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. 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 July 2009, when he joined the faculty at the Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, Ohio. At OSU, Dr. Rezai was the associate dean of neuroscience and the director of the Neurological Institute until November 2017, when he joined West Virginia University as the executive chair and director of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI). The RNI is a multidisciplinary clinical, research and innovation integrated unit consisting of over 150 full time physicians and scientist in the departments of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and behavioral health, and neuroscience. 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, and severe mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Rezai was 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. Dr. Rezai has 220 scientific publications with an H-Index of 60 (Google Scholar) including publications in Nature, Lancet Neurology, and JAMA Neurology. He serves on the editorial board of five scientific journals. He 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 and is the PI of the $160M Neurotechnology Innovations Translator (NIT) Center. Dr. Rezai has trained over 50 clinical fellows, has delivered more than 500 lectures, and chaired numerous symposia and meetings. Dr. Rezai 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. Dr. Rezai is the past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the largest neurosurgical society in the world, as well as the past president of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS), and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN).
Dr. Rezai’s research focuses on neural circuitry, and development of neurological sensors and monitors, surgical tools and technologies, and new therapeutic applications such as neurostimulation for Parkinson’s disease, mood and anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, and addictions. Dr. Rezai has received the Bottrell Neurosurgical Award, 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 including the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State University innovator of the year awards. Dr. Rezai holds 54 issued U.S. patents for medical devices and technologies and is the founder of five start-up companies in neuromodulation. Dr. Rezai’s work has been in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, US News, and World Report, USA Today, MIT’s Technology Review, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Globe, and Mail. He has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television broadcasts including CBS’ 60 Minutes, The Charlie Rose Show, Prime Time, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, NPR, PBS, the BBC, HBO, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS Nightly News and The Discovery Channel.