Michael Salcman was born in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia and came to the United States in 1948. After attending public schools in New York, he entered the 6-year Combined Program in Liberal Arts and Medical Education at Boston University and served a surgical internship at the University Hospital in Boston. He was a fellow in neurophysiology in the Laboratory of Neural Control at the National Institutes of Health and received his training in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University from 1972 to 1976. Thereafter, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he started the Neuro-Oncology Service and headed the Neuro-Trauma Service at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. He became professor and head of the Division of Neurological Surgery in 1983. His clinical research has concentrated on brain tumors of all types, arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms, and head injury. His laboratory research has been devoted to such areas as microwave hyperthermia and cerebral blood flow, the blood-brain barrier, model brain tumors, and the in vitro investigation of combined modality therapy. He is the author of more than 160 scientific articles and book chapters as well as two textbooks, one on neurologic emergencies and the other, the neurobiology of brain tumors.
Dr. Salcman has served on numerous Congress committees and
as associate editor ofNeurosurgery. He became secretary of the Congress in 1983 and helped computerize its membership files. He was one of the first to initiate a program of exchange visits between the officers of the Congress and the Japanese Congress of Neurological Surgery. In addition to international affairs and technology, Dr. Salcman has emphasized the educational and humanitarian thrust of the organization. As president, he has worked intensively with the Think First Foundation, on the Decade of the Brain project, and with the Washington Committee.
Dr. Salcman became president in 1990 and during his tenure, international membership was increased and the benefits of such membership expanded. In addition, a committee was appointed to develop neurosurgical humanitarian efforts in the Third World. Together with the Washington Committee and other leaders, Dr. Salcman worked to set the scientific agenda for the Decade of the Brain in regard to National Institutes of Health appropriations. He also helped provide Congress input into the financial aspects of health care delivery. Both as president and as chairman of the Joint Committee on Education, he has worked to strengthen the commitment of organized neurosurgery to continuing medical education. The publication of an official history of the Congress is the culmination of a dream that he has shared with several other presidents.
His interests outside the Congress and neurosurgery include his family, sailing, scuba diving, poetry, and contemporary art. Dr. Salcman has served as president of the Friends of Modern Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art and as an active member of the Accessions Committee of its Board of Trustees. He and his wife Ilene have provided numerous art groups from both Washington, D.C. and the Baltimore area with guided tours of their own collection.
Dr. Salcman has served on the Executive Committee of the Congress since 1981 and treasures above all else the friendships of his neurosurgical colleagues.