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Allan Martin
Allan Martin

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Allan Martin worked for 10 years as a software engineer in the Toronto IBM laboratory. He earned nine patents during his IBM time. When he became interested in neuroscience, he had no biology or chemistry courses, so he completed these in night school. He then entered medical school the oldest member of his class, just as he and wife Kirsten were expecting their first child. With her background in nursing, Kirsten earned an MBA in Hospital Administration at the Schulich School of Business. Together they have three children - 4 year old Zia, 2 year old Scarlett and 5 week old Leo. They are fortunate to have grandparents nearby as they pursue their busy two career family life. With his father -in -law Tony, Allan re-renovated a 93 year old house in which the Martins now live. Tony is a former mechanic, pilot and engineer. Allan’s father is a software engineer, author, and theologian.

Allan is interested in innovations in medical technology, including the development of implants for treatment of neurological disabilities. He likes thinking about the brain/ machine interfaces that will come to fruition over the next decade.

A former competitive sailor and rock musician, he now spends 99% of his free time with his family. He bikes everywhere and is evidently making progress as a neurosurgeon since he was serving as acting senior resident (with his senior away on vacation) at the time of this interview, though he was still in the first year of the program.



George Ibrahim
George Ibrahim in Boston

PGY4 Neurosurgery resident George Ibrahim is currently in Calgary, recruiting patients for the clinical component of his PhD thesis project on connectivity in epilepsy. His supervisors are Jim Rutka and Carter Snead.

He is also enrolled in the Global Health Certificate program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. The course is coordinated and organized by Barry Pakes, an emergency room physician, public health scholar, and doctoral student at the Joint Centre for Bioethics. The emphasis of the course is learning how to teach in low resource communities. Andrew Howard, Jerome Singh, Greg Silverman, Denis Daneman and others are teachers in this program. George credits Mark Bernstein’s teaching and practice as the source of his interest in Bioethics. "Surgery is ethics intensive and there are multiple issues in every aspect of surgery. In neurosurgery and paediatric epilepsy, there are issues of accessibility, inequities related to disparities in the availability of diagnostic tools and the whole area of surgical innovation." George is working on high frequency oscillations with intracranial electrode recordings as an example of surgical innovation.

George is an avid learner - he speaks five languages and is learning two more. He is also learning to play the violin, having been a musician since highschool in a rock band which got all the way to Carnegie Hall. He sang, played the saxophone and the piano in those earlier years. His family is dominated by engineering - his mother was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Cairo, his father is an electrical engineer and two of his sisters are engineers. His goal is to complete his PhD, emphasizing functional connectivity to define the cause of seizures and improve surgical treatment. He is interested in how seizures impair cognition, using functional MRI as a diagnostic probe. The mechanism of cognitive impairment in seizure patients is unknown.

George has taught undergraduate students the Ethics of Consent and has participated with Mark Bernstein on several papers examining ethical issues in neurosurgery.


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