Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Lois C.A. and Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery
  • Neurological Surgery
  • Movement disorder surgeries
  • Surgeries for facial pain


Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in neurosurgeries that preserve and restore patient function, including movement disorder surgeries, surgeries for psychiatric conditions, and surgeries for peripheral nerve injuries and tumors.

Dr. Pouratian earned his medical degree and doctorate in neuroscience at the UCLA School of Medicine. He completed a residency in neurosurgery at the University of Virginia, where he also received advanced training through a fellowship in functional neurosurgery. He completed an additional fellowship in neurosurgery at Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand.

Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Pouratian joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021.

To perform neurosurgeries, Dr. Pouratian uses advanced neuroimaging and brain and nerve mapping techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cortical stimulation mapping, electrocorticographic (ECoG) mapping, and intraoperative electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies.

His research focuses on further developing brain mapping techniques in order to improve the precision and targeting of neurosurgical procedures and to develop therapies for new indications, with a focus on treatments that improve quality of life and neurological function. He is particularly interested in studying and developing treatments for patients who have problems with movement and with psychiatric diagnoses.

Dr. Pouratian has delivered scores of lectures and presentations, published a number of academic articles, and co-authored books such as Neurosurgery Clinics of North America: Advances in Neuromodulation.

He is a member of and serves on the executive committees of several professional societies, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He serves on the editorial boards of Neuromodulation, Neurosurgery, Operative Neurosurgery, and Surgical Neurology International.

Education & Training
  • Medical School - David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (1986-2003)
  • Residency - University of Virginia Health Sciences Center (2004-2009), Neurological Surgery
  • Internship - University of Virginia Health Sciences Center (2003-2004), General Surgery
  • Fellowship - Auckland City Hospital, Neurological Surgery
  • Fellowship - University of Virginia Medical Center, Neurological Surgery
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
  • International Neuromodulation Society
  • North American Neuromodulation Society
  • Organization for Human Brain Mapping
Honors & Awards
  • Best Basic Science Presentation 2015, World Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
  • Young Investigator Award 2014, IEEE Brain Conference
  • Crutchfield, Gage, and Thomson Award 2005, Neurosurgical Society of the Virginias Best Scientific Presentation
  • Avicenna Award of Excellence in Medical Education 2003, Iranian Medical Association
Books & Publications
  • Neurophysiology of motor control
  • Neurophysiology of consciousness
  • Neurophysiology of mental health
  • Brain stimulation
  • Brain mapping
  • Neurosurgery

Clinical Focus

  • Movement disorder surgeries
  • Surgeries for facial pain
  • Surgeries for psychiatric conditions
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Focused ultrasound
  • Microvascular decompression
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Trigeminal rhizotomy
  • Surgeries for peripheral nerve injuries and tumors

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Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Pouratian talks about his approach to patient care.