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William S. Marras

  • Professor, Neurological Surgery
  • Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering
  • Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehab
  • Professor, Orthopaedics
  • 278 Baker Systems
    1971 Neil Avenue
    Columbus, OH 43210
  • 614-292-6670



  • Understanding causal pathways for spine disorders
  • Using the knowledge of causal pathways for the prevention of spine disorders in the workplace
  • Assisting in clinical decision making via understanding of causal pathways


Dr. Sci. University of Waterloo (honoris causa) October 23, 2004, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ph.D. Major: Bioengineering and Ergonomics July 1982, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

M.S.I.E. Industrial Engineering, Major:  Human Factors Engineering June 1978, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

B.S. Systems Engineering - Human Factors Engineering June 1976, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Areas of Interest

William S. Marras holds the Honda Chair in the Department and serves as the Founding Director of the Spine Research Institute at the Ohio State University. His research is centered on understanding multidimensional causal pathways for spine disorders through quantitative epidemiologic evaluations, laboratory biomechanical studies, personalized mathematical modeling, and clinical studies of the lumbar and cervical spine.  His findings have been published in over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles, hundereds of refereed proceedings, and numerous books and book chapters including a book entitled “The Working Back: A Systems View.” He holds Fellow status in six professional societies including the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has been widely recognized for his contributions through numerous national and international awards including two Volvo Awards for Low Back Pain Research. Professor Marras has been active in the National Research Council (NRC) having served on over a dozen boards and committees and has served as Chair of the Board on Human Systems Integration for multiple terms. He has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Human Factors and is currently Deputy Editor of Spine and is the past President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (the world’s largest such society). Dr. Marras is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine), recorded a TEDx talk entitled “Back Pain and your Brain” and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.