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Honor Your Neurosurgical Mentor

Dr. Charles H. Tator

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Charles H. Tator, MD, PhD, MA, FAANS(L), graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto in 1961, and after an internship at the Toronto General Hospital, he entered the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto in the Division of Neuropathology. He received his master’s degree in 1963 and his PhD in 1965. He then trained in neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Neurosurgery in 1969. His research career began in 1969 as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. In 1974 he was appointed associate professor, and in 1980 he was promoted to full professor. He was Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and the Chief of Neurosurgery at Sunnybrook and the Toronto Western Hospitals. He started the first Acute Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) unit in Canada in 1974, and has studied the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of acute SCI.

His laboratory research in SCI has been aimed at determining the pathophysiology of SCI, especially mechanisms of secondary injury including posttraumatic ischemia. His acute cord clip compression model was the first SCI model in rodents. His current laboratory focus is on the use of stem cells for neurotrauma. In brain injury research, he has focused his research on the management and treatment of the concussion spectrum of disorders, and is founder and Project Leader of the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital. He leads a team of 15 neuroscientists and clinicians who are finding ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of concussion disorders, including acute concussion, postconcussion syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

In 1992, Dr. Tator founded ThinkFirst Canada, a national brain and spinal cord injury foundation, where he was president from 1992-2007. ThinkFirst became a leader in the promotion of safety for Canada's children and youth. In 2012, ThinkFirst merged with three other national injury prevention Foundations to form Parachute Canada, of which Dr. Tator is a founding board member.

Dr. Tator's laboratory research has been aimed at determining the pathophysiology of SCI, especially mechanisms of secondary injury including post-traumatic ischemia. His current focus is on stem-cell research for regeneration after spinal cord injury. He has published 315 papers, 82 book chapters and 217 abstracts mostly in the fields of acute spinal cord injury and brain tumors.

Charles Tator Fund
Purpose: To be utilized for basic science research in spinal cord injury.

To view a list of all donors to this fund, click here.

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