Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins Lectureship

Each June, our faculty, residents, and fellows, together with neuroscientists from the Western New York area, gather to attend the prestigious Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins Lectureship (formerly Cohn Memorial Lectureship) – a distinguished lecture event that each year features a different prominent member of the international neurosurgical community.

Following resident grand rounds in the morning, the keynote speaker meets with UBNS faculty, residents, and fellows for an informal case review session and discussion. Later that evening the lecturer serves as guest-of-honor at the annual UBNS graduation gala celebrating the residents’ academic achievements. The graduation is a black tie event, and is always one of the highlights of the year.


The George Cohn, MD Memorial lectureship was established in memory of Dr. George Cohn after his passing in June ,1991. Dr. Cohn was a member of the medical/dental staff at Buffalo General Hospital for 40 years, and former head of the BGH Department of Neurosurgery. A leader in the western New York medical community, Dr. Cohn served as president of the medical staff from 1977 to 1978, and as a member of the BGH Board of Trustees for three years. He also headed the medical staff fundraising effort for the hospital’s tower building. Dr. Cohn graduated from the University of Rochester Medical School and completed an internship in neurosurgery at Yale University.

In 2022, the lectureship was unanimously renamed as the L. Nelson Hopkins, MD Inaugural Lectureship to honor the vision and career of UB Neurosurgery’s founder and first Chairman, L. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins, MD.

Past Presenters

2022       Mark Norman Hadley, MD

                    Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, UAB Hospital Neurological Surgery

2021       David J. Langer, MD

Chair of Neurosurgery, Lenox Hill Hospital and Vice-president of Neurosurgery, Northwell Health’s Western Region

2020       Canceled

Due to Covid-19 restrictions

2019       James L. Budny, MD, FACS, COL USAR MC

Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University at Buffalo

Colonel, United States Army Reserve (Ret.)

2018       Robert F. Spetzler, MD

Emeritus Director, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ 

2017       Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS

Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery,

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Team Neurosurgeon, Pittsburgh Steelers.

2016        Laligam N. Sekhar, MD, FACS, FAANS

Professor and Vice-chairman of Neurosurgery, University of Washington

2015        Leland Albright, PhD

Clinical Adjunct Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Wisconsin

2014       Janne Sirén, PhD

Peggy Pierce Elfvin, Director, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

2013       Elad I. Levy, MD, MBA, FACS, FAHA

Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, University at Buffalo Neurosurgery

2011        Julian E. Bailes, Jr., MD

Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery & Co-Director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute

2011        Alan Schwarz

Sports Writer for the NY Times and Author 

2010       Lieutenant Michael E. Thornton

U.S. Navy SEAL and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

2009      Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD

President, American Medical Association           

2008      André Grotenhuis, MD, PhD

Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery, Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Director of the Neurosurgical Center Nijmegen    

2007      Charles W. Kerber, MD

Professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery, University of California, San Diego

2006      Duke Samson, MD

Chairman and Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX       

2005       Robert F. Spetzler, MD

Director, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ

2004      John B. Simpson, PhD

President, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

2003      Keith L. Black, MD

Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery & Director, Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neurosciences   

2002      Patrick J. Kelly, MD

Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, New York University School of Medicine          

2001       Mark S. Dias, MD

Chairman, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Hershey Medical Center, PA       

2000      Richard B. Morawetz, MD

Director, Division of Neurosurgery & Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery

University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center

1999       Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD

Professor of Neurosurgery & Professor of Medicine

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center

1885       Robert F. Spetzler, MD

Chairman, Barrow Neurologic Institute
The secrets of Aneurysm Surgery

1986       Nancy Naples, MD

Director, Centers for Disease Control
The Pearls and Pitfalls of Valuable Data Collection

1998       Hunt Batjer, MD

1997        Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD

1996        Arthur L. Day, MD

1995        John M. Tew, Jr., MD

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