March 6, 2024

Jay Wellons elected president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons

Vanderbilt’s John “Jay” Wellons III, MD, MSPH, has been elected as the 2024-2025 president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons.

John "Jay" Wellons III, MD, MSPH (photo by Susan Urmy)

John “Jay” Wellons III, MD, MSPH, chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been elected as the 2024-2025 president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons (ASPN).

Founded in 1978, the ASPN is the main society for middle-career and senior surgeons in pediatric neurosurgery. The society promotes and funds research in pediatric neurosurgery, provides education and mentorship, and steers critical efforts in advocacy, diversity and wellness within the pediatric neurosurgical community.

“Dr. Wellons has emerged as a powerful voice in Pediatric Neurosurgery. He is a national leader, and his election as president of the ASPN is a reflection both of his exceptional leadership and the high regard with which he is held by his peers,” said Reid C. Thompson, MD, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and holder of the William F. Meacham Chair of Neurological Surgery. “He has completely transformed Pediatric Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt during his 12-year tenure as chief here. I speak for our residents, fellows, faculty and staff in saying that we could not be more proud of this accomplishment.”

Wellons, holder of the Cal Turner Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery and vice chair of the Vanderbilt Department of Neurologic Surgery, became a member of the ASPN in 2008. He has been an active member and served on the group’s executive committee since 2016.

“I am honored to be the new ASPN president and humbled as I think about my predecessors in this role and their impact upon our field,” said Wellons, professor of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery and Radiology. “Pediatric neurosurgeons are uniquely positioned in society as our areas of focus intersect with a myriad of public health issues, including firearm safety, cancer research, folate supplementation and the transition from pediatric to adult care. I look forward to helping advance these and other aspects of the multipronged mission of the ASPN, all ultimately centered on improving the care of children around the world with neurosurgical issues.”

Wellons, who arrived at Vanderbilt in 2012, is a nationally recognized leader in pediatric neurosurgery, with special research and clinical interests in treating and improving surgical outcomes in the areas of fetal surgery for spina bifida, hydrocephalus, Chiari malformations and Chiari-related disorders, pediatric brain tumors and brachial plexus. He has published more than 250 manuscripts and nearly two dozen book chapters, and he’s been an invited speaker and presenter at more than 100 events and meetings.

Among his many roles and extracurricular activities, he is also a member of several professional societies and organizations, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, the Tennessee Neurosurgical Society and The Society of Neurological Surgeons. He has served on the editorial board for Journal of Neurosurgery – Pediatrics since 2012, serving as a co-chair for the board in 2017.