The Dr. George A. Cohn Memorial Lectureship

Each June, University at Buffalo Neurosurgery (UBNS) faculty, residents, and fellows, together with neuroscientists from the Western New York area, gather to attend the prestigious Dr. George A. 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 Cohn family, Kaleida Health and The Kaleida Health Foundation sponsor the Dr. George A. Cohn Memorial Lectureship in cooperation with University at Buffalo Neurosurgery, State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The lectureship was established in memory of Dr. 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.

The Dr. George A. Cohn Memorial Lectureship Endowment Fund of The Kaleida Health Foundation and other contributions made in Dr. Cohn’s memory support the lectureship.

Past Guests of Honor

2019 James L. Budny, MD, FACS, COL USAR MC Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery University at Buffalo
Colonel, United States Army Reserve (Ret.)
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. “Square One – A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life”.
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
2012 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 Chariman, 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
1998 Hunt Batjer, MD
1997 Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD
1996 Arthur L. Day, MD
1995 John M. Tew, Jr., MD