prevent the negative effects of the secondary injury cascade. The results from this study, led by Dr. Fehlings and published in 2012, demonstrated the critical importance of early surgical decompression.
Dr. Michael Fehlings has received numerous prestigious awards including the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (1996), nomination to the Who’s Who list of the 1000 most influential scientists of the 21st century (2001), the Lister Award in Surgical Research (2006), the Leon Wiltse Award from the North American Spine Society for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care (2009), the Olivecrona Award (2009) -- the top award internationally for neurosurgeons and neuroscientists awarded by the Nobel Institute at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm for his important contributions in CNS injury repair and regeneration, the Reeve-Irvine Research Medal in Spinal Cord Injury (2012), the Golden Axon Leadership Award (2012), the Mac Keith Basic Science Lectureship Award for significant contributions to the basic science of cerebral palsy and childhood onset disabilities (2012), and was the Mayfield Lecturer (2012). In 2012, Dr. Fehlings served as the 40th President of the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS) -- the only Canadian to do so -- and was honoured with the CSRS Presidential Medallion for outstanding leadership and contributions to cervical spine research. In 2013, Dr. Fehlings was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presented to him by the Honourable Stephen Harper, the H. Richard Winn Prize from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the Jonas Salk Award for Scientific Achievements from the March of Dimes Canada and the Henry Farfan Award from the North American Spine Society. In 2014, Dr. Fehlings was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada and to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and in 2016 won the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Mentor of the Year Award.
Paul Hodges PhD MedDr DSc BPhty(Hons) FACP is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Professor and Director of the NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health at the University of Queensland. Paul has 3 doctorates; one in Physiotherapy and two in Neuroscience. His large multidisciplinary research Centre bridges from basic science to clinical practice with an emphasis on conservative management of musculoskeletal pain including low back pain, incontinence and breathing disorders. He has published >400 scientific papers and book chapters and is one of the most highly cited physiotherapy researchers in the world. He has won the ISSLS Prize for back pain research on 3 occasions and in 2013 he was made an Honoured Member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, their highest honour.
Dr Ferran Pellisé was trained as an orthopedic surgeon at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona and obtained a PhD “cum laude” in 1994. Since 1995 he is entirely dedicated to the surgical treatment of spinal disorders with special interest in scoliosis and other spinal deformities. He is the Chief of the Spine Unit at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Director of the Spine Service at Hospital Quirón Barcelona and Associate Professor of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
Dr Pellisé serves on the boards of several scholarly journals and has been Deputy-Editor of the European Spine Journal between 2005 and 2015. He has served on the boards of several medical associations including the Spanish Spine Society (President), the Spine Society of Europe (President) and the Scoliosis Research Society (Director at Large).
In 2011, Dr Pellisé founded the European Spine Study Group (ESSG) together with other well-known researchers in the field of adult spinal deformities. Nowadays the ESSG is the main platform for the analysis and evaluation of adult spinal deformities in Europe.