Executive Chair, Vice President of Neuroscience, Associate Dean
- Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute
John D. Rockefeller IV tenured professor in neuroscience
- Department of Neuroscience
About Ali Rezai
Dr. Rezai earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Southern California and underwent neurosurgical training at New York University. He completed his subspecialty training in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He then joined the neurosurgical faculty at New York University Medical Center, becoming the director of the Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery until January 2000, when he joined the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Rezai was the director of the Center for Neurological Restoration, as well as the Jane and Lee Seidman Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic until August 2009, when he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he served as associated dean of Neuroscience and the director and CEO of the OSU Neurological Institute.
A board-certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Rezai’s clinical areas of expertise are the neurosurgical management of patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, chronic pain, brain and spinal cord injuries, spasticity, as well as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. Rezai was named one of the best doctors in America in Castle and Connolly’s Guide to America’s Top Doctors from 2001-2017.
Dr. Rezai has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles and 40 book chapters. He serves on the editorial board of five scientific journals, and has edited a book on surgery for psychiatric disorders and the two-volume textbook, Neuromodulation. In addition, Dr. Rezai has been the principal investigator (PI) and co-investigator on eight NIH grants as well as being the PI of the state of Ohio’s Neurotechnology Innovations Translator Center. Dr. Rezai has trained over 40 fellows, delivered more than 500 lectures, and chaired numerous symposia and meetings. Dr. Rezai has also presented his work to the President of the United States as well as to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. He is the past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest neurosurgical society in the world, as well as the past president of the North American Neuromodulation Society, and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.
Dr. Rezai’s research focuses on the neural circuitry, neurological sensors and monitors, and the development of surgical tools and new therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders. He has been involved in developing brain pacemaker innovations for treating Parkinson’s, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and obesity. He is also developing sensors and monitors for autism, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s, as well as the use of micro implants to treat migraine headaches, asthma, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders.
He is the recipient of the Bottrell Neurosurgical Award, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Clinical Fellowship Award, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons William Sweet Investigator Award. He has also received several innovation awards. He also holds 50 U.S. patents for medical devices and technologies.
Dr. Rezai’s work has been in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, MIT’s Technology Review magazine, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. He has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television broadcasts including CBS’s 60 Minutes, The Charlie Rose Show, Prime Time, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, NPR, PBS, the BBC, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and The Discovery Channel.