KCL International Neurosurgical Conference 2018

The KCL Neurosurgery Society was born of enthusiasm for earlier student exposure to the field of neurosurgery. Progress has not been stagnant; driven to explore novel avenues on energy borrowed from student ambition and support from seniors aligned to this principal aim.

The inaugural conference in 2017 conceived an opportunity for students to be inspired by the core precepts of neurosurgery. Introduction of the concept was worthy of publication in The British Journal of Neurosurgery and subsequently rallied sufficient interest to convene a Faculty comprised of 50 neurosurgical figures from leading global institutes for the 2018 anniversary, presented as: The KCL International Neurosurgical Conference (KINSC) 2018.

The weekend event integrated 12 Keynote Lectures, 3 teaching sessions, 9 practical workshops, an exhibition and evening networking event.

The KCL Neurosurgery Society has not been alone in these pursuits, with long-standing guidance from patrons from the King’s College Hospital Neurosurgery Department. However, the committee also understand the value of outreach and escaping the dichotomy of ‘neuroscience’ and ‘surgery’ often affiliated with the speciality. We aim to traverse new sectors having establish a network of collaborations with colleagues pertaining to the fields of digital health, consultancy in healthcare, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, public engagement, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Conference Programme


Mr Bassel Zebian

KCL Neurosurgery Society Patron & King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Ms. Eleni Maratos

King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Professor Terence Hope

Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK

Professor Antonio Bernardo

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY, USA

Professor André Grotenhuis

Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Professor Teodoro Forcht-Dagi

AANS Distinguished Speaker’s Bureau: HLM Venture Pts, Harvard Medical School, USA & Queen’s University Belfast, N.Ireland

Professor Sean D. Lavine

AANS Distinguished Speaker’s Bureau: Colombia University Vagelos College of Physicians, NY, USA

Mr. Stephen Price

Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge, UK

Dr. William Gormley

The Computational Neuroscience Outcomes Center (CNOC) at Harvard, Harvard & Brigham’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Mr. Richard Gullan

King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Mr. Harpreet Mangat

McKinsey & Company London, London, UK

Teaching Session Leads

  • BrainBook
    • Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  • Dr Joao Paulo de Almeida
    • Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Mr. Joeky Senders
    • Utretcht University, The Netherlands & CNOC at Harvard, USA

Results outputs


Conference Enterprises

Delegates were invited to join the global discussion on the surgical innovation as the committee welcomed commentaries entitled: ‘A world of change: global trends and the future of surgery’. The entries were accompanied by Curriculum Vitae and judged in conjunction with academic merit. Bursaries enabling gratis entry to the writers of the best commentaries were kindly provided by the AMEE. The winners hailed from medical various schools across the UK including King’s College London, Cambridge University and Cardiff University.


The Society implemented an online blog competition for students in Higher Education in the 16-18 age cohort. 5 gratis entry tickets to the first day of the conference were awarded to the highest-ranking submissions with the best commentary being published in the Nucleus, a science editorial magazine affiliated to the university. Copies of the Nucleus were included in the delegate canvas bags and the magazine editors attended the conference as complementary guests. An editorial detailing the events of the conference were published in an ensuing issue of the magazine.


The conference had successfully assembled an international community of the leading professionals in neurosurgery. The evening networking event enabled continued discussion and opportunities for aspiring trainees to seek clarity regarding the demands of a neurosurgical career and to concert extra-curricular engagements akin to fellowship, placement and elective initiatives. The nature of the event and setting enabled us to thank our faculty for their invaluable support and enduring commitment to the conference’s success.

Faculty Testimonials

‘’I am truly proud of all that you have achieved in organising such a high calibre conference and I look forward to many more future achievements!’

Bassel Zebian, MBBS, BSc (Hons), MRCS (Eng), FRCS (Neuro.Surg)

Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiology;
Columbia University; Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Clinical Director, Neuroendovascular Services;
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Past-Chairman, Joint Cerebrovascular Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AANS/CNS)

‘Thank you very much for including me in your meeting. I was thoroughly impressed with the conference. It was not clear to me before attending that the event was organized by the students. It was as well-run and designed as any conference I have attended. The unique combination of local and guest speakers, student project presentations, and hands-on teaching sessions was truly unique. You and the other organizers should be truly proud of the KCL International Neurosurgical Conference 2018. I was proud to be involved in the program, and hope that my involvement enhanced the discussion, and may have inspired the attendees to pursue careers either directly or associated with Neurosurgery. I strongly endorse the meeting and feel that all of your sponsors, corporate as well as FIENS, should understand just how special an event the King’s College Neurosurgery Conference was this year. I am happy to stay in touch with the Society, and would be excited to provide any support possible in the future.

It was truly a highlight of my year to be part of your fantastic meeting.’

Sean D. Lavine, M.D.

Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiology;
Columbia University; Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Clinical Director, Neuroendovascular Services;
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Past-Chairman, Joint Cerebrovascular Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AANS/CNS)

‘I had the opportunity to participate in the Kings College London International Neurosurgical Conference 2018, on November 10-11, The event was a student organized
conference, but one would scarcely know that from the high level organization and content. There was a fantastic and varied speaker list at an extremely high level, follow up by practical workshops that truly engaged those in attendance. The participants were mostly medical students and they were thoroughly engaged – it was clear that this was a very special event designed to engage and educate. It did not fail in any of these goals.

In summary, this was an extraordinary symposium which can only grow the depth and strength of Neurosurgery for young students. I was honored to be asked to participate and look forward to doing so again.’

William B Gormley, MD, MPH, MBA

Professor of Neurosurgery
Director, Microneurosurgery Skull Base Laboratory
Weill Cornell Medical College
Department of Neurological Surgery

‘On 10th November I participated as a lecturer to the 2018 King’s College London International Neurosurgical Conference. I was pleasantly impressed by the spirit of the initiative and by the perfect organization. The meeting was very well attended and engaging. The combination of keynote lectures on innovative topics given by experienced scientists and the hand-on practical seminars provided an incredible learning opportunities for young doctors. I think such initiatives carry a tremendous educational value for medical students and young residents and ought to be strongly encouraged. It was a true pleasure to participate to the meeting and I was very impressed by the energy and the organization. It would be a pleasure for me to support such your initiative again.’

Antonio Bernardo, M.D.

Director, Neurosurgical Critical Care
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Department of Neurosurgery
Harvard Medical School

‘The conference at King’s was both well conceived and well implemented. The program did an outstanding job of presenting and overview of neurological surgery, both from a clinical and from a research perspective. The faculty were excellent and from everything I saw and heard, the conference was very well received. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.’

T. (Teo) Forcht-Dagi, MD, DMedSc, DHC, MPH, MBA, FRCSEd, FAANS, FACS, FCCM

Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland Director of Life Sciences Anglo Scientific
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
Londonof Neurosurgery
Harvard Medical School

‘An outstanding conference – the team should be very proud of this effort. It was a privilege to speak amongst such a distinguished array of speakers and I will be delighted to help support any future events.’

Richard Gullan, BSc, MB BS, FRCP, FRCS

Consultant Neurosurgeon, King’s College Hospital

‘Thank you for the invitation to attend the student conference. I was very impressed by the excellent level of organisation and clear passion you and your colleagues have for neurosurgery. The conference programme, workshops and teaching were to a very high standard, while appropriately targeted to the learning needs of the attendees. I cannot of course fail to mention the incredibly enthusiastic participants who gave up their weekend to pursue their dreams of becoming neurosurgeons. Last but certainly not least, your patron Mr Zebian and his colleagues at King’s must be congratulated for their support and for nurturing such an enterprising environment. Overall this was an excellent conference and I hope you and your colleagues will continue to run future workshops and conferences such as this one.’

Sanjeeva Jeyaretna MD FRCS(SN)

Consultant Neurosurgeon (Skull Base Surgery and Neuro-oncology), Skull Base Surgery Lead Neurosurgery Higher Surgical Training (Residency) Programme Director Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

‘Happy to hear that this was a successful contribution. Please keep the NEURONproject in mind for next year as well!’


Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto Staff Neurosurgeon, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network Surgical Co-Director, Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Family Gamma Knife Center Scientist, Krembil Research Institute

‘it was a pleasure to join you in London. You and your team did a great job organizing the conference and I was honored to be part of it. It was great to see the interest of so many students in International Education and collaboration. As Dr. Hodaie said, we are looking forward to future meetings and projects.’

Joao Paulo Almeida, M.D.

Department of Surgery, University of Toronto


This year, the Society received the following contributions in support of the conference. We would be grateful for the opportunity to implement the growth we foresee alongside continued and newly forged alliances.

The Foundation for International Education in
Neurological Surgery
The Society of British Neurological Surgeons Academia
Association of Medical Education in Europe Academia
The European Association of Neurosurgical Societies Academia
The World Federation of Neurosurgical SocietiesAcademia
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Academia
The Royal College of Surgeons of England Academia
The Royal Society of MedicineAcademia
The Medical Defence UnionIndustry
Integra LifeSciencesIndustry
Delta SurgicalIndustry
Meril LifeIndustry
Karlz StorzIndustry
Neurophys LimitedIndustry
Axial 3DIndustry
Brain & Spine FoundationCharity
Cavernnoma Alliance UKCharity
The British Medical Association (BMA)Academia
International League Against EpilepsyAcademia
British Neuro-Oncology SocietyCharity
The Nucleus Science MagazineAcademia