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Our Heritage

Our Heritage
The Collaborative Spine Research Foundation is the proud co-creation of two of the most respected spine-research grant-making foundations, the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). These two organizations bring decades of leadership in advancing spine-care science and practice.

NREF | Advancing Neurosurgery Through Research
Founded in 1981 as a direct response to the reduction in federal and private funding for medical research, the NREF supports research training of young neurosurgeon scientists by providing a private, non-governmental source of support. In this era of continually contracting federal support, such funding for neurosurgical research is highly dependent on the generosity of individuals, groups, practices and corporate supporters.

The Foundation administers and oversees a wide range of fellowships, grants, and other awards, and the NREF awards grants based on established fellowship program criteria and the needs of the requesting hospital and/or academic institution. In the fall of 2009, the NREF Educational Grants Committee was established to review and approve fellowship grant applications in an independent, unbiased manner. The committee — comprised of neurosurgeons who do not receive financial or other support from the medical-device industry — are volunteers and receive no compensation from the NREF for this important work.

The NREF helps bright, young neurosurgeons lay the foundation for careers in basic and clinical research intended to expand the neurosurgical field for the purpose of improving patients' lives. The organization has a 30-year history of supporting neurosurgical research in a cost-effective, highly efficient manner.

Since its inception, the NREF has awarded more than 170 grants totaling more than $7 million. The research conducted by grant recipients has resulted in significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of aneurysms, brain tumors, stroke, and spinal disorders, as well as improved understanding and focus in pain therapy, stem cell research, biomaterials and pediatric epilepsy. For more information about the NREF, please visit http://www.aans.org/NREF.aspx.