GSSG Executive Committee

Laurel Blakemore, MD

Laurel Blakemore, MD

Laurel joined the Growing Spinal Study Group in 2012 as a Research member and has served on the Executive Committee since 2016. She is currently Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at University of Florida, while serving as a Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of Florida. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve/Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio.


Michael P. Glotzbecker, MD

Michael Glotzbecker, MD

Michael joined the Growing Spinal Study Group in 2010 as a Research member and has served on the Executive Committee since 2015. In 2017, he became a member of the GSSG/CSSG Joint Research Council. He is currently an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, while serving as an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.  He completed his Orthopaedic training in the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program and his fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital.  He resides in Boston, MA.


Charles E. Johnston, MD

Charles Johnston, MD

Charles E Johnston MD (informally known as “DR. J”) is Emeritus Assistant Chief of Staff, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas TX., where he has been treating pediatric spine deformity since 1985. A member of the Scoliosis Research Society, Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, and the European Pediatric Orthopedic Society, he has published and presented dozens of papers on pediatric and early-onset scoliosis management in scientific journals and at learned society meetings, and is best known for presenting workshops and teaching seminars nationally and internationally. A graduate of Yale University, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the University of Virginia Orthopedic residency, Dr. J joined the GSSG Executive Committee in 2008.


Stefan Parent, MD, PhD

Stefan joined the Growing Spine Study Group in 2007 as a Research Member, and he has served on the Executive Committee since 2017. He is currently an Orthopaedic Surgeon at CHU Sainte-Justine, while serving as a Full Professor at the Université de Montréal. He is also Deputy Head, Research Axis, Musculoskeletal Diseases and Rehabilitation at CHU Sainte-Justine. He completed his fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, Pediatric and Adult Spine at the University of California, San Diego.


David L. Skaggs, MD, MMM

David L. Skaggs, MD

Dr. Skaggs is a tenured Professor at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and holds the Children’s Endowed chair of Pediatric Spinal Disorders. He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and completed his medical degree and residency at Columbia University. He has been on the Executive Committee of the Growing Spine Study Group since 2008 and served as the Secretary of the Growing Spine Foundation since 2009. Dr. Skaggs has a special interest in all aspects of care of growing children with spinal disorders. He has designed many spine implant systems and techniques to maximize patient safety.


Paul D. Sponseller, MD, MBA - Chair

Paul D. Sponseller, MD

Paul D. Sponseller, M.D. started treating patients in 1986 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and is currently Division Head of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Dr. Sponseller has been a member of several medical boards and associations, including the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America; Professional Advisory Board Member of the National Marfan Foundation; and Treasurer and Vice President of the Scoliosis Research Society. He is the Deputy Editor for Pediatrics for the Journal of Bone and joint Surgery, Deputy Editor of Spine Deformity, and a reviewer for many journals. He was a member of the GSSG Executive Committee from 2008 to 2009 and on the Board of Directors of the GSF since 2009.