Distinguished Professor/Dan L. Hendley Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery
W. Jerry Oakes was born and raised in a small sleepy railroad town, DeSoto, Missouri. His parents, Marvin and Mildred Oakes, owned and operated the town's variety store. His university education was at the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduating in 1968. He completed his medical school training in 1972 and neurosurgery residency in 1978, both at Duke University. While a student, he came under the influence of Guy Odom and was allowed to see the potential of an academic neurosurgical career. During his residency, he spent a year in Toronto, first in neurology and then in pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, coming into contact with its stimulating faculty of Robin Humphreys, Harold Hoffman, and Bruce Hendrick. Following the completion of his residency, he spent the next year in Europe; first at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London and then in Zurich with Professor Gazi Yasargil. Returning to Duke, he spent the next fourteen years, developing the pediatric neurosurgical service.
In 1992, he and his family relocated to Birmingham, Alabama and the Children's Hospital where he assumed the directorship of the Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Dr. Oakes is currently the Distinguished Professor/Dan Hendley Professor of Pediatrics and Neurosurgery. In the past twenty-four years, he has served as the Section Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery, chief of staff of Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Chief of Surgery at Children’s of Alabama. Nationally he has served as the editor in chief of Journal of Neurosurgery; Pediatrics and president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons. He served many years on the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery, first as a director and then as vice-chair.
Oakes says it has been his privilege to participate in the training of 26 pediatric neurosurgeons currently in practice.
- Residency: Duke University Medical Center
- Residency: Toronto General Hospital
- Residency: Hospital for Sick Children
- Medical School: Duke University
- Fellowship: Great Ormond Street Hospital, London
- Internship: Duke University Medical Center
- American Board of Neurological Surgery (1981)
- American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery (1996)