15th Hands-On Cadaver Course Zurich, Switzerland

Hands-on microneurosurgery and white matter anatomy in brain tumors, epilepsy and AVM: the Zurich School


Hybrid event

Anatomical Institute of the University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
Building 42/Floor G
Room no. 53
CH-8057 Zurich


SGNC requested

17.06.2024 7.45 am - 6.00 pm
18.06.2024 8.00 am - 6.00 pm
19.06.2024 8.00 am - 6.00 pm

Participants Number of participants Costs
Hands-on participants max. 14 CHF 1’500.-

CHF 1’300.-

Observer max. 20 CHF 200
Online unlimited free of charge


08.00 am Welcome and reception
Regli / Krayenbühl / Serra
08.15 am History and principles of microneurosurgery of the brain
08.45 am Microneurosurgery of neocortical tumors
09.15 am Fiber dissection technique: dissection of the lateral aspect of the brain
09.30 am Coffee break
10.00 am Hands-on dissection of the lateral aspect of the brain
All faculty
12.30 pm Lunch Break
1.30 pm Microneurosurgery of insular tumors
2.00 pm Tumors around the optic radiations. Anatomy and surgical considerations
2.30 pm Hands-On lateral aspect of the brain
All faculty

08.00 am Microneurosurgery in epilepsy surgery
08.45 am Fiber dissection technique: Dissection of the medial aspect of the brain
09.10 am Coffee break
09.30 am Hands-on dissection of the medial aspect of the brain
All faculty
12.30 pm Lunch Seminar: Siemens-sponsored lecture “Intraoperative MRI in microneurosurgery”
1.30 pm Anatomy of the limbic and paralimbic system
2.00 pm Microneurosurgery of limbic and paralimbic tumors
2.30 pm Microneurosurgery of thalamic tumors
3.00 pm Hands-On Medial aspect of the brain
All faculty

08.00 am Basics of DTI
08.30 am White matter tracts and putative functional role
09.00 am Fiber dissection of Deep Cerebellar Nuclei and cerebellar peduncles
09.30 am Fibers dissection technique: dissection of the brain stem
10.00 am Coffee break
10.15 am Hands-on dissection of the cerebellum and brain stem
All faculty
12.30 pm Lunch Break
1.30 pm Microneurosurgery of brain stem cavernoma
2.30 pm Hands-on dissection of cerebellum and brain stem
All faculty
5.00 pm Hands-on DTI session sponsored by Medtronic

The course has a long tradition dating back to 2008, when it was established in its current form as one of the first courses on this topic in Europe. However, the link between white matter microdissection and Zurich is much older. It goes back to the late 1940s, when Professor Yaşargil, the founder of modern neurosurgery, but at the time still a young assistant to Prof. Hugo Krayenbühl, visited Prof. Ludwig’s anatomical laboratory in Basel.

There he met regularly with Mr. Klingler, from whom he was able to learn the finest details of the three-dimensional architecture of the white substance. The deep understanding of the relationship between pathological lesions and the white matter tracts, combined with the development of microneurosurgery and the refinement of cisternal navigation as a means of atraumatic exploration of the brain, made Professor Yaşargil a legend of neurosurgery and Zurich a unique place for neurosurgery.

Since then, thousands of neurosurgeons from all over the world have come to Zurich to learn cutting-edge neurosurgical techniques. Be a part of it and visit us at the Zurich White Matter Microdissection Course.

Welcome to Zurich, where it all began…!


The history of the developments and discoveries, which made possible our actual knowledge about macroscopic brain white matter anatomy, is very rich. Several prominent philosopher and scientist contributed to it: Galenus, Piccolomini, Malpighi, Varolio, Willis, Steno, Vieussens, Vicq d’Azyr, Reil, Gall, Burdach, Meynert, Mayo, Arnold, Foville, Gratiolet to name only some of them.

In the XIXth century, however, there was a radical shift in focus. The interest of most scientists shifted from the macroscopic to the microscopic anatomy of the white matter of the human brain, so that the technique of dissecting the white matter was mostly only used for didactic purposes in the 20th century. In the 1930s, Mr. Klingler, an anatomical demonstrator in Prof. Ludwig’s anatomical laboratory in Basel, developed a special interest and talent for dissecting white matter.

His aim was to provide students at the University of Basel with three-dimensional models that would “free students from the work of mentally reconstructing structures after looking at numerous sections, a task that is all too often unsuccessful”. He also slightly altered the dissection protocol by routinely freezing brain samples, a detail he had picked up from his time in Vienna in Prof. Pernkopf’s anatomy lab.

Mr. Klingler’s talent resulted in a remarkable atlas of dissection of white matter fibers: the “Atlas cerebri humani”, which is still unsurpassed today in terms of detail and perfection of execution. Several students were able to benefit from Mr. Klingler’s talent, including the young Professor Yaşargil, who visited Prof. Ludwig’s laboratory for three months in the 1940s and then regularly called on Mr. Klingler to show him his improvements in preparation technique, usually receiving the reply: “You are getting better and better…”.

In the second half of the 20th century, the technique fell into oblivion and only a few studies appeared in the medical literature. In the 1990s, one of the young neurosurgeons who visited Professor Yaşargil in Zurich was amazed by the beauty and perfection of the dissected specimens that Professor Yaşargil kept in his office. At Professor Yaşargil’s suggestion, he then visited the Anatomical Museum in Basel to admire Mr. Klingler’s original specimens. This young colleague, now Professor Ugur Türe, then published a paper in 2000 in which he explained step by step how to perform the lateral dissection of a brain. This work represents a milestone in the history of white matter dissection and aroused enormous interest in this topic in the scientific community.
Professor Niklaus Krayenbühl then learned the technique from Prof. Yaşargil himself and from Professor Türe and in 2008 founded the course to revive the tradition of white matter dissection in Zurich and in Europe.

Honored Guests

Mustafa Baskaya, Stephanie Forkel, Pablo Gonzalez Lopez, Paulo Kadri, Nupur Pruthi, Karl Schaller, Uğur Türe


Hands-on Participants
max. 14 participants
CHF 1’500.-

max. 20 participants
CHF 200
Register now

Online via Zoom
free of charge
Register now

Course Directors

Luca Regli, Prof. Dr. med.

Director of Department, Department of Neurosurgery

Tel. +41 44 255 29 92

Niklaus Krayenbühl, Prof. Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Department of Neurosurgery

Tel. +41 44 255 26 86

Carlo Serra, PD Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Department of Neurosurgery

Tel. +41 44 255 26 85
Specialties: Microneurosurgery of brain tumors, Pituitary and skull base surgery, Neurovascular surgery

Responsible Department