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History and Past Meetings



Atami, Japan (lnaugural)

October 2-4, 2005

     Organizer: Takeshi Kawase

Roy's - San Francisco (I)

April 24, 2006

    Organizer: James Rutka

Verona, ltaly (2nd Biennal)

June 15-17, 2007

    Organizer: Albino Bricolo

lguassu Falls, Brazil (I)

September 17, 2008

    Organizer: Evandro de Oliveria

Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (3rd Biennal)

August 29, 2009

    Organizer: Ossama AI-Mefty

Bali, lndonesia (I)

November 13, 2010

    Organizer: Eka Wahjoepramono

Taroko Gorge National Park, Taiwan (4th Biennal)

Nov. 30-Dec.1, 2011

    Organizer: Yong-Kwang Tu

Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ

October 11-12, 2012

    Organizer: Robert F. Spetzler

The History of the World Academy of Neurological Surgery and past meetings

The idea of creating an international neurosurgical academy arose for the first time from Dr Ossama Al-Mefty in 1995. For 10 years this idea was discussed among prominent neurosurgeons in the world and these neurosurgeons came to the conclusion that for the purposes of global scientific exchange, a nonprofit neurosurgical society should be formed under the name of the “World Academy of Neurological Surgery” (WANS). 


The first biennial meeting: Atami, Japan 2005 

The first meeting was organized by WANS President Dr Takeshi Kawase and was held at the Royal Wing Hotel in Atami, Japan on October 2-4, 2005. The meeting opened with a get-together cocktail reception on October 2nd, 2005 at 5:00 PM. All founding academicians and their spouses gathered for dinner at the same hotel.  

On October 3rd, 2005 scientific sessions were opened by Dr Takeshi Kawase, the President of the meeting. Twenty-one academicians presented at the first meeting. The WANS award lecture was given by Dr Gazi Yasargil. Twenty scientific presentations were given at the scientific sessions. 

During these sessions spouses visited the museum, the Atami castle and the bonsai garden. In the evening,  a dinner was held at the same hotel and a performance of traditional Japanese folk dancing was enjoyed by all.  On October 4th, 2005 all academicians visited Lake Asi, the Hakone Shrine and the Sekisho.   

During the business meeting of the Academy, membership requirements were presented by Dr Al-Mefty and this issue was discussed extensively. Officers of the 2005-2007 period were elected: Dr Albino Bricolo-President, Dr Ossama Al-Mefty-President elect.; Dr James Rutka- Secretary/Treasurer. Annual dues were also discussed. The delegates also came to the conclusion to make formal biennial WANS meetings and interim meetings. The purpose of the Academy and location of the future meetings were also discussed in detail. 


The first interim meeting:  Roy’s Restaurant, San Francisco 2006 

The interim meeting of 2006 was organized by Dr James Rutka at Roy’s restaurant in San Fransisco, US on April 24, 2006. Sixteen members presented at the meeting. The letter about the upcoming meeting written by Dr Bricolo was read and discussed. Past President Dr Takeshi Kawase’s report was accepted. The secretary/treasurer Dr Rutka presented his report and updated the members on the finantial status of the Academy. Dr Al-Mefty updated members on the WANS Academy Award. Membership certificates and the “WANS tie” were also discussed 


The second biennial meeting: Verona, Italy 2007 

The second meeting was organized by Dr Albino Bricolo at Due Torri Hotel Baglioni in Verona, Italy on June 15 -17, 2007. The meeting opened with a welcome party and dinner at the wine cellar of the Bricolo Family at Custosa on June 15th, 2007 at 7:00PM.  

The business meeting was held on June 15th, 2007.  Dr Bricolo stated the WANS should remain independent of industrial or corporate sponsorship.  There were 48 active members identified.  Dr Crockard had resigned from membership, and Dr Ali Raja had tragically died in a plane accident.  The list of proposed new members was reviewed in detail.  Dr Bricolo suggested the formation of an Advisory Board which would be comprised of the Past-Presidents.  Professor Colli discussed the proposal for the next WANS meeting to take place at Iguassu Falls in Brazil Sept 18th, 2008 at the same time as the Brazilian Neurosurgical Society.   

On June 16th, 2007 the scientific sessions were opened by Dr Albino Bricolo, the President of WANS. Thirty-two members have participated at the meeting and 34 scientific presentations were made. During these sessions spouses visited San Pietro castle, the Roman Theatre and the cathedral. On the program there was also a painting exhibition of 200 masterpieces dedicated to “melancholy over the ages”. At night there was a concert by soprano Katia Ricciarelli and tenor Francesco Zingariello accompanied by the pianist Angelo Nigro which was followed by a black-tie dinner at the hotel. 

On June 17th, 2007 a guided tour of Verona was organized. During the business meeting officers of the 2005-2007 period were elected: Dr Ossama Al-Mefty-President, Dr John Popp-President elect, Dr James Rutka-Secretary/Treasurer. 


The second interim meeting:  Iguassu Falls, Brazil 2008 

The interim meeting of 2008 was organized by Dr Evandro de Oliveria at Rafain Palace Hotel and convention center in Iguassu Falls in Brazil on September 18th, 2008. Twenty-three members have participated at the meeting. Thirty-nine presentations were made. At the business meeting Dr Al-Mefty acknowledged the members that the Third Biennial Meeting will be in Boston-USA and gave a brief summary of the meeting plans. The Secretary/Treasurer Dr Rutka updated the members on the membership status and the financial status of the Academy. The nominees for the next Academy Award were set and presented for evaluation. The next interim meeting was planned to take part in Bali Indonesia hosted by Dr Eka Wahjoepramono. 


The third biennial meeting: Boston, USA 2009 

The third biennial meeting was organized by Dr Ossama AI-Mefty in Boston-USA on August 29, 2009. The scientific sessions began with a welcome message from Dr Al-Mefty, President of WANS on August 29th, 2009 at 7:30 AM at the at the Massachusets General Hospital’s  Ether Dome. Forty one members participated at the meeting. During the meeting 35 scientific presentations were discussed. All academicians were very excited about the opportunity to meet at the historical Ether Dome. The gala dinner was held at the Omni Park House Hotel on August 29th, 2009 at 7:00PM. The second Golden Neuron Award was presented to Dr Albert Rhoton Jr during this dinner.

 The business meeting took place at Legal Seafood restaurant on August 28th, 2009 at 7:00 PM. During this business meeting the minutes of the interim meeting which was held at Iguassu Falls, Brazil were read and accepted. President Dr Al-Mefty and the Secretary/treasurer read their reports. Dr Al-Mefty also gave a briefing on the membership status of the academy and voting for new members was carried out, prospective members were discussed.   Prospective candidates for the WANS Golden Neuron Award and potential future meeting sites were also discussed extensively.


The third interim meeting:  Bali, Indonesia 2010 

The interim meeting of 2010 was organized by Dr Eka Wahjoepramono at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bali-Indonesia on November 13th, 2010. Twenty-three members were present at the meeting and 23 scientific presentations were made. The Gala Dinner took place at Klapa Pecatu on November 12th, 2010. The theme of the meeting was “Per Aspera Ad Astra”. During the business meeting. future meeting sites were discussed and the member candidates for the Academy were discussed.  


The fourth biennial meeting: Taroko Gorge, Taiwan 2011 

The fourth biennial meeting was organized by Dr Yong-Kwang Tu in Taroko Gorge National Park, Taiwan on Nov 30 - Dec.1, 2011. Twenty-seven participating academicians met at the reception on November 29th, 2011 at 6:30PM at the Shangri-La hotel in Taipei. On November 29th, 2011 WANS members flew by plane to Taroko National Park and were welcomed at the Silks Palace Resort Hotel. All academicians and their spouses gathered at the gala dinner which was given on the same night at 7:00 PM. 

The scientific sessions began on December 1st, 2011.Twenty-seven scientific presentations were made. President John Popp gave a dynamic presidential adress. All academicians and their spouses made a very interesting tour in the Taroko National Park on December 1st, 2011. The business meeting was organized on December 1st, 2012 at the Hua-Lien airport at 3:45 PM. During the business meeting the minutes of the Bali meeting were read and accepted.  President Dr John Popp gave his report, thanked Dr Yong Kwang Tu for his superb organization of the WANS meeting in Taroko Gorge National Parkin Taiwan. Dr Popp declared that the Golden Neuron Award will be given to Dr John Jane Sr. Dr Popp suggested to establish a membership committe and expressed the importance of establishing a web-site. Dr Pamir took over the responsibility of creating the website. Dr James Rutka read the Secretary/Treasurer’s report. All members were updated on the membership status and the financial status of the Academy. Dr Rutka announced the results of the email voting and Dr Pamir was nominated and appointed as the new Secretary/Treasurer of WANS. The membership report was read by Dr Al-Mefty and prospective members were also discussed. Future meeting sites were also discussed and the conclusion was Phoenix Arizona on October 11-12, 2012 under the responsibility of Dr Robert Spetzler. It was also announced that the 5th biennial meeting of the WANS will be organized by Dr Kyu Shung Lee in Seoul-South Korea September 2013, on the occasion of the World Federation of Neurosurgicial Societies’ World Congress.


The fourth interim meeting: Phoenix Arizona-USA 2012

The 4th interim meeting was organized by Dr Robert Spetzler and Dr Volker KH Sonntag at the Sonntag Pavilion of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix –Arizona USA on October 11-12th, 2012. The opening reception was given on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 05:30 at the Hilton Suites hotel. The scientific meeting was held on whole Friday October 12th, 2012. Sixteen WANS members were present at the meeting. The president of WANS, Dr James Rutka and the organizer of the meeting Dr Robert Spetzler welcomed the Academicians. Fifteen scientific lectures were presented. During the lunch Dr Pamir, secretary-treasurer of WANS, gave a briefing on the new website of WANS. At 4:00PM the business meeting was held. The social program of the meeting was also superb. A spectacular dinner-reception was given by Dr and Mrs. Spetzler at their home. On Saturday October 13th, 2012 a tour of Sedona was arranged. During this tour Bell Rock and the Church of the Holy Cross as well as the Budhist Stupa were visited. The lunch was organized at the “L’auberge de Sedona”. In the afternoon wine testing was arranged at the Javeline Leap Vineyard.