Stephen M. Papadopoulos

2002, Philadelphia

Dr. Papadopoulos was born in 1956, the son of a Greek immigrant. His father arrived in the United States shortly after the war to attend college on an educational scholarship granted from the Greek government. While in college his father met his mother, became married and started a family of four boys. Dr. Papadopoulos’ brothers have all pursued successful careers in the Technology field, perhaps in the footsteps set forth by their father.

Dr. Papadopoulos’ interest in medicine was sparked in high school by his sophomore biology teacher. It wasn’t until medical school, at the University of Texas in Houston, however, that he chose the field of neurosurgery. In medical school he was mentored by Dr. Floyd Haar who revealed the beauty, elegance and complexities of neurosurgery. In fact he began his residency at Dr. Haar’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, in 1982. At the University of Michigan, he was trained by Drs. Julian Hoff, John McGillicuddy, William Chandler and Joan Venes. Dr. Hoff clearly instilled a spirit of volunteerism and leadership in organized neurosurgery amongst all of his residents including Dr. Papadopoulos. In 1988, Dr. Papadopoulos was invited to stay as a faculty member at the University of Michigan with his first appointment as the Chief of Neurosurgery at the Ann Arbor V.A. Hospital. In 1989, he went to Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, for fellowship training in the field of spinal neurosurgery with Dr. Volker Sonntag, this year’s Honored Guest. Dr. Sonntag’s equally passionate commitment to volunteerism and leadership in organized neurosurgery further shaped Dr. Papadopoulos’ career priorities. He spent the following 12 years at he University of Michigan pursing his early interests in spinal surgery and, later, emphasis in the area of image guided surgery and surgical informatics. He has been a clear leader in academic arena, authoring over one hundred articles, manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Papadopoulos began his work in the CNS nearly ten years ago on the Annual Meeting Committee, where he subsequently worked as the Scientific Program Chair in 1995 and the Annual Meeting Chair in 1996. He has served on the CNS Executive Committee since 1993; Treasurer from 1996-1999, Vice President in 2000 and President-elect in 2001. He has been equally active in the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerve; serving on the Executive Committee from 1992-2000, Annual Meeting Chair in1994, Secretary from 1994-1997 and Chair in 1999.

In 2001, Dr. Papadopoulos returned to Phoenix to join his colleagues at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He continues to provide innovative contributions in the areas of image guided surgery, surgical informatics and complex spinal neurosurgery.

In 1983, Dr. Papadopoulos married a beautiful young nurse working in the cardiac catheterization lab, Penelope Sanders. Penny and Steve have three sons, Michael (15), Matthew (13), and Marcus (10). Michael is a sports enthusiast, enjoying golf, tennis, and track. Matthew is an active swimmer and budding thespian. Marcus enjoys school, baseball, and Saturday afternoons. Penny remarkably balances service to the CNS Auxiliary over the years, her own career as an Adult Nurse Practitioner, mother, wife, “taxi driver”, "sporting event cheering section" and "family glue".