Named after the founder of the AO Spine Knowledge Forums (KF), the international Luiz Vialle Award recognizes young practitioners for their contributions to the field of spine research and knowledge dissemination to improve patient care and outcomes in spinal disorders.
Join us in congratulating our very own Dr Benjamin Davies, the recent recipient of a 2023 AO Spine Luiz Vialle Award. Specifically, each year these awards are given to associate members of the five Knowledge Forums (KF), which are AO Spine’s international study groups in the areas of spine tumor, deformity, trauma, spinal cord injury, and degenerative disease.
Here Ben reflects on his time as an Associate Member of the KF Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).
Becoming an Associate Member of the Knowledge Forum Spinal Cord Injury has been a major catalyst for my personal development through its combination of unique opportunities and world leading mentorship. This comes from both the forum members, as well as the supporting team at AO.
Being able to collaborate with my KF colleagues is a unique and rewarding privilege. It has changed the way I approach my work because it has shown me that the end of a research project is more than just the conclusion to a scientific publication. In fact, it is just the beginning because for innovation to truly help patients, the bigger challenge is bringing it into practice.
I specialize in degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM), a common and disabling but at the same time widely unrecognized and underfunded condition. AO Spine RECODE-DCM, a project on which I am a co-principal investigator, offers a research toolkit to consolidate these limited resources onto shared goals, whereby innovation in any corner of the globe can reach any patient.
A fellow KF member once said to me that humility is the greatest asset of a surgeon scientist: you have to always be open to new ideas wherever they come from, and you have to always be prepared to challenge your strongest convictions. I believe that for our generation, the greatest opportunities for improving surgical outcomes lie outside of the operating theatre.
Learn more about the award and the other AO Spine Luiz Vialle Award winners.