Fund Purpose: To support innovative clinical and translational research performed by neurosurgical residents and fellows.
Edward H. Oldfield, MD, FAANS, was born on November 22, 1947, in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, to Ellis and Amanda (née Miller) Oldfield. He was the second of 5 children, with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. After completing his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Kentucky Dr. Oldfield completed two years of basic surgical residency at Vanderbilt University. He then spent a year in neurology in London at The National Hospital for Nervous Disease before completing neurosurgical residency at Vanderbilt University.
After a year in private neurosurgical practice in Lexington, KY, he a completed 2-year fellowship in cellular immunology of tumors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
From 1984-2007 he was Chief of the Clinical Neurosurgery Section, Surgical Neurology Branch, NINDS and from 1986-2007 was the Chief of the Surgical Neurology Branch. At the NIH, he lead successful laboratory and clinical research efforts in the areas of brain and pituitary tumors, syringomyelia, von Hippel-Lindau disease, spinal arteriovenous malformations, pathophysiology and therapy of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, and development of new drug delivery approaches for the central nervous system.
He joined the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia in 2007 where he held the Crutchfield Chair in Neurosurgery and was a Professor of Neurosurgery and Internal Medicine.
His contributions to academic and organized neurosurgery included membership on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Neurosurgery from 1994-2002, and as its Co-Chairman from 2001-2002. He received the Public Health Superior Service Award “For training of academic neurosurgeons, and for advances in understanding the biology of brain tumors” in 1991. He was the recipient of the Grass Medal for Meritorious Research in Neurological Science in 1995 from the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS), the Farber Award of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) “for scholarly contributions in Brain Tumor Research” in 1999, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Kentucky Medical Alumni Association “for serving as the quintessential clinician-scientist and remarkable contributions to understanding the nervous system and the practice of neurosurgery” in 2006. He was President of the SNS from 2008-2009.
In 2009, he received the Harvey Cushing Medal of the AANS “for many years of outstanding leadership, dedication and contributions to the field of neurosurgery.” He authored over 400 original scientific and clinical contributions and was co-inventor of patents on convection-enhanced drug delivery and genetic therapy. Many of his former fellows hold positions in academic medicine, including several departmental chairmen.
Dr. Oldfield passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on September 1, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and daughter, Caroline.
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