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Overview: Comprehensive Spine Program

Fellowship in Spine Surgery

Neurosurgery Spine Surgery

The Neurosurgery Spine Fellowship Program at the University of Utah, a Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST)–approved fellowship program, provides a complete experience in spine and spinal cord surgery to prepare the fellow for an academic career as a Spine Neurosurgeon. We emphasize clinical experience with complex spinal cases complemented by high-level research and teaching of residents and medical students. Subspecialty program exposure includes complex cervical spine disorders, spinal deformity surgery (including scoliosis), spinal oncology (including radiosurgery), and degenerative spine disease.

The University of Utah Level 1 Trauma Center and the affiliated Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah see a high volume of spinal fracture and tumor cases. Image-guided spinal surgery, complex instrumentation, microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery, and endoscopic spinal surgery at all levels of the spinal column are performed.

Fellowship Information


Spine Fellowship Director

Currently Accepting Applications: We are currently accepting applications for the 2025-2026 Spine Surgery Fellowship position and will conduct interviews on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Application Process: Contact the Academic Program Manager, Joanne Kamahele (, 1-3 years in advance, with your CV and completed Spine Surgery Fellowship Application

Other Details:

  • Salary/Benefits: Please see the UUH GME website for details
  • Accreditation: CAST approved 
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Location/Campus: University of Utah Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Start of Program: July 1
  • Number of Fellows per Year: 1

Clinical Lectures & Didactics: Fellows are encouraged to engage in original scientific research. This research experience teaches the scientific method and critical scientific reasoning, preparing graduates to evaluate advances in the specialty. The fellow also collaborates with and supervises research and publications of residents and medical students.

There are several ongoing research efforts within the Spine Division, including original biomechanical research as well as clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research. Faculty members currently have institutional as well as Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) grants funding several ongoing projects. In addition, the University of Utah is a lead enrolling site for Quality Outcomes Dates (QOD), the national neurosurgical registry, and collects up to 2-year follow-up data on all patients undergoing cervical and lumbar surgery at our center.

Weekly spine indications conferences are held to discuss surgical planning and operative techniques for the upcoming week’s cases. In addition, a monthly journal club is held with the Neurosurgery Spine Division. Weekly Neurosurgery Grand Rounds and a formal monthly M&M Conference are also held.

Contact Us

Academic Program Manager

Joanne Kamahele
Phone: 801-581-5584
Fax: 801-581-4385

Department of Neurosurgery

Phone: 801-581-6908
University of Utah Health Care
Clinical Neurosciences Center
175 North Medical Drive East
Salt Lake City, UT 84132




  • 2022-2023 Sheela Vivekanandan, MD
  • 2021-2022 Christopher Wilkerson, MD (Enfolded Fellow)
  • 2020-2021 Davide Croci, MD
  • 2020-2021 Ilyas Eli, MD (Enfolded Fellow)
  • 2018-2019 Michael Karsy, MD, PhD, MS (Enfolded Fellow
  • 2017-2018 Jian Guan, MD (Enfolded Fellow)