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Michael L.J. Appuzo


Michael L.J. Apuzzo is one of the world’s best known and respected neurosurgeons.

He is the distinguished adjunct professor of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at Yale Medical School, adjunct professor of neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at Weill/Cornell Medical College and Edwin M. Todd/Trent H. Wells, Jr., professor emeritus of neurological surgery, radiation oncology, biology and physics at USC Keck School of Medicine.

He was educated at Yale College, Boston University, McGill’s Royal Victoria Hospital and Yale School Medicine. He served in the United States Naval Nuclear Submarine Service and was deployed on Polaris patrols for NATO to polar regions, Mediterranean and Black seas. Later, in association with the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he served as medical consultant and research scientist during the first Viking Project for Mars landing in 1977.

He joined the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in 1973. His career there was principally focused on disorders of the human cerebrum and the application of emerging technologies and progressive neurosciences in creative and innovative methods to establish the cutting edge of modernity over four decades. During that period of time, he pioneered areas of technology transfer, image directed stereotaxy, immunology, stereotaxic radiosurgery, microsurgery, navigation, endoscopy, modulation, OR design and operative simulation. He conceived, developed and “coined” areas of “minimal invasion,” “cellular and molecular surgery,” “functional neurorestoration” and “nanoneurosurgery.”

This work is documented in 800 publications, including 52 edited volumes and 14 monographs, a number of which are considered classics in the field.

Over a 25-year period, he held the positions of editor of the premier international journal NEUROSURGERY, establishing new dimensions in medical journalism and the dynamic use of the internet as a global vehicle for information dissemination and Operative Neurosurgery and World Neurosurgery — singular offerings in the field.

An avid internationalist, he has received multiple honors and awards nationally and internationally during which he was lauded as the “principal architect of the reinvention of neurosurgery” and the “primary intellectual catalyst for the field.”

He served on advisory panels for the United States National Institutes of Health and held special advisory positions for three American Presidents and the United States Congress.

He served as the neurological consultant to the USC Department of Athletics, the New York Football Giants and National Football League Commissioners — having a central role in advancing helmet design and revolutionizing head injury management.

His activities and collective body of work played a primary role in the reinvention of neurosurgery, its practice, scope and status in the global community — earning him iconic historical standing.