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October 2, 2012

LonserRussellCOLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University has recruited a senior investigator from the National Institutes of Health to become chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Ohio State University and College of Medicine and Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.

An accomplished researcher and clinician, Dr. Russell R. Lonser has spent the last 11 years at the NIH, most recently as chief of the Surgical Neurology Branch in the National Institute of  Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The appointment by Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of Ohio State’s College of Medicine, is pending approval of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees.

Lockwood said Lonser is a great recruit for a university with one of the premier facilities in the world for neurological research and treatment.

“Russell is a remarkable leader and a great addition to an already very talented neurosurgery department and neuroscience signature program at Ohio State,” said Lockwood. “He has made significant contributions to the field of neurosurgery during his career and he is well-respected for his ability to create and lead programs to high levels of success,” added Lockwood. “For our students and residents, they will have the advantage of learning from a skilled surgeon, researcher, and mentor with ample experience in academic and NIH-based medicine.”

Lonser is well respected within the neurosurgical field, according to Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, CEO of Wexner Medical Center. “Russell is an outstanding clinician, researcher and educator, and we are excited that we could attract him to Ohio State,” said Gabbe.

Ohio State has assembled a nationally respected leadership team and exceptional faculty and staff in the fields of neurosurgery and the neurosciences, according to Gabbe. “I feel strongly and confidently that their work will be instrumental in developing proven treatments for some of the most severe and life-altering conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord,” he said.

In addition to Lonser’s work at the NIH, he heads the National Football League’s research subcommittee that advises the NFL commissioner on health issues that affect players. He also is a member of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine medical committee studying brain injuries in sports and high-impact activities.

He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University Medical School in 1994 and completed his neurological surgery residency training at the University of Utah in 2001. During his residency training, he spent more than two years performing research in the NIH’s Surgical Neurology Branch.

Lonser was awarded the Tumor Young Investigator Award in 2002 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He also was named chair of the Surgical Neurology Branch in National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke in 2007. He currently is a professor of neurological surgery at the University of Virginia and George Washington University.

Lonser has authored more than 200 scientific and clinical publications and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery, and consulting editor for the Neurosurgery Clinics of America.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ali Rezai, a Wexner Medical Center neurosurgeon and world-renowned expert in the research and treatment of movement disorders using deep brain stimulation, was named to lead the Medical Center’s Neuroscience Program.​

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Contact: David Crawford, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or