Shelley N. Chou Research and Lectureship Fund

Shelley Chou

Shelley Nien-chun Chou was a man of remarkable achievements, all the more amazing when one considers his humble beginnings. In 1924, he was born in a small village in China into a family who placed great emphasis on education. When Dr. Chou began his formal education, World War II curtailed its completion. Fortuitously, with his acquired fluency in English, Dr. Chou was befriended by a variety of western contacts who influenced his decision after the war to emigrate to the United States.

He attended the University of Utah and in 1949 was awarded his MD. Residency at the University of Minnesota followed and then a tour at the National Institutes of Health working in neurophysiology. In 1960, Dr. Chou returned to the University of Minnesota faculty. Over the following years, he moved up the academic ladder to ultimately be selected as Chairman of Neurosurgery in 1974.

A Neurosurgery Pioneer

Dr. Chou's contributions to neurosurgery were prolific, including pioneering research in brain scanning, along with major clinical contributions in cerebrovascular and spinal surgery. He was president of numerous neurosurgical organizations. Perhaps his greatest contribution was his deep interest in graduate neurosurgical education, particularly involving the American Board of Neurological Surgery and Residency Review Committee, where his influence will continue to be felt for many years to come.

An Esteemed Leader

The esteem with which he was held by his colleagues at Minnesota and the wide respect for his leadership ability became obvious when, after the resignations of the Dean of the Medical School and of the Vice President for Health Sciences, Dr. Chou became the unanimous choice of the Clinical and Basic Science faculties to become the Interim Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Medical Affairs. After his retirement from these positions, he found more time to enjoy the desert southwest during the winters. Dr Chou passed away in July of 2001.

An Enduring Legacy

The fund established in his name will sponsor a university lecture focusing on impactful research by a recognized neurosurgeon and provide a forum to foster meaningful discussion about potential clinical applications of current advances in neuroscience, neurosurgery, and other fields of inquiry.

Video - Dr. Chou interviewed by UMN colleague Edward L. Seljeskog, MD

2023 Lecture: Thursday, June 22, Nelson Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS: Evolution and Revolution in Pituitary Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Nelson Oyesiku

Dr. Oyesiku is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His clinical expertise is pituitary medicine and surgery. Dr. Oyesiku obtained his MD from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He obtained an MSc in Occupational Medicine from the University of London and completed a PhD in Neuroscience and his neurosurgical residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He also completed a Surgery Internship at the University of Connecticut-Hartford Hospital. He is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Oyesiku received an NIH K08 Award and Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was a recipient of an NIH R01 award and PI of the NIH/NINDS R25 Research Education Program for Residents and Fellows in Neurosurgery. His research is focused on the molecular pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas, and tumor receptor imaging and targeting for therapy.

Consulting with a patient

Dr. Oyesiku has served on various state, regional, national and international committees for all the major neurosurgical organizations. He is author of more than 180 scientific articles and numerous book chapters. He is a member of the Honor Medical Society – Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Oyesiku was awarded the “Gentle Giant Award” by the Pituitary Network Association for his services to Pituitary Surgery and Medicine. He is on the Medical Advisory Board of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation and has been visiting professor and invited faculty at several departments of neurosurgery in the United States and abroad. Learn more.

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Past Lectures


May 14, 2022: G. Rees Cosgrove, MD, Director of Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery, and Program Director of the Neurosurgery Training Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, "Oslerian Principles and the Foundations of Neurosurgical Wisdom."



June 19, 2019: Matthew Howard, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, "Medical Device Inventions."



June 1, 2018: Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD, FAANS, Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston; and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery of Massachusetts General Hospital, “Fostering the Next Generation of Neurosurgeon Scientists.”



May 5, 2017: Kim J. Burchiel, MD, FACS, John Raaf Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Neurological Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, "The Case for Asleep DBS Surgery."



May 6, 2016: L. Nick Hopkins, MD, FACS, chairman, University of Buffalo (NY) Neurosurgery Department, "Innovation in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke."



May 15, 2015: Fredric B. Meyer, MD, Alfred Uihlein Family Professor of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota; Mayo Clinic Enterprise Chair of Neurologic Surgery; and director of the Neuroregenerative Medicine & Surgery Program in Mayo's Center for Regenerative Medicine, "Triple Threat."


L. Dade Lunsford, MD

May 2, 2014: L. Dade Lunsford, MD, Lars Leksell Professor and Distinguished Professor at the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, "Rationale and Results of Radiosurgery for AVM."


R. Michael Scott, MD

March 22, 2013: R. Michael Scott, MD, "Long-term Experience with the Surgical Treatment of Moyamoya Disease."



May 18, 2012: John M. Tew, MD, "Evolution of the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia."


Volker N. Sonntag, MD

May 13, 2011: Volker N. Sonntag, MD, "The Journey of Spinal Neurosurgery in the USA."


George Ojemann, MD

April 23, 2010: George Ojemann, MD, "Basic Science in the Operating Room: Investigating the Neurologic Basis of Cognition During Epilepsy Surgery."


Roberto C. Heros, MD

February 27, 2009: Roberto C. Heros, MD, "Intracranial Dural Arteriorvenous Fistulas."


Alim Louis Benabid, MD, PhD

June 19, 2008: Alim Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, "How Can We Intervene in the Brain with Deep Electrical Stimulation?"


Rudolph Fahlbush, MD

May 18, 2007: Rudolph Fahlbush, MD, "Intraoperative MRI in Neurosurgery."


John VanGilder, MD

May 5, 2006: John VanGilder, MD, University of Iowa, "Minnesota-Iowa Neurosurgery: A History."


Julian T. Hoff, MD

May 6, 2005: Julian T. Hoff, MD, University of Michigan, "Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Clinical and Experimental Progress."


Edward H. Oldfield, MD

January 16, 2004: Edward H. Oldfield, MD, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD, "Regional Drug Delivery Using Convection: Implications for Pharmacological Delivery."


Donlin M. Long, MD, PhD

November 17, 2000: Donlin M. Long, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, "The Philosophy of Neurosurgery: Harvey Cushing, Walter Dandy, Johns Hopkins and the University of Minnesota."


Robert F. Spetzler, MD

September 24, 1999: Robert F. Spetzler, MD, Barrow Neurosurgical Associates, Phoenix, AZ, "Spinal Vascular Lesions."


Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., MD

August 1, 1997: Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., MD (deceased), University of Florida, "Anatomy and Syndromes of the Posterior Fossa."


Robert G. Grossman, MD

October 25, 1996: Robert G. Grossman, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, "Pallidotomy for Parkinson's Disease."


Lindsay Symon, CBE, TD, FRC, FACS

October 27, 1995: Lindsay Symon, CBE, TD, FRC, FACS, The National Hospital, Queen Square, London, “Some Physiological Aspects of the Surgery of Giant Aneurysms."


C. Miller Fisher, MD

June 11, 1994: C. Miller Fisher, MD, Harvard Medical School, "Brain Herniation — An Update."



June 4, 1993: Charles G. Drake, MD, CC, OOnt, FRCSC, University of Western Ontario, London, "Management of Cerebral Aneurysms."


Vinko V. Dolenc, MD, PhD

April 10, 1992: Vinko V. Dolenc, MD, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, "Twelve Years’ Experience with Cavernous Sinus Surgery."


Charles B. Wilson, MD

April 6, 1991: Charles B. Wilson, MD, University of California, San Francisco, "Cryptic Vascular Malformations – A Spectrum."