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    Michael Lawton, MD

    President and CEO
    Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
    Robert F. Spetzler Neuroscience Chair (480) 861-1392

    Michael Lawton, MD, is the President and CEO of Barrow Neurological Institute and the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

    Dr. Lawton’s neurosurgical expertise includes cerebrovascular disorders (aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, and stroke) and skull base tumors. He has experience in treating more than 4,000 brain aneurysms, 800 AVMs, and 1,000 cavernous malformations. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Society of Neurological Surgeons, American Academy of Neurological Surgery, and World Academy of Neurological Surgery.

    Dr. Lawton received a degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Barrow, where he also completed a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery. After joining the faculty at University of California, San Francisco, he later completed a fellowship in endovascular surgery there.

    Dr. Lawton’s research studies the formation, underlying genetics, and rupture of brain AVMs, as well as the hemodynamics, rupture, and computational modeling of brain aneurysms. His clinical research studies the anatomy of microsurgical approaches and clinical outcomes of microsurgery for aneurysms, AVMs, and bypass surgery. He is the principle investigator for the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium, a NIH-funded multicenter group studying the genetics and clinical course of rare vascular diseases of the brain. He has published over 450 peer-reviewed articles, three single-author textbooks, and over 70 book chapters. He co-founded Mission:BRAIN, a teaching mission to raise the level of neurosurgery practiced in developing countries that conducts annual missions in Mexico and Asia.

    To request an appointment with Dr. Lawton, please call (480) 861-1392.

    Insurance Accepted
    Education & Training
    • Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco, Endovascular Surgery, 2008-2011
    • Fellowship, Barrow Neurological Institute, Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery, 1995-1996
    • Residency, Barrow Neurological Institute, Neurosurgery, 1991-1997
    • Internship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, General Surgery, 1990-1991
    • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990
    • ScB, Brown University, Engineering, 1986
    Professional Memberships
    • American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
    • Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)
    • Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery of the AANS and CNS
    • American Academy of Neurological Surgery
    • World Academy of Neurological Surgery
    • Society of Neurological Surgeons
    • Western Neurosurgical Society
    Honors and Awards
    • William L. Young Achievement Award, The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation, 2017
    • Distinguished Service Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2017
    • Christopher C. Getch Fellowship Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2015
    • Honorable Mention, PROSE Award, Textbook in Medicine Category, American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, Seven AVMS: Tenets and Techniques for Resection, 2015
    • Top Doctor, Castle Connolly, 2007-present
    • Hunt-Wilson Lecture, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2013
    • Finalist, Ben Franklin Award, Professional and Technical Category, Independent Book Publishers Association, Seven Aneurysms: Tenets and Techniques for Clipping, 2012
    • Super Doctor, MSP Communications, 2012
    • Patients’ Choice Award, American Registry, 2011
    • Award of Merit, Association of Medical Illustrators, Seven Aneurysms: Tenets and Techniques for Clipping, 2011
    • Top Doctor, 415 Top Doctors, Marin Magazine, 2011-present
    • Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors, 2007-present
    • Diane D. Ralston Clinical and Basic Science Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Neurological Surgery, 2006
    • Harold Rosegay Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Neurological Surgery, 2005
    • Young Neurosurgeon Award, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and International Congress of Neurological Surgery, 1997
    • Resident Research Award, Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Society, 1996-1997
    • Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Honor Society, 1986
    • Honors in Engineering, Brown University, 1986
    • Meiklejohn Society, Brown University, 1984-1986
    Selected Publications
    1. Walcott BP, Choudhri O, Lawton MT. Hemodynamics in symptomatic atherosclerotic vertebrobasilar occlusive disease. JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(6):759.
    2. Shimada K, Furukawa H, Wada K, Korai M, Wei Y, Tada Y, Kuwabara A, Shikata F, Kitazato KT, Nagahiro S, Lawton MT, Hashimoto T. Protective role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in the development of intracranial aneurysm rupture. Stroke. 2015;46(6):1664-1672.
    3. Pawlikowska L, Nelson J, Guo DE, McCulloch CE, Lawton MT, Young WL, Kim H, Faughnan ME, Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium HHTIG. The ACVRL1 c.314-35A>G polymorphism is associated with organ vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia patients with ENG mutations, but not in patients with ACVRL1 mutations. Am J Med Genet A. 2015;167(6):1262-1267.
    4. Lawton MT, Rutledge WC, Kim H, Stapf C, Whitehead KJ, Li DY, Krings T, terBrugge K, Kondziolka D, Morgan MK, Moon K, Spetzler RF. Brain arteriovenous malformations. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015;1:15008.
    5. Kim H, Nelson J, Krings T, terBrugge KG, McCulloch CE, Lawton MT, Young WL, Faughnan ME, Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium HHTIG. Hemorrhage rates from brain arteriovenous malformation in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. Stroke. 2015;46(5):1362-1364.
    6. Davies JM, Ozpinar A, Lawton MT. Volume-outcome relationships in neurosurgery. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2015;26(2):207-218, viii.
    7. Davies JM, Kim H, Lawton MT. Surgical treatment of cerebral cavernous malformations. J Neurosurg Sci. 2015;59(3):255-270.
    8. Conger A, Kulwin C, Lawton MT, Cohen-Gadol AA. Diagnosis and evaluation of intracranial arteriovenous malformations. Surg Neurol Int. 2015;6:76.
    9. Conger A, Kulwin C, Lawton MT, Cohen-Gadol AA. Endovascular and microsurgical treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations: Current recommendations. Surg Neurol Int. 2015;6:39.
    10. Choquet H, Pawlikowska L, Lawton MT, Kim H. Genetics of cerebral cavernous malformations: current status and future prospects. J Neurosurg Sci. 2015;59(3):211-220.
    11. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Variability in Endovascular Treatment of Delayed Cerebral Ischemia and Vasospasm in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. World Neurosurg. 2015;84(3):625-626.

    About Barrow

    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premiere destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.