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Obituary - Dr José Casamitjana

Dear Colleagues,

On May 5th we have lost a faithfully member of the Society and a good friend, José Casamitjana after he suffered from the consequences of a biking accident.


He graduated in 1974 from medical school and started his training as orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona between 1974 and 1979. He finished his specialisation in Cervical Spine Pathology within the Department of Traumatology at the same hospital in 1986.  From 1998 until 2013, Dr. Casamitjana has been the Head of Cervical Spine Pathology at the same hospital.


He was an engaged clinician, an expert surgeon, and an excellent teacher.


In 2001 he was awarded with the “Mario Boni Award” for the best research paper presented at the annual meeting of the CSRS-Europe in Turin, Italy. He was very much involved in our Society, but also in our sister societies in the United States and Asia Pacific. Since 2001 he was a member of the Board of the CSRS-Europe. In 2011 he was elected as President of our Society. He organized the cadaveric instructional courses in Barcelona and was very open for any suggestions that could improve the quality of this course. Thanks to the efforts of José these courses have been highly appreciated by the participants.


José was an honest man who took hospitality to the highest level, not only during courses and annual meetings, but also personally. He was very active, and also enjoyed life very much. He always spoke with love about his wife, his children, and especially his grandchildren with whom all our thoughts are now. We have lost a great man and a wonderful friend. He was an outstanding and committed member of our Society.


Nomination Officer

claes olerud

Claes Olerud, Uppsala, Sweden

Professor Olerud went to medical school at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, 1975-1981. He had his specialty training in Orthopedics in Uppsala 1983-1988 (Head: Professor Sven Olerud) and fellowship in Nottingham 1988-1989 (Mr JK Webb).

He is presently a staff member at the spine surgery unit in the department of Orthopedics, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, a unit he headed for thirteen years from 1993-2006. The unit is a tertiary referral unit for spine surgery and covers a catchments area of 2 million inhabitants and performs approximately 800 spine operations per year. The unit has an active research profile with one professor and three associate professors in spine surgery.

Professor Olerud defended his thesis on ankle traumatology in 1985 but during the last decades he has focused on spine research. He was appointed Associate Professor at Uppsala University 1987, Professor of Orthopedics at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm 2006, and Professor of Spine Surgery at Uppsala University 2009. He has published 75 peer review articles, tutored seven students to PhD degree and has presented over 200 presentations at international meetings, frequently as an invited guest speaker.

Professor Olerud is a keen educator and has, among other numerous achievements, built up the Swedish Spine Surgery training program. He served as Secretary General for the Cervical Spine Research Society European Section 2000-2004, and was appointed President for the same society 2007-2009. He was the President for the Swedish Spine Surgery Society 2006-2008.