Dr. Ivar Mendez is the Fred H. Wigmore Professor and Provincial Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Dr. Mendez received his MD and PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he also completed his post-graduate training in Neurosurgery. After completion of his neurosurgical residency, Dr. Mendez was awarded the Resident Research Prize by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. His research Fellowship was done at the Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden. From 2000 to 2012, Dr. Mendez was the Chairman and Founding Member of the Halifax Brain Repair Centre, the most comprehensive neuroscience research institute in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Mendez was the Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at Dalhousie University and the QEII Health Sciences Centre for more than a decade.
Dr. Mendez is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Surgeons. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, robotic neurosurgery and computerized systems in neurosurgical applications. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from a number of sources including the Canada National Centers of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of USA. He is recognized internationally as an expert in his field, having over 200 international and national presentations as well as over 200 scientific publications. For the past decade he has worked in the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world and in 2013, he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices. Dr. Mendez was the President of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society (CNS) from 2009 – 2012 and under his leadership he promoted the access of neuromodulation therapy to all citizens of Canada.
Dr. Mendez has taken an active role in humanitarian and global health issues. He has been instrumental in establishing and equipping neurosurgical units in several developing countries. Through the Ivar Mendez International Foundation, he has instituted programs for school breakfast, dental care and computer education in his native Bolivia. In 2010, Dr. Mendez was awarded a Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award and was named one of 10 most Influential Hispanic Canadians for his clinical research and humanitarian contributions. Dr. Mendez also received the Health Canada - 2011 Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2014, St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia awarded Dr. Mendez a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree for his contribution to Neuroscience and was inducted as a fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Science (CAHS). In 2016, he received the Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence for the use of remote presence robotic technology to improve healthcare in the North.
Remote Presence Robotics
- S Adams, B Burbridge, A Badea, N Kanigan, L Bustamante, P Babyn, I Mendez. A Crossover Comparison of Standard and Telerobotic Approaches to Prenatal Sonography. J Ultrasound Med 2018; 37:2603-2612.
- C Ekstrand, A Jamal, R Nguyen, A Kudryk, J Mann, I Mendez. Immersive and Interactive Virtual Reality to Improve Learning and Retention of Neuroanatomy in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Study. CMAJ Open. March 2018. 6; 1 E103-E109. DOI: 10.9778/cmajo.20170110.
- T Holt, G Hansen, M Prodanuk, M Bradshaw, V McKinney, R Johnson, N Sari, I Mendez. Remote Presence Robotic Technology Reduces the Need for Pediatric Interfacility Transportation from an Isolated Northern Community. Telemedicine and e-Health. February 2018: DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2017.0211.
- Adams S, Burbridge B, Langford L, Vergara V, Badea A, Bustamante L, Bryce R, Mendez I, Babyn P (2017). Initial Experience Using a Telerobotic Ultrasound System to Perform Adult Abdominal Examinations. Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal 68(3):308-314. PMID: 28159435
- Mendez I, Van den Hof M (2013). Mobile remote-presence devices for point-of-care health care delivery. Canadian Medical Association Journal. PMID:23775612
- Mendez I, Song M, Chiasson P and Bustamante L (2013). Point-of-care Programming for Neuromodulation: A Feasibility Study Using Remote Presence. Neurosurgery. 72: 99-108. PMID:23096417
- Mendez I, Jong M, Keays-White D, Turner G (2013). The use of remote presence for health care delivery in a northern Inuit community: a feasibility study. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 72. PMID 23984292
- Mendez I, Hill R, Clarke D, Kolyvas G, Walling S (2005). Robotic long-distance telementoring in neurosurgery. Neurosurgery 56 (3): 434–440. PMID 15730568
- Cote D, Bredenoord A, Smith T, Ammirati M, Brennum J, Mendez I, Ammar A, Balak N, Bolles G, Mathiesen T, Broekman M. Ethical clinical translation of stem cell interventions for neurological disease. Neurology. 2017; 88: 322-328. PMID: 27927932
- Hallett P, Cooper O, Sadi D, Robertson H, Mendez I, Isacson O. (2014). Long-term health of dopaminergic neuron transplants in Parkinson’s disease patients. Cell Reports 7 (6): 1755– 1761. PMID 24910427
- Cooper O, Astradsson A, Hallett P, Robertson H, Mendez I, Isacson O (2009). Lack of functional relevance of isolated cell damage in transplants of Parkinson’s disease patients. Journal of Neurology 256 (Suppl 3): 310–316. PMID 19711122
- Mendez I, Viñuela A, Astradsson A, Mukhida K, Hallett P, Robertson H, Tierney T, Holness R, Dagher A, Trojanowski JQ, Isacson O (2008). Dopamine neurons implanted into people with Parkinson’s disease survive without pathology for 14 years. Nature Medicine 14 (5): 507–509. PMID 18391961
- Mukhida K, Hong M, Miles GB, et al. (2008). A multitarget basal ganglia dopaminergic and GABAergic transplantation strategy enhances behavioural recovery in parkinsonian rats. Brain 131 (Pt 8): 2106–26. PMID 18669492
- Mukhida K, Mendez I, McLeod M, et al. (2007). Spinal GABAergic transplants attenuate mechanical allodynia in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Stem Cells 25 (11): 2874–85. PMID 17702982
- Master Z, McLeod M, Mendez I (2007). Benefits, risks and ethical considerations in translation of stem cell research to clinical applications in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (3): 169–73. PMID 17329391
- Mendez I, Sanchez-Pernaute R, Cooper O, Viñuela A, Ferrari D, Björklund L, Dagher A, Isacson O (2005). Cell type analysis of fetal dopamine cell suspension transplants in striatum and substantia nigra of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Brain 128 (Pt 7): 1498–1510 PMID 15872020
- Hebb AO, Hebb K, Ramachandran AC and Mendez I (2003). Glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor supplemented hibernation of fetal ventral mesencephalic neurons for transplantation in Parkinson’s disease: long term storage. Journal of Neurosurgery; 98: 1078‐1083. PMID 15769073
- Mendez I, Dagher A, Hong M, Gaudet P, Weerasinghe S, McAlister V, King D, Desrosiers J, Darvesh S, Acorn T, Robertson H (2002). Simultaneous intrastriatal and intranigral fetal dopaminergic grafts in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurosurgery 96 (3): 589–596. PMID 11883846
- Mendez I, Dagher A, Hong M, Hebb A, Gaudet P, Law A, Weerasinghe S, King D, Desrosiers J, Darvesh S, Acorn T, Robertson H (2000). Exposure of human fetal nigral tissue to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor enhances survival in two patients with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurosurgery 92 (5): 863–869. PMID 10794303
- Mehta V, Hong M, Spears J and Mendez, I (1998). Enhancement of graft survival and sensorimotor behavioral recovery in rats undergoing transplantation with dopaminergic cells exposed to glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor. Journal of Neurosurgery 1998; 88: 1088‐1095. PMID 9609305
- Mendez I, Sadi D, Hong M (1996). Reconstruction of the nigrostriatal pathway by simultaneous intrastriatal and intranigral dopaminergic transplants. Journal of Neuroscience 16 (22): 7216–7227. PMID 8929430