Dr Stephen Santoreneos, MBBS, FRACS image

Dr Stephen Santoreneos, MBBS, FRACS

Head of Department of Neurosurgery, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, NRF Chair of Neurosurgical Research 1996 Student

Current positions:

  • Head of Department of Neurosurgery, Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Acting Director of Neurosurgery, Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Visiting Neurosurgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital


  • WG Norman Fellowship, Stuart Morson Travelling scholarship in Neurosurgery
  • Research in the Neurosurgery Department: 1996


Santoreneos discusses his professional and personal life:

"The utility of amyloid precursor protein in the study of spinal cord trauma". APP is a marker of axonal injury and in this project we endeavored to describe the spatial and temporal sequence of changes following spinal cord lesions in sheep. APP changes were documented from 2 hours to 7 days and bidirectional transport (previously only described in cell culture) was shown. The ultimate aim was to be able to define a window of opportunity between axonal injury and complete disruption of axons in which therapeutic strategies can be applied to prevent such disruption.

I was born in Greece but migrated to Darwin NT at the age of 14 with my parents and have been in SA since 1984. I attended Dripstone High School, Darwin NT and University of Adelaide SA.

Throughout my University years I was always fascinated and somewhat intimidated by neurology. A 5th year elective in Neurosurgery under Mr. Ahmed Hanieh showed me a world of challenges lying ahead in what I considered the most interesting field of medicine. The complexity of the nervous system, its intriguing anatomy and the fascinating technical developments in this field were some of the attractions. Internship and basic residency served only to reinforce this just as the rich South Australian history of pioneering work in this field did.

I always considered Royal Adelaide Hospital as the finishing school of training neurosurgeons. With its rich tradition in academic neurosurgery and neurosurgical leadership I decided early in my career that I would one-day return to join the staff at the department.

Prof. Peter Reilly, Mr. Brian North, Mr. Ahmed Hanieh and Mr. Glenn McCulloch, teachers, mentors and now colleagues no doubt influenced my desire to succeed in neurosurgery, my work ethic and discipline. Prof Nigel Jones inspired me both as a Neurosurgeon and researcher. A young neurosurgeon with an impeccable academic record and a simple answer to your every complex question.

Graduates of our department are practicing through out Australia and have become worthy ambassadors of Australian Neurosurgery throughout the world.

I have completed postgraduate fellowships in Skull Base surgery and Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto prior to my return to SA. In my Paediatric first two years in practice I have found a great need and application for these skills. It is my wish to continue the strong tradition of neurosurgical excellence in this state."

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