Interview with Dr Michael Fehlings

What is your name and where do you live?

Michael Fehlings and I live in Toronto, Canada.

TORONTO, : Feb. 14, 2017 – Dr. Fehlings. (Tim Fraser for Globe Edge) (For Krembil Magazine story by n/a)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and hold the Robert Campeau/Charles Tator Chair in Brain and Spinal Cord Research. I am also Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Co-Direct the University of Toronto Spine Program. I have an active clinical practice in complex spine surgery and run a translationally oriented clinical and basic science research program to discover regenerative solutions for traumatic spinal cord injury and degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). I have trained over 200 clinical and research students and fellows from around the world.

What is your role at 

I am a scientific advisor and am active in RECODE-DCM.

How did you hear about and why did you get involved with charity?

I have an active interest in DCM (my group coined the term in 2015). Dr Mark Kotter was one of clinical fellows at the University of Toronto and I inspired in him an intense interest in DCM. When Mark returned to the UK, he established along with one his trainees, Dr Benjamin Davies. I got involved in from the beginning and spoke at the House of Lords event which initiated public interest in DCM in the UK.

What has your experience been like with 

I have been actively involved with RECODE-DCM from its inception. is a key initiative to raise awareness and to facilitate knowledge discovery and knowledge translation related to DCM.

What do you do during your spare time?    

I enjoy spending time with my family which includes 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I enjoy traveling. My family and I enjoy spending time at our lakeside retreat in Muskoka—two hours drive north of Toronto. I enjoy biking, hiking, and skiing.         

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself. 

  • I am an active clinical neurosurgeon and am passionate about teaching, research and mentorship.
  • My favourite place in the world is at our lakeside retreat in Muskoka—it’s relaxing and incredibly beautiful.
  • While I enjoy traveling, I do not spend more time in airplanes than I do at home in Toronto. 🙂