Meet Dr. Hunt BatjerLeader in Cerebrovascular Surgery and Brain Injury
- Holder of the:
- Lois C.A. and Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery
Hunt Batjer, M.D., is an internationally recognized cerebrovascular surgeon specializing in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke states, as well as an authority on brain injury. As Chair of UT Southwestern’s Department of Neurological Surgery, he leads the largest group of neurosurgeons in North Texas – a team at the forefront of breakthroughs to treat conditions and injuries that affect the brain and spine.
“We are in a period of rapid expansion of our understanding of the brain and the pathological processes involving cerebrovascular conditions. At the same time, the development of groundbreaking technology is expanding our capabilities to treat complicated conditions with open access surgery and minimally invasive techniques,” Dr. Batjer says.
“At UT Southwestern, our neurological surgery faculty has a history of leading discoveries that have advanced brain and spinal surgery and patient outcomes. Our experience is second-to-none in North Texas, and frankly in the United States,” he added. “Our expertise with the latest neurosurgical innovations ranges from improving approaches to remove brain tumors once considered inoperable to offering leading-edge endovascular procedures which can eliminate brain aneurysms and reduce recovery times from weeks to days.”
Dr. Batjer has dedicated his career to defining state-of-the-art neurosurgical innovations and training the next generation of surgeons. He has combined expertise in the operating room and highly personalized support for each of his patient with a willingness to advocate for medical progress. As examples, this includes activities such as testimony to the Unites States Congress on the future of medical manpower and serving as the Co-Chair of the National Football League (NFL) Head, Neck, and Spine Committee.
He is currently President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an international scientific and educational association with a membership of 9,000 neurosurgeons from all parts of the world. Dr. Batjer has served in leadership positions in a large number of other national organizations including as Immediate Past President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, as well as past roles as President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Society of University Neurosurgeons, Neurosurgical Society of America, as well as Chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and Chair of the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery under the ACGME.
Dr. Batjer is at the forefront of advancing clinical care and research on traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions. He serves as the Co-Director of the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair at UT Southwestern which will serve both an educational, service, and research role to improve care in North Texas.
Dr. Batjer’s work with the NFL is helping to improve player safety due to concussive brain injuries and spinal injuries. His committee is involved in return to play protocols, equipment and safety, and in policy decisions with the NFL Competition Committee. He also serves as the Neurosurgical Consultant to the Dallas Cowboys.
“Head injury, including concussion, is a very high profile public health problem that affecting boys and girls, men and women of all ages, not just athletes,” he says. “Part of our work involves longitudinal studies to determine risk factors, including genetics, as to how the brain reacts to repetitive injury. We are tightly focused on developing preventive strategies and interventions to minimize the chance of athlete’s, soldiers, and civilian’s from becoming disabled due to the effects of brain injury.”
Dr. Batjer’s academic pursuits and research include more than 398 publications, including nine books; 42 endowed lectureships; and 57 visiting professorships at medical institutions worldwide.
Dr. Batjer received his medical education at UT Southwestern and then served as a resident in Neurological Surgery under Drs. Kemp Clark and Duke Samson. He joined the faculty following graduation and served at UT Southwestern until 1995 when he took the Chair of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Batjer returned to UT Southwestern in 2012 as Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery -- where alongside Duke Samson, Bruce Mickey and an outstanding faculty, they have formulated plans to further advance UT Southwestern’s world renowned reputation in Neurosurgery.
Prior to earning his medical degree, he attended the University of Texas on a baseball scholarship and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles as a left-handed pitcher.