Michael Fehlings is a Canadian neurosurgeon based at Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds many positions, including Head of the Spinal Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration, Scientist at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, McLaughlin Scholar in Molecular Medicine, Inaugural Director of the University of Toronto Neuroscience Program, and Co-Director of the University of Toronto Spine Program.
Michael Fehlings Wikipedia
He completed most of his training, including being awarded his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, in Toronto followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in New York. Dr. Fehlings specializes in spinal cord injury and has an active clinical practice as well as research at both the clinical and laboratory levels into the area. This is evidenced by his numerous peer-reviewed publications
His research focusses preclinically on translationally relevant models of spinal cord and brain injury and clinically on disorders of the spine/spinal cord. His peer-reviewed publications number over 600 spanning clinical and basic science. Work for his 1996 publication in the Journal of Neuroscience (Agrawal and Fehlings, 1996) resulted in receipt of the Gold Medal from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. This work has been translated into ongoing clinical trials examining riluzole for traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injury.
In stem cell research, Dr. Fehlings' 2006 paper in the Journal of Neuroscience (Karimi-Abdolrezaee et al., 2006;)provides strong evidence of the functional impact of neural stem cells in repairing/regenerating injured spinal cords through remyelination of axons. This has been key in leading to clinical translational efforts to use neural stem cells for spinal cord injury. His research has impact on clinical practice as evidenced by the 2012 publication of results from the Surgical Timing in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (STASCIS), which provided direct clinical trials evidence that early decompressive surgery improves neurological and functional outcomes after spinal cord injury. This trial is having an important impact on how spinal trauma is managed.
Dr. Fehlings has been honoured with several awards and medals including the Reeve-Irvine Medal in Spinal Cord Injury (2012, jointly with Dr. Tator), the Olivecrona Award by the Karolinska Institute (2009), the Henry Farfan award from the North American Spine Society (2013), and the Richard H. Winn prize (2013), presented by the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He received the Diamond Jubilee medal (2013) for his ground-breaking work in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders and spinal cord injury and disease. This was presented by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Science and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Fehlings is frequently invited to speak internationally and has spoken in Australia, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Dubai and South Africa. He was described, during the Henry Farfan Award ceremony, as the “single most influential active spinal cord injury researcher and clinician in the world”.