Charles Ray, MD
Past President (2000-2004)
Founding Member

Founding ISASS member and its first president, Charles Ray, MD, is an international lecturer and visiting professor in over 28 countries, and fluently speaks eight languages. He has had over 350 publications, more than 52 US patents and over 100 foreign patents. In the year 2000, he was honored with the Gold Prize and the Industrial R & D 100 Award for his invention of the Prosthetic Disc Nucleus.

Not only is Dr. Ray a past president of ISASS, but also of the North American Spine Society and the American College of Spine Surgeons. Throughout his career, he has sought to point out that the human spine is inherently flexible and that better surgical options exist outside fusion. He is one of only a few clinicians that have had the knowledge and skill necessary to both design and manufacture innovative medical devices. Dr. Ray is retired, but is a consultant to Universities and Industry.

Rudolf Bertagnoli, MD
Past President (2004-2005)
Founding Member

Dr. Bertagnoli is one of the world’s leading spine surgeons and teaches spine surgery to other doctors all over the world. He has instructed more than 2,500 doctors from more than 55 countries. Dr. Bertagnoli is leading the development of 360 motion preservation surgical techniques.

Dr. Bertagnoli is the founder, CMO and CEO of ProSpine, the first European Centre for Spine Arthroplasty and Associated Non-Fusion Technologies, which has five facilities across Germany. Additionally, he is the president of Spine Evolution Nucleus Europe (SEN), a member of the North American Spine Society (NASS), a faculty member of IMAST and a past German representative of the International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery (ISMISS).

Theirry Marnay, MD
Past President (2005-2006)

Dr. Theirry Marnay has been a vital part of ISASS since the beginning. He helped set up the original meeting with the Viscogliosi brothers, organized the Montpellier meeting and was one of the leaders who brought current executive director Kristy Radcliffe on board. “I am very proud to have chosen Kristy. She came in and put some order into the society—made it successful and profitable.”

During his tenure as president, Dr. Marnay is most proud of these major accomplishments:

  • Invented Prodisc
  • Created the original idea for ISASS organization in 2000
  • Hosted and organized (with his own money) the Montpellier Meeting in 2002
  • Chose to hire Kristy Radcliffe

Stephen Hochschuler, MD
Past President (2006-2007)
Founding Member

Dr. Stephen Hochschuler looks fondly on his tenure with ISASS as well as the entire ISASS community. “I am proud of the stature of ISASS and what it has brought to the spine community,” says Dr. Hochschuler. “I am also proud of all my new spine surgeon friends, as well as the administrative people I have worked with.”

During his tenure with ISASS, Dr. Hochschuler has worked toward incorporating the synergies of best of breed medical techniques and education in terms of running a successful business organization. Through recruitment of appropriate personnel, systems and accountability and transparency across all efforts, Dr. Hochshuler has created a global organization reaching new geographic areas and enticing leaders in spinal surgery to join the society.

In addition to his involvement with ISASS, Dr. Hochschuler is a member of several national and international professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; the American Pain Society; North American Spine Society; and the Southwest Chapter of the Society of International Business Fellows. Internationally, he is a member of the International Intradiscal Therapy Society; the International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery; the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine; and is a founding board member of the Spinal Arthroplasty Society. He has also been a founding board member of The American Board of Spine Surgery and The American College of Spine Surgery. He is published in a wide range of profession journals and is the author of two books: "Back In Shape" and "Treat Your Back Without Surgery".

Hansen A. Yuan, MD
Past President (2007-2008)

Dr. Hansen Yuan is a Professor of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. He holds hospital appointments at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital and Veterans Administration Hospital. He earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. His surgery Internship and Orthopaedic Surgery Residency were at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center. Dr. Yuan was in a post-graduate Fellowship with Dr. Leon Wiltse specializing on low back and cervical pain. During his medical studies and fellowships, Dr. Yuan served in the United States Army for a total of six years.

Dr. Yuan holds membership in many professional societies a few of which include: the American Medical Association, Orthopaedic Research Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Research Society, American College of Surgeons, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Past President of The North American Spine Society, and the Scoliosis Research Society. Many of these societies have honored Dr. Yuan's research and writing with grants and research awards. He has authored over 100 articles and many abstracts published in peer-reviewed journals. He has been a contributing author of 16 chapters to medical books. Dr. Yuan researches in the areas of degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and bone healing and bone substitute. In North America and Asia, universities and hospitals invite Dr. Yuan as a visiting professor. Many times, he has been a Presidential Guest to the Republic of China speaking on Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Yuan was attracted to ISASS by the driving force of the founders and their unique and successful efforts to create a technology-directed society for surgeons. During his tenure with the society, he is most proud of his work growing membership internationally and his efforts with ISASS Journal, of which he remains the editor-in-chief.

Karin Büttner-Janz, MD, MBA Germany
Past President (2008-2009)

Attracted by ISASS goals to facilitate the active exchange of motion sparing knowledge and education of surgeons with the aim to improve patient care, Dr. Karin Büttner-Janz joined the society early on. Her main objectives during her tenure were to explain what ISASS is and what it stands for, as well as who it works with. She also wrote the society’s bylaws, which were approved by ISASS membership in Miami.

Dr. Büttner-Janz is a former competitive gymnast with gold, silver and bronze Olympic, World Championship and European Championship medals. She was the director of Vivantes Orthopaedic Clinic im Friedrichshain and Director of the Vivantes Traumatologic and Orthopaedic Clinic Am Urban, Berlin. In addition to being the immediate past president of ISASS, she is also an honorary member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. She has authored or co-authored approximately 270 scientific publications, oral presentations, posters and patents and received the National Award for Science and Technology for the development of the Charité Artificial Disc.

Dr. Büttner-Janz is Extraordinary Professor at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

“SAS is a great challenge for all spine surgeons of this world,” says Dr. Büttner-Janz. “The administrative ISASS team has a big task to find the right balance between all influences on our society.”

Chun-Kun Park, MD, PhD
President (2009-2010)

He is the director of the Spine Center at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, and is the chairman of the department of neurosurgery and a professor at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul.

Prof. Park recently researched and published on such areas as balloon kyphoplasty and artificial discs in the cervical and lumbar spines, and his clinical interest includes motion preservation spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. He was awarded the 2008 Academic Award by the Korean Neurological Society.

Thomas Errico, MD
President (2010-2011)

Dr. Errico is an internationally recognized leader in spinal research at the NYU Medical Center in New York, New York. He has received multiple national and international awards in the last 25 years for outstanding research and development involving spinal diagnostic and management techniques.

Errico Spine Care is designed to work with patients and their families to improve the quality of life for patients with spinal disorders through innovative approaches to diagnosis, treatment, research, and patient education.

Jean-Charles LeHuec, MD, PhD, France
President (2011-2012)

Professor LeHuec is Chief of Spine Unit and chairman of Department of Orthopaedic and Traumatology at the Bordeaux University Hospital. He is Director of the laboratory of surgical research at the Bordeaux University School of Medicine.  Professor LeHuec has numerous publications and participates in numerous research projects about spine pathologies, biomaterials and computer assisted surgery.

Steven Garfin, MD, USA
President (2012-2013)

Steven R. Garfin, MD is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of California. Additionally, Dr. Garfin holds hospital positions at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center and at the La Jolla Veterans Administration Hospital.

Luiz Pimenta, MD, PhD, Brazil
President (2013-2014)

Luiz Pimenta, born in 1947, completed all of his education in his homeland, Brazil. He had graduated in Medicine at the Medical School of the University of São Paulo in 1971. He started his residency in Neurosurgery in 1972 at the Paulista Medical School, currently Federal University of São Paulo. During residency, Dr. Luiz Pimenta participated in various research projects in Neurosurgery. He finished his residency in 1977, starting his PhD in Neurosurgery in 1978 at the same university, finishing his project in 1980.