Spring NEWSLETTER - March/April/May

Neurosurgical Simulation Research & Training Centre


3801 University Street, Room E2.89 (RVH)

Montréal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4

+1 (514) 934-1934 ext. 36733


Announcing the Neurosurgical Simulation Research & Training Centre Spring Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the first issue of the Neurosurgical Simulation Research & Training Centre's Spring Newsletter. In this issue, we feature a few items related to simulation events, lectures, presentations and congratulations associated with our group. These highlights are disseminated to enlighten you of various events associated with the Neurosurgical Simulation Research & Training Centre at McGill.

We would like to thank each of you for your continuous support as we work to integrate virtual reality simulation into the mainstream educational thinking and curriculum development associated with neurosurgical training. We welcome any comments and/or ideas that you may have related to improving the newsletter and would be more than pleased to highlight other contributions to neurosurgical simulation virtual reality research.

Please contact us at neurosimlab@gmail.com

Dr. Rolando Del Maestro

Director of Neurosurgical Simulation Research & Training Centre

Aden Deitcher


CAE purchases NeuroTouch

The healthcare division of CAE (Canada Aviation Electronics) has been given exclusive rights to sell and distribute the NeuroTouch (now NeuroVR). CAE is a world leader in aviation simulation and is now taking the lead in virtual reality neurosurgery simulation.

Press release | NeuroVR

NeuroSim Centre move to RHV

The Neurosurgical Training & Research Centre has moved across the street, from the Montreal Neurological Institute to the Royal Victoria Hospital. Our new address is:
3801 University Street, Room E2.89 (RVH)
Montreal, Quebec Canada H3A 2B4

Simulation Research Roundtable

A Simulation Research Roundtable held at McGill University's Steinberg Simulation Centre on April 28. The keynote presentation was given by Dr. Gerald Fried on developing simulation certification for laparoscopic surgery.

Visit from Hopital Foch

Members of Hopital Foch (Paris), Dr. Stephan Gaillard and Éléa Canipelle visited the Neurosurgical Simulation Research and Training Centre on March 22. As the Foch Institute will be receiving a simulator of their own, they came to learn about our methods and research.

12th Annual Franco Di Giovanni Foundation Fundraiser

On April 9, Lina Di Giovanni and her committee held the 12th annual gala event in support of simulation research. We thank the foundation for their continued generosity and support throughout the years. The funds from this gala continue to support neurosurgical simulation research, particularly related to improving neurosurgical expertise during the resection of simulated brain tumours. Over the last 12 years, the Di Giovanni Foundation has provided funding for multiple avenues of research into the cause, cure and treatment of brain tumours.

Visit from Thought Technology

On May 26, members of Thought Technology, including founder Dr. Hal Myers, visited the Neurosurgical Simulation Research and Training Centre to discuss working on future projects together. Thought Technology is a leader in biofeedback and sensor development and they will be providing the NeuroSimCentre with sensors to monitor muscle movement when using the NeuroTouch simulator.

Lectures and Presentations

Presentation at the Universidad de Antioquia

On March 15, Dr. Del Maestro presented a talk on neurosurgical simulation at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. We look forward to working with Mauricio Hernández, GIBIC Director - Bioengineering Department, Universidad de Antioquia, on the ergonomics of hand position during simulated brain tumour resections.


Neuro-Oncology Conference in Bogota

Dr. Del Maestro discussed neurological simulation at the Bogota Mederi Neuro-Oncology Conference in Bogota, Columbia on March 18. Dr. Oscar Aponte, a neurosurgeon at the Hospital Universitario Mayor, continues to be very supportive of simulation-related bimanual psychomotor training for neurosurgical training. We look forward to continued cooperation with him and the other neurosurgeons in Colombia.

Lecture at Destiny Quebec Conference

Dr. Del Maestro presented 'Searching for Excellence: The Hand-Mind Interaction' at the Destiny Quebec Conference held at Lower Canada College on April 6. Dr. Del Maestro's lecture focused on concepts related to innovation and learning and how students during their lifetimes can continue to be innovators.

Dr. Sabbagh at the 6th Neurosurgery Update Symposium

Dr. Abdulrahman Sabbagh presented a talk on neurosurgical simulation at the 6th Neurosurgery Update Symposium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Dr. Sabbagh and his co-workers at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre - Jeddah Branch.

Brain Tumour Month

May is Brain Tumour Month in Canada. You can support the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and we encourage everyone interested in brain tumours to join a Brain Tumour Walk in their community.


Dr. Del Maestro honoured by Valtarese Foundation

Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, along with Dr. Aldo Guardoli, received the "Men of the Year" award on April 3 by the Valtarese Foundation of New York. Dr. Del Maestro received this award for his lifetime of work for brain tumour patients, being one of the three founding members of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, training many of Canada's and the world's neurosurgeons in the Neuro-Oncology field and research including innovation studies in neurosurgical simulation.

Dr. Del Maestro elected to American Osler Society

Dr. Del Maestro was elected to membership in the American Osler Society at their meeting in Minneapolis on May 3rd. This was presented by Dr. Paul Mueller, the president of the American Osler Society. Dr. Del Maestro was also honoured to receive the John P. McGovern Award Medal and gave the McGovern Lectureship at the American Osler Society Meeting at the Baltimore Meeting of the Society in 2015. Lecture.

Dr. Khalid Bajunaid

Congratulations to Khalid Bajunaid for having his paper 'Impact of acute stress on psychomotor bimanual performance during a simulated tumor resection task'
published on line by the Journal of Neurosurgery on March 11, 2016. Publication.

This publication was also accompanied by an Editorial by Dr. Bob Carter from the University of California, San Diego and our Authors Response. Editorial.

And another congratulations also for being awarded the Western University Neurovascular Drake Fellowship!

Dr Charles Drake Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureate 1

Dr. Alexander Winkler-Schwartz

Congratulations to Dr. Alexander Winkler-Schwartz for his paper on Virtual Reality Psychomotor Performance in Neurosurgical Applicants introducing TACT being published in the Journal of Surgical Education.

And another congratulations for obtaining 2nd place in clinical research at the H.B. Williams Paediatric Surgery research day.

Norah Alarifi

Congratulations to Norah Alarifi for her poster on Independent Learning using NeuroTouch/NeuroVR which won 1st prize at The Saudi International Medical Education Conference (SIMEC) in Riyadh.

Praveena Deekonda joining the Neurosurgical Simulation Centre

Congratulations to Praveena Deekonda from the University of Exeter for receiving funding from the Association of Surgeons in Training to join the Neurosurgical Simulation Centre this coming summer.

Robin Sawaya

Congratulations to Robin Sawaya on being elected president of the Graduate Student Association for Neuroscience (GSAN) for the 2016-17 academic year. GSAN represents all graduate students at McGill's Integrated Program in Neuroscience.