Joseph S. Cheng


Fund Purpose: To support clinical and basic science research in spine and training in spine.

Joseph S. Cheng, MD, MS, FAANS, is the Frank H. Mayfield Chair of Neurological Surgery of the UC Department of Neurosurgery at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Formerly professor and vice chair of neurosurgery at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Cheng is an expert in complex spinal surgery, and is recognized internationally for his leadership in health policy and in neurosurgery outcomes research, which has led to improved patient care.

Dr. Cheng joined the Yale faculty in 2016 as vice chairman in the department of neurosurgery as well as director of the Neurosurgery Spine Fellowship program. Prior to that, he was at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he also served as director of Vanderbilt’s Neurosurgery Spine Program. Additionally, he served on the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2001 to 2002.


Dr. Cheng received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1994 and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University in 2002. He completed his residency and a Neurosurgical Complex Spine Fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Board certified in neurological surgery, Dr. Cheng was an American Association of Neurological Surgeons Health Policy Scholar in 2011. That same year he received the AOSpine North American Educator of the Year Award. In 2013, he received the Vanderbilt Distinguished Neurosurgical Educator of the Year Award.

Dr. Cheng has lectured internationally on neurosurgical care and has published nearly 150 scientific research papers, chapters and reviews and serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals. He also is active and a leader in numerous professional societies, including the North American Spine Society, the Council of State Neurological Societies, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Tennessee Neurosurgical Society, American Medical Association, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the AANS/CNS Section on Spine and Peripheral Nerve Disorders.

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NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

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