Doctor of the Year

Doctor of the Year 2009


Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Division, Chief of Neurosurgery, The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. James Drake

Dr. Drake is a pediatric neurosurgeon who has been on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children since 1988. He is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Surgery and succeeded Dr. Robin Humphreys as the Divisions fifth Neurosurgeon-in-chief in 2003. During his time as Dr. Drake served as Co-Chairman of Interprofessional Practice Committee (The Hospital for Sick Children), since 2006.

Dr. Drake attended Princeton University from 1969 to 1974, receiving a degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering. He then received his medical education at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, graduating in 1979. In 1982, Dr. Drake entered the Neurosurgery Training Program at the University of Toronto. He received his Master’s degree in magnetic resonance imaging of hydrocephalus in 1987 at the University of Toronto. In the same year, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. After a Clinical Fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at l’Hộpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, Dr Drake joined the neurosurgical staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1988.

He promptly established the Hydrocephalus Research Laboratory and began working on the application of robotics to the resection of pediatric brain tumors. He is an author of more than 180 peer-reviewed publications including the definitive textbook on cerebrospinal fluid shunts, The Shunt Book, which he co-authored with Professor Christina Sainte-Rose of Paris. He is the current Harold J Hoffman/Shopper’s Drug Mart Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery. His clinical practice focuses on hydrocephalus, spasticity, neuroendoscopic procedures, and the pediatric spine.

Dr. James Drake’s CV includes 210 publications, 28 abstracts and 100 presentations at national and international meetings and 20 visiting professorships/invited lectures.

His current research is devoted to engineering applications to neurosurgery including image-guided surgery including robotics, designing a better cerebrospinal fluid shunt design system and mathematical models of hydrocephalus.

Dr. Drake has been named Doctor of the year, 2009 for the compassionate and caring support he and his department of neurologists provide to our Herbie patients and their families. Over the years, Dr. Drake has provided highly specialized treatment for many of the Herbie patients.

James and Jane Drake are parents of three children. They enjoy an active lifestyle with their family.