Neurosurgeon of the Month

May 2020 – Dr Alexa Canady

In 1981, Alexa Canady became the first female African-American Neurosurgeon in the US. Canady specialized as a pediatric neurosurgeon and served as chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan from 1987 to 2001. Under her guidance, the department was soon viewed as one of the best in the country.

Dr. Canady continued to advance the field of pediatric neurosurgery through her research. Her contributions, particularly in the management of hydrocephalus and spinal dysraphism, are widespread and led to numerous publications and presentations. This research also led to the invention of a programmable antisiphon shunt to treat hydrocephalus, for which she shares a U.S. patent with two fellow neurosurgeons.

Dr. Canady continues to be both an advocate for her profession as well as diversity in medicine

June 2020 – Dr Claire Karekezi

Our Neurosurgeon of the month!! Dr Claire Karekezi is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Rwanda Military Hospital.
She graduated as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health sciences in 2009. She completed her Residency program in Neurosurgery and graduated as a Neurosurgeon in 2016 from the Mohamed V University, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS)-Rabat Training Center for African Neurosurgeons, in Rabat, Morocco. After her residency in Neurosurgery, Dr Karekezi further enrolled in several neurosurgical fellowships with a special interest in Neuro-Oncology and Skull Base Surgery: at the Brigham and Women Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA as an International Visiting Surgeon Fellow (IVSF) in Neurosurgery/Neuro-Oncology (April-July 2016) and later completed a Clinical Fellowship in Neuro-Oncology & Skull Base Surgery (July 2017-July 2018) at the University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
Upon her return home to Rwanda in July 2018, after her Fellowship in Toronto, Dr Karekezi became Rwanda’s First and currently only Female Neurosurgeon.

Her other notable achievements include:
1. Recipient of The Fall 2013 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Women In Neurosurgery (WINS) Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair Visiting International Surgeon Award;

2. Recipient of The 2016 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) International Visiting Surgeon Fellowship Award in Neurosurgery/Neuro-Oncology, Brigham and Women Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA

3.Recipient of the 2018 Shield Maiden Women in Surgery Africa (WISA) Award in recognition of the arête in achieving career excellence in surgery, COSECSA, Kigali.

4.Recipient of the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative TTP Women in science ‘First Award 2019’ for being Rwanda’s First Female Neurosurgeon, February 2019

5. Dr Karekezi currently serves as the Chairperson of Women in Neurosurgery Africa (WIN-Africa), section of the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical societies (CAANS) from August 2019 and is a member of multiple National and International Neurosurgical organizations

July 2020 – Dr Laura Lippa

Our Neurosurgeon of the Month is Dr Laura Lippa! Dr.Lippa currently works as a Consultant Neurosurgeon in Livorno, Italy. She received her MD at the University of Firenze in 2011 and completed her residency in 2018 at the University Hospital of Siena, followed by a research fellowship in neurotraumatology. Dr. Lippa has a keen interest in Global Neurosurgery, mentorship and she acts as one of the Social Media Editor for Acta Neurochirurgica. Dr. Lippa is a member of a number of committees, including the neurotrauma section of the Italian Neurosurgical Society (SINCH), the EANS and WFNS Young Neurosurgeons committees, the EANS Neurotrauma Committee, WFNS-WHO Liaison Committee, and serves as one of the SoMe Editors for Acta Neurochirurgica and is a member of the WFNS Newsletter Editorial Board.

Dr Lippa strongly believes that women belong anywhere they want and wishes to do her part in changing the way surgery is perceived: obstacles aren’t definitive and so are hostile environments. She believes equity will be conquered faster if we engage ourselves in mentorship – sometimes dreams need just a little validation in order to come true. She hopes to become someone who clears paths for others to walk – the person she needed when she was younger

August 2020 – Professor Yoko Kato

This month’s neurosurgeon of the month is Professor Yoko Kato.

She is the first woman in Japan to become a professor of neurosurgery. She is also the founder of the Women’s Neurosurgical Association (WNA) of Japan and of the Asian Women’s Neurosurgical Association.