Introducing the New President of ISCoS

Spinal Cord (2011) 49, 2; doi:10.1038/sc.2010.188

Curriculum vitae for Fin Biering-Srensen

J J Wyndaele Editor1

1Antwerp University Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium

Correspondence: J J Wyndaele, E-mail: spinalcord@uza.be

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Professor Fin Biering-Sørensen graduated as a medical doctor in 1975 from the University of Copenhagen, and as a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and in rheumatology in 1982 and 1983, respectively. He defended his doctoral thesis in 1984. In 1986 he became chief physician, and then from 1992 head of department at the Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries in the NeuroScience Centre at the Rigshospitalet. Since 2008 he has been clinical professor in spinal cord injuries at the University of Copenhagen.

Professor Biering-Sørensen lectures worldwide and has supervised several PhD projects. He has been a member of the editorial board of Spinal Cord since 1990, and assistant editor since 2007. He is or has been a member of advisory boards for the Journal of Rehabilitation Sciences, Spine and the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, in addition to being a reviewer for several other journals. He has evaluated PhD theses and projects for research councils and universities from Europe, Australia, North America and Asia.

Fin Biering-Sørensen has been and is a member of several committees and boards, nationally and internationally, including sports for the disabled from 1978, for which he was the 1988 medical chair during the Paralympics in Seoul, Korea; the Nordic Spinal Cord Society, where he was president from 1993 to 1999; and the Danish Society of Rehabilitation, where he was president from 1996 to 2000. From 2005 to 2008, he was vice-president of the Danish Association for Neurorehabilitation.

In the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), Fin has served as a member of the Council since 1992; he was Vice-president during 1997–2003 and chair of the Scientific Committee during 2002–2008. He organised the 1999 ISCoS meeting in Copenhagen. Since 2002 he has chaired the International Spinal Cord Injury Data Set Committee, a joint project between ISCoS and the American Spinal Injury Association. The International Spinal Cord Injury Data Sets may be considered as his fifth child.

Scientifically he has been a partner or manager to national and international studies, has received support from many public and private foundations, and has taken part in projects, with cooperating partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and WHO.

He has published over 450 papers, including more than 215 in peer-reviewed journals, and more than 15 chapters in national and international textbooks.

Professor Biering-Sørensen has received several awards and honours, including the Volvo Award on low back pain research from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Cambridge, England, in 1983; the Poliomyelitis Society Research Award in 1984; the Spinal Award from the Danish Society of Manual Medicine in 1984; ‘The golden pin’ from the International Sports Organisation for the Disabled, Arnhem, Holland, in 1989; the Research Award from the Danish Foundation for the Disabled in 1995; the Lars Sullivan Spinalis Award, Atlanta, USA, in 1996 (co-author); the Paraplegia Prize, Innsbruck, Austria, in 1997 (co-author); the Lars Sullivan Memorial Lecture, Nordic Spinal Cord Society, Bergen, Norway, in 2005; the ISCoS Silver Medal, Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2007; and the Spinal Cord Society Oration, New Delhi, India, in 2010.

Fin is married to Maja, who is chief physician in audiology, and they have four children, of whom three have already presented at ISCoS meetings (Iguasu, Brazil; Athens, Greece; Durban, South Africa) and, like Maja, have published in Spinal Cord. In addition, they enjoy their first three grandchildren.

Maja and Fin have been and are still taking part in competitive swimming. In 1971 Fin won four Danish championships in swimming and broke four national records. During his time as a master-swimmer, he has broken 120 Danish Masters records and 43 Nordic Masters records. In 2003, at the age of 54, he swam from Denmark to Sweden.

Finally, since his young days as a medical student he has travelled all over the world, and has written books about hitchhiking in Africa, as well as about Albania and China, when these countries were still majorly inaccessible. He has been to more than 130 countries, and has travelled with his family to all continents.

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