||Charles L. Branch, Jr., MD, FAANS
||Wake Forest Baptist Med. Ctr., Medical Center Blvd./Neurosurgery, Winston Salem, NC 27157-0001
||United States of America
Charles L. Branch, Jr., MD, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on December 3, 1954. His father Charles, was completing his Neurosurgical training with Wilder Penfield and Ted Rasmussen at the Montreal Neurological Institute. This environment during these formative years may have influenced his subsequent career choice in academic neurosurgery. The Branch family moved to San Antonio, Texas in 1968, and Charlie received his BA degree from Oklahoma Christian in 1977 and his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1981. His neurosurgical training was completed at Wake Forest University (Bowman Gray School of Medicine) in 1987, and he completed a Clinical Fellowship in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California in San Francisco.
He returned to Wake Forest as a faculty member in the Department of Neurosurgery. He advanced to the level of assistant professor in 1988 and associate professor in 1993. When Dr. David L. Kelly, Jr., stepped down as the chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in 2000, Dr. Branch served as acting chairman until his appointment as Professor and Chair in 2001. He has serve continuously in that position until the present and was awarded the Eben Alexander, Jr. Endowed Chair in July of 2002.
Dr. Branch’s career has encompassed all of neurological surgery. His interests in brain tumors led to the development of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery program at Wake Forest in 1990. In 1999, he, along with Ed Shaw, was instrumental in bringing the only Gamma Knife in the state of North Carolina to Wake Forest. His recent and major career focus has been spine surgery. He has been a leader in the development of a posterior lumbar interbody fusion techniques and instrumentation. Over 40 patents have been issued and many of his techniques are used worldwide. . He has served as a Director and Chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and as the President of the North American Spine Society in addition to his leadership roles with the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Spinal Disorders, the Board of Directors of the NREF and most recently as Secretary of the Committee on Accreditation of Subspecialty Training of the SNS. He has been active in international medical mission efforts in numerous countries along with his role as Chair of EEM. Dr. Branch and his wife Lesa have 5 children and 6 grandchildren at this writing. Two sons, Byron and Dan, are pursuing careers in Neurosurgery. Three daughters have chosen more artistic careers with Leslie as a Plastic and Reconstruction Surgeon and Courtney and Emily in the Graphic Arts. The Branches reside on their working farm and hunting preserve in Advance, NC.