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UC San Diego and Ecosystem Partners

Group shot in front of Salk

San Diego

Department of Neurosciences

Perennially ranked #1 nationally in NIH-funding for the neurosciences, our sister Department offers 88 Faculty and robust collaborative research partners in sub-specialty disease areas. Ranging from cerebrovascular disease to movement disorders, epilepsy and spinal cord injury, these research relationships allow an understanding of neurologic disease that ranges from molecular resolution to patients at the bedside.

Division of Head & Neck (Otolaryngology)

Well-developed interdisciplinary programs in lateral and anterior skull base surgery position UC San Diego to leverage high-volume surgical practices to answer unique scientific questions on rare pathologies ranging from chordoma and craniopharyngioma to acoustic neuroma. These programs further allow important advances in neuromodulation including auditory brainstem implants and minimally invasive surgery, respectively.

Division of Plastic Surgery

Peripheral nerve and reconstructive limb surgery is managed in an interdisciplinary way as UC San Diego surgeons and researchers explore multi-modal options to optimize limb function and the role for prosthetics in enhancing human performance.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Advancing the practice of spine surgery requires subject matter experts in spinal column biomechanics, material science, imaging, and nervous system and bony biology. With our partners in Orthopaedic Surgery, those leaders come together to push the technical envelope of surgical spine treatment.

The UC San Diego Neurological Surgery Spine Service collaborates with the UC San Diego Orthopaedic Surgery group on both educational and clinical endeavors. As a clinical collaborative for complex spine patients, there is a monthly multidisciplinary conference that includes spine surgeons, anesthesiologists, intensive care physicians, radiologists, and pain management experts. Cases are presented in order to evaluate surgical candidacy, discuss risk factors prior to surgery, and to determine optimal treatment plans. Similarly, there is a clinical collaborative for patients with spine tumors with a monthly spine tumor board that involves spine surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and oncologists in order to discuss the pathology, pre-, and post-surgical treatment plans.

UC San Diego Stroke Center

The Stroke Center at UC San Diego provides immediate 24/7 responsiveness for patients with acute neurovascular issues.  This includes acute ischemic stroke as well as hemorrhagic stroke, both subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage.  Dual-trained open and endovascular neurosurgeons work alongside our partners in stroke neurology to ensure UC San Diego is providing the highest quality of care and offering the newest in innovations to our patients.

In the educational realm, UC San Diego neurosurgeons provide educational lectures throughout the year as part of the core curriculum for the Stroke Center fellows and Neurology residents.  We also provide additional accredited lectures for nurses and technologists at Stroke Center-sponsored symposia.  Even beyond the weekly clinical meetings and discussions, UC San Diego Neurological Surgery supports the monthly multidisciplinary stroke conference with the Stroke Center and Neuroradiology. Our close working relationship with the UC San Diego Stroke Center has improved countless lives and is one of the main reasons UC San Diego is a regional and national leader in cerebrovascular care.

Lastly, we jointly participate with the UC San Diego Stroke Center in multiple industry and NIH-funded research trials for the treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. We are a site for StrokeNet and developed the original NIH-stroke scale (NIHSS) used internationally today.

Moores Cancer Center

Moores Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the San Diego region as well as the first and only San Diego-based member institution of the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network (NCCN). Along with our colleagues in Neuro-Oncology at Moores Cancer Center, faculty in the Department of Neurological Surgery participate in a number of clinical trials for newly diagnosed and recurrent brain and spine tumors. Additionally, we maintain an active research effort focused on tumor epigenetics and precision medicine.

Jacobs School of Engineering

As the ninth ranked engineering school in the country, our partners in the Jacobs School of Engineering translate surgical insights into action. With partnerships that enhance our understanding of brain function through sophisticated signal detection grids to artificial vessel models that enhance our understanding of implant biology, the Department of Neurological Surgery developed the Neuro Hub and these relationships to ensure engineering's brightest minds are deploying their talents toward the solution of neurosurgical problems. Only at UC San Diego do patients benefit from having these teams of engineers and scientists working to enhance their treatment in the operating room.

Center for Novel Therapeutics

UC San Diego is positioned within a unique ecosystem for biotechnology and pharmaceutical development. The Center for Novel Therapeutics offers a unique bridge to couple advances in science and treatment at the University with the considerable resources of innovative industry partners, with the primary goal of rapidly translating scientific discoveries to new treatments. The Department of Neurological Surgery is committed to ensuring the advances we make in the laboratory ultimately reach patients and change practice.


UC San Diego is ranked eighth nationally in National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $488 million in annual funding, in addition to an additional $270 million in funding from private institutes of discovery, including the world-renowned Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, Salk Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. UC San Diego boasts one of the most comprehensive neuroscience institutes in the world, which carry deep expertise in the fundamental biology of neurosurgical illnesses and accelerate translation of discoveries to patient benefit.

St. Luke's Clinic – Northwest Neurosurgery Associates

Our academic partnership with St. Luke's Clinic – Northwest Neurosurgery Associates unites neurosurgical expertise across the Pacific Northwest with the goal of accelerating groundbreaking clinical research that improves patient care. Faculty partners attend our education and training events, fostering information exchange and collaboration.

St. Luke’s is a nationally recognized health system that serves patients across Idaho, Nevada and Oregon, Wyoming and Montana.


 Kenneth Little Neurosurgeon

Kenneth M. Little, MD

Voluntary Clinical Professor

Director of St. Luke's Clinic – Northwest Neurosurgery Associates


Edward Duckworth neurosurgeon 

Edward A.M. Duckworth, MD

Voluntary Clinical Professor




Derek Martinez neurosurgeon

Derek L Martinez, MD

Voluntary Clinical Professor



Donald Blaskiewicz neurosurgeon

Donald Blaskiewicz, MD

Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor




Philip Meyers neurosurgeon

Philip M. Meyers, MD

Voluntary Clinical Professor

Neurointerventional Surgery


Don Bell neurosurgeon

Don Antonio Bell, MD

Voluntary Clinical Professor

Neurointerventional Surgery


John Perl II Neurosurgeon

John Perl II, MD

Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor

Neurointerventional Surgery