Robert J. Dempsey, MD, FACS close

Robert J. Dempsey, MD, FACS Print Friendly Page

Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery
Faculty, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Robert J. Dempsey, MD, is the Manucher Javid Professor and Chairman of Neurological Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He specializes in cerebrovascular surgery and has extensive experience in the neurosurgical management of intracranial aneurysms, arteriovenous, vascular malformations of the brain and brain tumors. Dr. Dempsey is a nationally recognized expert on carotid endarterectomy.


Currently, Dr. Dempsey has multiple R01-funded research projects with a focus on cerebral ischemia and the repair of the injured brain. He has published more than 200 scientific articles on these subjects. He has been a principal investigator of grants from the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration and the American Heart Association, leading a group of neurosurgeons and scientists dedicated to improving patient care. In 2007 he was named principal editor for Basic Science of Neurosurgery, the largest circulation medical journal in the field.


Dr. Dempsey is an educator and mentor of medical students, residents and fellows worldwide. He has twice been awarded the Clinical Teaching Award by UW students. He has been a visiting professor at multiple colleges and is presently the course co-director of Research Update in Neuroscience for Neurosurgeons. He is also an officer of the major organizations involved in neurosurgical education, both in the U.S. (past president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons) and internationally (chair of the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery). For more than 20 years of service, teaching and operating in developing countries worldwide, he received the Humanitarian Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.



Arteriovenous Malformation

Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors

Brain Tumor (Neurosurgery)

Brain Tumor Care

Cavernous Angioma

Cavernous Carotid Fistula

Cerebral Aneurysm

Cerebrovascular (Neurosurgery)

Chiari Malformation

General Neurosurgery

Hemifacial Spasms

Hydrocephalus (Adult)

Intracranial Atherosclerosis

Microvascular Decompression (MVD)



Skull Base (Neurosurgery)



Stroke (Neurosurgery)

Trigeminal Neuralgia


University Hospital
(608) 263-7502 | (800) 323-8942 | Map

UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Department of Neurological Surgery

Professional Certifications and Education

Board Certification Neurological Surgery
Residency University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI
Internship University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI
Medical School University of Chicago Medical School, Chicago, IL

Medical interpreters are available to help patients communicate with hospital and clinic staff. For more information, please contact interpreter services at (608) 262-9000.
PubMed Articles
Mehta SL Dempsey RJ Vemuganti R Role of circular RNAs in brain development and CNS diseases. Prog Neurobiol . 2020 Mar;186:101746
[PubMed ID: 31931031]
Dempsey RJ Buckley N Education based solutions to the global burden of neurosurgical disease. World Neurosurg . 2020 Jan 16;
[PubMed ID: 31954913]
Khan T Quintana L Aguilera S Garcia R Shoman H Caddell L Latifi R Park KB Garcia P Dempsey R Rosenfeld JV Scurlock C Crisp N Samad L Smith M Lippa L Jooma R Andrews RJ Global health, global surgery and mass casualties. I. Rationale for integrated mass casualty centres. BMJ Glob Health . 2019;4(6):e001943
[PubMed ID: 31908871]
Sayyahmelli S Canton Kessely Y Chen X Aycan A Feldman S Dempsey RJ Baskaya MK From Ibni Sina (Avicenna) to Present, History of International Fellowship and Observership: University of Wisconsin-Madison Experience. Turk Neurosurg . 2019 Dec 17;
[PubMed ID: 32020573]
Varghese T Meshram NH Mitchell CC Wilbrand SM Hermann BP Dempsey RJ Lagrangian carotid strain imaging indices normalized to blood pressure for vulnerable plaque. J Clin Ultrasound . 2019 Oct;47(8):477-485
[PubMed ID: 31168787]
Wesley UV Bhute VJ Hatcher JF Palecek SP Dempsey RJ Local and systemic metabolic alterations in brain, plasma, and liver of rats in response to aging and ischemic stroke, as detected by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Neurochem Int . 2019 Jul;127:113-124
[PubMed ID: 30707914]
Steffel CN Brown R Korcarz CE Varghese T Stein JH Wilbrand SM Dempsey RJ Mitchell CC Influence of Ultrasound System and Gain on Grayscale Median Values. J Ultrasound Med . 2019 Feb;38(2):307-319
[PubMed ID: 30027550]
Branch CL Boop F Haglund MM Dempsey RJ Introduction. Neurosurgical opportunities in global health inequities. Neurosurg Focus . 2018 Oct;45(4):E1
[PubMed ID: 30269592]
Dempsey RJ Jackson DC Wilbrand SM Mitchell CC Berman SE Johnson SC Meshram NH Varghese T Hermann BP In Reply: The Preservation of Cognition 1 Year After Carotid Endarterectomy in Patients With Prior Cognitive Decline. Neurosurgery . 2018 Oct 1;83(4):E181
[PubMed ID: 31222269]
Dewan MC Rattani A Baticulon RE Faruque S Johnson WD Dempsey RJ Haglund MM Alkire BC Park KB Warf BC Shrime MG Operative and consultative proportions of neurosurgical disease worldwide: estimation from the surgeon perspective. J Neurosurg . 2018 May 1;:1-9
[PubMed ID: 29749918]
Rock J Glick R Germano IM Dempsey R Zervos J Prentiss T Davis M Wright E Hlaing K Thu M Soe ZW Myaing W The First Neurosurgery Boot Camp in Southeast Asia: Evaluating Impact on Knowledge and Regional Collaboration in Yangon, Myanmar. World Neurosurg . 2018 May;113:e239-e246
[PubMed ID: 29438792]
Dempsey RJ Neurosurgery in the Developing World: Specialty Service and Global Health. World Neurosurg . 2018 Apr;112:325-327
[PubMed ID: 29482003]
Dempsey RJ Jackson DC Wilbrand SM Mitchell CC Berman SE Johnson SC Meshram NH Varghese T Hermann BP The Preservation of Cognition 1 Year After Carotid Endarterectomy in Patients With Prior Cognitive Decline. Neurosurgery . 2018 Mar 1;82(3):322-328
[PubMed ID: 28575478]
Dempsey RJ Varghese T Jackson DC Wang X Meshram NH Mitchell CC Hermann BP Johnson SC Berman SE Wilbrand SM Carotid atherosclerotic plaque instability and cognition determined by ultrasound-measured plaque strain in asymptomatic patients with significant stenosis. J Neurosurg . 2018 Jan;128(1):111-119
[PubMed ID: 28298048]
Kalluri HSG Kuo JS Dempsey RJ Chronic D609 treatment interferes with cell cycle and targets the expression of Olig2 in Glioma Stem like Cells. Eur J Pharmacol . 2017 Nov 5;814:81-86
[PubMed ID: 28802717]
Wesley UV Hatcher JF Ayvaci ER Klemp A Dempsey RJ Regulation of Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV in the Post-stroke Rat Brain and In Vitro Ischemia: Implications for Chemokine-Mediated Neural Progenitor Cell Migration and Angiogenesis. Mol Neurobiol . 2017 Sep;54(7):4973-4985
[PubMed ID: 27525674]
Mitchell CC Wilbrand SM Kundu B Steffel CN Varghese T Meshram NH Li G Cook TD Salamat MS Dempsey RJ Transcranial Doppler and Microemboli Detection: Relationships to Symptomatic Status and Histopathology Findings. Ultrasound Med Biol . 2017 Sep;43(9):1861-1867
[PubMed ID: 28645797]
Ament JD Kim T Gold-Markel J Germano IM Dempsey R Weaver JP DiPatri AJ Jr Andrews RJ Sanchez M Hinojosa J Moser RP Glick R Planning and Executing the Neurosurgery Boot Camp: The Bolivia Experience. World Neurosurg . 2017 Aug;104:407-410
[PubMed ID: 28526650]
Dempsey KE Qureshi MM Ondoma SM Dempsey RJ Effect of Geopolitical Forces on Neurosurgical Training in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Neurosurg . 2017 May;101:196-202
[PubMed ID: 28185975]
Mitchell CC Stein JH Cook TD Salamat S Wang X Varghese T Jackson DC Sandoval Garcia C Wilbrand SM Dempsey RJ Histopathologic Validation of Grayscale Carotid Plaque Characteristics Related to Plaque Vulnerability. Ultrasound Med Biol . 2017 Jan;43(1):129-137
[PubMed ID: 27720278]