Roberto C. Heros Fund


Fund Purpose: To support clinical or bench research by a neurosurgical resident, awarded purely on scientific merit, on any topic. The research should be completely original, conducted and expected to be completed during protected research time, with the expectation of publication with the resident as first author and significant contributors as co-authors.

Roberto C. Heros, MD, FAANS(L), was born in 1942 in Havana, Cuba. He left Cuba for exile after the Communist takeover in 1960. He participated as a paratrooper platoon commander in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. After two years in prison, he was released as part of an exchange with the United States government. He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee where he graduated, first in his class, in 1968. Following an internship and first year general surgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital he joined the U.S. Air Force for two years with the rank of Major, USAF.


Dr. Heros had his Neurosurgical Residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. After completion of his residency in 1977, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor. In 1980, he moved back to the Massachusetts General Hospital to become Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery. He moved through the academic ranks at Harvard to reach full professorship in 1989. At that time, he moved to the University of Minnesota as the Lyle A. French Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery. In 1995, Dr. Heros moved to the University of Miami as Professor, Program Director and Co-Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery. He developed and was the founding Director of the University of Miami International Health Center.

Dr. Heros major clinical, academic and research interest has been in cerebrovascular surgery, although since his move to Miami, he has developed a substantial interest and experience in skull base approaches and the surgical treatment of complex tumors of the skull base. He has authored or co-authored four textbooks and has published about 200 refereed articles and approximately 70 textbook chapters dealing with cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, experimental cerebral ischemia and skull base surgical approaches. His research has been in the area of cerebral protection from ischemia, particularly hemodilution; he held NIH funding as primary investigator in this area for 12 years. Dr Heros served both in a Study Section and later in the Council of the NINDS.

Dr Heros has been Visiting Professor at over 60 institutions in this country and abroad and he has given over 500 invited national and international presentations. He holds honorary memberships in several Latin American and European neurosurgical societies and in the Japanese Neurosurgical Society.

Dr. Heros has been Chairman of the Editorial Board of Neurosurgery and Co-Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurosurgery and serves on the Editorial Board of seven other journals. He was the founding Chairman of the Brain Attack Coalition and the Neurovascular Committee of the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons. He has served as Vice President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and as President of American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Academy of Neurological Surgeons. He was also President of the World Congress of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and is now Honorary President of the Federation. He has been the Honored Guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Federation of Latin American Neurosurgical Societies and the Italian and Greek Neurosurgical Societies. In 2007 he won the coveted Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” award of the ACGME. He has been awarded the Cushing Medal, the highest award conferred by the AANS. Currently Dr Heros has curtailed significantly, though not completely, his clinical practice and has taken a position as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at the Jackson Health System.

Dr. Heros is married to Deborah O. Heros, who is currently Professor and Director of the Neuro-oncology Service at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. They have three children: Elsie, Robert, and Carlos.

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

NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

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