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The George J. Heuer Professorship in Neurosurgery

School of Medicine

Established in 2014 by an anonymous donor

HeuerGeorgeGEORGE J. HEUER, MD was a pioneer in neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the early 20th century; he trained under Harvey Cushing and acted as a mentor to Walter Dandy. In his early career, Heuer focused on research and clinical work in the field of neurosurgery and temporarily led the neurosurgery section at Johns Hopkins. One of his most important contributions to neurosurgery was the modern frontotemporal craniotomy. This elegant craniotomy, which initially was used to approach chiasmal tumors, developed into the modern frontosphenotemporal craniotomy, which neurosurgeons use to approach numerous tumors as well as most aneurysms. Although Dandy is frequently credited with inventing this operation, his article detailing the new approach clearly attributes its origin to Heuer, who was serving in World War I when the new technique was presented.

Although he had hoped to lead the neurosurgical section at Johns Hopkins permanently, he returned from military service to find that Dandy had been appointed to this position. Heuer subsequently advanced to a distinguished career in general surgery as the chairman of surgery at two institutions, and was known for his contributions to surgical education. Throughout his academic years, Heuer continued to operate on the nervous system and to perform spinal cord and peripheral nerve surgery. He played an important role along with Cushing and Dandy in the creation of neurosurgery as a specialty, but he is rarely given credit for his accomplishment.

Held by Allan Belzberg

Belzberg.AllanALLAN BELZBERG, MD is Director of Peripheral Nerve Surgery in the neurosurgery department of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was recently named the inaugural Clinical Director of the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins. He is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and is co-director of the Multi-disciplinary Nerve Injury Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Dr. Belzberg began his career at Johns Hopkins after being awarded a prestigious McLaughlin Foundation Fellowship. He completed a two year advanced training program in pain under the mentorship of Dr. James Campbell. His NIH and Department of Defense sponsored research has focused on nerve injury including neuroma formation. His laboratory group developed a novel animal of painful neuroma and has provided insights into how pain can occur in injured and noninjured primary afferents. This work was recognized with the R. Tasker Award for Research from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Belzberg is the immediate past President of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve. He has served as Chairperson of Peripheral Nerve Section for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. His numerous awards include the Shared Vision Award from Neurofibromatosis Inc., the Outreach Award from the United Brachial Plexus Network and he is consistently recognized as a “Top Doc” and by Who’s Who in medicine and can be seen explaining nerve injury and performing nerve surgery on a National Geographic special.