The Titrud Lectureship in Neurosurgery

Leonard Titrud

Leonard A. Titrud, MD, PhD, born January 1, 1911, in Minneapolis, MN, was a successful, respected neurosurgeon in hospitals in both the community and at the University of Minnesota. He earned his MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1935 and pursued internships at the U.S. Marine Hospital in New York City, the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Ky., and the University Hospital in Minneapolis. He held a National Cancer Fellowship and a Fellowship in Surgery and Neurological Surgery at the University Hospital. During World War II, Dr. Titrud was an army surgeon and remained active with the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1966.

First to Graduate from U of M Program

Following World War II, he returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed an MS in Surgery followed by a PhD in Neurosurgery. He was the first student in the neurosurgery graduate program and maintained a close kinship with department head and program founder, Dr. William Peyton. He served as a clinical professor of Neurosurgery for more than 23 years.

Dr. Titrud's professional legacy includes many publications on surgery and neurological disorders. He was a member of several national, state, and local professional surgery and neurosurgery organizations. He retired from the practice of neurosurgery in 1985, an esteemed member of the Minneapolis medical community.

 Dr. Titrud passed away on October 18, 2004.

Philanthropy Focused on Neurosurgical Research, Enhancing the Resident Experience

Dr. Titrud and his wife Geraldine (Jeri) were married for more than 50 years and raised four children in their home on Lake Minnetonka. All of their children graduated from the University of Minnesota, which was a source of pride to the Titruds. They traveled extensively and enjoyed and supported the arts in Minneapolis. Before Jeri died in January of 2003, they were actively preparing their philanthropic legacy to the university and the neurosurgery program Dr. Titrud valued so deeply. In December of 2003, he completed his charitable plan that included a generous gift to establish the Leonard A. and Geraldine A. Titrud Fund in Neurosurgery.

The lecture, which features U of M Neurosurgery Department alumni, was designed to be accessible to both the neurosurgical community and to non-physicians interested in neurosurgery. The lecturer also serves as a visiting professor, enabling residents to spend extra time with them to learn from their experience and discuss the many different aspects of neurosurgery.

The intent of the lectureship is to garner insights from the lecturer about how neurosurgeons can contribute to our society and, through the lens of our training, help address the pressing matters of our time. It is a reminder that we are all citizens of a larger, global community with responsibilities beyond our role as neurosurgeons.

March 29, 2019, Lecture

Walter Chong-Yuen Jean, MDThe 15th annual Titrud Lecture featured Walter Jean, MD, professor of Neurosurgery and director of Skull Base Surgery at George Washington University, Washington, DC. His presentation was titled, “Global Brainsurgery Initiative: from maiden visit to Vietnam to the globalization of resident training.”

A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Jean is a graduate of Princeton University and Cornell University Medical College. He completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Minnesota in 2000, followed by a fellowship in skull base surgery at the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Jean began his career at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, where he became a professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery, Radiation Medicine & Otolaryngology, and served as director of Surgical Neuro-Oncology.

During the seven years he served as program director, Dr. Jean led the Georgetown University neurosurgery residency program, doubling its size. After stepping down from that position, he worked with Thieme Publishing Company to create, Skull Base Tumors: Strategies, a new textbook about decision making in cranial surgery. He is also first author or co-author of many articles published in peer-reviewed journals, has contributed numerous book chapters, and made presentations at national and international meetings. 

Dr. Jean’s current interest is in globalizing skull base training. To that end, he and like-minded colleagues formed the Global Brainsurgery Initiative to operate in low-income nations and enhance neurosurgical education with the latest technologies, including the use of virtual reality tools.

An Arlington, VA, resident, Dr. Jean and his wife, Maria, have two boys, Sebastian and Adrian. While fatherhood forced him to retire from being a soccer player and semi-professional singer, it has enhanced his love for Italian wine.

Past Lectures

Frederick (Rick) Boop, MDOctober 27, 2017: Frederick (Rick) Boop, MD, "Geography is History: The Globalization of Neurosurgery"

Mitesh Shah, MDFebruary 10, 2017: Mitesh Shah, MD, "Privademics — The Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine Model"

Mitesh Shah, MDOctober 30, 2015: Jacques Morcos, MD, "Synchronicity: In Life, at Work and at Play"

Paul Camarata, MDOctober 17, 2014: Paul Camarata, MD, “From Private to Academic Practice – the Road Less Traveled”

Robert Eugene Maxwell, MD, PhDOctober 25, 2013: Robert Eugene Maxwell, MD, PhD, "Constructivism and the Neurosurgeon"

Richard P. Moser, MDNovember 16, 2012: Richard P. Moser, MD, "Faust, Fiction and Fairy Tales for the Common Good from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: One Neurosurgeon's Perspective on Patient-centered Outcomes Research and Impact on Healthcare"

Fernando Diaz, MD, PhDNovember 18, 2011: Fernando Diaz, MD, PhD, "Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Instrumentation: Should Neurosurgeons be a Part of the Process? A Microvascular Surgeon's Perspective"

George S. Allen, MD, PhDFebruary 11, 2011: George S. Allen, MD, PhD, "Warren Buffet and the Practice of Neurosurgery"

Gaylan L. Rockswold, MD, PhDJanuary 22, 2010: Gaylan L. Rockswold, MD, PhD, "The Making of a Neurosurgeon...or Anything Else for that Matter"

Michael E. Carey, MDNovember 7, 2008: Michael E. Carey, MD, "Speak Memory, 40 Years and 3 Wars in Neurosurgery"

Alexa Canady, MDMarch 8, 2008: Alexa Canady, MD, "Where Will the Business Model of Medicine Take Us?"

Donald Erickson, MDMarch 23, 2007: Donald Erickson, MD, "Town or Gown: Cooperating and Competition"

James I. Ausman, MD, PhDMarch 10, 2006: James I. Ausman, MD, PhD,  “What the Future Will Look Like and What You Can Do to Be Successful in It”

Edward L. Seljeskog, MD, PhDJanuary 14, 2005: Edward L. Seljeskog, MD, PhD, "History of the Minnesota Medical School and the Evolution of Surgery and Neurosurgery"