NASS Insider

December 06, 2022

The NASS Backbone: Section Chair Edition

Welcome again to The NASS Backbone, the series bringing our NASS volunteers to the forefront. NASS has a multitude of committees, sections, workgroups, and task forces working hard to bring the best spine education, research, and advocacy directly to you. But who are these volunteers, and why do they do what they do? This series highlights various volunteers from all areas of NASS, showcasing their experiences both within and outside of NASS.

In this edition, we talk to Lisa A. Ferrara, PhD, Co-Chair of the Section on Surgical Engineering.

Lisa A. Ferrara, PhD
Lisa A. Ferrara, PhD
NASS: Tell us a bit about yourself ...
Dr. Ferrara: My name is Lisa Ferrara. I’m the Technical Director for Element Materials Technology – Consulting and Regulatory. I’ve been the co-chair of the Section on Surgical Engineering since it’s inception. My hobbies include throwing pottery, painting, gardening and hiking.

NASS: What has been your favorite part about being part of this Section? What interested you in joining in the first place?
Dr. Ferrara: I have a background in biomechanics of the spine and brain. Additionally, I have an electrical engineering degree, a masters in neuroscience, and a doctorate in engineering, which is why I am interested in the central nervous system and intrigued by how the brain and spine (spinal cord) functions.
NASS: How long has the Section been around and why was it formed?
Dr. Ferrara: The Section has been around one year; it is very new and we are currently building the team and forming the Section platform.

NASS: What professions/specialties/experience make up the members of this Section?
Dr. Ferrara: This Section is multidisciplinary and includes engineers from multiple fields, including research and testing, as well as scientists, clinicians and surgeons.

NASS: In your opinion, how does this Section further NASS' mission to provide multidisciplinary evidence-based health care to members?
Dr. Ferrara: Yes, the purpose will be to serve as a resource to other committees that are focused on specific clinical topics. The diverse members of this committee have various skill sets and expertise. This diverse expertise can create innovative pathways and processes for approaching clinical concerns, while providing different and unique perspectives to address various concerns.

NASS: What are key goals of the upcoming year? Challenges?
Dr. Ferrara: The key goals are to build the Section page and have a monthly column (similar to Ask the Experts but allowing members to write in questions and answers will be addressed by the appropriate Section members) and Section task force, as well as developing symposia for the 2023 NASS Annual Meeting. Additionally, a webinar series and/or podcast will be one of the goals as well.