Women Represent in Toronto’s Division of Neurosurgery

I had recently done robotic kinematic and workspace analysis for MDA Space Missions NeuroArm2 project. This is an MRI-compatible robot that performs neurosurgery, and follow-up to the successful NeuroArm project. So when I met up with an old friend who is now a Neurosurgery resident/Ph.D. candidate at the U of T, this was sure to come up in conversation.

Discussions about the capabilities of these robotic arms soon transitioned to life as a med student and how few females actually enter the field of neurosurgery when deciding upon a specialization. Women make up just ten per cent of the profession in North America. Surgery in general is still male-dominated. But, neurosurgery reputably has by far the lowest number of female practitioners. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to profile two female Neurosurgeons working at the U of T.

Mojgan Hodaie completed her Neurosurgery residency and fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.  The focus of her work includes the treatment of movement disorders and Gamma Knife radiosurgery (where specialized equipment focuses as many as 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target). Aside from this expertise, Dr. Hodaie’s extends beyond the lab. She also has a passion and appreciation for international neurosurgical education. She has revolutionized neurosurgery by using innovative educational tools in developing countries. This includes creating ease of access to information and education via structured online course modules in neurosurgery.

Another top clinician in her field, Galera Zadeh’s primary clinical interest is in adult neuro-oncology surgery. Dr. Zadeh completed her Royal College Fellowship in Neurosurgery and PhD in molecular biology of brain tumor angiogenesis at the University of Toronto in 2006.

Dr. Zadeh then transferred to London as a result of a Cancer Care Ontario Fellowship to complete radiobiology training at University College London and was a lead neuro-oncology neurosurgeon. There she aided with a pioneering brain cancer center at London’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and re-introduced brain surgery where a patient remains awake!

In 2008, she returned as a CIHR Clinician-Scientist and neurosurgeon to the Toronto Western Hospital and University of Toronto. Her principle research interest is in combining and translating basic science research with clinical trials to improve patient care for those with malignant brain tumors.


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