Pediatric neurosurgeon Tae Sung Park, MD, one of the top neurosurgeons worldwide in his field, has been named the Margery Campbell Fort Professor of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The professorship was established by St. Louis philanthropist and businessman Jeffrey Fort in memory of his mother, Margery Fort, who died in May 2018. The honor recognizes Park’s pioneering work improving several neurosurgical procedures for children.
“Dr. Park is one of the world’s leading pediatric neurosurgeons,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine, and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor. “What T.S. has done is the dream of every clinician: to innovate in clinical practice and have meaningful impact on patients. I am delighted to recognize his accomplishments with this professorship that was established due to the generosity of Jeffrey Fort, whose gifts to the School of Medicine have provided significant and vital support for scientific discovery.”
Park was installed Oct. 5 by Perlmutter and Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, the Ralph G. Dacey Distinguished Professor of Neurological Surgery and head of the Department of Neurosurgery.
Park is best known for his work refining and enhancing the selective dorsal rhizotomy, a surgical treatment for muscle stiffness associated with cerebral palsy. Muscle stiffness, or spasticity, caused by damage to the brain can make movement difficult for people with cerebral palsy. In 1987, Park started a program at the University of Virginia to treat cerebral palsy spasticity with selective dorsal rhizotomies and moved the program to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1990. The procedure, which can be performed on children and adults, allows them to walk and move better, improving quality of life. He has performed 4,798 such surgeries — more than any other neurosurgeon in the world — on patients from more than 85 countries. In fact, Sept. 9, 2017, was proclaimed Dr. T.S. Park Day by the governor of Missouri and the mayor of St. Louis, in recognition of Park’s accomplishments bringing out-of-state and international patients to St. Louis for the surgery.