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Murat Gunel

Sterling Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience; Chair, Neurosurgery; Physician-in-Chief, Neurosurgery, Yale New Haven Health System; Member, National Academy of Medicine; Co-Director, Yale Program on Neurogenetics

Contact Information

Murat Gunel, MD, FACS, FAHA, FAANS

Patient Care Location

Mailing Address

  • Neurosurgery

    PO Box 208082

    New Haven, CT 06520-8082

    United States



Dr. Murat Günel, the Sterling Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Neurobiology and Genetics, was appointed Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine and Chief of Neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 2014. He is the director of the Yale Program in Brain Tumor Research and co-director of the Yale Program on Neurogenetics. Dr. Günel obtained his medical degree at Istanbul University and completed both his internship and residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His clinical expertise is in treating complex brain aneurysms and vascular malformations, as well as brain tumors.

Dr. Günel’s research interest focuses on gene discovery in diseases of the human brain, including its development, vascular disease and tumors. Among these, the Günel lab has expertise in the application of next generation genomic technologies to study the genetic and epigenetic causes of brain and central nervous system tumors, focusing on meningiomas with various histological and pathological grades. Günel lab integrates multilevel approaches including whole exome and whole genome sequencing, molecular inversion probe sequencing (MIPS), whole genome genotyping, array based gene expression, RNA sequencing, whole genome methylation and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq), followed by downstream biological studies to comprehensively analyze these tumors. The long-term goal of this approach is to define the molecular make-up of these tumors, which will then guide the development of novel therapies, including oncolytic viruses.

In 2015, Dr. Günel was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the highest distinction in medical sciences. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), both who collectively honored him in 2022 as the fourth recipient of the prestigious Ralph G. Dacey Medal for Outstanding Cerebrovascular Research. In 2021, he received the WINN award, given by the Society of Neurological Surgeons to recognize outstanding, continuous commitment to research in the neurosciences by a neurological surgeon. Dr. Günel previously served as chair of the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section in 2011 and has been elected to the Society of Neurological Surgeons and Academy of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Günel has been recognized by the Turkish Academy of Arts and Sciences for Outstanding Achievement in Health and Life Sciences and by Kadir Has University for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Neurosciences.

Education & Training

  • Chief Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital (1998)
  • Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital (1997)
  • Intern
    Yale-New Haven Hospital (1992)
  • MD
    Istanbul University (1991)


  • Neurovascular Surgery
    Turkey 2008
    Professor Gunel conducts collaborative work in Turkey on neurovascular surgery
  • Molecular Genetics
    Turkey 2007
    Collaboration on genetics of malformations of brain development

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Ralph G. Dacey Medal for Outstanding Cerebrovascular ResearchAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons2022
Honorary Doctor of Philosophy DegreeBahcesehir University, Turkey2010
Outstanding Scientific Achievement AwardMinister of Health, Turkey2010
Honorary Master of Arts Privatim DegreeYale University2010
Nixdorff-German ProfessorYale University2009
Outstanding Poster Award in Basic Science5th Annual Meeting of the AANS/CNS Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery2002
Outstanding Poster Award in Basic Science4th Annual Meeting of the AANS/CNS Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery2001
Young Investigator AwardAmerican Epilepsy Society1999

Departments & Organizations