James T. Rutka

2009, New Orleans

Born in Toronto, and educated at Princeton University (1975-1977), and Queen's University Medical School (1977-1981), Dr. Rutka did an internship at McGill University (1981-1982) before entering the University of Toronto Neurosurgery Training Program in 1982. His training included a research fellowship at the Brain Tumor Research Centre, the University of California San Francisco where he obtained his PhD in Experimental Pathology (1984-1987). Upon conclusion of his neurosurgical residency 1989, Dr. Rutka did a clinical fellowship in microvascular neurosurgery with Dr. Kenichiro Sugita at the University of Nagoya, and a post-doctoral research fellowship in molecular immunology at Juntendo University, Tokyo (1990).

Dr. Rutka assumed his appointment in the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery in 1990, and has been on the surgical staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery since that time. Dr. Rutka's primary research and clinical interests relate to the science and surgery of human brain tumors. His laboratory interests lie in the molecular biology of human brain tumors – specifically in the determination of the mechanisms by which brain tumors grow and invade. His recent clinical interests have centred on the surgical treatment of epilepsy in children. He has over 250 peer review publications. His laboratory has been continually funded since 1992 with grants from the CIHR, NCIC, OICR, and Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, the Journal of NeuroOncology and NeuroOncology.

He was appointed as Co-Director of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at the University of Toronto in 1998. In 1999, he received a Scientist Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada. This same year, Dr. Rutka was promoted to Professor in the Department of Surgery, and was appointed Chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. He currently holds the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery. In 2001, Dr. Rutka received the Lister Award in the Department of Neurosurgery for sustained contributions to surgical research at the University of Toronto. In 2002, Dr. Rutka was listed by Globe and Mail as one of the Nation Builders in Canada, in the section of Science and Technology. In 2004, he was honored with the Grass Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons. In 2005, he received the Farber Award from the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors for longstanding contributions to neurooncology research. In 2006, Dr Rutka was appointed to the position of Secretary of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and was awarded the International Order of Smile, an award which honors individuals for their love, care and aid of children.