Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD, FACS named Chief of Duke Spine Division


After an extensive, nationwide search, the Duke departments of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery are pleased to announce that Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD, FACS, will be the new chief of Duke's Spine Division, effective September 1, 2018. Shaffrey is the John A. Jane Professor of Neurological Surgery and adjunct professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He is board certified in both the fields of neurological surgery and orthopaedic surgery.

The combined Spine Division, a collaboration between the departments of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, was formed last year under the direction of Drs. Benjamin Alman and John Sampson to better coordinate the clinical, educational, and research missions related to spine care.  This collaboration provides world-class interdisciplinary spine care with operative and non-operative experts in a coordinated care model.  

Shaffrey is a world-renowned physician-scientist who has an active research interest in spinal surgery, particularly in multicenter research studies of pediatric and adult scoliosis, spinal cord injury, spinal trauma, and tumors involving the spinal column. He is currently a deputy editor for both the journals Spine and Spine Deformity. He has more than 400 publications, greater than 750 national and international presentations, and served as editor for several textbooks on spinal surgery.  He currently serves as the chair of the International Meeting of Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), president-elect of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and director for the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Shaffrey received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1986 and completed his general surgical internship at Naval Hospital San Diego. He completed his residencies in neurosurgery and orthopaedics, followed by a spine fellowship in pediatric and adult reconstructive spine surgery at the University of Virginia.

Following completion of his surgical training he began his career in the departments of Neurological Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, followed by a professorship at the University of Washington in Seattle and in 2003, he returned to the University of Virginia as professor of neurological surgery and director of the Neurosurgery Spine Division.

Duke's William J. Richardson, MD, served as the interim chief of the Spine Division for the past year. He was instrumental in overseeing the completion of a strategic plan for the new division and led patient satisfaction initiatives and the creation of a Combined Spine Scheduling Hub.