NREF Mission and Governance

Enhancing Lives by Advancing Neurosurgical Care

The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1980 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) to support research and education efforts that enhance and confirm the critical role neurosurgeons play in improving lives.

The NREF is dedicated to providing education to neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers, as well as funding research into new and existing neurosurgical treatments, to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes in patient care. Through voluntary public donations, corporate support and donations from allied groups, the NREF supports endeavors that impact the lives of those suffering from epilepsy, stroke, brain tumors, spinal disorders, sports-related head injuries, lower back pain and Parkinson’s disease.


  • Provide a private, non-governmental source of funding for research training in the neurosciences related to the field of neurological surgery.
  • Ensure the continued viability and expansion of the field of neurological surgery based on fundamental research in the basic sciences and clinical enterprises pertinent to neurosurgery.
  • Augment support for research endeavors by the neurosurgical community.
  • Stimulate learning by neurosurgeons and enhance educational opportunities for them throughout their careers.


The NREF is governed by a Board of Directors, supported by three standing committees: Development, Education and Research. The Board identifies the charges and responsibilities of each committee and members will serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. The AANS Finance Committee serves as the Foundation’s financial committee.