Peter M. Black

2006, Chicago

Dr. Peter Black was born in Canada and grew up in Northern Ontario. While in high school, he became an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto as a solo performer in piano. He attended Harvard College, graduating with honors. He returned to Canada for medical school at McGill University. He entered surgical and then neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During this period, he served two years in the United States Navy, mostly at the U.S. Capitol as a physician to Congress and the Supreme Court. He earned a PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University. In 1980 he joined the staff at the MGH. In 1987 he became a Professor and Chief of Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. He is presently Chair of the Departments of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital; Neurosurgeon-in-chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Chief of Neurosurgical Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute; and Franc D. Ingraham Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Black is a respected clinical neurosurgeon with a busy neurosurgical oncology practice that includes many international referrals. He directs the brain tumor program at Dana-Farber Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. He is consistently listed in Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors with special interest in surgery for meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, and low grade gliomas; image-guided minimally invasive neurosurgery; skull base surgery; and brain mapping. He helped to develop the first intraoperative MRI and has used this device extensively to improve brain tumor treatment. He also has extensive experience in epilepsy surgery in children and hydrocephalus in adults. He has been an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons since 1982, serving on numerous CNS committees including the Executive Committee. He edited several editions of SANS and Clinical Neurosurgery and is now Chair of the Editorial Board of Neurosurgery and the senior representative of the CNS to the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. His laboratory has had ongoing funding since 1980 including present RO1 funding. It investigates growth and invasion in brain tumors, especially innovative methods of blocking these with emphasis on local delivery systems. His bibliography includes ten books and five hundred papers, most involving brain tumor management, brain imaging and image-guided surgery, medical ethics, and molecular neurosurgery.

Dr. Black is deeply committed to neurosurgical education around the world. He has a great interest in the work of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and chairs its Bylaws committee, also sitting on the Education and Ethics committees. He has mentored students, residents, young faculty, and graduate neurosurgeons from more than thirty countries and has given invited lectures in forty. He is very proud of the productivity of his former trainees, many holding prominent academic positions; Dr Richard Ellenbogen, the current CNS President, is a spectacular example.

Dr. Black has always had the good fortune to work with wonderfully talented and capable people. Chief among these are his family, the most important people in his life. His five grown children live in four cities and three countries. With his wife Katharine, an Episcopal priest, he welcomes Dia, Libby, Katy, P. T., Chris, and their friends home as often as possible, always ready with pizza, movies, and good conversation.