A leading Belgian neurosurgeon and brain researcher has been appointed as the inaugural Neurological Foundation Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Otago. Dirk De Ridder would take over the new job in February next year in Dunedin.
He is currently holding the position of professor of neuromodulation and neurosurgery at Antwerp University. He is also a renowned founder and director of a brain research centre and a tinnitus research initiative. His employment is jointly undertaken by Southern District Health Board and the University of Otago.
The neurosurgery center in Christchurch was earlier speculated to be centralized, but was the ministry of health later deeded to keep the neurology center in Dunedin. Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Crampton warmly welcomes Professor De Ridder's appointment, saying that he is ideally-equipped to lead the development of an academic neurosurgical centre of excellence in Dunedin. According to him, Professor De Ridder would play multiple roles at the Otago University.
While he would be primarily acting as a neurosurgeon at Dunedin hospital, he would conduct research work and do teaching. He went on to add that there were more than $2 million raised by the help of Otago and Southland communities.
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