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James Rutka Appointed Chair of the Department of Surgery

James Rutka
James Rutka

I am delighted to announce that the Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor James Rutka as Chair of the Department of Surgery, for a five year term commencing April 1, 2011.

Professor Rutka, a neurosurgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children, is highly regarded by his colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. He has been a member of the Department of Surgery since 1990 and has just completed an 11-year term as Chair of the Division of Neurosurgery. He is cofounder and co-director of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at SickKids and he currently serves as the President-Elect of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, and the President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). Professor Rutka has won numerous awards and honours including: the Medical Research Council of Canada Career Scientist Award (1999); the Grass Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons (2004); the George Armstrong-Peters Prize (1994), the Lister Award (2001), the Charles H. Tator Surgeon-Scientist Mentoring Award (2006) in the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; and the Honored Guest Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (2009).

Professor Rutka's primary research and clinical interests relate to the treatment of paediatric brain tumors, as well as the surgical treatment of epilepsy in children. A prolific author, Professor Rutka has published more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, and over 50 book chapters. He has presented at more than 300 meetings and conferences worldwide, and has given several prestigious named lectures including the Charles Elsberg and Wilder Penfield Lectures in 2010. Dr Rutka has served as a member of the editorial board for several neurosurgical journals and has been a member of numerous hospital and university boards and committees.

May I extend sincere thanks to Professor David Latter for serving as Interim Chair of Surgery since July 1, 2010. I am most grateful for his leadership of the Department during this period.

Please join me in warmly congratulating James Rutka on his new role in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Catharine Whiteside, Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions

In the next issue of the Spotlight, we will feature an interview with our new chair to learn his early impressions and plans for the Department. Ed.

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