Dr. George A. Cohn Memorial Lectureship

George A. Cohn, MD

Each June, our 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. The Cohn family and Dr. Cohn’s colleagues and friends created the endowment fund in his honor.

Previous Lectures

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 2018
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”. 2017
Laligam N. Sekhar, MD, FACS, FAANS Professor and Vice-chairman of Neurosurgery, University of Washington 2016
Leland Albright, PhD Clinical Adjunct Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Wisconsin 2015
Janne Sirén, PhD Peggy Pierce Elfvin, Director, Albright-Knox Art Gallery 2014
Elad I. Levy, MD, MBA, FACS, FAHA Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, University at Buffalo Neurosurgery 2013
Julian E. Bailes, Jr., MD Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery & Co-Director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute 2012
Alan Schwarz Sports Writer for the NY Times and Author 2011
Lieutenant Michael E. Thornton U.S. Navy SEAL and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient 2010
Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD President, American Medical Association 2009
André Grotenhuis, MD, PhD Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery, Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Director of the Neurosurgical Center Nijmegen 2008
Charles W. Kerber, MD Professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery, University of California, San Diego 2007
Duke Samson, MD Chairman and Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 2006
Robert F. Spetzler, MD Director, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ 2005
John B. Simpson, PhD President, University at Buffalo, State University of New York 2004
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 2003
Patrick J. Kelly, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, New York University School of Medicine 2002
Mark S. Dias, MD Chairman, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Hershey Medical Center, PA 2001
Richard B. Morawetz, MD Director, Division of Neurosurgery & Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery
University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center
Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD Professor of Neurosurgery & Professor of Medicine
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center
Hunt Batjer, MD   1998
Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD   1997
Arthur L. Day, MD   1996
John M. Tew, Jr., MD   1995