School of Medicine

Zipfel named head of neurosurgery

Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, has been named head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and neurosurgeon-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He will begin his new roles July 1.

Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, a noted expert on aneurysms and other disorders of blood vessels in the brain, has been named head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Zipfel also will become neurosurgeon-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He will begin his new roles July 1.

David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine, and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor, announced the appointment.


“Greg brings to this position a unique blend of skills and experience as a surgeon, teacher and scientist that we believe will facilitate the next era of national and international leadership in neurosurgery for Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare,” Perlmutter said. “I look forward to working with Greg in the coming months and years as he leads a department with a rich history and tradition to even greater prominence and achievement.”

Zipfel, a professor and vice chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, succeeds Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, who has led the department since 1989. Dacey is renowned for his accomplishments in cerebrovascular research, his myriad contributions to the clinical practice of neurosurgery and his unwavering leadership in the area of resident training and education.

During his three decades at the helm, Dacey promoted an expansion of the department’s clinical and basic research efforts, while maintaining the department’s emphasis on clinical excellence and world-class training and education. Nearly 70 percent of its residency graduates enter academic careers at some of the most highly regarded neurosurgery departments in the country.

“It is truly an honor to succeed my mentor and close friend as the new head of neurosurgery,” Zipfel said. “Dr. Dacey has built a world-class department over a 30-year career here at Washington University, and I see a tremendous opportunity to build upon this extraordinary foundation. I look forward to partnering with so many outstanding colleagues from the School of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, Hope Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and BJC, to usher in a new era of academic accomplishment, leading-edge clinical care and first-rate training in neurosurgery. Through these partnerships, I am confident that we will reach our overarching goal to make a difference in patients’ lives today, while also advancing our field so we can make an even greater difference in patients’ lives tomorrow.”

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