Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, FACS

Richard Ellenbogen's portrait
Job Title
Chairman and Professor of Neurological Surgery
Theodore S. Roberts Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery
Director, UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute
Director, Neurological Surgery Residency Program
Founding Co-Executive Director, Seattle Sports Concussion Program
Professor, Department of Radiology
Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Health

Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, FACS is Professor and Theodore S. Roberts Endowed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington. He is an attending surgeon at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington Medical Center. He is also Director of the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute. In addition, he is Director of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program and Founding Co-Director of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program, a joint program sponsored by Seattle Children’s Hospital and UW Medicine. He is currently a member of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery and President of the Society of University Neurological Surgeons.  He has served as Chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, President of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons (ASPN) and President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).
His numerous areas of clinical expertise encompass both pediatric and adult congenital neurological surgery, endoscopic brain surgery, brain tumor surgery and neuro-trauma care.  Dr. Ellenbogen has three recent extramurally funded research efforts.  He is the PI on an NIH/NINDS funded (R-25) Translational Neuroscience and Neurological Surgery, an NCI-funded molecular imaging lab study targeting brain tumors using immunofluorescent nanoparticles, and a Paul Allen Brain Science Foundation funded project on mapping of the transcriptome in patients who have suffered a TBI.  He was the volunteer Co-Director of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee from 2010 to 2017.  In that capacity, he advocated for health- and safety-related rules changes, sideline concussion diagnosis, management protocols, over 100 million dollars of research funding and youth concussion protection laws in all 50 states.
Dr. Ellenbogen completed his Neurosurgery Training  at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School Program. Prior to joining the University of Washington, he was Chairman of the National Capital Area Neurosurgery Consortium and Residency Program Director, (Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center), and Neurosurgery Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the Department of Defense Veterans Head Injury Program, also at Walter Reed Medical Center. Dr. Ellenbogen also served as Commander of the 252nd Medical Detachment KE Team (XVIII Airborne Corp) during Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.


Clinical Interest

Pediatric and Adult Brain Tumors (specialty: ventricular tumors, pineal region tumors, posterior fossa tumors, pituitary tumors); craniofacial developmental abnormalities and trauma; Chiari malformations; minimally invasive brain surgery (Neuro-endoscopy); Neuro-trauma surgery; Concussion.

Research Interests

Molecular imaging/nanotechnology; CSF physiology and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Personal Interests

Sports, gardening, fishing hiking and hunting.


Medical Education

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University


Walter Reed Army Medical Center


Boston Children's Hospital/Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Board Certification
1992 - American Board of Neurological Surgery
1998 - American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Contact Information






  • Principles of Neurological Surgery. Editors, Ellenbogen, RG, Sekhar, LN, Kitchen, ND. - 4th edition.  Elsevier, 2018.
  • Principles of Neurological Surgery. Editors, Ellenbogen RG, Addulrauf, SI; Associate Editor, Sekhar, L. – 3rd edition.  Saunders, of Elsevier, USA, 2012.
  • Principles of Neurosurgery. (Basic Textbook of Neurological Surgery) Edited by Ellenbogen RG and Setti S. Rengachary; Elsevier Publishing. London, Great Britain, 2004.
  • SANS: The Congress of Neurological Surgeons and American Association of Neurologic Surgeons, Ellenbogen RG, Associate Editor, 1990
  • Clinical Neurosurgery. Ellenbogen RG, Associate Editor, Baltimore, MD; Williams and Wilkins, 1989.


  • Grant GA, Xu L, Ellenbogen RG. Clinical Evaluation of the Nervous System. In: Ellenbogen RG, Sekhar, LN, Kitchen, ND, editors. Principles of Neurological Surgery.  4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2018.
  • Bales JW, Bonow RH, Ellenbogen RG. Closed Head Injury. In: Ellenbogen RG, Sekhar, LN, Kitchen, ND, editors. Principles of Neurological Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2018.
  • Abecassis IJ, Hanak BW, Ellenbogen RG. Pineal Region Tumors. In: Ellenbogen RG, Sekhar, LN, Kitchen, ND, editors. Principles of Neurological Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2018.
  • Lucas TH, Chowdhary M, Ellenbogen RG. Microsurgical Approaches to the Ventricular System. In: Ellenbogen RG, Sekhar, LN, Kitchen, ND, editors. Principles of Neurological Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2018.
  • Ban VS, Ellenbogen RG, Batjer HH. Concussion: Introduction-The Controversy. In: Hecht AC, editor. Spine Injuries in Athletes. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2017.
  • Benitez Z, Brito da Silva H, Ellenbogen RG, Sekhar LN. Endoscopic and Endoscope-Assisted Approaches to the Sellar, Suprasellar, and Ventricular Regions. In: Sekhar LN, Fessler R, editors. Atlas of Neurosurgical Techniques. 2nd ed. New York: Thieme, 2016.
  • Harris, Samuel Braydon and  Ellenbogen RG, Chiari Syndrome, Emergency Approaches to Neurosurgical Conditions, Chapter 7. A, Agrawal and G. Britz, Eds. 2015, pp 79-88. Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2014.
  • Ellenbogen RG, Scott MR. Choroid plexus tumors. Tumors of the Pediatric Central Nervous System, 2nd Edition. Chapter 24. Keating RF, Goodrich JT and Packer RJ. (Eds) Thieme, 2012.
  • Abeshaus S, Browd SR, Ellenbogen RG. Ventricular shunt malfunction. Atlas of Emergency Neurosurgery. Chapter xx. Ullman JS, Raskin PB, Ellegala DB (Eds) Thieme, 2012.
  • Browd SR, Ellenbogen RG. Chiari Malformations and Syringomyelia. Spine Surgery, 3rd Edition. Chapter 119. Benzel EC. (Eds) Elsevier, 2012.
  • Ellenbogen RG, Bauer DF. Association between fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and Chiari malformation. The Chiari Malformations. Chapter 5. Oakes JW and Tubbs RS (Eds) Springer, 2011.
  • Ellenbogen RG. Core Techniques in Operative Neurosurgery. Chapter xx. Jandial R, McCormick PC and Black PM (Eds) Saunders, 2011.
  • Ellenbogen RG. Choroid plexus tumors. Brain Tumors: An Encyclopedic Approach, 3rd Edition. Chapter 25. Kaye AH and Laws ER (Eds) Saunders/Elsevier, 2010.
  •  Lucas TH, Ellenbogen RG.  Microsurgical approaches to the ventricular system, Principles of Neurosurgery, 3rd Edition. Chapter 42. Ellenbogen RGE and Abdulrauf SI (Eds), Elsevier, 2010.
  • Alden TD, Ellenbogen RG. The pediatric spinal cord injury. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Chapter 56. Albright AL (Eds) Thieme Verlag 2007
  • Ellenbogen RG, Cline MJThe role of surgery in Landau-Kleffner syndrome.  Epilepsy Surgery Principles and Controversies.  Chapter III-9a. Miller JW and Silbergeld DL (Eds) Taylor and Francis Group 2006.
  • Menkes JH, Ellenbogen RG. Postnatal trauma and injuries by physical agents. Child Neurology, 7th Edition. Chapter 9. Menkes JH, Sarnat HB and Maria BL (Eds). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2005.
  • Ellenbogen RG.  Congenital anomalies of the thoracic and thoracolumbar spine.  Atlas of Neurosurgical Techniques: Spine and Endoscopic Surgery.  Fessler R and Sekhar L (Eds) Thieme Medical Publishers, 2005.
  • Ellenbogen RG. Approach to a patient with Neurological Disorders. Principles of Neurosurgery. Chapter 2. 2003,
  • Ellenbogen RG, Grant Gerald. Evaluation and Treatment of Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Infections. Textbook of Neurological Surgery: Principles and Practice. 2002; 101-108.
  • Ellenbogen RG, Daniel J. Donovan. Choroid Plexus tumors. Ch 24, Tumors of the Pediatric Central Nervous System, edited by  Robert F. Keating, James Tait Goodrich, Roger J. Packer, New York: Thieme, 2001.
  • Ellenbogen RG, Scott RM.  Choroid Plexus tumors.  Ch. 232, Youman’s Neurological Surgery, Winn HR (Ed) WB Saunders, 2001.
  • Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG, Whelan M.  Craniofacial Fractures.  Ch. I Youman’s Neurological Surgery, Winn HR (Ed) WB Saunders, 2001.
  • Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG, Whelan M.  Lambdoid Synostosis:  In: Craniofacial Surgery:  A Multidisciplinary Approach to Craniofacial Abnormalities.  Ch. 17 Lin KY, Ogle RC, and Jane JA. (Eds.) WB Saunders, 2001.
  • Menkes JH, Ellenbogen RG.  Postnatal Trauma and Injuries by Physical Agents.  In Child Neurology, edited by JH Menkes and HB Sarnat, Philadelphia:  Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000.
  • Ellenbogen RG and Zeidman SM.  Craniovertebral Decompression for Chiari Malformation, in Operative Neurosurgery, edited by AH Kaye and P McL Black, London:  Churchill Livingstone, 2000.
  • Ellenbogen RG and Moores LE.  Cerebrospinal Fluid Infections in Neurosurgery Topic Series:  Central Nervous System Infections edited by Hall WA and McCutchen IE, AANS Publications Committee, Parkridge, IL, 2000.
  • Ghatan S, Avellino AM, Ellenbogen RG.  Spinal Cord Injuries in Pediatric Patients in State of the Arts Reviews: Spinal Cord Injuries, Chapman JR (Ed.) Vol. 13:549-556, 1999.
  • Salazar AM, Ellenbogen RG.  Posttraumatic Epilepsy Prevention. The Epilepsies:  Etiologies and Prevention.  Chapter 26, Pg. 293-296, 1998.
  • Ellenbogen RG and Vander Kolk C.  Lambdoid Synostosis in Calvarial and Dural Reconstruction, edited by EC Benzel and SS Renganchary, Park Ridge, IL;   AANS Publications, Pg. 167-181, 1998.
  •  Polly DM and Ellenbogen RG.  Primary Anterior Thoracolumbar Reconstruction of Burst Fracutes.  In Neurosurgical Operative Atlas edited by RH Wilkins and SS Rengachary, Park Ridge:  AANS Publications, 1997, Vol. 6:pp.173-182.
  • McCormick P, Zeidman SM, and Ellenbogen RG.  Syringomyelia Associated with Intraspinal Neoplasms in Syringomyelia and the Chiari Malformations (Neurosurgical Topics Book 26) edited by J. Anson, I. Award, and E. Benzel, 1996, pp113-124.
  • Ellenbogen RG and Mayer MH.  Surgical Treatment of Posterior Plagiocephaly.  In Neurosurgical Operative Atlas, edited by RH Wilkins and SS Rengachary, Park Ridge.  AANS Publications, 1996, Vol. 5:pp 43-54.
  • Ellenbogen RG and Scott RM:  Treatment of Moyamoya Syndrome in Children with Pial Synangiosis.  In Neurosurgical Operative Atlas, edited by RH Wilkins and SS Rengachary Park Ridge:  AANS Publications, 1995, Vol. 4:pp139-146.