Keynote Speakers

Michelle C. Marks, PT, MA


Title of talk: Collaborative Research Powers Innovation and Quality Improvement

Michelle Marks is the executive director of the Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation and the research director of the Harms Study Group, the premier Pediatric Scoliosis research group. Michelle’s professional career has spanned as a physical therapist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, in the Motion Analysis Laboratory Research Labs at Connecticut Children’s Hospital, and Rady Children’s Hospital. For more than 23 years she has led the efforts, along with Dr. Peter Newton, of the Harms Study Group and in 2008 formed the nonprofit foundation, Setting Scoliosis Straight with a mission to advance the treatment of pediatric scoliosis patients through research and education. Michelle holds a B.S. in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Biomechanical Research from San Diego State University. She resides in San Diego, California and is a wife and mother of two. She loves surfing, swimming, hiking, and riding her horses.

Ferran Pellisé, MD, PhD

Ferran Pellisé, MD, PhD
Title of Talk: The European Spine Study Group, from its conception to the present.
Dr Ferran Pellisé is entirely dedicated to the surgical treatment of spinal disorders, with special interest in scoliosis and other spinal deformities. He is the Chief of the Spine Unit at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Director of the Spine Service at Hospital Quirón Barcelona and Professor of Orthopedics at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Dr Pellisé has published over 150 peer-review papers. His research work in spinal deformity has won the prestigious Hibbs award and the Whitecloud award from the Scoliosis Research Society, as well as the Best Paper Award from EuroSpine-The Spine Society of Europe, the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies, BASS-British association of Spinal Surgeons and GEER-The Spanish Spine Society.
He serves on the boards of several scholarly journals and has been Deputy-Editor of the European Spine Journal between 2005 and 2015. He has served on the boards of different medical associations including the Spanish Spine Society (President), the Spine Society of Europe (President) and the Scoliosis Research Society (Director at Large and Secretary Elect). In 2011, Dr Pellisé founded the European Spine Study Group (ESSG) together with other well-known researchers in the field of adult spinal deformities. Nowadays the ESSG is the main platform for the analysis and evaluation of adult spinal deformities in Europe.

Muharrem Yazici, MD


Title of Talk: SRS – More than a surgery-oriented Society.

Muharrem Yazici is the Professor of Orthopedics at the Hacettept University in Ankara, Turkey. His clinical practice involves pediatric orthopedic and spine conditions. His research focuses on the treatment of early onset pediatric spine deformities. He edited two international textbooks and published more than 140 research articles in peer review international journals. He served as president for European Pediatric Orthpaedic Society (2012-2013) and as Board of Director (2012-2014), Chair of Growing Spine (2007) and Program Committees (2017) for the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). He is currently serving as President of the SRS.