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NPA Board of Directors

H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS, FACS Chair

H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS, is the Lois C.A. and Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery and chair of the department of neurological surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Batjer is recognized internationally as a leading cerebrovascular surgeon.

Dr. Batjer has held numerous roles in organized medicine. He is a past-president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the Society of University Neurosurgeons (SUN) and the Neurosurgical Society of America (NSA). He is past-chairman of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/CNS Section on Cerebrovascular Disease. He is a past director and past chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) and was chairman of the board of the Interurban Neurosurgical Society (INS) from 2001 to 2012. Dr. Batjer currently serves as chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Neurosurgical Residency Review Committee and co-chair of the NFL Committee on Head, Neck, and Spine Injuries. Recently selected as president-elect of the AANS, he is also president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) and president of NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA).

Dr. Batjer recently returned to the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, where he obtained his medical education and neurosurgical training. He served on the faculty at UT Southwestern until 1995, when he took the position as the Michael J. Marchese Professor and chair of the department of neurological surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, where he served until September 2012.

His academic pursuits and research in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke have resulted in nearly 400 publications, including nine books. He has presented 38 endowed lectureships and served as visiting professor in 57 medical institutions worldwide.

Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, FACS Vice-Chair

Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, FACS, is director of the neuro-oncology program at the Levine Cancer Institute and medical director of neuroscience services with Carolinas Healthcare System. He also serves as an adjunct professor in neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina, Penn State University and Vanderbilt University. Dr. Asher attended Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he was awarded one of the original Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholarships. After two years of general surgery training at the University of Michigan Hospitals, he served as a staff fellow in the surgery branch of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, before returning to the University of Michigan to complete a neurosurgical residency.

Since completing his residency training, Dr. Asher has been a member of the Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, where his primary practice interests include neuro-oncology and trigeminal neuralgia. Dr. Asher has established cooperative cancer research programs with clinical and laboratory scientists at community and academic institutions across the country, and is co-founder of the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas. In addition to serving as CNS president from 2007 to 2008, he also has served as chairman of the Central Nervous System Organ Site Committee of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and of the AANS/CNS Academic-Community Brain Tumor Alliance. Dr. Asher has led the development of several novel programs in neurosurgical education, including The CNS Neurosurgical Forum; Integrated Medical Learning; and the Self Assessment in Neurological Surgery (SANS). Dr. Asher is currently interested in the development of cooperative clinical outcomes databases and related programs to involve clinicians and scientists in quality improvement across practice settings. He is presently vice president, AANS NeuroPoint Alliance; and director, National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database.

Alex Valadka, MD, FAANS FACS Treasurer

Alex Valadka, MD, FAANS, FACS, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Seton Brain and Spine Institute based in Austin, Texas. He completed his neurosurgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Valadka identifies neurotrauma and critical care as his clinical and research interests.

His service with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons where he is currently treasurer also includes participation on its Board of Directors, chairing of the AANS Membership and Public Relations Committees, chairing the Washington Committee for Neurosurgery, and the AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care.

A member of more than 15 professional societies, Dr. Valadka also has held editorial board positions for publications such as Neurosurgical Focus, AANS Neurosurgeon, Journal of Trauma and Journal of Neurotrauma. He is the author of 95 abstracts, 30 book chapters and more than 75 scientific papers. In 2005, he co-edited the textbook Neurotrauma: Evidence- Based Answers to Common Questions.

Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS Secretary

Michael W. Groff, M.D. is the Director of Spinal Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned his MD at the University of Pittsburgh and then went on to the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for internship and residency training in Neurological Surgery. He completed his training at the Medical College of Wisconsin with a fellowship in Spinal Surgery.

Dr. Groff is actively involved in national neurosurgical societies. He currently serves as the Chairman of the AANS/CNS joint of the spine and peripheral nerves, the national neurosurgical spine organization. He is also active in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and NeuroPoint Alliance. His academic interests include process improvement, health services research, outcome measures, and guideline development. Dr. Groff provides the full gamut of spine care with a special focus on Oncology and Cervical Spine disorders.

John (Jack) Knightly, MD, FAANS
John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS, FACS
Jon H. Robertson, MD, FAANS (Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation)
James T. Rutka, MD, PhD, FAANS, (Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group)
Zoher Ghogawala, MD, FAANS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons)
Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, FACS (Society of Neurological Surgeons)
Charles Kuntz, MD, FAANS* (AANS/CNS Section on Spine & Peripheral Nerves)
Vincent C. Traynelis, MD, FAANS (American Board of Neurological Surgery)

Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, MD (Young Neurosurgeons Committee)
Kimon Bekelis, MD (N2QOD, Young Neurosurgeons Committee)

*In Memoriam