Dr. Abhaya V. Kulkarni, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Board Chair

Division of Neurosurgery, The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Ab Kulkarni is a pediatric neurosurgeon and Professor of Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute, and Program Director for the Neurosurgery Residency Program at the University of Toronto. He completed neurosurgery training at the University of Toronto and his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University. After a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Hopital Necker Enfants Malades in Paris, he began his faculty appointment at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2003. Dr. Kulkarni’s research focuses on health outcome assessments in pediatric neurosurgery, with special emphasis on hydrocephalus. He is a site investigator for the North American Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network and has received research funding from several national and international funding agencies. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Neurosurgery and Journal of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Paige Terrien Church, MD, Member

Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at University of Toronto, Staff Neonatologist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Consulting Developmental Behavioral Paediatrician at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Church is an assistant Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, the Director of the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Lead Developmental Behavioral Paediatrician in the Spina Bifida Clinic at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre. She is board certified in both Neonatology and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics with an interest in the long-term outcomes of children either preterm or those with congenital anomalies and neurologic conditions. As an adult living with spina bifida, Dr. Church has a vested interest in the long-term care of children, youth and adults living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus

Dr. Michael Cusimano, MD, MHPE, FRCS, DABNS, PhD, FACS

Adjunct Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Professor, Surgery, Education and Public Health, University of Toronto

Dr. Cusimano received his MD and PhD from the University of Toronto, his Masters degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Fellowship in Skull Base and Microvascular Surgery from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1992, Dr. Cusimano has been a Staff Neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital with a cross appointment at the Hospital for Sick Children and UHN. Since 2005 he has been a full Professor of Neurosurgery, Education and Public Health at University of Toronto. He was the first practicing surgeon in the world with a PhD in Education. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a Diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is the founder and Director of the Injury Prevention Research Office at St. Michael’s Hospital and a founding member of the University of Toronto Gamma Knife Unit.

He consults and does surgery on adult and pediatric patients from across Canada and internationally for surgery and gamma knife radiosurgery with skull base tumours such as pituitary tumours and meningiomas, and, complex vascular lesions such as aneurysms and AVMs. His opinion in the management of hydrocephalus in adults is widely sought. He routinely presents his work internationally and has been a visiting professor to countries such as China, Italy and Jamaica.

His research interests include NPH, skull base surgery, brain tumours and aneurysms, quality of life, the cerebellum, neurocognition, injury and preventing injury especially brain injury, public health issues, geomatics, knowledge translation and medical education. He worked with engineers to develop the first simulated mannequin that could mimic brain injuries. He and his colleague, Dr Ron Fenton, were the first to describe the binasal endoscopic approach to the skull base.

He has raised awareness about adult hydrocephalus and NPH since the 1990s, and he has been one of Canada’s leading surgeons in the field since then.For over a decade, Dr. Cusimano has done research and been a public advocate on ways to prevent injuries, especially brain injuries and is outspoken when it comes to keeping people well and promoting healthy lifestyles that keep our brains healthy.

He is a reviewer for many medical journals and has over 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts, some in leading journals such as The Lancet, JAMA and Nature.He loves to teach and has been praised for his ability to communicate ideas from kindergarten to the post-MD and post-PhD levels. His trainees are now throughout the world. He has won many awards for his research, his teaching and for his compassion as a doctor.

Dr. Ruth Donnelly, PhD, C.Psych.

Department of Psychology, The Hospital for Sick Children

Educated at Smith College in Massachusetts and at the University of Toronto. Dr. Donnelly obtained her Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology in 1988.Dr. Donnelly conducts neuropsychological assessments of a wide variety of Neurosurgery patients, including children with hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injuries, arterio-venous malformations, brain cysts, and non-malignant tumours.Her research interests centre on children with hydrocephalus and kids with acquired brain injuries.Dr. Donnelly is currently a co-investigator with Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni, SickKids Neurosurgery, on a study examining cognitive, emotional, and physical outcomes for children with hydrocephalus.

Dr. Adrianna Ranger, MD, FRCSC

Pediatric Neurosurgery, London Health Sciences Centre-Victoria Hospital

Dr. Ranger is a Guelph native who graduated from McMaster University medical school in 1993 and completed her residency training in neurology at Western in 1999. She did a year’s fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery in Ottawa and has particular interest in critically head-injured children and the treatment of brain swelling from trauma.

Dr. Ranger is currently Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at the University of Western Ontario. She is one of the first female neurosurgeons in the country and the first to specialize in pediatric neurosurgery. Dr. Ranger won the prestigious Kenneth Shulman award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in 1999 for outstanding basic science research by a neurosurgical resident. She joined the London Health Sciences Centre faculty in 2000.

Dr. Ranger hopes to develop Canada’s first intrauterine surgery program at London Health Sciences Centre. If successful, London would become one of the few places in the world to treat neurological birth defects on the fetus before birth.

Ms. Andrea Neufeld

Andrea has been a pediatric nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario in London for the past 25 years, most of which has been spent as a Nurse Practitioner with the Pediatric Neurosurgery Team. In an earlier time, she taught Child Health Nursing at the University of Western Ontario and coordinated various research studies on pediatric kidney disease and childhood injuries and prevention for Health Canada.

Andrea received her Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from the University of Western Ontario. In 1998, she received her post-graduate certificate as a Tertiary Care Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses, and the RNAO Pediatric Nurse Interest Group. She was a prior recipient of the Clinical Practice Award of Excellence from Sigma Theta Tau International and a recent recipient of the Surgery Clerkship Nursing Award from the Schulich School of Medicine for her contribution to enhancing medical student learning at London Health Sciences Centre. Andrea works as a member of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Team and can be found in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is actively involved in the clinical care and education of children and families with health concerns involving the central nervous system. Andrea is a member of the Medical Advisory Board for Hydrocephalus Canada.

Dr. Sandrine de Ribaupierre, MD, FRCSC

London Health Sciences Centre, Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery at Western University

Dr. de Ribaupierre earned her MD at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. After a Neurosurgery Residency in Lausanne (Switzerland), she completed an Epilepsy Fellowship in the Fondation Rothschild in Paris (France), then a Paediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

A large proportion of paediatric neurosurgery involves the management of hydrocephalus, sometimes associated with spina bifida. She is involved in a multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic at Thames Valley Children Centre in London, Ontario. Part of her clinical research is in hydrocephalus.