Newswise — The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) are pleased to announce that William S. Coggins, MD, of the University of Arkansas has been named the 2021 recipient of the AANS Neurosurgery Technology Development Grant for his project, “Intra-operative motor testing via virtual reality in deep brain stimulation patients.” 

The grant, administered by the NREF, is open to AANS member medical students and current neurosurgical residents in approved North American training programs. The recipient is required to submit a late-breaking abstract for a future AANS Annual Scientific Meeting. 

The application of technology to medicine has yielded tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The AANS, in conjunction with the Information Technology Committee and Young Neurosurgeons Committee (YNC), would like to empower young innovative minds in the field to develop technology-related research projects via the AANS Neurosurgery Technology Development Grant. 

“Neurosurgery has benefited greatly from technological advances, such as non-invasive imaging techniques, surgical tools like the operating microscope, computer-assisted neuronavigation and technology-based therapeutics, such as image-guided radiosurgery,” says Mark R. Iantosca MD, FAANS, chair of the AANS Information Technology Committee. 

The grant provides startup funds for student or resident research projects that apply cutting-edge technology into neurosurgical training (e.g. 3-D printing, virtual reality, personal activity monitoring) or the improvement in neurosurgical patient outcomes.  

For more information about NREF grant programs, visit the NREF online at or contact Lauren Coleman at 847.378.0535 or [email protected].



About AANS

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 11,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. Fellows of the AANS are board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, A.C. Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, nervous system and peripheral nerves. 

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About the NREF The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1980 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) to support research and education efforts that enhance and confirm the critical role neurosurgeons play in improving lives. 

The NREF is dedicated to providing education to neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers, as well as funding research into new and existing neurosurgical treatments, in order to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes in patient care. Through voluntary public donations, corporate support, and donations from allied groups, the NREF supports endeavors that impact the lives of those suffering from epilepsy, stroke, brain tumors, spinal disorders, sports-related head injuries, lower back pain and Parkinson’s disease.

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