Get to know the AO Past Presidents

Florian Gebhard

Florian Gebhard (*1960) studied medicine at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, Germany. He is currently deputy medical director of the Ulm University Medical Center, director of the medical center’s department of orthopedic trauma, and vice-dean of the Ulm University Faculty of Medicine.

Gebhard has decades of experience as a clinician and educator, leading fellow surgeons in support of the AO mission of promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. He has been a member of the AO Foundation Board (AO FB) since 2012, served as AO Trauma Germany Vice President (2013–18) and is currently—after having served as AO President from 2021 until summer 2023—AO Immediate Past President.

Robert McGuire

Robert Alton McGuire, Jr (*1952) completed his medical studies at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, United States, and his postgraduate training, internship, and residency at the Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA, United States. He currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Jackson, MS, United States. McGuire has taught at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery since 1994. He previously taught at the University of Health and Science, Bethesda, MD, United States (1987–90), and at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, United States (1986–90).   

McGuire has served the AO in a wide range of leadership roles: AO North America (AO NA) President (2015–16), AO NA Spine Board member since 2003, InSpine editor since 2004, member of the AO NA Degenerative Spine Committee since 2005, AO NA Chairperson from (2006-09), AO Technical Commission (AO TC) Spine member and chairperson, and member of the AO Technical Commission Executive Board (AO TCEB) from 2010 to 2016. He has been deputy editor of Global Spine Journal since 2021 and served as AO President from 2018 to 2021.

Nikolaus Renner

After graduating from medical school at the University of Basel, Switzerland, Nikolaus Renner worked at the Laboratory for Experimental Surgery, Davos, Switzerland. From 1982−88 he worked at the Department of Surgery, University of Basel, which was headed by Prof Martin Allgöwer until 1983. 

In 1990 Renner was a clinical instructor and international faculty member at Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami, FL, United States, delegated by AO International. From 1991−93 he was a senior physician in general surgery at the Department of Surgery, University of Basel. From 1993−2021 he was head of traumatology at Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland.

At the AO, Renner started as an assistant table instructor at an advanced course during the 1983 AO Davos Courses. He served as faculty at over 200 AO courses worldwide (1992−2019). He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002 and has served in various roles at the AO: Specialty Academic Council General Trauma Chairperson, member of the Academic Council of the AO Foundation, AO Trauma Research and Development Commission Chairperson, member of the AO Research and Development Committee, member of the AO Trauma Transition Board, AO Trauma International Board Chairperson, and AO President (2016−18). Since 2020, he has been vice president of the AO Alliance Board of Directors.

Suthorn Bavonratanavech

Suthorn Bavonratanavech, (*1952) is chief of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Orthopedic and Trauma Care Network in Thailand, chief faculty of CoE Orthopedics Institute, chief faculty of CoE Trauma Institute, and senior director at Bangkok Orthopedic Center.  He graduated from Chaing Mai University in 1974 and received his diploma from the Thai Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1978. 

In December 1978, he attended his first AO Basic Principles course in Davos, Switzerland. Thereafter, he became a regular participant at the AO Davos Courses. In 1982 he was an AO Fellow at Kantonsspital Basel, Switzerland. In the 1980s, he became AO Faculty and began to travel all over Asia and globally to lecture. He has been a member of the AO Assembly of Trustees since 1988 and has served in several leadership roles: member of the AO Academic Council (1992–99), AO East Asia President (1994–99), and AO Trauma Asia Pacific Education Commission Chairperson (2007–09). He was AO President from 2014 to 2016 and a member of the AO Alliance Foundation Board of Directors from 2017 to 2019.

Jaime Quintero

Jaime Quintero, (*1955) is currently professor emeritus, Departamento de Ortopedia y Traumatología, Hospital Universitario Clínica San Rafael, Bogotá, Colombia. After completing his medical studies at the Hospital Universitario San Jose, Bogotá, Colombia, he did his postgraduate studies at Hospital Santa Casa de Sao Paulo, Brazil and completed an international AO Trauma Fellowship at Zentralklinikum in Augsburg, Germany. Afterwards, he completed the INALDE Business School Senior Executive Management Program in Bogotá, Colombia. 

Quintero has served the AO many capacities: He has been a member of the AO Assembly of Trustees since 1988, the Alumni Association Colombia Chapter President (1993–98), AO Latin America Chairperson (1999−2003), a member of the AO Education Commission, AO International Commission, the AO Socio-Economic Committee, the AO Alumni Association (1992−2009), and the AO Academic Council (1995−2001). He has been a member of AO Spine and AO Trauma since 2007 and 2009, respectively. Quintero was AO President from 2012 to 2014, founder and a member of the AO Alliance Foundation Board of Directors (2014–16), and since 2020 has been a member of the AO Access Steering Committee. He has been a volunteer member of Patrulla Aérea Civil de Bogotá PAC, a health flying mission in Bogotá, since 1998. 

Norbert Haas

Norbert Haas (*1946) studied medicine in Tübingen and Kiel, Germany. He worked at Medizinische Hochschule Hannover beginning in 1973. In 1992, he became full professor for trauma and reconstructive surgery at Universitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow in Berlin and, after the merger of all of Berlin’s university clinics in 2003, was appointed director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery and Department of Orthopedics at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, serving until his retirement in 2016.

Since his first contact with the AO in the 1970s, Haas has played an important role in the organization’s development as an AO Trustee since 1994 and AO Technical Commission Trauma Chairperson, AO President (2010–12), and in the progression of AO Recon from an initiative into a full-fledged clinical unit. In addition to his professional activities, Haas has served as a volunteer member on the management and advisory boards of many national and international scientific organizations. In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1st class, for his many years of volunteer work.

Paul Manson

Paul Nellis Manson (*1943) received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry (1965) and his medical degree (1968) from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States. A specialist in craniofacial reconstructive and trauma surgery, Manson has contributed to the development of new and unique implants for maxillofacial surgery and to the early clinical use of these devices. He is a professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Manson was director of the Plastic Surgery Service at the University of Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (Shock Trauma Unit) from 1978 to 1996 and chairman of the Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland Plastic Surgery Program from 1990 to 2010. 

As one of the first surgeons to use the then-new Synthes titanium implants for maxillofacial surgery in his country, Manson pioneered the AO philosophy of craniofacial surgery in the United States. He has been active as AO Faculty and course chairperson since the mid-1980s and was the driving force in creating the North American Maxillofacial Education Committee in 1988, serving as its first chairman for several years. Manson served as a member of the AO’s Academic Council (1994–99) and the AO Foundation Board (2003–06), and as AO President (2008–10). Since 2010, he has worked as a cofounder and board member of the AO Neuro initiative, now known as Global Neuro. 

Chris van der Werken

Christiaan van der Werken (*1946) studied at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. His surgical training and medical career have been in the Netherlands, with a year working at Universitätsklinik Ulm, Germany. From 1992 until his retirement in 2009, he was professor of surgery at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht. 

In addition to being a member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, he is affiliated with several other associations. He is an honorary member of AO Latin America and the Asociación Argentina del Trauma Ortopédico among others. He is a member of the AO Assembly of Trustees, a founding member of the AO Alliance, and from 2001 to 2006 was a member of the AO Alliance Board of Directors. Additionally, he coedited a best-selling 2006 book, Resident's Handbook: Orthopaedic Trauma Care, with Piet de Boer. In 2008, during the final year of his term as AO President, AO CMF and AO Trauma were established and the AO celebrated its 50th anniversary. 

James Kellam

James Franklin Kellam (*1945) grew up in Canada, where he completed medical school as well as his residency and a fellowship. He spent a year as a traveling fellow, including time at the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) with Peter Matter and Stephan Perren. From 1981 to 1990, he was a full-time orthopedic trauma surgery consultant at Sunnybrook Medical and Trauma Centre in Toronto, Canada. Since 1990, Kellam has worked in the United States, first at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte (1990–2013) and then at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He currently is a professor and associate orthopedic residency program director at the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. 

Kellam’s many contributions to the AO include his service as editor of AO Dialogue, AO North America (AO NA) Trauma Fellowship Committee Chairperson (2011−16), and as a member of the AO Ethics and Compliance Committee (2014−18). He served as AO President from 2004−06. 

René Marti

René Konrad Marti (March 24, 1939–May 22, 2018) completed his medical studies at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Between 1969 and 1973, he was a member of Bernhard Georg (Hardy) Weber′s team in St. Gallen, interrupted by six months with AO founder Maurice Müller in Bern; Weber and Müller taught him in the AO techniques of internal fixation. From 1974, he lectured at the University of Amsterdam’s orthopedic department in the Netherlands, becoming a full professor in 1976. Additionally, he took over the private hospital Klinik Gut in St Moritz, Switzerland, with his colleagues Jean-Pierre Ackermann and Adrian Urfer in 1987. 
In 2003, Marti was appointed Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contributions to the development of orthopedics and for introducing the treatment of bone fractures with screws and plates in the Netherlands. He retired from his academic career in 2004 but stayed active in his private practice in St Moritz for a few more years. Marti was a passionate art collector and ran a gallery in Amsterdam, with his wife, Doris. He cofounded the Marti-Keuning-Eckhardt Foundation for the benefit of orthopedic research and cultural projects.

Peter Matter

Peter Matter (*1932) completed his medical studies at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He completed residencies at Kantonsspital Chur and later at the University of Texas, Galveston, United States. As a young surgeon at Kantonsspital Chur, Matter received training in general surgery under the direction of AO founder Martin Allgöwer and attended the inaugural AO Davos Courses in 1960. He remained close to Allgöwer throughout his career and followed him to Basel as a senior resident in 1967. In 1970, he officially became an AO member. 

In 1971, Matter joined Spital Davos as its medical director and head of surgery. He remained at the helm until his retirement in 1994. Matter led extensive studies in alpine ski equipment and accidents, collaborating with the Basel teaching staff and Prof Stephan Perren from the AO’s Laboratory of Experimental Surgery Davos—now known as the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI)—to organize courses to further this research. Beginning in the 1980s, he organized the AO Davos Courses for about 15 years. In 1982, he became president of AO Switzerland. He chaired the AO’s Documentation Center (1988), established AO Publishing (1997), and served as president of AO International (1993−99), the AO’s educational institute at that time. Matter was AO President from 2000 to 2002. In 2007, he received the Davos Crystal for his life’s work. 

Joseph Schatzker

Joseph Schatzker, (*1934) is the author of the universally used Schatzker Classification of Fractures of the Tibial Plateau, published in 1974. He was born in Stryj, near Lviv (Poland at the time of his birth, now in western Ukraine), and ended up in the Warsaw Ghetto after his father was killed. He was able to escape to Austria and later to Canada, where he studied medicine at the University of Toronto. Today, he is emeritus professor of surgery of that same university. Schatzker remains an active orthopedic surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Science Center in Toronto. He has been honored with more than 30 visiting professorships in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. Among the many accolades he has earned are the Order of Canada (2007) and the University of Wroclaw Poland Gold Medal for Scientific Contributions (2018).

Schatzker has been involved with the AO since 1967, when he spent a fellowship year with Maurice Müller in Switzerland. He translated the first AO manual, the AO Manual of Operative Fracture Treatment (1970) into English and helped spread the AO’s method and message in North America and globally as a speaker. He served as AO President from 1998 to 2000 and became an AO Honorary Trustee in 2000. Additionally, he served the AO as senior editor of AO Surgery Reference (2008−18) and is the author of Maurice Edmond Müller—in His Own Words (2018).

Chris Colton

Christopher Lewis Colton (*1937) studied medicine at St Thomas Hospital Medical School, University of London, United Kingdom. He is currently professor emeritus in orthopedic and accident surgery at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, and emeritus consultant orthopedic trauma surgeon at Nottingham University Hospital. From 1968 to 1969 he worked at the Dala Orthopaedic Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University, Kano, Nigeria.  

Colton became involved with the AO while working as a junior resident in Bristol. In 1967, on the recommendation of Keith Lucas, his chief at the time, he spent six weeks in Chur, Switzerland, working with Martin Allgöwer, Thomas Rüedi, Peter Matter, and Stephan Perren. He was the executive editor of AO Surgery Reference and is a lifetime AO Honorary Trustee, as well as a founding member of the AO Alliance. Since 2011, he has been honored with the University of Nottingham’s Fracture Forum’s annual Chris Colton Trauma Lecture. Colton is an advanced trauma life support (ATLS) instructor and a master diver.

Siegfried Weller

Siegfried Reinhold Albert Weller (July 28, 1928–August 27, 2019) studied medicine in Würzburg and Heidelberg, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria. From 1954 to 1955, he was an intern at Paterson General Hospital in the United States, before continuing his medical education at Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Germany, where he earned his habilitation in 1963. Weller led Freiburg’s traumatology clinic from 1966 and was appointed medical director of the Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik (BG) Tübingen in 1969. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1996. In 1988, he was appointed professor of trauma surgery at the University of Tübingen. The clinic’s research institute, founded in 2012, was named after Weller. 

Weller was a participant of the first AO course and brought the AO techniques and principles to Freiburg and, later, Tübingen. He was a founding member of AO Germany in 1970 and served as president of AO Germany until 1991. In 1974, he was asked by Hans Willenegger to help spread the AO’s message in Asia, and in the following decades frequently traveled to India, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and many other countries. He became a mentor for many young orthopedic and trauma surgeons in Asia and was instrumental in developing a strong AO community in the region. Weller was AO President from 1994 to 1996. Among the many honors earned during his career was the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1st class, in 1988. 

Marvin Tile

Marvin Tile (*1933) is emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Toronto and an orthopedic surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada. Tile is a world authority on orthopedic trauma, particularly the treatment of pelvic fractures. He joined the Sunnybrook surgical staff in 1966 and became chief of the orthopedic surgery division in 1971. Tile played a key role in the development of the globally acclaimed Sunnybrook Trauma Unit, the first in Canada. From 1985 to 1996, he was surgeon-in-chief at Sunnybrook, and he chaired the Sunnybrook Foundation from 1996 to 2002. 

Tile was AO President from 1992 to 1994, a period when new regional organizations were being established to supplement the existing national organizations—AO Switzerland, AO Germany, AO Spain, and AO Austria—and other regionally centralized organizations. Under Tile’s presidency, the first new regional organization, AO North America (AONA), was established in June 1992.  Among the many awards he has earned is the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Martin Allgöwer

Martin Allgöwer (May 5, 1917–October 27, 2007) studied medicine in Geneva, Zürich and Basel, Switzerland, graduating in 1942. He spent the first years of his career in Basel and at the Texas Medical Center in Galveston, United States. His training was mainly in visceral surgery until he was appointed head of surgery at Kantonsspital in Chur in 1954. The clinic, situated in the Swiss Alps and between ski resorts, was treating a lot of fractures, and an encounter with Maurice Müller triggered Allgöwer’s interest in osteosynthesis techniques and practices. 

Allgöwer was amongst the 13 surgeons who founded the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen, later to become the AO, in 1958. He privately financed a small research laboratory for tissue culture and burn studies in Davos, which was newly established as the Laboratory for Experimental Surgery, the AO’s first research institute, in 1959. Allgöwer was its first director. In 1967, Allgöwer was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Basel and created Switzerland’s first surgical department. He was instrumental in the creation of the AO Foundation and in 1984 was elected as the first AO President, a position he held until 1992. In 1988, he and fellow AO founders Maurice Müller and Hans Willenegger were awarded the Marcel Benoist Prize, the highest scientific recognition of the Swiss Government, recognizing "the extraordinary achievements for a new type of trauma surgery, which has helped thousands upon thousands of patients to heal more quickly and without complications, and which is now being imitated worldwide."