Ann Parr

Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research
Director, Spinal Neurosurgery
Preceptor, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)
Faculty, Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Faculty, Masters Program in Stem Cell Biology


Dr. Parr is interested in finding new therapies for spinal cord injury. As such, she is Principal Investigator in the Parr Laboratory and at the U of M's Stem Cell Institute (SCI) She is also a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and SCI and has several active, ongoing research projects funded by organizations such as the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program, the Morton Cure Paralysis Foundation, the University of Minnesota Foundation and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. She is also site leader for several business and industry clinical trials.

Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Grant Video

Dr. Parr is listed as the first author for 8 of the 15 articles she's had published in peer-reviewed journals and 7 of the 9 articles in non-peer reviewed publications. She authored two books chapters and is named in two provisional patents.

She earned her BSc in Life Sciences with Honours and her MD from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Parr participated in the Neurosurgical Residency Program at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She then went on to complete a Neurosurgical Research Fellowship as a PhD candidate in the Institute of Medical Science's Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Toronto, Ontario. She completed her Neurosurgical Residency Program at the University of Toronto and a Complex Neurosurgical Spine Fellowship in the Department of Neurosurgery of the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL.

Dr. Parr is board-certified in both the United States and Canada and has been a faculty member since 2010. She has been the Medical Director for Spinal Neurosurgery at the U of M since 2017.

As a committed leader in neurosurgery, Dr. Parr has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including as a board member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Chair of the Northwest Quadrant for the Council of State Neurological Societies, and president of the Minnesota Neurological Society. She is particularly committed to bringing more women into neurosurgery and has held several leadership positions in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Section on Women in Neurosurgery.

As a sought-after speaker, Dr. Parr has served as visiting professor or presenter for numerous organizations and during national/international meetings.

In the News



Executive Assistant

Nicole Falk
Administrative Phone: 612-624-6666 (then hit 4 for the Academic Office)
Administrative Email:

Research Summary

Dr. Parr's research currently centers around transplanting neural stem cells grown from a patient's own skin into the injured spinal cord. She has an active translational research laboratory at the Stem Cell Institute. She is interested in examining mechanisms of functional recovery using techniques such as histology and immunohistochemistry, cell tracking through magnetic resonance imaging, and animal modeling.

In the Media

View PubMed List

Clinical Summary

Spine; General neurosurgery; Complex spinal surgery; Minimally invasive spinal surgery




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