News for members of the Western Neurosurgical Society

View this email in your browser






Summer 2016


2016 Annual Meeting

For our 62nd meeting, the Western returns to the San Diego area we last visited in 2004. The 2016 Annual Meeting, Friday September 9th--Monday September 12th, will be held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad which is 32 miles North of San Diego International Airport (SAN).  From atop a high ridge on the shore of Batiquitos Lagoon, a beautiful wildlife sanctuary overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Park Hyatt Aviara is a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort.  It boasts all the amenities we have come to expect at our meeting venues and at a daily room rate of $289 (plus $32/day in taxes).  That rate includes in room internet and complimentary valet parking.  Getting to Aviara (7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA, 92011) by prescheduled airport shuttle is $66/person round trip ( or car rentals are available at the airport.

As you know, a good portion of the scientific program is dictated by the papers submitted by members, candidates for membership, residents, the Cloward Award recipient and Ablin lecturer and the Presidential address but Marvin Bergsneider, our program director, is planning two symposia.  One will be entitled  Spinal Neurosurgery:Challenges with the second addressing a neurocritical care update for the practicing neurosurgeon.

In addition to the meeting’s organized afternoon events (craft beer tour with lunch on Saturday, winery tour with lunch on Sunday), with a rental car you can nip over to Legoland or the ocean less than 5 miles away, the Birch Aquarium (21miles), the main San Diego Zoo (31 miles) or the Temecula wine country (40 miles).  If you fly into San Diego fairly early and rent a car, an immediate side trip to the USS Midway Museum very near the airport would be a pleasant place to have lunch and tour this immense ship before heading north to the Aviara.
For our Local Night on Saturday September 10th, we have arranged an evening at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido which is included in the meeting registration fee.

Our usual Friday night casual reception and Sunday night black tie (optional) banquet will be on site at the resort and they are also included in the meeting registration fee.

Registration forms for the meeting will be forthcoming soon.
The online room reservation link at Aviara is: 
Aviara’s phone number is 855 924 9288.


On behalf of Dr. Liau and the entire Executive Committee, I would like to invite
you to attend the 62nd annual meeting of the Western Neurosurgical Society. This year’s meeting will take place September 9th-12th at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California.

For our 62nd meeting, the Western returns to the San Diego area we last visited in 2004. The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held at the ParkHyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad which is 32 miles North of San Diego International Airport (SAN).

From atop a high ridge on the shore of Batiquitos Lagoon, a beautiful wildlife sanctuary overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Park Hyatt Aviara is a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort. It boasts all the amenities we have come to expect at our meeting venues and at a daily room rate of $289 (plus $32/day in taxes.) This rate includes in room Internet and complimentary valet parking. Reserve your room today at the Park Hyatt Aviara at: or by calling the hotel directly at 1-855-924-9288.  Getting to Park Hyatt Aviara (7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA,92011) by prescheduled airport shuttle is $66/per person round trip.  Reserve your Supershuttle today at: or reserve a rental car of your choice available at the airport.

For our local night on Saturday, September 10th, we have arranged an evening at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido. Our usual Friday night casual reception and Sunday night black tie (optional) banquet will be on site at the resort. These events plus a complementary breakfast, for you and a guest, are included in your registration fee.

You will receive registration information shortly.

See you in September!

Marc Vanefsky, MD
Secretary / Treasurer
Bylaws changes for vote in September

The By-laws Committee has proposed two changes to our by laws--one pertaining to a new category of membership and a second clarifying the Provisional Member category.  Additions are in red type.

The first change would add a 7th membership category: Associate--as follows:
7. ASSOCIATE:  Associate members shall consist of those engaged in the neurosciences who are not physicians.  Associate members shall include neuroanatomists, neurophysiologists, psychologists and others who obtain a PhD in their respective fields and predominantly work in research and/or teaching.  They shall be considered for membership in the same way as Active Members (see Article IV) excepting the requirement for Board certification.  They shall be required to pay dues at the active member level and shall enjoy all other privileges of membership except for being committee chairmen, voting or holding office. They shall be exempt from the rules of attendance. There shall be no geographic limits for associate members.  Their numbers shall be limited to 15 Associate members.

The second change will allow Provisional members to serve on committees and attend the annual business meeting--as follows:

PROVISIONAL: Provisional members shall consist of Board eligible neurosurgeons who have both attended and presented a paper at an annual meeting of the Western Neurosurgical Society, and have a strong interest in joining the Society, but do not yet have their appropriate board certification. They must attend annual meetings as set forth in ARTICLE X, and pay annual dues as scheduled by the Executive Committee  They may serve on Committees and may attend the annual business meeting without vote.   Such committees shall include: Program, CME, Local Arrangements, Audit, and the Communications and Website committees. 
They must apply for membership following the same process as active members, ARTICLE IV, Section C. 1. They may remain in this category for five years. If they do not become Board certified in five years, their provisional status will end. When they become board certified, they must so notify the Executive Committee, which will then, if their request is approved, recommend them to the general membership for a status change to active membership.
Tom Scully, chairman of the Bylaws Committee, reports that the committee felt it appropriate to have an Associate category of membership.  This allows for what, in the past, was referred to as "collateral" fields to be represented.  These shall include but not be limited to neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropsychology etc.  The hope is to broaden and expand our membership beyond just physicians.

The second change related to provisional members is designed to get younger members more involved in the Society.  Hopefully, through some committee work, they will grow to see the benefits of the Western.

The Executive Committee has endorsed the proposed bylaws changes and will present them to the members at the annual business meeting in September for a formal vote.

Medtronic, the sole Platinum Level exhibitor in Kauai, deserves the Western's thanks for making the meeting a success.

We hope our members will support the companies that support the Western.


2015 Annual Meeting Program on Website
For those of you who were unable to attend the annual meeting last year, the program booklet is available on our Website ( as a pdf file you can download.

The program without the membership list is in the clear in the menu item "Meetings" under the Kauai listing.

If you want the complete program with all members listed with addresses and phone numbers and email address, it is located in the "Member Area Login" menu item.  The password to gain access to this menu item is "Western".

Featured at 2016 Meeting

Cloward Award

Donald P. Becker, M.D.

Dr. Becker is the W. Eugene Stern Professor of Neurosurgery at UCLA and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He served as UCLA Chief of Neurosurgery from 1985 until 2001. He obtained his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University and completed his neurosurgical residency at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. Previous to his position at UCLA, Dr. Becker was Professor and Chairman at the Medical College of Virginia from 1972 to 1985. At UCLA, Dr. Becker developed a multidisciplinary clinical and investigative state-of-the art program aimed at improving cellular recovery in patients suffering from brain injury from cerebrovascular disease, trauma and brain tumors. Dr. Becker has earned many prestigious awards including the Fitts Award in 1985 from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Grass prize and medal from the Society of Neurological Surgeons in 1986, the William Caveness Award from the National Head Injury Foundation in 1988, the Distinguished Service Award from the National Neurotrauma Society in 2003, the UCLA Neurosurgery Visionary Award in 2005 and, was named Legend of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in 2007.  He has authored numerous articles and chapters and has written two books on neurotrauma and recovery. He served as President of the Neurosurgical Society of America, served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the Journal of Neurosurgery Editorial Board. Presently, he directs the UCLA Neurosurgery Brain Tumor Program.  Don has been a member of the Western for 21 years.
His topic for our meeting:  Brain Trauma and Beyond: A Career in Neurosurgery

Ablin Lecturer

Larry R. Squire, Ph.D.

Dr. Larry R. Squire is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Diego, and Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego. Born in Cherokee, Iowa, he received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College (Psychology), his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Brain and Cognitive Sciences), and did postdoctoral study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine before coming to UCSD in 1970 to join the nascent Psychiatry Department.
Dr. Squire investigates the organization and neurological foundations of memory.  His work involves the study of neurological patients and rodents and combines the traditions of cognitive science and neuroscience.  His publications include more than 500 research articles and two books: Memory and Brain (Oxford Press, 1987) and Memory: From Mind to Molecules with Eric Kandel (W.H. Freeman, 1999).   He is also Senior Editor of the textbook, Fundamental Neuroscience, now in its 4th Edition and Editor-in-Chief of The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography (now in eight volumes).  In 1993-1994, he served as President of the Society for Neuroscience. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and served on its governing Council (2009-2012).  He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and The National Academy of Medicine.   He is also a William James Fellow of the American Psychological Society and is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the William Middleton Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health, the McGovern Award (American Association for the Advancement of Science), the Metropolitan Life Award for Medical Research, the Karl Lashley Award (American Philosophical Society), the Herbert Crosby Warren Medal (Society of Experimental Psychologists), the Award for Scientific Reviewing (National Academy of Sciences), and the Goldman-Rakic Prize (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation).

Dr. Squire has a number of avocations led by his interest in the history of polar exploration.

His topic for our 2016 meeting will be: The Legacy of Patient H.M. – Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Memory

The Nominating Committee, composed of Gary Steinberg (chair), John Bonner, Jeff Rush and Richard Wohns has nominated Martin Weinand for President-Elect and Odette Harris for Vice President.  These nominations will be voted on at the annual business meeting in September at which time further nominations can be made from the floor.

President-Elect:  Martin Weinand, M.D.

Martin was born on October 19, 1958, at the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri where his father, Dr. Ernest Weinand, was a surgery resident and his mother, Martha, was a nurse.  He attended Central High School where he served as captain of his high school swim team, and earned the prestigious Eagle Scout award in 1972.  He graduated from Emory University in 1980 receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, mentored by Dr. Leon Mandel, and performing honors organic chemistry research.  He continued his prowess in the pool and captained his college swim team.  Martin began his medical career, motivated by his grandfather’s friendship with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, at St. Louis University where he graduated in 1984.  During his medical school training, Martin was inspired to pursue a career in Neurological Surgery by Dr. M.B. Laskowski and Dr. Kenneth Smith in the Department of Physiology.  He completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Kansas in 1990.  During his neurosurgical training, Martin developed an interest in functional neuroanatomy under the encouragement of Dr. Charles Brackett, Paul O’Boynick, and Dr. George Ojemann (WNS member and 2003 Cloward Award recipient).  In 1991, Martin completed an epilepsy surgery fellowship under the direction of Dr. Allen Wyler at the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Martin was appointed Professor of Surgery in 2002 and became the Founding Program Director of the Neurological Residency at the University of Arizona in 2003.  He served as Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery from 2004 to 2009.  He is a member of the AANS and the American Epilepsy Society, and has served as a guest examiner for the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, and on the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma.  Martin has been a member of the Western since 1997 and has served on the Program Committee since 2012, chairing the committee in 2014 and 2015.

Martin was married to Dr. Mary Ann Coady in 1986 and together they had three children.  Mary Ann passed away in 2007 from metastatic breast cancer.  In 2010, Martin married Shauna Ruth Reynolds, with whom he enjoys swimming, traveling, and reading.
Vice President: Odette Harris, MD, MPH

Dr. Harris graduated from Dartmouth College in 1991 with a degree in biology.  She matriculated to Stanford University School of Medicine from 1991-1996; was accepted into the Stanford University Department of Neurosurgery as a resident which she completed in 2003.  During her residency she did complete a master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkley from 2000-2001.  Following her residency she was awarded the Van Wagenen Fellowship of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons where she studied at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.   She started her academic career at Emory University as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. 
Dr. Harris is currently an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and Director of the Brain Injury Program for the Stanford Medical Network.  She manages and coordinates all medical and surgical care for patients suffering brain injury for the Stanford system.  She is Associate Chief of Staff at the Rehabilitation Section of the Veteran’s Hospital in Palo Alto, inclusive of the Polytrauma System of Care, Spine Cord Injury, Aligned Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service.  She is the site investigator and principal investigator at the Defense Veterans and Brain Injury Center at the VA which is one of five specialized sites for brain injury in the Veteran’s Administration system.  
Dr. Harris was the winner of the Western Neurosurgery Society’s Resident Award for Research in 2001.   She has been recognized by the government of Jamaica where she was awarded the National Road Safety Counsel Award for outstanding contribution to traumatic brain injury. She is a member of the AANS and the CNS.   She has been a member of the Western Neurosurgical Society since 2013. 
Dr. Harris is married, is a proud mother of two daughters, and lives in Los Altos Hills, California.

Ralph Kamm  1931-2016

I knew Ralph Kamm better than most members of the Western Neurosurgical Society since I was Secretary/Treasurer in 1999 when Ralph was President.  You learn a lot about someone when acting as their right hand man.  Ralph was the consummate gentlemen who loved a good story, heard or told, a good joke and a good cigar.  His laugh was a unique combination of inhaling and exhaling and a frown was rarely seen on his rather handsome face.  He was a good man, a good friend and better than a good member of the Western which he cherished as much as it should cherish his memory.
Ralph was born in Illinois but got his B.S. and M.D. at the University of Washington and after an internship at UNC Chapel Hill, did his neurosurgical training at Oregon HSU in Portland.  He then practiced neurosurgery in Seattle for 30 years as part of Northwest Neurological Surgery, affiliated with Swedish Hospital in Seattle, and served as Chief of Neurosurgery at Seattle Children's Hospital for 12 years.  He also served as President of the Washington Association of Neurosurgeons and the University of Washington Medical Alumni Association.
Ralph was an ardent sailor, skier, golfer, and fly fisherman. As he was working his way through school, he supported himself and his family as a drummer in dance and jazz bands, as well as a full-time timpanist in the Seattle Symphony for four years. Ralph was a long-time member of the Seattle Yacht Club, the Wailea Golf Club, and the Wing Point Golf Club on Bainbridge Island. He served on the board of the Seattle Repertory Theater for several years.
Many of us remember Ralph's first wife Jody, a wonderful woman who was at his side for 47 years but who succumbed to scleroderma and its complications.  Subsequently, he was lucky enough to find Ann Christina Lightbody and they were married for his final 13 years which ended on March 26th.  Ann and Ralph were a bright, smiling, garrulous and friendly couple and attended many Western meetings together.  He is survived by his daughter, Heidi Jo Kamm, son Ralph F. (Buzz) Kamm, Jr. and wife Belinda Kamm, son James C. Kamm, and brothers Charles and Richard. He is also survived by granddaughters Tally, Sydney, Eliza, and Scarlett Kamm.

As any number of rain-weary Pacific NorthWesterners do, Ralph bought a home in Hawaii and grew to love that locale, particularly once he retired and could spend 6 months there and six months in the Pacific Northwest..  It was on Maui that he spent his last days.  Aloha!--friend.

--Randy Smith 
Peter Jannetta (4/5/1932-4/11/2016)

Neurosurgery lost a pioneer and one of its the true giants in April of 2016. The Western also lost one of its own.
Peter Jannetta died as a result of complications from a head injury suffered during a fall at home.
He was born on April 5, 1932 in Philadelphia and received his education including his Medical Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
He then traveled west for his neurosurgical residency at UCLA. There, he discovered the vascular abnormality that he thought was the cause of Tic Douloureux, a malady that vexed Humanity for centuries. Designing the micro vascular decompression was the easy part; convincing the neurosurgical establishment and the neurosurgical community at large that his was the solution, was no easy task. But convincing he did.
He went on to have a spectacular academic neurosurgical career at the University of Pittsburgh; 150 neurosurgeons count him as their mentor. Later, after he retired in 2000, he moved his practice to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He even served as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health in 1995 and 1996.
Jannetta received many awards, too numerous to name here. The following is a small and partial list: the Olivecrona Award from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the Horacio Alger Award honoring perseverance in the face of adversity and the Cloward Medal from the Western Neurosurgical Society for his epochal innovation and pioneering application.
Micro vascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve at the root entry zone is better known to us as the Jannetta procedure, much like an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is better known in neurosurgical circles as the Cloward procedure.
How many neurosurgeons do you know that have procedures named after them?
So the “Western” connection is obvious: not only did Jannetta receive his neurosurgical training in California, but in 2008 he attended the WNS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska (picture above) where he participated actively in the scientific program and where he received the Cloward Award and Medal. A medal named after a pioneering surgeon who has a procedure forever associated with his name, given to another pioneering surgeon with the same unique distinction.
We will miss him! 

--Moustapha Abou-Samra

WNS Members in Print

JNS—April 2016

Madjid Samii, MD, PhD Endoscope-assisted retrosigmoid infralabyrinthine approach to jugular foramen tumors
JNS—May 2016
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Intracranial-to-intracranial bypass for posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms: options, technical challenges, and results in 35 patients
Michael W. McDermott, MD and Mitchel S. Berger, MD  A prospective Phase II clinical trial of 5-aminolevulinic acid to assess the correlation of intraoperative fluorescence intensity and degree of histologic cellularity during resection of high-grade gliomas
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD  Multiple osteomas of the falx cerebri and anterior skull base: case report
Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Intraoperative mapping during repeat awake craniotomy reveals the functional plasticity of adult cortex
Kim J. Burchiel, MD  Correlation of preoperative MRI with the long-term outcomes of dorsal root entry zone lesioning for brachial plexus avulsion pain
Kim J. Burchiel, MD  Cost analysis of awake versus asleep deep brain stimulation: a single academic health center experience
JNS—June 2016
Mitchel S. Berger, MD, and Michael W. McDermott, MD  Seizures in supratentorial meningioma: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Prospective, multidisciplinary recording of perioperative errors in cerebrovascular surgery: is error in the eye of the beholder?
JNS-Peds  May 2016
Iman Feiz-Erfan, MD  Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor of the brain without tumor-induced osteomalacia in an 8-year-old girl: case report
Shokei Yamada, MD, PhD  Letter to the Editor: Filum terminale in tethered cord syndrome
Hector E. James, MD  Letter to the Editor: Suboccipital decompression without dural opening
JNS-Spine  April 2016
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD Prevalence and type of cervical deformities among adults with Parkinson's disease: a cross-sectional study
JNS-Spine  June 2016
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD   Modeled cost-effectiveness of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion compared with posterolateral fusion for spondylolisthesis using N2QOD data
Congress Quarterly Winter 2016
Gerald A. Grant, MD, FACS Dynamic Industry-leading Publications Pave the Way
Praveen Mummaneni, MD Spine Complications
Neurosurgery May 2016
Sekhar, Laligam N. Outcomes of Multimodality Therapy in Pediatric Patients With Ruptured and Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations
Shaffrey, Christopher  Assessment of Impact of Long-Cassette Standing X-Rays on Surgical Planning for Cervical Pathology: An International Survey of Spine Surgeons
Lawton, Michael T.  Response to Journal Club: Validation of the Supplemented Spetzler-Martin Grading System for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations in a Multicenter Cohort of 1009 Surgical Patients
Neurosurgery June 2016
Lozano, Andres M.  Anterior Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation for Refractory Epilepsy: Insights Into Patterns of Seizure Control and Efficacious Target
Neurosurgery July 2016
Lawton, Michael T.  Bypass Surgery for the Treatment of Dolichoectatic Basilar Trunk Aneurysms: A Work in Progress
Neurosurgery Focus April 2016
Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Introduction: Sports injuries: diagnosis and management strategies
Mitchel S. Berger, MD Pediatric sports-related traumatic brain injury in United States trauma centers
Mitchel S. Berger, MD Adult sports-related traumatic brain injury in United States trauma centers
Gerald Grant, MD Sports-related brain injuries: connecting pathology to diagnosis
Neurosurgery Focus May 2016
Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD  Neurorestoration after stroke
Gerald A. Grant, MD  Radiation-induced brain injury: low-hanging fruit for neuroregeneration
Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD  Optogenetic modulation in stroke recovery
AANS Neurosurgeon March 2016
Hector E. James, M.D.  Why Neurosurgeon’s Need to Prepare for Career Restructuring

Copyright © 2016 Western Neurosurgical Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Newsletter Editor: Randy Smith (
Copyright © 2016 Western Neurosurgical Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Newsletter Editor: Randy Smith (

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Western Neurosurgical Society · 1678 Cloverdale Road, Escondido, CA · Escondido, CA 92027 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp