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Honor Your Neurosurgical Mentor

Edward Laws, Jr., MD, FAANS(L)

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Edward Raymond Laws, Jr., MD, FAANS(L), was born in New York City on April 29, 1938. He graduated from Princeton in 1959, majoring in sociology. After his freshman year, he began conducting brain tumor research in the department of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. A. Earl Walker, MD; Tom Langfitt, MD; George Udvarhelyi, MD, FAANS(L); and John O’Connor were his mentors in the laboratory. After his surgical internship under Alfred Blalock, he spent two years in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Laws returned to Johns Hopkins University for his residency, and in 1971 had an initial faculty appointment there. In 1972, he joined the staff at Mayo Clinic, where he was able to develop major contributions to pituitary surgery, cerebral glioma research and epilepsy surgery.

In 1987, Dr. Laws was appointed chairman of the department of neurological surgery at George Washington University Medical Center. After his efforts culminated the development of the George Washington Neurological Institute, he moved to the University of Virginia in 1992. Under the leadership of John A. Jane, Sr., MD, FAANS(L) — with the collaboration of colleagues in endocrinology — a neuroendocrine unit was developed, with fully integrated clinical, laboratory endocrinology and neuroendocrine surgery. Similar efforts led to successful programs during time spent at Stanford University, and currently at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts where he serves as the Surgical Director of the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Program for the Department of Neurosurgery

Involvement in organized neurosurgery at national and international levels has been a major factor in Dr. Laws’ life and work. He spent two terms as the annual meeting program chairman for the Society of Neurological Surgeons, was a council member, chair of the nominating committee, a member of the liaison committee for Japanese and American neurosurgery programs and was also the Governor in the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Laws became the fifth neurosurgeon-elected president of the American College of Surgeons. He has also been president and honored guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Pituitary Society and the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.

He became a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2004, holds an Honorary D Med Chir from the University of Naples, honorary fellowships in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Purpose: To support Resident Education and Research within the Department of Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at the discretion of the Department Chairman.

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