Author: Manish K. Aghi, MD, PhD
This past April, the AANS/CNS Joint Tumor Section transitioned in leadership, as Steven N. Kalkanis, Chair from 2016 to 2018, passed me the baton as new Chair. I am thrilled to be partnering with newly elected Secretary/Treasurer Jason Sheehan and the team of outstanding volunteers that make up our Executive Committee. Jason and I will each serve two-year terms, after which Jason will assume the Chair position. The Section benefited immensely from numerous initiatives that occurred under Steve's leadership, including:
- Expansion of overall Section membership by 10% at a time when membership in professional societies and meeting attendance were dropping
- Hosting a remarkable Satellite Symposium in San Diego in 2016 which broke all prior attendance records while honoring multiple luminaries in our field.
- In the spirit of mentorship and service, we launched a brand new Tumor Section mentorship award named in honor of the late Andy Parsa, and we renamed our Distinguished Service Award in honor of our founder, Mark Rosenblum
- In addition to the traditional NREF Tumor Section fellowships, we launched two new $50,000 fellowship awards: the Andrew Parsa Research Award, and the B*Cured-Tumor Section Award
- The Section's Twitter account was launched (@NSTumorSection) and became an active voice for the section thanks to Edjah Nduom
- Thanks to Ric Komotar and industry sponsorship, we launched our first international observership program, which will support an Argentinian neurosurgeon who is observing tumor neurosurgery in the U.S.
Looking forward, we are thrilled to be holding our 13th Biennial Tumor Satellite Symposium immediately before the 2018 CNS Annual Meeting on October 5-6, 2018, at the Houston Marriott Marquis (the headquarters hotel of the main CNS meeting) in Houston, Texas. Event highlights include:
- Keynote lectures from NASA astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman about the technology and communication advancements needed to explore space
- A comprehensive symposium on the wide-ranging aspects of brain tumor technologies with laser interstitial therapy and fluorescent visualization of tumors
- Top scoring peer-reviewed oral and poster presentations
- On Friday evening, October 5, before dinner there will be three breakout sessions for our younger attendees covering a primer on the basics one needs to know to start clinical trials, advice on starting a basic science lab as a neurosurgeon, and guidance in transitioning from residency to a job
- On Friday night, October 5, there will be a tumor section gala event with dinner and award presentations at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston
- On Saturday, October 6 after lunch, the meeting will transition into a symposium honoring the career of Dr. Ray Sawaya, who chaired the neurosurgery department at MD Anderson since its establishment in 1990 until this year