To support the neurosurgery community in these unprecedented times, the CNS is offering complimentary online education. Learn more.

  • CNS Foundation Strength in Its Supporters

    Author: Elad I. Levy, MD
    CNS Foundation Chair

    In a year of unique pandemic challenges, it is my pleasure to report to you the strength of the CNS Foundation. I come to you with news about innovation, new leadership and a partnership of humbling generosity.

    Below you will read about the CNS Foundation’s partnership with the CNS to create a terrific online educational project. Funds from our generous donors made possible complimentary access to a fantastic array of virtual education for our international members and residents just as pandemic quarantine changed our world. This innovative solution continues to receive praise from doctors globally.

    I am pleased to announce my new Vice Chair of the CNS Foundation, Alexander Khalessi. I have mentored and consider Alex a friend of exceptional brilliance both as a neurosurgeon and as a leader. The CNS Foundation has grown rapidly in the past year and I am excited to have his vision and passion onboard to further our mission.

    And finally, but certainly not least, I am honored to thank Medtronic for their generous 2020 leadership gift to the CNS Foundation. Having led with a generous donation in 2019, they remain committed to our partnership and we are grateful. Medtronic has been a source of inspiration for many of us over the years and we are grateful to have their vote of confidence—especially during this unprecedented year. With the support of our many generous donors who remain committed to improving neuroscience patient care around the world, the CNS Foundation will maintain our steep, positive trajectory in furtherance of our mission.

    The CNS and CNS Foundation Create Hit Online Resources in Response to COVID-19

    The CNS and the CNS Foundation collaborated to develop the Virtual Visiting Professor (VVP) and Online Grand Rounds (OGR) webinars to support neurosurgeons worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by the CNS Education Division volunteers and staff, the CNS Foundation’s grant provides international neurosurgeons and residents complimentary access to an innovative collection of educational products.

    As the Virtual CNS educational platform has continued to thrive, several industry partners (Medtronic, Carbofix in Orthopedics, GT Medical Technologies, Thompson Surgical Instruments, Carl Zeiss Meditec, NX Development, Gleolan) have provided sponsorship to the CNS for these well-attended online educational hours.

    Getch K12 Scholar Award Goes to Nick Au Yong

    Named in honor of past CNS president, the late Christopher C. Getch, the award is a testament to the CNS commitment to fostering tomorrow’s neurosurgeon scientists. The CNS Foundation is pleased to announce that Nicholas Au Yong, assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, was named the NINDS/CNSF “Getch” K12 Scholar Award recipient by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award, which aims to increase the number of neurosurgeon-scientists trained to conduct research into neurological disorders, is made possible by a collaboration with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). Dr. Au Yong is the third neurosurgeon to have received this prestigious honor.

    “On behalf of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University, I want to express our deep gratitude to the NINDS and the CNS Foundation for honoring our colleague, Nicholas Au Yong, as the most recent NINDS/CNSF “Getch” K12 Scholar Award recipient.”

    – Daniel Barrow, Professor and Chairman of the Pamela R. Rollins Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine


    Nicholas Au Yong, assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, named the third recipient of the NINDS/CNSF “Getch” K12 Scholar Award.

    Update on Second K12 Award: 

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the application cycle has been modified. Details for the next award will be announced in 2021.

    CNS Foundation Organizes Volunteer Spanish Translators During COVID-19

    The CNS Foundation wishes to thank Alexis Morell (2018 Tumor Observership recipient), Franco Rubino (2019 Tumor Observership recipient) and Derek Pipolo, for their work to provide Spanish captions to a selection of VVP and OGR webinars. All three neurosurgeons are residents in Argentina.


    Special appreciation goes to Dr. Morell, for his leadership in spearheading the project.

    “If we helped only one neurosurgeon in Latin America to stay safe from COVID, it was worth it!"
    -Alexis Morell, Tumor Observership Grant recipient, 2019. 

    To view these webinars with Spanish captions, please visit: Recursos en Español.

    2019 Tumor Observership in Miami

    The Tumor Observership at the University of Miami continues to thrive as an educational and bridge-building initiative.

    Dr. Franco Rubino of Tucumán, Argentina, spent three unique months at the outbreak of the COVID-10 pandemic in Miami, observering with Dr. Ricardo Komotar, CNS Foundation Board member and Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine.


    “Dr. Rubino was an integral part of our brain tumor team, involved in clinical care, research projects and observing surgery. He brought an international and valued perspective to patient management,” said Dr. Ricardo Komotar. (Pictured here with Dr. Franco Rubino.)

    Dr. Rubino returned to his home country of Argentina as chief resident, in time to implement proper procedures for clean and safe areas to protect both personnel and patients, as well as jumping in as a Spanish-speaking neurosurgeon translator for CNS educational materials.


    CNS Scholarship in Data Science

    The CNS Foundation congratulates Dr. Matthew Pease, recipient of the CNS Scholarship in Data Science. Dr. Pease is in his fifth year of residency at the University of Pittsburgh. The topic of Dr. Pease’s project is using machine learning techniques to differentiate between solitary primary CNS lymphoma, glioblastoma, and metastatic disease based on MRI imaging alone. This $20,000 scholarship was sponsored by a grant from Viz.Ai, which was matched by the CNS Foundation.

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