Where are they now? - Ann M. Parr

Dr. Ann M Parr BSc(H), MD, PhD, FRCSC

After completing an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s University in 1995, Ann Parr entered medical school at Queen’s, graduating in 1999. During her years at Queen’s Ann won several prestigious awards and scholarships.

Ann began her neurosurgery training in Winnipeg, but after three years, moved to Toronto to pursue graduate work in spinal cord injury (SCI) research in Dr Charles Tator’s lab. She continued to be recognized by awards and scholarships during her years of graduate school. Ann earned her PhD in 2007, and then completed clinical neurosurgery training at the University of Toronto, and was certified by the RCPSC in 2009. She then was the Cahill Spine Fellow in Complex Spinal Neurosurgery at the University of Miami.

In 2010, Ann became an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and was appointed Director of Spinal Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. Ann’s activities at the University of Minnesota are divided equally between research and clinical work, and the latter is approximately 80% spine, predominantly cervical spinal surgery. Ann’s lab is focussed on cell transplantation for SCI, an extension of her graduate research work in Toronto. Ann has earned several grants in support of her research, including an NIH K Award. She is also involved in clinical SCI research, and was the local PI for the Stem Cells, Inc. trial. Ann will also be the PI of the SPRING trial, expected to begin later this year.

Ann is active in resident teaching and educational administrative work at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and is on the Steering Committee of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/ PhD).

Ann has also been very active in organized neurosurgery,and is currently Chair of the Northwest Quadrant for the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies, President-Elect of the Minnesota State Neurosurgical Society and Chair-Elect of Women in Neurosurgery.

Ann’s home is on Lake Minnetonka, just outside of Minneapolis. There she can cycle, cross-country ski, jet ski, paddle board and fish from her own dock. Ann reconnects with her family at their Parry Sound cottage each summer. Ann and fellow U of T neurosurgical alumna Sarah Woodrow usually take a major trip together each year and this year they plan a wine-tasting visit to Chile and a trip to Easter Island.

- By Bill Tucker