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Vale Associate Prof Paul Spira

The news of A/Professor Paul Spira's passing has reverberated throughout the medical fraternity, leaving an indelible mark on those whose lives he touched. His legacy, crafted meticulously through an illustrious career as a headache specialist, spans decades of tireless dedication and groundbreaking advancements in clinical medicine. The corridors of the Prince of Wales Hospital and the Bondi rooms, established by A/Professor Spira in the distant annals of 1970, still echo with the resonance of his profound expertise and compassionate care.


A/Professor Spira was more than a clinician; he was a beacon of knowledge and a mentor whose impact extended far beyond the confines of his practice. His pioneering spirit in the field of clinical medicine manifested in the establishment of the second-generation Neurology Private Clinic, a testament to his unwavering commitment to delivering unparalleled care since the dawn of the '70s.


.As a neurology trainee from New Zealand attending a rare educational session on headache disorders in Canberra, I had the privilege of meeting Professor Spira. At that time, headache medicine lacked the admiration it deserved in Australia and New Zealand,his lecture became the cornerstone of my journey into headache medicine, forging connections with esteemed figures like the late Professor James Lance and Professor Peter Goadsby.


Professor Spira's generosity and approachability were evident even then. He willingly shared his knowledge, providing invaluable resources like his headache diary, setting the stage for the beginning of a journey that transcended decades. Years later, during a headache workshop in Amsterdam, conversations with him delved beyond medicine, touching on life, work-life balance, and family—a testament to his multifaceted wisdom and warmth.


Professor Spira's impact on the understanding of migraine's vascular aspects is immeasurable. Collaborating with luminaries like Ewan Mylecharane, John Duckworth, Michael Welch, and Jusef Misbach, he furthered the groundbreaking work initiated by Professor Lance, exploring the effects of vasoactive agents on the monkey cranial circulation—an exploration that continues to shape the resurgence of vascular aspects in migraine pathophysiology today.


As we bid farewell to Professor Paul Spira, his funeral service on New Year's Day at Rookwood Cemetery stands as a testament to the profound impact he had on countless lives. The Minyan and Memorial Service at Coogee Synagogue later that day will echo with memories of his contributions to the field of headache medicine. Organizations such as the Migraine Foundation, Asian Regional Consortium of Headaches, and Global Special Interest Group for Migraine and Headache Disorders extend their deepest sympathies to the Spira family, recognizing and honoring his monumental contributions spanning several decades.


In the wake of his passing, the ARCH and Migraine Foundation  community stands united in gratitude for Professor Spira's monumental contributions.

His legacy shall endure, a guiding light for future generations of medical professionals navigating the intricate realms of  migraine and headache disorders in Neurology and neurosciences.


Professor Tissa Wijeratne OAM


Asian Regional Consortium of Headaches


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