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Otago appoints Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery

Clocktower reflected in the Centre for Innovation

Friday 4 November 2011 8:17am

Mr Reuben Johnson has been appointed as a senior lecturer in neurosurgery at the Dunedin School of Medicine and consultant neurosurgeon at Dunedin Hospital, the University of Otago announced today.

The new position was created to help provide a strong academic presence for neurosurgery in Dunedin as part of the newly established South Island Neurosurgical Service. Mr Johnson is due to take up the role in mid 2012. His appointment will be split 50:50 between academic and clinical duties.

An academic neurosurgeon trained in Glasgow, London, Cambridge, Oxford, and Melbourne, Mr Johnson is also a molecular neurobiologist with a doctorate in neurogenetics from the University of Oxford. His neurosurgical interests include neuro-oncology, functional neurosurgery, and minimally invasive spinal surgery.

Mr Johnson’s recent clinical appointments have been as a Neurosurgery Registrar at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and as a Neurosurgery Fellow at Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is currently undertaking a fellowship in minimally invasive spinal surgery and scoliosis surgery in Italy and will complete a further fellowship in skull base neurosurgery before coming to Dunedin.

Dunedin School of Medicine Dean Dr John Adams says that he is delighted that the University has been able to appoint someone of Mr Johnson’s calibre to the position.

“His impressive academic background places him well to help develop the School as a leading centre for neurosurgery teaching and research. His expertise in neurobiology also holds the potential for fruitful collaborations with neuroscience researchers in the wider University,” Dr Adams says.

Martin MacFarlane, Clinical Director of the South Island Neurosurgical Service, also welcomed this appointment.

“The skills in both clinical neurosurgery and academic neurosurgery that Mr Johnson will bring will contribute significantly to the provision of a high standard of neurosurgical care for patients not only in the Southern District Health Board, but to the South Island in general and to the ongoing development of clinical and academic neurosurgery in New Zealand,” Mr MacFarlane says.

Southern DHB Acting CEO Lexie O’Shea says she is pleased the Neurosurgery Unit at Dunedin is moving from “strength to strength” with the appointment of Mr Johnson “who will support our other permanent and highly skilled Consultant Neurosurgeon Mr Ahmad Taha”.

Mr Johnson has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on neurosurgery and is the author and editor of four books on surgery including the best-selling Landmark Papers in Neurosurgery by Oxford University Press, which he authored and co-edited.

Based in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the Dunedin School of Medicine, Mr Johnson’s academic duties will include contributing to the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of medical students and establishing a research programme.

For more information, contact

Dr John Adams
Dean, Dunedin School of Medicine
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 474 7873

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