Michael G. Kaplitt, M.D., Ph.D.

Neurological Surgery

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Biographical Info

Michael Kaplitt, PhD, MD specializes in neurosurgical treatment of movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia, using various surgical approaches including deep brain stimulation. He also specializes in surgery for intractable pain and spasticity, implanting devices such as spinal cord stimulators and spinal infusion pumps. He is also an expert in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and hydrocephalus, and performs general neurosurgery as well. In 2016 Dr. Kaplitt became the first in New York to use high-intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of essential tremor, just weeks after the procedure received FDA approval.  He works with a team of specialists, including neurologists, neurophysiologists, neuropsychologists, brain imaging experts, physiatrists/therapists, and pain management specialists to provide superior care in all of these areas before, during and after surgery. Dr. Kaplitt is also an internationally recognized expert in gene therapy and molecular neurobiology, and he is a leading figure in the development of new technologies for improving or restoring brain function.

Michael Kaplitt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1987 with a degree in Molecular Biology and Russian Studies. He enrolled in the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology in 1993 from The Rockefeller University and his M.D. in 1995 from Cornell Medical College. Following his Neurosurgery residency and chief residency at Cornell, he completed a fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery with Dr. Andres Lozano at the University of Toronto prior to joining our staff as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery in July 2001.

His clinical activities focus upon using minimally invasive, stereotactic techniques for the treatment of functional disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and epilepsy. He also uses surgical methods to implant devices such as spinal cord stimulators and opiate pumps to treat complex pain, and he is also an expert in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and hydrocephalus. Dr. Kaplitt has pioneered the use of gene therapy in the brain. He has published over 40 papers and has edited two books on this subject. He recently completed the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's Disease for FDA approval, and his laboratory is actively researching mechanisms of cell death in diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's. Dr. Kaplitt is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Gene Therapy and he was named to Crain's 40 under 40 list for 2004.

He currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals, and is Editor of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Web Site. He is also a member of the Weill Cornell Medical School Committee on Admissions. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Rockefeller University and Clinical Assistant Surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


Dr. Kaplitt sees patients at 1305 York Avenue (at 70th Street), 9th Floor New York, NY 10065


For more information about Dr. Kaplitt's Book, Gene Therapy of the Central Nervous System: From Bench to Bedside, please visit:https://www.elsevier.com/books/gene-therapy-of-the-central-nervous-system-from-bench-to-bedside/kaplitt/978-0-12-397632-1


If you have advanced Parkinson’s disease and are experiencing dyskinesia symptoms or motor fluctuations that are not responding to medicines, you may be eligible for a clinical trial examining a new minimally invasive method to treat your symptoms. Please visit http://weillcornellbrainandspine.org/et

Honors and Awards

1992 Albert Cass Traveling Fellowship
1994 Saul R. Korey Award for Experimental Neurology, American Academy of Neurology
Distinguished Housestaff Award, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
Fellowship Award, Medical Research Council of Canada
2002 Elsberg Fellowship, The New York Academy of Medicine
2002 Ellison Foundation, New Scholar in Aging Research
2004 New York Magazine, "Best Doctors in New York" feature
2004 Crain's "40 Under 40" Award
2005 American Society for Gene Therapy Young Investigator Award
2015 American Society for Clinical Investigations
2016 Society of Neurological Surgeons
2009-2019 New York Super Doctors


Board Certifications
American Board of Neurological Surgery
Clinical Expertise
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Molecular Medicine
Parkinson's Disease
Movement Disorder
Parkinson's Surgery
Spinal Cord Stimulator Implants
Spinal Cord Stimulator
Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery
Spinal Opiate Catheter Implants
Epilepsy Surgery
Spinal Opiate Catheter Implant
Brain Surgery
MRI Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
  • M.D.
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Ph.D.
    The Rockefeller University
  • Attending Neurological Surgeon
    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery in Neurology
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery in Otolaryngology
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Professor of Neuroscience
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

Relationships and collaborations with for-profit and not-for profit organizations are of vital importance to our faculty because these exchanges of scientific information foster innovation. As experts in their fields, WCM physicians and scientists are sought after by many organizations to consult and educate. WCM and its faculty make this information available to the public, thus creating a transparent environment.

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