UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson names new Neurosurgery chair

Dec. 12, 2023

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medicine are pleased to announce the appointment of Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, MBA, as the new chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and physician executive for functional neurosurgery for the Banner Neurosciences service line, effective Jan. 8.

Pilitsis joins the college from Florida Atlantic University, where she was the vice president for medical and strategic initiatives. Prior to that, she served as the dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Earlier in her career, she founded the Division of Functional Neurosurgery at Albany Medical College, served as its chief, and was a professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the college.

portrait of Julie Pilitsis

Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, MBA, is the new chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and physician executive for functional neurosurgery for the Banner Neurosciences service line.

“Dr. Pilitsis brings a wealth of skills and experience in patient care, research, education and leadership, and we are very excited to welcome her,” aid Michael M.I. Abecassis, MD, MBA, Iovanna C. Lopez Dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson. “Her presence will significantly benefit our learners, our research community and the patients we serve.”

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Pilitsis to the Banner – University Medicine team in Tucson. Her expertise as a physician, scientist, executive, innovator, leader and educator is exemplary and we look forward to her successes on our team and the impact it will make upon our neurological patient care and academic medical center mission,” said Venkata Evani, MD, CEO of Banner – University Medical Group. 

Pilitsis earned her medical degree at Albany Medical College and completed her residency and a doctorate in physiology at Wayne State University, followed by a fellowship in functional neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She later earned an MBA at Fayetteville State University.

Pilitsis is an internationally recognized expert in multidisciplinary pain and movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease, and a national expert in stereotactic neurosurgery and neuromodulation. She has significant experience in the medical and surgical management of patients and devices, including deep brain stimulators, spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal pumps.

Pilitsis is a renowned clinician-scientist focused on collaborative and interdisciplinary research. She has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2009. Her current NIH grant funding is nearly $15 million and current research funding from all sources, including industry partners, is more than $18 million. She has been awarded three patents and has two pending applications. 

Pilitsis has published 225 journal articles and authored five books and 40 book chapters. She serves as the president of the 2,000-member North American Neuromodulation Society and is president-elect of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. She is editor of Frontiers in Pain Research: Neuromodulation and section editor for functional neurosurgery in the journal Operative Neurosurgery.

Pilitsis is passionate about education and has mentored more than 175 residents, medical students and doctoral students in clinical and research areas.


David Bruzzese
UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson