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Dacey receives Cushing Medal from neurosurgery society

Honored for leadership, dedication and contributions to the field of neurosurgery

by Tamara BhandariMay 13, 2016

Courtesy of AANS 2016

Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, has been awarded the Harvey Cushing Medal by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). He was honored with the medal, the association’s most prestigious award, for his many years of outstanding leadership, dedication and contributions to the field of neurosurgery.

The medal – named in honor of the father of modern neurosurgery – was awarded May 3 at the AANS annual meeting in Chicago.

Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD (left) receives the Cushing Medal from AANS then-president H. Hunt Batjer.AANS 2016
Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, (left) receives the Cushing Medal from H. Hunt Batjer, MD, the 2015-16 president of AANS.

“It means a lot to me to be recognized by my peers,” said Dacey, the Henry G. and Edith R. Schwartz Professor and head of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Dacey, who is also neurosurgeon-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is known for his work on the clinical management of cerebral aneurysms and brain tumors as well as how blood vessels in the brain control blood flow, which is important in a variety of neurosurgical diseases.

He counts among his achievements the recruitment of outstanding clinicians and researchers to his department.

“We’ve added great faculty and trained superb residents,” said Dacey. “We have some really innovative research being done here – for example, on the effective management of malignant brain tumors and spinal cord injuries, and on brain computer interfaces and complex cerebrovascular conditions.”

Dacey is a former chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and has served as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, and the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 and is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the AANS is a scientific and educational association with more than 8,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to patients.

Washington University School of Medicine‘s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Tamara covers pathology & immunology, medical microbiology, infectious diseases, cell biology, neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery and radiology. She holds a double bachelor's degree in molecular biophysics & biochemistry and in sociology from Yale University, a master's in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in biomedical science from the University of California, San Diego. Tamara worked in research labs for about a decade before switching to science writing. She joined WashU Medicine Marketing & Communications in 2016. She has received two Robert G. Fenley writing awards from the American Association of Medical Colleges. In 2020, she won a bronze for "Mind’s quality control center found in long-ignored brain area" and in 2022 a silver for "Mice with hallucination-like behaviors reveal insight into psychotic illness."