Born in London, Ontario, James Drake attended Ridley for three years, graduating as a Prefect in 1970. He was then educated at Princeton University where he obtained a BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, a medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Neurosurgery Training at the University of Toronto. His training included an MSc research fellowship funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada (1986-1987) in Hydrocephalus.
In 1988, Jim completed a clinical fellowship at L’Hopital Necker Enfants Malades in Paris before joining the Division of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 1988. From 2003-2018 he served as chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at SickKids and was appointed to the position of Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Perioperative Services in 2018.
Jim is currently the Robert B. Salter Chair in Surgery, and the Director of the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention at SickKids, a technology development and translation laboratory. He is a Senior Associate Scientist in Neurosciences & Mental Health at the SickKids Research Institute, a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a Director at the Centre of Mathematical Medicine at the University of Toronto’s Fields Institute.
He is the past president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the Chair of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Chair of the Pediatric Surgical Chiefs of Canada.
Jim is one of the preeminent world experts in the field of hydrocephalus and one of the pioneers in the field of neurosurgical endoscopy and in image guided surgery and robotics. In 2020, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his leadership in the field of pediatric neurosurgery and for his contributions to the treatment of complex childhood disorders.