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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.


Scientific Research and Education Committee

p bancel

Philippe Bancel, M.D., Paris, France (Chairman)

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Assistant Cochin Hospital
Assistant Necker Hospital

Member of the French Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Society
Member of the French Scoliosis Research Society
Member and Cofounder of the French Surgical Spine Society
Member of the Educational Spine Committe
Member of the Cervical Spine Research Society
Member of the Board of the Cervical Spine Research Society-European Section

p suchomel

Petr Suchomel, Liberec, Czech Republic [e-mail]

Dr. Petr Suchomel is the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Liberec Regional Hospital and Chairman of the Neurocentre there. He graduated from Prague’s Charles University and completed his neurosurgical training at Masaryk´s Hospital in the city of Ustí nad Labem, in the Czech Republic. He later founded the Department of Neurosurgery and the Neurocenter at the Liberec Regional Hospital. Dr. Suchomel is a general neurosurgeon performing the entire range of neurosurgical procedures with a particular area of interest focusing on the upper cervical spine and cranio-vertebral junction.

Dr. Suchomel is an internationally recognized spine surgeon who served as the President of EuroSpine (The Spine Society of Europe) from 2003 to 2004. He has presented his work at many international congresses and has organized numerous scientific meetings and courses including co-hosting the 2003 EuroSpine Annual Congress. He has been a member of the executive committees of several prestigious societies including EuroSpine, is currently an Officer of the Cervical Spine Research Society (European Section) and the Czech Neurosurgical Society. He is also a past President of the Czech Spine Surgery Society and current president of Czech Neurosurgical Society. He is on the board of the European Spine Journal and Czech Neurological & Neurosurgical Journal. In 2011 he was appointed as a Professor of neurosurgery at Charles University Prague. He has published over 50 peer reviewed scientific papers and authored several book chapters and two monographs.

h koller

Heiko Koller, Bad Wildungen, Germany

PD Heiko Koller was born in 1978 in Germany as son of a German mother and Austrian father. He graduated from the medical school of Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck / Austria in 2003. He successfully completed his residency during 2004 to 2009 at the Department for Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery at the Katharinenhospital Stuttgart, Department for Trauma Surgery and Sports Injuries at the Paracelsus Medical Department, and at the German Scoliosis Center of Werner-Wicker-Clinic, Bad Wildungen / Germany. Heiko Koller did achieve his habilitation at Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg in 2011. He is an active member of German Trauma Society, Austrian Trauma Society, AO Spine International, the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society and German Spine Society. He was awarded with a 2005 travel-ship stipend from the German Trauma Society, a 2007 Travel-ship stipend from the Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg / Austria, a 2009 Mario Boni Award from the Cervical Spine Research Society, and he was scientist of the year 2008 to 2009 of Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg. Heiko Koller works as a reviewer for European Spine Journal and Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has published more than 60 publications to date and has presented lectures as well as posters at more than 50 national and international meetings. His special interests focus on the reconstructive surgery for the treatment of the cervical spine as well as thoracolumbar deformities.