Michael Apuzzo, MD, FAANS

Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Neurosurgery

Departments & Organizations



Dr. Apuzzo is Distinguished Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Yale University School of Medicine. One of the world’s best known and most respected neurosurgeons, he is a native of New Haven, CT. He obtained his education at the Hopkins School, Yale College, Boston University School of Medicine, McGill University, and the Yale Medical School. He completed his neurosurgical residency at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Following a period of distinguished service on U.S. Navy nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarines under NATO, he was appointed to the faculty of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (1973).

There he quickly established highly progressive activities in pioneering applications of emerging technologies and methods to a broad spectrum of challenges in neurosurgery. These included micro-neurosurgery, endoscopy, imaging directed cerebral navigation, cerebral navigation and the application of interstitial radio-nuclides and high energy forms. He established (the computer) as a neurosurgical tool and devised novel methods of minimally invasive operative techniques.

Concurrently, he developed seminal laboratories in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, later defining the area of “cellular and molecular neurosurgery”—thus expanding the domains of neurosurgical therapeutic activity.

He pioneered stereotactic radiosurgery, cerebral grafting and the concept of “neurorestoration”.

In addition, he led the initial clinical studies study of modulatory methods for management of epilepsy and other functional diseases, including pain, movement and neuropsychiatric disorders.

He studied and championed emerging areas of operative simulation, operating room design and nanotechnology. These activities have been documented in more than 800 contributions to the medical literature. These included: Surgery of the Third Ventricle, Brain:Surgery Complication Avoidance and Management and Surgery of the Human Cerebrum—all highly influential texts and considered “classics” in the field.

He was appointed Editor of NEUROSURGERY in 1991 and served in that capacity for 19 years. During that time, he led the publication into the digital age founding and developing NEUROSURGERY On-Line and Operative NEUROSURGERY. These proved to be highly influential and major creative forces of modernity in clinical and research areas worldwide. Later, he was asked to found the peer-reviewed journal World Neurosurgery and World Neuorsurgery.org by the WFNS. Over a 5-year period, the publication took its place among the leading journals in clinical neuroscience. The journal represented Dr. Apuzzo’s longstanding activities in establishing unified internationality in the field and optimization of neurosurgical care worldwide.

He has worked diligently to establish a role for the neurosurgeon in the area of sport. He served as the initial and principle neurosurgical consultant for the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Athletic Department and the New York Football Giants as well as the primary consultant to the Head and Spinal Injury Committees and Commissioners of the National Football League (NFL). He was instrumental in developing and initiating modern protocols for head injury study and management in sport universally.

Dr. Apuzzo’s career has principally focused on disorders of the human cerebrum and the application of emerging technology and progressive neuroscience in creative and innovative methods to establish the cutting edge of modernity. Over a four-decade period, Apuzzo’s activities and collective body of work helped reinvent neurosurgery and earned him iconic historical status.

At Yale, he plans to be active in areas on mentorship of faculty, residents, fellows and student as well as educational activities of the Department. In addition, he will serve in an advisory status to leadership for development of both clinical and laboratory neurosciences. He will endeavor to further enhance existing aspects of international and global perspectives with the Department.

Education & Training

ScD The Ohio State University (2015)
PhD The Consortium of Italian National Universities (Rome), administered by University Suor Orsola Benincasa (2006)
MD Boston University School of Medicine (1965)
BA Yale College (1961)
Chief Resident Yale New Haven Hospital
Fellow Yale School of Medicine
Resident Yale New Haven Hospital
Fellow U.S. Navy Post Graduate School of Submarine, Nuclear & Deep Sea Diving Medicine
Fellow Yale School of Medicine
Resident Yale New Haven Hospital
Intern Royal Victoria Hospital McGill University
Graduate The Hopkins School

Honors & Recognition

  • Distinguished Adjunct Professor of NeurosurgeryDepartment of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine (2015)

  • Founder's LaurelCongress of Neurological Surgeons (2014)

  • Distinguished Career AwardSociety of University Neurosurgeons (2013)

  • Francesco Durante International PrizeUniversity of Messina (Sicily) and La Sapienza (Rome, Italy) (2010)

  • Vilhelm Magnus MedalNorwegian Neurological Society (2009)

  • Michael L.J. Apuzzo Lecture on Creativity and InnovationEstablished in perpetuity by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (2006)

  • GAGNA A. Ch Van Heck PrizeThe National Foundation for Scientific Research (2003)

  • William Beecher Scoville PrizeWorld Federation of Neurological Societies (WFNS) (2001)

  • Honored Guest LaureateCongress of Neurological Surgeons (2001)

  • Distinguished AlumnusHopkins School New Haven (2001)

  • Herbert Olivecrona MedalKarolinska Hospital and Institute (1998)

  • Sixto Obrador Gold MedalWorld Health Organization (WHO) & WFNS (1996)

  • Distinguished Career AwardAmerican Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (1996)

  • Edwin M. Todd/Trent H. Wells Jr., Professor, Neurological Surgery, and Radiation Oncology, Biology, and PhysicsKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (1995)

  • Distinguished AlumnusBoston University School of Medicine (1995)

  • Honorary National Society MembershipsGermany, Austria, Norway, Scandinavia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China, and Korea (1980)

  • Board CertificationAmerican Board of Neurological Surgery (1976)

  • Fleet Admirals CommendationUnited States Navy Nuclear Submarine Force, New London, Connecticut (1970)

  • United States Surgeon General's AwardUnited States Navy, School of Submarine, Nuclear and Deep Sea Diving Medicine, New London, Connecticut (1968)

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