Karin Muraszko to present Henry Russel Lecture on Feb. 19


Neurosurgeon Karin Muraszko will deliver the University of Michigan’s 2023 Henry Russel Lecture about the role parents of child patients have played within her research.

Her lecture, titled “In Celebration of Parents: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon’s Personal Journey in the Study of Pediatric Brain Tumors and Congenital Anomalies,” will take place from 4-5 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business’ Tauber Colloquium.

Photo of Karin Muraszko
Karin Muraszko

“I wanted to celebrate that aspect of it because I think parents are the ultimate protectors. They take care of their kids, they worry about them, they think about them all the time,” Muraszko said.

The Henry Russel Lectureship is the university’s highest honor for senior faculty members, and is awarded annually for exceptional achievements in research, scholarship or creative endeavors, as well as an outstanding record of distinguished teaching, mentoring and service to U-M and the wider community.

 Four other faculty members will receive Henry Russel Awards, the university’s highest honor for early or mid-career faculty members. They are:

  • Alison R. Davis Rabosky, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and assistant curator of the Museum of Zoology, LSA.
  • Oliver Haimson, assistant professor of information, School of Information; and assistant professor in the Digital Studies Institute, LSA.
  • Justin Heinze, associate professor of health behavior and health education, School of Public Health.
  • Elliott Rouse, associate professor of robotics and of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering.

Muraszko, the Julian T. Hoff Professor of Neurosurgery, professor of surgery and of plastic surgery in the Medical School, was born with spina bifida and specializes in developing new therapies for brain tumors and congenital anomalies in children.

“I spent a long time trying to figure out what I was going to talk about because I’ve done a lot of different types of research,” Muraszko said. “And it’s pretty easy as a neurosurgeon to get into the weeds and start talking to people with a lot of jargon and lingo.”

Muraszko’s lecture will highlight how parents of patients have impacted the research and progress made in diverse areas of her research of medulloblastomas, Chiari I malformation and spina bifida.

“I decided to give a little overview of three areas that I spent some time doing research in, but talk about it with respect to how parents have inspired me, and how they’ve actually helped guide some of my research,” Muraszko said.

“I recognize that for me, a significant part of what I get to do, what I do, and the life that I’ve led and the joys that I’ve had in my life were also because I had great parents with the energy and the effort to make sure that I had all the opportunities that I could.”


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