Christopher Witiw




Christopher Witiw entered the neurosurgery residency program at the University of Toronto after completing his MD at the University of Manitoba in 2012. During his residency he completed a MS degree with a focus on Health Economics at The University of Chicago after receiving an award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His thesis on the value of surgery for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Paper Award from the North American Spine Society in 2016. He has received numerous other awards including the Shafie S. Fazel Outstanding Resident Surgeon and Investigator Award from the University of Toronto Department of Surgery and the Alan R. Hudson Neurosurgery Resident Teaching Award from the University of Toronto Division of Neurosurgery. After obtaining his FRCSC in Neurosurgery in 2018, Chris undertook a subspecialty fellowship in Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Chris returns to Toronto as a Surgeon Investigator at St. Michael’s Hospital where his clinical work is directed toward treating the full spectrum of spinal disorders. He has a specific interest in minimally invasive approaches to spinal conditions. Chris’ research work is centered on Health Economics and Health Services pertinent to spinal pathology and he is especially interested in ‘big data’ analytics as a means to optimize efficiency and quality of spine surgery.

Spine Research Program 


Recent Publications

  1. Jaffe, RH, Coyte, PC, Chan, BC, Hancock-Howard, RL, Malhotra, AK, Ladha, K et al.. Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury and Income and Employment Status. JAMA Netw Open. 2024;7 (6):e2418468. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.18468. PubMed PMID:38916890 PubMed Central PMC11200142.
  2. Shakil, H, Malhotra, AK, Badhiwala, JH, Karthikeyan, V, Essa, A, He, Y et al.. Contemporary trends in the incidence and timing of spinal metastases: A population-based study. Neurooncol Adv. 2024;6 (1):vdae051. doi: 10.1093/noajnl/vdae051. PubMed PMID:38680988 PubMed Central PMC11046986.
  3. Essa, A, Shakil, H, Malhotra, AK, Byrne, JP, Badhiwala, J, Yuan, EY et al.. Quantifying the Association Between Surgical Spine Approach and Tracheostomy Timing After Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. Neurosurgery. 2024; :. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002892. PubMed PMID:38456683 .
  4. Malhotra, AK, Shakil, H, Smith, CW, Mathieu, F, Merali, Z, Jaffe, RH et al.. Admitting Hospital Influences on Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment Decision for Patients With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurosurgery. 2024; :. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002840. PubMed PMID:38289070 .
  5. Wilson, JR, Prevedello, LM, Witiw, CD, Flanders, AE, Colak, E. Data Liberation and Crowdsourcing in Medical Research: The Intersection of Collective and Artificial Intelligence. Radiol Artif Intell. 2024;6 (1):e230006. doi: 10.1148/ryai.230006. PubMed PMID:38231037 PubMed Central PMC10831522.
  6. Smith, CW, Malhotra, AK, Hammill, C, Beaton, D, Harrington, EM, He, Y et al.. Vision Transformer-based Decision Support for Neurosurgical Intervention in Acute Traumatic Brain Injury: Automated Surgical Intervention Support Tool. Radiol Artif Intell. 2024;6 (2):e230088. doi: 10.1148/ryai.230088. PubMed PMID:38197796 PubMed Central PMC10982820.
  7. Azad, TD, Raj, D, Ran, KR, Vattipally, VN, Warman, A, Raad, M et al.. Concomitant Traumatic Brain Injury Delays Surgery in Patients With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury. Neurosurgery. 2024; :. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002816. PubMed PMID:38197654 .
  8. Malhotra, AK, Shakil, H, Smith, CW, Sader, N, Ladha, K, Wijeysundera, DN et al.. Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment for Pediatric Patients With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. JAMA Surg. 2024;159 (3):287-296. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2023.6531. PubMed PMID:38117514 PubMed Central PMC10733846.
  9. Badhiwala, JH, Witiw, CD, Wilson, JR, da Costa, LB, Nathens, AB, Fehlings, MG et al.. Treatment of Acute Traumatic Central Cord Syndrome: A Study of North American Trauma Centers. Neurosurgery. 2024;94 (4):700-710. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002767. PubMed PMID:38038474 .
  10. Shakil, H, Malhotra, AK, Jaffe, RH, Smith, CW, Harrington, EM, Wang, AP et al.. Factors influencing withdrawal of life-supporting treatment in cervical spinal cord injury: a large multicenter observational cohort study. Crit Care. 2023;27 (1):448. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04725-x. PubMed PMID:37980485 PubMed Central PMC10656773.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto