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NPA Board of Directors

Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, FACS President

Robert Harbaugh was born in West York, Pennsylvania on April 5, 1952. He graduated from high school in Red Lion, Pennsylvania in 1970 and obtained a BS degree from Lebanon Valley College in 1974. Dr. Harbaugh obtained his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 1978 and received his general surgery and neurosurgery training at Dartmouth from 1978-1985. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) at the Dartmouth Medical School in 1985 and progressed to the rank of Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) in 1997 and Professor of Radiology in 2001. During his career at Dartmouth, Dr. Harbaugh served as Director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Cerebrovascular Disease Center from 1994-2003, Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery from 1989-2003, Director of the Neurosurgical Laboratory from 1985-1997 and as acting Residency Program Director from 1996-1997.

In 2003 Dr. Harbaugh returned to Pennsylvania as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Residency Program Director and Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at the Pennsylvania State University. He has recently been recognized as a Penn State University Distinguished Professor (Penn States highest academic honor) and has been chosen to serve as the Director of the new, university-wide, Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences.

Dr. Harbaugh has been an invited speaker in eleven different countries and throughout the United States. His present research interests include clinical trial design, outcomes analysis and quality improvement in neurosurgery and computer modeling of intracranial aneurysms. He maintains a busy clinical practice specializing in cerebrovascular surgery and tumor surgery.

Dr. Harbaugh has edited three books and published more than 230 articles, book chapters and abstracts. He has served on the editorial boards of Neurosurgery, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin, Neurosurgery On Call, the Journal of Neurovascular Disease, the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences and Neurobiology of Aging. Dr. Harbaugh has obtained funding for 13 grant proposals from the NIH, NATO, USDA, industry and foundations. He has two U.S. patent applications.

He is a member of the AANS, CNS, the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, the SNS, the AANS/CNS Section on Cerebrovascular Surgery (SCVS), the AANS/CNS Tumor Section, the American Stroke Association (ASA), the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Council, the New England Neurosurgical Society (NENS), the Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society (PNS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He has held numerous leadership positions in these organizations including Chair of the SNS Membership Committee, Scientific Program Chair for the Academy, Director-at-Large of the AANS Board of Directors, Chairman of the AANS Digital Technology Committee, Chairman of the AANS/CNS Committee for the Assessment of Quality, Chairman of the AANS/CNS Outcomes Committee, Chairman of the AANS/CNS Quality Improvement Workgroup, Chairman of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee and Member of the Executive Committee and Annual Meeting Chairman of the PNS. Dr. Harbaugh is a Fellow of the ACS and the AHA. He served as a member of the Leadership Committee of the AHA Stroke Council, as Chairman of the SCVS from 2002-2003 and President of the NENS from 2001-2003. He is also the Treasurer of NeuroPoint Alliance, Inc.

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

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.

Directors at large:

Paul C. McCormick, MD, FAANS
Nathan R. Selden, MD, PhD, FAANS
Eric J. Woodard, MD, FAANS, (AANS/CNS Section on Spine & Peripheral Nerves)
Zoher Ghogawala, MD, FAANS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons)
Allan H. Friedman, MD, FAANS, FACS (Society of Neurological Surgeons)
Vincent C. Traynelis, MD, FAANS (American Board of Neurological Surgery)