Professor of Neurological Surgery
University of Virginia
William Jeffrey Elias was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1968. He grew up in Roanoke as the son of a neurologist. He attended Wake Forest University and pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry while also playing junior varsity tennis. While in college, he was awarded a scholarship for undergraduate research in chemistry and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He attended the University of Virginia for medical school and neurosurgical training. During neurosurgery, he completed intramural fellowships in neuropathology and spinal surgery before spending a year in Plymouth, England as a senior registrar. Following residency, he pursued additional training in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University.
In 2002, Dr. Elias returned to the University of Virginia where he is currently the Director of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery with a large multidisciplinary program in the surgical treatment of movement disorders, epilepsy, and spasticity. For this, he was awarded the School of Medicine’s Excellence in Clinical Medicine Award. His clinical practice includes peripheral nerve surgery, cortical mapping for brain tumor resection, and surgery for spinal trauma. He was selected to Best Doctors in America in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Academically, he holds the rank of Professor with tenure, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgery.
Scientifically, Dr. Elias is pursuing research projects which match his clinical interests in movement disorders and epilepsy surgery. His clinical research involves the use of MR-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of movement disorders such as Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease. In the laboratory, he is studying the use of focused ultrasound to modulate the central nervous system and to map deep brain targets.
Dr. Elias is involved in research and educational collaborations with the surgical neurology branch of NIH. He serves as the on site program director at the University of Virginia for the NIH Neurosurgical Training Program.
Dr. Elias has been featured in many videos that could be informative for patients interested in focused ultrasound and other minimally invasive treatments for conditions of the brain.