Where are they now? - Jay Riva-Cambrin

Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin M.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.S.(C)

Jay Riva-Cambrin is another of our alumni to choose a career in academic pediatric neurosurgery.

Jay completed his undergraduate education in his native Alberta, obtaining a B.Sc. with specialization in pharmacology from the University of Alberta in 1994 and his M.D. from U of A in 1998. During those years he received a number of awards and scholarships for academic excellence. After a surgical internship in the University of Toronto, Jay entered neurosurgical training in our program, which he completed in 2005, and was certified by the RCPS(C) in neurosurgery. From 2002 to 2006, Jay was enrolled in the U of T Department of Surgery Surgical Scientist Program, and earned an M.Sc. in clinical epidemiology here in 2007. During his postgraduate training, Jay won a number of awards for academic achievement and humanitarianism. These awards included the Congress of Neurological Surgeons International Fellowship for Developing Nations (Zimbabwe, 2001), the Hydrocephalus Association Resident Award of the AANS/ CNS Section of Pediatric Neurological Surgery (2004), the Claire Bombardier Award in Clinical Epidemiology (U of T, 2004), the KG McKenzie Clinical Research Prize in our Division (2005), the Warren Ho Memorial Scholarship in the Division of Neurosurgery (U of T, 2004) and the Hospital for Sick Children Student Humanitarian of the Year Award (2006). He completed a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at SickKids in 2006.

In 2006, Jay took a position as Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, at the University of Utah. He was there until 2015, and achieved the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure. During that time, Jay was certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery (2008), and he served his university and hospital as Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship Program Director and Medical Director of the Neurotrauma Unit. He then left to assume a similar position in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, where he is at present. Jay is the Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program at U of C.

Jay has been academically very productive throughout his career, and his scholarly work has always been sharply focussed on his chosen sub-specialty of pediatric neurosurgery. It is noteworthy that many of Jay’s academic contributions have occurred in collaboration with colleagues, many of whom are also U of T neurosurgical alumni, even when he was still in the U.S. (Jim Drake, Ab Kulkarni, Doug Cochrane, John Kestle, to name just a few). Jay has published and presented on many aspects of pediatric hydrocephalus management, craniosynostosis, brain tumours and associated metabolic complications, head trauma, cerebrovascular injuries, ICP management and pediatric spinal surgery, to list just the highlights.

Jay has supervised graduate students, and done international neurosurgical education and practice in Bamako, Mali, Africa. He has served as a reviewer for a number of important medical journals, and has reviewed abstracts being considered for presentation at several major neurosurgical meetings. He has earned substantial grant funding over the years, both as PI and co-investigator.

Jay and his wife Jo-Anne have three boys- Homer (12), Harry, (10), and Hermes (7) (aka the other “3 Hs”) who are all fully immersed in hockey. Jay continues to be a rabid Superbowl champion Patriots fan who also enjoys travelling with his family, arguing politics, yelling at the TV, and cheering on the Oilers.

- By Bill Tucker