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The Opening Ceremonies featured experts from professional sports, the military, the

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of

Health (NIH) focusing on all elements of the major public health disaster of traumatic

brain injury (TBI). This broad discussion was moderated by our own Sanjay K. Gupta, MD,

FAANS. Audience interaction was facilitated by unique technology that shared literally

hundreds of member-generated questions of major importance, only some of which were

able to be discussed by Dr. Gupta and the rest of the panel. We are saving the rest for use

in subsequent engagement opportunities with our membership, including our blog.

Our invited named lectureships followed the theme of the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting

with General Peter W. Chiarelli providing the Hunt-Wilson Lecture. General Chiarelli

has been a fierce advocate in the last two military theaters for the protection of our

soldiers. He was very distressed at the frequency of major head trauma and incidence

of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by returning soldiers. He formed

a foundation focused on providing relief and finding a pathway for a return to society for

those who have served their country. Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, FAANS, who won

the 2014 Lasker Prize, was the Richard Schneider Lecturer. He developed an entirely

new path forward, having discovered the field of deep brain stimulation (DBS). The Ted

Kurze Lecture was delivered by Thomas J. Nasca, MD, who is the CEO of the Accreditation

Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Dr. Nasca’s entire career has been

focused on optimizing the education and training of the next generations of physicians so

that we provide the best possible care available to the public.

A major highlight of the meeting was the Cushing Oration delivered by President George

W. Bush. In his hour-long exchange, members gained real insight into the decision-

making process undertaken by American presidents as well as the challenges they face. I

hope my own amateur interview skills did not detract from his message!

For the Louise Eisenhardt Lecture, Maria Siemionow, MD, PhD, was selected. She

pioneered the first face transplant. The Rhoton Family Lecturer was Jose Francisco

Salgado, PhD, an astronomer, photographer and musician. He has created an entirely

new discipline that brings art to scientists and science to artists. The Van Wagenen

Lecturer is a great friend of mine, Col. Geoffrey Ling, MD, PhD, (Ret.), who, after a

distinguished military career, served the Obama Administration in the technology division

and took over a leadership role at DARPA. He performed three prospective randomized

trials using hyperbaric oxygen for brain injuries suffered on the battlefield.