Robert J. Spinner, M.D.

  1. Neurosurgeon
  2. Orthopedic Surgeon
  3. Chair, Neurosurgery, Minnesota
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I love medicine. And I love the ability to work with patients. I'm Rob Spinner. I'm one of the neurosurgeons at the Mayo Clinic. My area of interest is peripheral nerve surgery.

I think a few things are individualized when they come to see me. Number one is I'm committed to the patient. Number two is I'm passionate about what I do. This is my love-- peripheral nerve surgery and patient care. Third, I love discovery. I'm challenged by new things and new ways to improve patient care.

Somebody once told me you're lucky in life if you get to do what you want to do 20% of the time. I get to do what I want to do and I like to do all the time. And there's no better place in the world than to do it at the Mayo Clinic.

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Robert J. Spinner, M.D., is a peripheral nerve surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is chair of the Department of Neurologic Surgery and is the Burton M. Onofrio, M.D. Professor of Neurosurgery as well as a professor of orthopedics and anatomy. He completed full residency programs in orthopedics and neurosurgery and a one-year peripheral nerve fellowship. He is board certified in both neurosurgery and orthopedics. He has served as the president of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve and the Sunderland Society (an international peripheral nerve study group).

His clinical focus includes:

  • Nerve entrapments
  • Peripheral nerve tumors (benign and malignant)
  • Injuries (including brachial plexus injuries)
  • Neuropathic pain

In addition to his clinical activities, Dr. Spinner is active in clinical and basic science (nerve regeneration). He mentors clinical and research fellows. He publishes in high-impact journals and presents frequently both nationally and internationally on topics related to peripheral nerve disorders.

Dr. Spinner chairs the Academic Appointments and Promotions Committee at Mayo.

  1. Brachial plexus injury
  2. Nerve entrapment
  3. Peripheral nerve sheath tumors
  1. Brachial plexus surgery
  2. Peripheral nerve tumor surgery
  • Peripheral nerve surgery
  • Brachial plexus injury surgery
  • Peripheral nerve tumor
  • Nerve entrapment
  1. 2000
    Chief Resident - Neurologic SurgeryMayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. 1999
    Fellow - Peripheral Nerve Surgery (Dr. David Kline)Louisiana State University Medical Center
  3. 1999
    Resident - Neurologic SurgeryMayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. 1996
    Chief Resident - Orthopaedic SurgeryDuke University Medical Center
  5. 1995
    Resident - Orthopaedic SurgeryDuke University Medical Center
  6. 1992
    Junior Assistant Resident - General and Thoracic SurgeryDuke University Medical Center
  7. 1991
    Internship - General and Thoracic SurgeryDuke University Medical Center
  8. 1990
    Research Fellowship - Luce Scholars Program. Orthopaedic Surgery and TraumatologyPrince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
  9. 1989
    MDMayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  10. 1987
    MD/PhD StudentExperimental Pathology, Historical Programs, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  11. 1985
    MST - Greek and Latin LiteratureChrist Church College, University of Oxford
  12. 1984
    BS - Humanities and ScienceMassachusetts Institute of Technology
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Certifications

  1. 2006
    Neurological SurgeryAmerican Board of Neurological Surgery
  2. 2003
    Orthopaedic SurgeryAmerican Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Awards and honors

  1. 2016
    David Kline LectureAANS
  2. 2015
    Education Diversity AwardMayo Foundation
  3. 2014
    Keith Moore Black Box AwardAmerican Assocation for Clinical Anatomists
  4. 2014
    Thomas M and Edna T Gattle Scholarship in Mayo Medical School for Neurosurgery Honoring Robert J. Spinner, MD.Mayo Clinic
  5. 2013
    Cum Laude Award, Best poster presentation SCBT-MR Meeting. Howe et al.
  6. 2012
    First Prize posterAFIRM, All Hands Meeting
  7. 2012
    Scholarly Clinician AwardMayo Clinic
  8. 2011
    Scholarly Clinician AwardMayo Clinic
  9. 2011
    Burton M. Onofrio, M.D., Professorship in NeurosurgeryMayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  10. 2010
    Second place posterArmed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine
  11. 2010
    Best journal publicationAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand
  12. 2010
    Best paper presentation52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Denver, CO
  13. 2010
    Honorary ProfessorInstitute of Hand Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University
  14. 2009
    MacMillan Fellowship in LeadershipMayo Foundation
  15. 2009
    Honorary memberAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand
  16. 2009
    Best paper presentation. Received by Dr B CarlsenAmerican Association of Hand Surgery
  17. 2008
    Best Poster AwardJoint Section of Spinal/Peripheral Nerve Surgery
  18. 2006
    Corrinne Farrell AwardInternational Skeletal Society
  19. 2005
    2005 Presidential AwardAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists
  20. 2002
    Travel Grant for First Year in Practice OrthopedistsMid-America Orthopaedic Association
  21. 2001
    Cushing Clinical FellowshipCongress of Neurological Surgeons
  22. 2001
    Karis AwardSaint Marys Hospital
  23. 2000
    Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship AwardMayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  24. 1999
    Dean Echols Award, First PrizeJoint Louisiana/Mississippi Neurosurgery Society Meeting
  25. 1998
    First Place, audiotape presentationAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting
  26. 1997
    Medical Student Scholarship (Cerebrovascular Disease)American Heart Association
  27. 1996
    J. Leonard Goldner, M.D. Orthopedic Research AwardDuke University Medical Center
  28. 1996
    Empire Who's Who in the WorldAwarding Organization
  29. 1995
    Second Prize AwardNorth Carolina Orthopaedic Association Meeting
  30. 1994
    Third Prize AwardNorth Carolina Orthopaedic Association Meeting
  31. 1993
    First Prize AwardOscar Miller Day
  32. 1992
    Excellence in Teaching AwardDavison Council, Duke University School of Medicine
  33. 1990
    A.R. Hodgson AwardHong Kong Orthopaedic Association 10th Annual Congress
  34. 1989
    Student/Resident Research AwardAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists
  35. 1989
    Harry N. Hoffman II Humanitarian Travel AwardMayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  36. 1989
    Luce ScholarshipHenry Luce Foundation
  37. 1989
    Graduate Educational AwardPhi Gamma Delta
  38. 1988
    Frederick M. Mitchell Scholarship in SurgeryMayo Foundation
  39. 1986
    J.M. Foundation ScholarshipUniversity of Texas
  40. 1986
    United Cerebral Palsy FellowshipRusk Institute
  41. 1985
    Paul A. and Ruth M. Schilling ScholarshipMayo Foundation
  42. 1985
    R.H. Dundas Award in ClassicsOxford University
  43. 1985
    Reader's Digest FellowshipRusk Institute
  44. 1985
    Highest Honors in PhilologyOxford University
  45. 1983
    MemberPhi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  46. 1981
    Undergraduate Educational AwardPhi Gamma Delta
  47. 1980
    National Science FellowshipUniversity of Minnesota
  48.  
    Marquis Who's Who in the EastMarquis Who's Who
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Professional memberships

  1. 2016
    Program ChairAmerican Academy of Neurological Surgery
  2. 2015 - 2016
    ChairScientific Program Committee, American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  3. 2015 - present
    Wisconsin Medical Society
  4. 2014 - 2015
    MemberCarpal Tunnel Guidelines Taskforce, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  5. 2014
    Abstract ReviewerAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists
  6. 2014
    GraderAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists
  7. 2014 - present
    ChairMembership Committee, American Association for Hand Surgery
  8. 2013 - 2016
    CouncilExecutive Council, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
  9. 2013 - 2016
    SecretaryAmerican Association for Hand Surgery
  10. 2013 - 2016
    SecretaryHand Surgery Endowment, American Association for Hand Surgery
  11. 2013 - 2016
    Scientific Council MemberAmerican Academy of Neurological Surgery
  12. 2013 - 2016
    Program Abstract ReviewerAmerican Academy of Neurological Surgery
  13. 2013 - 2015
    Past PresidentAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  14. 2013 - 2015
    ChairNominating Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  15. 2013 - 2014
    MemberMembership Committee, American Association for Hand Surgery
  16. 2013 - 2014
    MemberTime and Place Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  17. 2013
    ChairAssistant Professors/Instructors, AAPC Subcommittee, Academic Appointment and Promotions Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  18. 2013
    Grant ReviewerScottish Government, Experimental and Translational Medicine Research
  19. 2013
    Grant ReviewerCollaborative Health Reearch Program
  20. 2013
    Grant ReviewerCanadian National Institutes of Health
  21. 2013
    Abstract ReviewerAbstract Committee, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
  22. 2013
    Abstract ReviewerAbstract Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  23. 2013
    Abstract ReviewerAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists
  24. 2013
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, European Association of Neurological Societies
  25. 2013 - present
    MemberNamed Professors Committee
  26. 2013 - present
    MemberDevelopment Committee, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
  27. 2012 - 2014
    MemberMembership and Communications Committee, Minnesota Medical Association
  28. 2012 - 2013
    PresidentAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  29. 2012 - 2013
    Program ChairSigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  30. 2012
    Interim ChairAcademic Appointment and Promotions Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  31. 2012
    Co-ChairBrachial Plexus Hands-on Course, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  32. 2012
    MemberPiedmont Orthopedic Society
  33. 2012
    Abstract ReviewerAbstract Committee, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  34. 2012
    Abstract ReviewerAbstract Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  35. 2012 - present
    MemberMayo Center for the History of Medicine Executive Committee/Historical Subcommittee
  36. 2012 - present
    ChairAcademic Appointment and Promotions Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  37. 2012 - present
    MemberRe-AIMS Oversight Committee
  38. 2012 - present
    MemberAmerican Association for the History of Medicine
  39. 2011 - 2014
    MemberJapanese Traveling Fellowship Committee, American Orthopaedic Association
  40. 2011 - 2012
    ChairMembership Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  41. 2011 - 2012
    President-ElectAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  42. 2011 - 2012
    PresidentSigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  43. 2011 - 2012
    MemberTime and Place Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  44. 2011 - 2012
    MemberEducation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  45. 2011 - present
    ChairLeadership Committee, Echocardiography Laboratory, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
  46. 2010 - 2013
    AANS Liaison to ACSAmerican College of Surgeons
  47. 2010 - 2012
    DelegateMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  48. 2010 - 2011
    MemberAmerican Society of Hematology-AMA-Rand Corporation
  49. 2010 - 2011
    Vice PresidentAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  50. 2010 - 2011
    MemberProgram Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  51. 2010 - 2011
    ChairMembership Committee, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  52. 2010
    Grant Review Panel MemberAd hoc Grant Generation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  53. 2010
    Executive Committee MemberMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  54. 2010
    Grant ReviewerCollaborative Health Research Program, Physicians' Services Incorporated Foundation
  55. 2010
    Grant ReviewerCollaborative Health Reearch Program
  56. 2010 - present
    MemberMayo Clinic Alumni Association, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  57. 2010 - present
    MemberInvestment Committee, Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  58. 2010 - present
    MemberAmerican Academy of Neurological Surgery
  59. 2009 - 2011
    PresidentAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  60. 2009 - 2011
    PresidentPeripheral Nerve Task Force, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  61. 2009
    Honorary MemberAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand
  62. 2009
    MemberThe Society of Neurological Surgeons
  63. 2009
    Regional InterviewerLuce Scholars Program, Henry Luce Foundation
  64. 2008 - 2011
    MemberJapanese Traveling Fellowship Committee, American Orthopaedic Association
  65. 2008 - 2010
    TreasurerAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  66. 2008 - 2010
    MemberFinance Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  67. 2008 - 2010
    ChairGrant Generation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  68. 2008
    ChairNominating Committee, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  69. 2008
    MemberNominating Committee, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  70. 2008
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  71. 2008
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, Peripheral Nerve Surgery Section, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
  72. 2008
    Grant ReviewerCollaborative Health Research Program, Physicians' Services Incorporated Foundation
  73. 2008 - present
    MemberPoster Grading Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  74. 2007 - 2013
    MemberExecutive Committee, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  75. 2007 - 2010
    AANS Liaison to ACSAmerican College of Surgeons
  76. 2007 - 2009
    President-ElectPeripheral Nerve Task Force, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  77. 2007 - 2008
    PresidentSunderland Society
  78. 2007 - 2008
    MemberAd hoc Grant Generation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  79. 2007 - 2008
    MemberTime and Place Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  80. 2007 - 2008
    MemberGrant Generation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  81. 2007 - 2008
    HistorianAmerican Society for Peripheral Nerve
  82. 2007
    ChairmanBylaws Committee, Sunderland Society
  83. 2007 - present
    Fellow MemberAmerican Gastroenterological Association
  84. 2007 - present
    CouncilorSigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  85. 2007 - present
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  86. 2006 - 2010
    MemberMedical Student Association, University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  87. 2006 - 2008
    MemberNewsletter Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  88. 2006
    Co-organizerMayo Clinic Neuroscience Symposium - Horizons in Neurology and Neurosurgery
  89. 2006 - present
    Co-organizerABC's of Peripheral Nerve, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  90. 2005 - 2009
    MemberDigital Technology Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  91. 2005 - 2008
    MemberMembership Committee, American Association for Hand Surgery
  92. 2005 - 2008
    MemberAnatomy-imaging Evaluation Subcommittee, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  93. 2005 - 2007
    MemberEducation Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  94. 2005 - 2007
    SecretaryPeripheral Nerve Task Force, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  95. 2005 - 2006
    MentorFirst Year Medical Students, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  96. 2005 - 2006
    ChairProblem Manager Work Group, Mayo Integrated Clinical Systems (MICS), Department of Foundation Integrated Services (FIS)
  97. 2005
    OrganizerNeurosurgery Update, Mayo Clinic Alumni Meeting, Mayo Clinic Alumni Association
  98. 2005
    MemberAnnual Meeting Program Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  99. 2005
    MemberQuestions Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  100. 2005 - present
    MemberNational Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
  101. 2004 - 2009
    MemberYoung Neurosurgeons Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  102. 2004 - 2007
    MemberProgram Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  103. 2004 - 2006
    MemberTechnical Exhibits Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  104. 2004 - 2005
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  105. 2004
    Delegate at LargeMinnesota Medical Association
  106. 2004 - present
    ChairResearch Committee, Department of Neurologic Surgery
  107. 2004 - present
    MemberCareer Development Committee, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
  108. 2003 - 2009
    MemberBoard of Directors, Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  109. 2003 - 2004
    MemberAbstract Grading Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  110. 2003 - present
    MemberMembership Committee, American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology
  111. 2002 - 2012
    MemberGraduate Education Committee - Surgery and Surgical Specialties, Mayo Clinic Committees
  112. 2002 - 2010
    MemberFinancial Review Group, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine
  113. 2002 - 2005
    MemberCongressional and Legislative Committee, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
  114. 2002 - 2004
    MemberHeritage Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  115. 2002 - 2004
    MemberSentinel Event Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  116. 2002 - 2004
    MemberExecutive Council, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
  117. 2002 - 2003
    MemberProgram Steering Committee, Meharry Medical College/Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Alliance
  118. 2002
    MemberPosters Grading Committee, Spine and Peripheral Nerve Section, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  119. 2002
    MemberPoster Grading Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  120. 2002 - present
    MemberAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  121. 2001
    MemberProgram Review Retreat, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health
  122. 2001
    MemberCommittee, Peripheral Nerve Surgery Section, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
  123. 1992
    MemberMedical Records Review Task Force, Mayo Clinic Arizona Task Forces
  124. 1990 - 1993
    MemberCommittee on Young Surgeons, American College of Surgeons
  125. 1990 - 1992
    MemberCommittee on International Scholarships, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University
  126. 1990 - present
    FellowAmerican Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  127. 1989
    OrganizerResearch Day Symposium, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  128. 1988 - 1989
    MemberCommencement Committee, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  129. 1988 - 1989
    Faculty AdvisorMayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  130. 1987 - 1997
    MemberHand Committee, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  131. 1987 - 1997
    MemberHand Physiatrists/Surgeons Committee, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  132. 1987 - 1989
    MemberPM&R Clinical Practice Committee, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  133. 1987 - 1989
    MemberExecutive Committee, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  134. 1986 - 1995
    MemberBoard of Directors, International Conferences on Calcium Regulating Hormones
  135. 1986 - 1995
    MemberResidency Selection Committee, Department of Internal Medicine
  136. 1986 - 1987
    MemberCurriculum Committee, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  137. 1982 - 1983
    MemberMIT/Wellesley Exchange Program Committee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  138. 1982
    MemberScientific Program, 1st International Scientific Sessions, International Society for Heart Transplantation
  139. 1981 - 1982
    MemberHumanities, Arts and Social Sciences Committee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  140. 1980 - 1996
    MemberInternal Medicine Residents, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  141. 1980 - 1984
    MemberIota Mu Chapter, Phi Gamma Delta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  142. 1980 - 1981
    MemberAdmissions Committee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  143. 1974 - 1975
    Vice PresidentMedical Subjects Unit, American Topical Association
  144.  
    FellowSociety of Radiologists in Ultrasound
  145.  
    Active MemberMayo Clinic Alumni Association, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration
  146.  
    MemberMayo Clinic Hand Club
  147.  
    Provisional Active MemberAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons
  148.  
    ChairRush Committee, Iota Mu Chapter, Phi Gamma Delta
  149.  
    ChairScholarship Committee, Iota Mu Chapter, Phi Gamma Delta
  150.  
    ChairCommunity Relations Committee, Iota Mu Chapter, Phi Gamma Delta
  151.  
    Associate ChairSocial Committee, Iota Mu Chapter, Phi Gamma Delta
  152.  
    MemberGeneral Surgery Residency Committee, Division of Subspecialty General Surgery, Department of Surgery
  153.  
    Ex-OfficioFinance Committee, American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  154.  
    MemberAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
  155.  
    MemberAmerican Medical Association
  156.  
    MemberDuke Hand Club, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University
  157.  
    MemberMid-America Orthopaedic Association
  158.  
    MemberMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  159.  
    MemberOrthopedics Overseas
  160.  
    MemberPain Section, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  161.  
    MemberWorld Orthopaedic Concern
  162.  
    MemberZumbro Valley Medical Society, Minnesota Medical Association
  163.  
    MemberMinnesota Orthopaedic Society
  164.  
    MemberPeripheral Nerve Society
  165.  
    MemberMinnesota Academy of Medicine
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Publications

Research activities

See a description of research activities.