World Renowned Neurosurgeon Joins National Brain Tumor Foundation Board

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Dr. Charles Wilson, world renowned neurosurgeon and pioneer in the field of neuro-oncology, is joining forces with the National Brain Tumor Foundation in the fight against brain tumors as a member of the Board of Directors. He joins an distinguished group of leaders in business and industry from around the US who serve on the Board.

Charles Wilson, MD, has been one of the leading figures in the field of neurosurgery since he graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1954. In his almost 50 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Wilson has had a major impact on brain tumor treatment and research. His lifetime achievements and honors could fill a book, starting from his early career to the present: He has authored more than 600 scientific articles, chapters and books, and was the founder of the Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of California Medical Center at San Francisco (UCSF). He has served on the Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, been a member of the Institute of Medicine, and an Advisor to the Native American Health Alliance to name only a few of his accomplishments.

In 1968, at age 39, Dr. Wilson was invited to the University of California at San Francisco to be Professor and Chairman of the Neurosurgery Division. By 1970 he had established the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Brain Tumor Research Center, a nationally recognized treatment and research center which has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1971. He was the first physician to recognize and document the clinical value of BCNU, a chemotherapy drug that is still used to treat brain tumors.

After performing a record 3,300 operations for pituitary tumors and many more operations for tumors of the brain and spinal cord, Dr. Wilson put down the scalpel for the last time on February 27, 2001 and officially retired in January, 2002.

But retirement has created new opportunities for Dr. Wilson. In 2001 he became affiliated with the Health Technology Center and the Institute for the Future. He also continues to serve on the Governing Board of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center and the Board of Administrators of Tulane University.

And in June 2005, Dr. Wilson joined the National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF) as a member of the Board of Directors. “I have been involved with the NBTF since its inception 25 years ago as the “Friends of Brain Tumor Research. With both pride and, frankly, amazement, I have observed its transition from a small group of patients, their families and friends to the preeminent organization providing information and expert support to patients and their families as well as funding basic and clinical research throughout America. I am honored to join the Board of an organization that meets a critical need for thousands of patients and their families for information and guidance in dealing with the impact of brain tumors.”

The National Brain Tumor Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1981 by patients and family members. NBTF raises funds for research and provides support and information to patients and family members across the country. Each month, the NBTF Patient Information Line (1.800.934.2873) receives over 1000 inquires from patients and family members and their website,, receives over 50,000 hits monthly.

What has remained unwavering throughout Dr. Wilson’s career is his relationship with his patients. After working with patients for almost 50 years, he has a unique perspective on how brain tumor patients can confront their diagnosis. It is this experience and his medical expertise that will prove invaluable to the patients served by the National Brain Tumor Foundation.


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Harriet Patterson