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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

A father-son gift to a shared profession

Retired neurosurgeon
Gerald Haines,
M.D., Ph.D., and his
neurosurgeon son
Stephen Haines, M.D.,
together created
the Haines Family
Lectureship on
Clinical Research
in Neurosurgery.Neurosurgery chair Stephen Haines, M.D., often chats with the program’s oldest living graduate—his own father, a retired neurosurgeon who lives in upstate New York. Now 92, Gerald Haines, M.D., Ph.D., trained in the same University of Minnesota building where his son has spent much of his career.

Gerald Haines has seen many of the advances in neurosurgery firsthand. He conducted some of the early research on radioactive isotopes for detecting brain tumors. The technique represented a major improvement over the previous method of localizing a tumor, he recalls.

“We had to detect brain tumors by injecting air in the ventricles of the brain,” Gerald Haines says. “You had to make a little hole in the bone, put a needle in, take out some fluid, and put air into the cavities. Then an X-ray was taken. It was quite painful.”

Because the neurosurgery program has played such a key role in both Haineses’ lives, the two men wanted to give something back.

“In talking with my dad about things we might do to help the department, we settled on a lecture endowment to bring in prominent neurosurgeons to interact with the faculty and residents and stimulate thought on important topics,” says the younger Haines.

They each donated $50,000 to establish the Haines Family Lectureship on Clinical Research in Neurosurgery. The first lecturer, Beverly Walters, M.D., will speak at the department’s 2012 William T. Peyton Society Meeting in July.

“Beverly Walters is one of the pioneers in applying sophisticated clinical research methods to neurosurgery,” says Haines. “She’s internationally recognized in the area of evidence-based neurosurgery and guidelines development.”

This year’s meeting will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of neurosurgery at the University.

For more information about the lecture or the meeting, contact Susan Whaley at whale001@umn.edu.

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