Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD, FAANS(L), attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., from 1963 to1967, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, summa cum laude. From 1967 to 1971, he attended the University of Arizona School of Medicine. He served as president of his graduating class and completed his internship there in 1972. In 1972, Dr. Sonntag moved to Tufts-New England Medical Center Hospital in Boston, Mass., where he trained as one of the first residents under Bennett M. Stein, M.D., professor and chairman, department of neurosurgery. He completed his residency in 1977.
Since joining the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in 1983, he has served as vice-chairman of the Division of Neurological Surgery and as chairman of the Spine Section from 1984 to 2009, as director of the Spine Fellowship Program from 1988 to 2009 and as director of the residency program from 1995 to 2009. In 2000, he assumed the endowed Alumni Chair for Spine Research at the BNI.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Sonntag has been a leader in neurosurgery as a director on the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) from 1998-2004, as a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) residency review committee (RRC) from 2005-2011, as vice president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) in 2001 and on the AANS professional conduct committee from 2008-2011. He was president of both the North American Spine Society (NASS) in 2000 and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery in 2004. In 2002, Dr. Sonntag was named the honored guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the highest honor paid to a neurosurgeon by his peers.
Dr. Sonntag made significant contributions to the treatment and understanding of spinal disorders. He has co-edited five major books, made more than 950 presentations around the world, and written more than 105 textbook chapters and 460 papers; he is also an editor on 10 neurosurgical journals. Dr. Sonntag retired from practicing neurosurgery in January 2010, but remains at the BNI as vice-chairman emeritus.
Volker Sonntag Fund
Purpose: To be utilized for clinical outcome studies, clinical or basic science research and fellowships in spine.
To view a list of all donors to this fund, click here.