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2018_Neurosurgery Kids Fund BBQ

IWK Neurosurgery Kids Fund

Lemonade Stand and BBQ

On August 30, Jordan Bignell, Super Hero, set up a lemonade stand and, with the help of Jayda Slaunwhite, drew crowds of people from University Avenue to the IWK Health Centre Neurosurgery Kids Fund BBQ!   Funds raised exceeded $2,250!  Well done!!  A warm thank you to everyone who helped out with this initiative.


2018 10 02 Dr McNeely fixes teddy

IWK Neurosurgeon

Dr. Dan McNeely sutures beloved teddy bear

Carolyn Ray · CBC News · Posted: Oct 02, 2018 2:34 PM AT | Last Updated: October 2




Gaming meets medicine

Gaming meets medicine to become a Nova Scotia neurosurgeon's essential tool

Neurosurgeon, Dr. David Clarke, estimates half of all surgical training could be done in the virtual world.

Carolyn Ray · CBC News · Posted: May 01, 2018 5:00 AM AT | Last Updated: M



Purple Day

Happy Purple Day in support of Epilepsy Awareness, March 26, 2018!

Welcome Drs. Jae Ho Han and Mark Maclean our new Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) residents in neurosurgery.

We welcome Drs. Jae Ho Han and Mark Maclean who join the Division of Neurosurgery in July, 2018 as our new Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) residents in neurosurgery.

Dr. Jae Ho Han is completing his medical degree at Dalhousie University.  He has completed many electives within the Division of Neurosurgery, including adult and pediatric clinical and OR time.  He has been involved in clinical research with our Halifax Neuropituitary Program.

Dr. Mark Maclean also joins us from Dalhousie Medical School and has completed his Masters of Science at Dalhousie.  Dr. Maclean has spent time with our Division during clinical electives. He has published several articles to date.        

We are delighted to welcome aboard Drs. Ho Han and Maclean!

Congratulations to Drs. Drew DeBay, Ayoub Dakson and Michael Thorne on their awards at the 2018 Clinical Neuroscience Resident Research Day!

Drew DeBay, Graduate Student, Medical Neuroscience, received the award for Best Overall Presentation for “Butyrylcholinesterase genetic polymorphism and neuroimaging biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease”.

Ayoub Dakson received Best Presentation Award in Neurosurgery for “A nation-wide prospective multi-centre study and external ventricular drainage accuracy, safety, and related complications: Interim analysis”.

Michael Thorne received Best Presentation Award in Neurology for “Delusional Misidentification Syndromes”.

A warm thank you to our guest speaker, Robert Jr. LaForce, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Université Laval.  In addition to judging, Dr. LaForce also presented a lecture on “PET imaging of AD variants and non-AD dementias”. 

We would also like to thank our Dalhousie judges for the day, Christine Herman, MD, FRCSC, Cardiovascular Surgeon, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Arnold Mitnitski, PhD, Research Professor of Medicine.

Congratulations to the Neurosurgery Spine Team

In late November, our Spinal Cord Injury Acute Services Team - the first to be accredited in Canada - again received full national accreditation.  Highlights of the Accreditation Report include:

Clinical leadership – there is a strong interdisciplinary team with recent expansion of beds to accommodate demand;

Competency – patients and families have access to the interdisciplinary team and staff are supported through education and training for ongoing professional development;

Episode of Care – staff spoke of supportive environment and opportunities for professional development.  There is a defined pathway and criteria for admission to the unit for traumatic spinal cord injury patients.  Goals of care are established amongst staff and family;

Decision support – Patient records are complete and accessible with continuity of care.  The Unit is supported by Nurse Practitioners; and,

Impact on outcomes – there is a strong focus on quality improvement and safety.

Congratulations to all on the spine team, led by Dr. Sean Christie!


Susan Rahey

Congratulations to Susan Rahey

Congratulations to Susan Rahey, BSc, RET, RT (EMG), Program Coordinator of the Epilepsy Program, who has recently been selected as the winner of the 2017 Canadian League Against Epilepsy (CLAE) Clinical Practice/Advocacy Award!


Susan is being honored for excellence in clinical practice and engagement in representing and supporting patients with epilepsy at Canada Night in Washington, DC, on Sunday, December 3.


Dr. Greg Jenkins and Dr. Dan McNeely

Congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Greg Jenkins

Congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Greg Jenkins who completed his Neurosurgery Residency Program and has been successful in obtaining his Royal College Fellowship credentials (FRCSC) in neurosurgery. Dr. Jenkins has moved back to St. John’s, Newfoundland to start his neurosurgical practice at Eastern Health.


Dr. David Brandman

Congratulations to Dr. David Brandman

Congratulations to Dr. David Brandman who successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis “Rapid Calibration of Intracortical Brain Computer Interfaces in People with Paralysis” at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (Dr. Leigh Hochberg, advisor).  

neuro_2017 05 26 DBC and Margaret

Dr. Po-Shan Luke and Dr. Clarke

Congratulations to Margaret Po-Shan Luke

Congratulations to Margaret Po-Shan Luke who earned her Doctor of Philosophy, Anatomy & Neurobiology (Medical Neuroscience), for her thesis “Influence of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule on Age-Related Changes in Vision”.  Margaret completed her research under the supervision and in the lab of Dr. David Clarke.

Congratulations to Erika Leck

Congratulations to Erika Leck who, upon earning her Doctor of Medicine from Dalhousie University, also received the Dr. Clara Olding Prize for highest standing in the clinical years, the Dr. John F. Black Prize for the highest standing in surgery, and the Dr. Michael Brothers Memorial Prize in Neuroscience for aptitude in neuroscience.  Erika starts her neurosurgery training within the Division of Neurosurgery as a Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) Resident on July 1, 2017.


Dr. David Clarke and Dr. Aaron Robichaud

Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Robichaud

Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Robichaud for winning Best Basic Scientist Presentation for his work, “Identification of Approved Drugs Altering Stress Granule Dynamics and Implications in Glioblastoma Therapy”, at Department of Surgery’s Resident Research Day on April 21, 2017!  Dr. Robichaud is working on his research under the supervision of Dr. Adrienne Weeks.

neurosurgery_Erika Leck_lg

Erika Leck

Welcome, Erika!
Neurosurgery’s new resident trainee

We are delighted to welcome Erika Leck, Neurosurgery’s new resident trainee, who joins our team in July.  Erika has a proven track record with the Division of Neurosurgery having completed clinical electives that exposed her to spine, vascular, oncology, trauma and pediatrics in the OR, ICU and clinic environments.  Erika also worked on research projects within the Division.  She completed a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, Life Sciences, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 2013.  She will complete her Doctor of Medicine degree at Dalhousie University in May 2017.  Welcome, Erika!


Margaret Po-Shan Luke

Congratulations to Graduate Student, Margaret Po-Shan Luke

Congratulations to Graduate Student, Margaret Po-Shan Luke, Department of Medical Neuroscience, on successfully defending her Thesis, “The Influence of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule on Age-Related Changes in Vision” for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.  Her primary supervisor was Dr. David Clarke; Margaret’s work was designated a “Thesis of Excellence” by her External Examiner, Dr. Adriana Di Polo, University of Montreal.  Well done, Margaret!

Dr. Sean Christie elected to president of the Canadian Spine Society

We are proud to announce that Dr. Sean Christie was elected president of the Canadian Spine Society at their 17th Annual Scientific Conference in Montreal in February. Dr. Christie will serve in this position for the next two years. The CSS is a national organization of surgeons and spine practitioners who share a common interest in excellence in spine care, education and research to provide benefits to both patients and professionals across Canada.

CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service)

The Division of Neurosurgery is delighted to announce that we will be accepting one resident per year through CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service).  This important decision supports Neurosurgery’s goal of providing neurosurgical care that meets the needs of the region and further strengthens our Atlantic Neurosurgery Training Program!