Ali Rezai, MD Director, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute; Associate Dean; John D. Rockefeller IV tenured professor in neuroscience

WVU Medicine and the Rockefeller family announced in September that they have appointed neuroscientist Ali Rezai, M.D., to lead the comprehensive and integrated clinical and research programs in the neurosciences at West Virginia University and WVU Medicine.

Dr. Rezai, a board-certified neurosurgeon whose clinical areas of expertise include the neurosurgical and neuromodulation management of patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, chronic pain, brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as severe mood and anxiety disorders, serves as executive chair and vice president of neurosciences for WVU Medicine. He also serves as associate dean and the John D. Rockefeller IV tenured professor in neuroscience at the WVU School of Medicine.

Rezai has been a significant leader in the novel and innovative use of brain implants for treating Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. His work is recognized across the globe, and his research involving a brain-computer interface to treat paralysis was published in the journal Nature last year and also generated front-page news in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. He has also developed pioneering technologies that led to the creation of a company that produces micro-implants to treat chronic pain and headaches.

His charge is to bring the same level of success and rapid advances that have occurred in areas such as heart disease and cancer to brain health, and to develop partnerships and accelerate innovative technologies, treatments, and protocols.

Rezai and his team will also work closely with other WVU schools such as engineering and computer science, to develop new medical technologies, and collaborate with other medical specialties such as cardiology.

The West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute spearheads efforts to develop innovative solutions for West Virginians and those across the world with neurological and psychiatric conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s; autism to stroke; and paralysis to chronic pain, addictions, and traumatic brain injury.

Rezai holds 54 U.S. patents for medical devices and technologies, and his inventions and innovations resulted in the creation of five start-up companies. He has authored 220 scientific publications, and serves on the editorial board of five scientific journals. He is a past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, as well as the past president of the North American Neuromodulation Society and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and was also named one of the best doctors in America in Castle and Connolly’s Guide to America’s Top Doctors for 16 consecutive years from 2001-2017. He received his medical degree from the University of Southern California and undergraduate degree from UCLA, and completed his neurosurgical training at New York University and his subspecialty training in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.