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Nitin Agarwal, Diego D. Luy, Joanne M. Bonaminio, Chris A. Philips, Kathryn A. Dattomo, Robert F. Heary, Charles L. Branch Jr., Jon H. Robertson, Michael W. Groff and Regis W. Haid Jr.


The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF), previously known as the Research Foundation of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), was established in 1980 to encourage and facilitate innovation through financial support to young neurosurgeons in the process of honing their competencies in neurosciences and neurological surgery. This article provides a historical overview of NREF, its mission, and charitable contributions and the ever-expanding avenues for neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents and fellows, and medical students to supplement clinical training and to further neurosurgical research advances.


Data were collected from the historical archives of the AANS and NREF website. Available data included tabulated revenue, geographic and institutional records of funding, changes in funding for fellowships and awards, advertising methods, and sources of funding.


Since 1984, NREF has invested more than $23 million into the future of neurosurgery. To date, NREF has provided more than 500 fellowship opportunities which have funded neurosurgeons’ education and research efforts at all stages of training and practice.


NREF is designed to serve as the vehicle through which the neurosurgical community fosters the continued excellence in the care of patients with neurosurgical diseases.