PNA Spotlight: Dr. Edward Laws


edward lawsThis month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Edward R Laws, MD, FACS, a Professor of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (MGB) in Boston/Harvard Medical School.  He also serves as Director of the Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston, Massachusetts.  Dr. Laws was kind enough to send us a letter about his career in the field of pituitary neurosurgery, which we reprint here in its entirety.  Dr. Laws has been an integral part of the PNA since the beginning 30 years ago. We are grateful for his friendship and service.

My medical career began in 1959 as a first-year student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Among all of the new information and coursework, I quickly developed an interest in the anatomy, pathology, and physiology of the brain, and that interest never went away! In 1960, I was fortunate to have a great mentor for research on the nervous system, giving me a launching point for expanding my research interests to pituitary surgery and endocrinology, which has fully lasted as my favorite topic and source of effort.

My focus on the pituitary gland, through both research and surgery, has been extremely exciting and very rewarding. Over the last 60 years, we have seen tremendous improvements in diagnosis and treatment; accurate hormone assays, CT scans, MRI scans, trans-nasal transsphenoidal surgery instead of craniotomy, the operating microscope and then the endoscope, pituitary hormone replacement, medical and radiological treatment, with excellent outcomes, very few complications, multidisciplinary diagnosis and therapies, and effective collaboration with our colleagues in ENT.

Today, diagnosis and treatment are much further than I could have imagined when I started my career over sixty years ago, with treatment designed to regulate pituitary hormones and relieve visual loss related to tumor compression. These are just some of the fruits of our labors. I believe that patients should be increasingly optimistic as we continue to make leaps and bounds in the field.


Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD, FACS
Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School
Director, Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center, Brigham & Women's Hospital



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