Shelly D. Timmons, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, hails from London Mills, IL, in west central Illinois, where she grew up on a farm with one brother, her parents, and a large extended family. She graduated from Spoon River Valley High School as valedictorian in 1983. She obtained undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Honors Biology (BS 1987) and Rhetoric (BA 1988) and obtained her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria in 1991. She completed her residency training in neurological surgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis in 1997, under the chairmanship of Drs. James T. Robertson and Jon H. Robertson. In 2002, she earned her PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology, studying noradrenergic modulation of calcium channels in pyramidal neurons with Robert C. Foehring, PhD.
Dr. Timmons practiced neurological surgery for thirteen years with the Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis, TN. In 1997, she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Chief of the Neurotrauma Division, as well as Chief of Neurosurgery at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis / Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. She was promoted to Associate Professor in in 2008 and retained that appointment until 2011.
She has long been involved in resident training and education and served as Assistant Dean of Graduate Medical Education at UTHSC for eight years, as well as acting as an Assistant Clinical Dean for UTHSC.
In 2010, she took on the position of Director of Neurotrauma for the Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA, where she instituted a new ACGME-accredited residency training program in 2013. She was Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Temple University during her tenure at Geisinger.
Dr. Timmons moved to Penn State University / Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in July 2016, where she took on the roles of Professor, Vice Chair for Administration, and Director of Neurotrauma.
She is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and CAST certified in neurocritical care. Her past and current professional appointments include: Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors and now President Elect of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS); AANS Representative to the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons (ACS); Chair of the Neurosurgery Advisory Council of the ACS; Chair of the Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care of the AANS and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS); Chair of the Washington Committee (WC) of the AANS/CNS; Neurotrauma Liaison and Chair of the Emergency Neurosurgery Task Force for the WC; Chair of the Ad Hoc State and Regional Advocacy Committee of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS); Chair of the Neurotrauma and Emergency Neurosurgery Committee of the CSNS; Member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), Chair of the Neurosurgery Committee of the ACS COT, Board of Scientific Counselors of the Centers for Disease Control Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Football League, Member of the Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training of the SNS and Chair of the Fellowship Review Committee for Neurocritical Care and Neurotrauma, Member of the Curriculum Committee of the SNS, and Member of the Neurosurgical Milestones Committee for the ACGME.
Dr. Timmons has participated as principal investigator in numerous clinical trials related to traumatic brain injury through local, industry, and NIH funding mechanisms. She has published and lectured extensively on a variety of topics related to traumatic brain injury, neurocritical care, spinal cord injury, blunt vascular injury, and health care delivery. Her primary research interests include traumatic brain injury, multi-modality monitoring in neurocritical care (in particular traumatic brain injury), prognostication in traumatic brain injury, diagnosis and treatment of blunt vascular injury, and optimal organization of healthcare delivery for brain-injured patients.
Dr. Timmons has been married to Dr. Russell A. Carter, a cardiothoracic surgeon, since 1992; they have two sons, Alex and Michael.