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Past Honorees


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Edward “Ned” F. Downing, MD was born in Alabama in 1937. He graduated from the University of Alabama and from there went to Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Downing did his neurosurgical residency at the New York Neurological Institute. After a brief stint in the Navy in Charleston, he moved to Savannah where he lived and worked until his untimely death in 2000 at the age of 63.

Dr. Downing was a unique individual on several levels. He was a superb surgical technician who could handle with elegance the most difficult surgical problem. His leadership and his flair for business helped build the neurosurgical group in Savannah into a prominent regional neurosurgical center. Dr. Downing was a civic leader serving on various community boards as well as his church board of directors and he was at the forefront of historic preservation of Savannah.

In many ways, Ned Downing was the exemplary Southern gentleman. His family, his wife Helen and daughter Callie were at the center of his life. He was deeply loyal to his friends and associates. Despite the fact that Ned lived well and had a reputation for enjoying the finer things in life, he never once refused to see a patient for financial reasons and would treat even the most destitute of patients with the same respect that he gave his private patients. Ned was as much at home in a boardroom or a duck blind as he was in the operating room. He was a great conversationalist and an entertaining companion, and he had a great sense of humor.

The Southern Neurosurgical Society was one of Dr. Downing's greatest interests. He was a loyal and active member who rarely missed a meeting. Dr. Downing served as President of the Society and was serving as Historian at the time of his death. In memory of this outstanding Southern neurosurgeon, the leadership of the Southern Neurosurgical Society established the Edward F. Downing Memorial Lecture in 2007. This lecture is a yearly event at the annual meeting and features a topic of general interest to those living and working in the South.

Past Lecturers


Don Davey

Former NFL Player and Senior Portfolio Manager


Dr. Larry J. Sabato

Author and Political Analyst


Henry Marsh, CBE, FRCS

Neurosurgeon and Author


Hugh L. McColl, Jr.

Former Chairman, Bank of America


Lou Piniella

MLB Outfielder and Manager


Thomas A. Coburn, MD

US Senator


Roy Blount, Jr.



Walter Edgar, PhD

Professor and Historian


Taylor Branch



Joyce Carol Oates



Richard Ford



John M. Barry



SNS Annual Meeting

70th Southern Neurosurgical Society Annual Meeting

February 20-23, 2019
Ocean Reef Club
Key Largo, FL