Dr. Joseph Maroon Profile

  • Famous for his steady hands that have saved multiple athletes' careers, he is one of the most sought-out neurosurgeons in the world.
  • He has consistently been named one of America's Best Doctors throughout the past 20 years.
  • His research and innovative procedures concerning concussion prevention and treatment, among other neurological conditions, have been credited with making football fields safer for millions of players from Baby Football to the NFL.
  • His easy-to-administer test ImPACT has been used to assess concussion symptoms in over 4.5 million athletes and 8 million children, enabling faster, more appropriate, and effective treatment.
  • His anti-aging research provides easily accessible methods for obtaining a long high quality life.
  • Internationally sought neurosurgeon, Dr. Maroon has contributed decades of groundbreaking research to the treatment and prevention of concussions and other neurotraumatic conditions. His innovative techniques for treating brain injuries, tumors, and spinal conditions have received international attention in the world of medicine and become routine procedures across the globe. The medical legend and his life-saving work are depicted in the 2015 sports film Concussion, starring Will Smith with actor Arliss Howard portraying the famed surgeon who has operated on thousands including boxer, George Foreman and golfer, Greg Norman.

    Dr. Maroon has served as the neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1981. During his influential career in sports medicine, he has conducted delicate procedures on hundreds of athletes after they received potentially paralyzing injuries, and restored most of them to a condition that allowed them to continue their careers. His easy-to-administer test ImPACT, co-developed with Dr. Mark Lovell has been used to immediately assess the presence and severity of concussion symptoms in over 4.5 million athletes and 8 million children, enabling faster and more appropriate and effective treatment.

    Dr. Maroon is also known for his healthy living advice, based on his own nutrition research and personal athletic involvement. As an avid triatholon runner and mountain climber, he is highly regarded for practicing the very tips he teaches and has even earned himself a place in the National Fitness Hall of Fame alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Aerobic Movement.

    For over 2o years now, he has served as a professor and Vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has maintained a consistent presence on the list of America’s Best Doctors throughout the past 20 years.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS is Professor and Vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition to being a renowned neurosurgeon, he is a sports medicine expert, health and nutrition expert and Ironman triathlete.

      Dr. Maroon, the neurosurgeon
      Dr. Maroon is regarded as a premiere specialist in the surgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the brain and spine, specializing in minimally invasive procedures. Consistently listed in America’s Best Doctors for the past 20 years, he has an international referral base, including numerous professional athletes and celebrities.

      Dr. Maroon obtained his medical and neurosurgical training at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University in England and the University of Vermont. He conducted extensive research into neurotrauma, brain tumors and diseases of the spine, which has led to many innovative techniques for diagnosing and treating these disorders. His research efforts garnered him numerous awards from various national and international neurological societies.

      Dr. Maroon is the author of six books, and (co-)author of 40 book chapters and over 270 published scientific papers. He has given more than 150 presentations at national and international conferences and is often invited as visiting professor and keynote speaker. He has served on the editorial boards of eight medical and neurological journals and is currently associate editor of Surgical Neurology, and editorial board member of Neurological Research and The Physician and Sports Medicine journals. He also is past-President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest society of Neurosurgeons in the world.

      Dr. Maroon, the sports medicine expert
      Dr. Maroon has been the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1981, and is Medical Director of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He has successfully performed surgery on numerous professional football players and other elite athletes with potentially career-ending neck and spine injuries. Notably, he safely returned most to their high level of athletic performance.

      Dr. Maroon is highly invested in the prevention and treatment of concussions in high school, college and professional sports, specifically football. While working with the Steelers in the early 1990’s, the lack of an objective, reliable instrument to evaluate concussion symptoms became very apparent to Dr. Maroon. To fill this void, he and Dr. Mark Lovell developed ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), an easy-to-administer, 20 minute long test to assess presence and severity of concussion symptoms. ImPACT™ has become the worldwide standard tool to assess sports-related concussions, and has been used in over 4.5 million athletes.

      In 1994, Dr. Maroon joined the National Football League’s mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee as concussion expert. This committee, which in 2007 was renamed National Football League’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, is still in place.

      For his expertise on sports medicine and concussions, Dr. Maroon is frequently interviewed and quoted by the media, including the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and ABC News Nightline.

      Dr. Maroon, the health and nutrition expert
      Dr. Joseph Maroon has a major interest in regenerative medicine and is senior Vice-President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Furthermore, he is on the Board of Directors of Mylan Laboratories, the 3rd largest Generic drug company in the world and is Chairman of their Science and Technology Committee. Dr. Maroon is also Chairman of the Medical advisory board of General Nutrition Centers (GNC).

      Dr. Maroon developed research interests in the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a safe and natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in treating neck and low-back pain in patients with disc and arthritic causes. He wrote the book, Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory, which highlights many of the benefits of fish oil, not just for back-pain, but also for general good health.

      His recent research interests involve the dietary supplement resveratrol, found in red grape skins, which has been shown to activate genes for improved health. To make his research findings available to the public, he authored the book, The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine Activate Genes for a longer and Healthier Life. In 2012, this book was made into a PBS special and featured in TV stations throughout the country.

      Through his intensive athletic involvement, Dr. Maroon has a personal interest in healthy living and healthy nutrition. He is much invested in keeping his expertise up to date as he “practices what he preaches”.

      Dr. Maroon, the athlete
      Dr. Maroon received an athletic scholarship to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where as an undergraduate, he was named a Scholastic All-American in football. Dr. Maroon has successfully maintained his personal athletic interests through participation in 9 marathons and more than 72 Olympic-distance triathlon events. However, his greatest athletic accomplishment is his participation in 8 Ironman triathlons (Hawaii – 1993, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2013; Canada – 1995; New Zealand – 1997; Germany – 2000), where he usually finishes in the top 10 of his age group.

      Recently, in July 2012 and 2013, he finished second and third, respectively, in his age group in the Muncie, Indiana half Ironman triathlon. In October 2013 he completed his 5th World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.

      As a result of his athletic dedication and performance, Dr. Maroon (along with NFL’s great Joe Montana and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was inducted into the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame for his athletic accomplishments and contributions to sports medicine on June 27, 1999. Eleven years later, on March 14, 2010 he was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in Chicago. Other inductees include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Jack LaLanne; and Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Aerobic Movement.

      For all his accomplishments, Dr. Maroon was in 2011 selected as a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Indiana University—one of 5 selected annually from 500,000 alumni from the university.

    Dr. Joseph Maroon Speaking Videos

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    Dr. Joseph Maroon's Speech Descriptions

    The surgeon whose findings and techniques have made football fields a safer place for millions for professional athletes and youth alike, shares a lifetime of research and personal wisdom on the topics of health and the cerebral secrets to managing life. Dr. Joseph Maroon draws on his rich knowledge of nutrition, athleticism, and neuroscience, giving the audience scientifically based yet simple ways to obtain optimum wellness, both physically and mentally.

    Incorporating a variety of visual aids, Dr. Maroon’s talks bring medical concepts to life in effective presentations that will activate and equip audiences to take charge of their health and balance their life.

    Secrets of Longevity
    Almost universally we can agree that our current healthcare system is broke; both financially and how we approach illness. We spend billions on gastric bypass each year in the US but essentially pennies on how to teach people to eat better and have a healthier relationship with food to avoid obesity. The examples of perverse priorities are numerous and those within the system know that changes to make disease prevention a priority must occur.

    The Secrets of Longevity is about how to live longer and healthier by avoiding disease before it starts and addresses some of the best ways to preserve health and youth as we age. With cutting edge science and warm personal anecdotes, Dr. Maroon delivers a road map to a long healthy life that he says "is a gift within your reach!" He explores, in detail, the secrets of longevity by explaining the four pillars that determine our longevity: nutrition & supplements; exercise; avoiding environmental toxins; and managing stress. His message on bringing more life - and quality - into your years won't be a secret for long!

    Adversity, Creativity and Balance
    Adversity is the best teacher and Dr. Maroon uses examples from his personal life, as well as from others, to prove it. He will focus on creativity – the ability to transcend traditional ideas and patterns and how to create meaningful new ideas, methods and interpretations. The factors that contribute to creativity—genetics, the immediate environment, domain specific training, previous experiences and motivating factors and rewards are a featured part of this keynote as well as a formula for obtaining balance in your life, tested successfully by thousands of physicians and lay persons.

    From Kona to Kilimanjaro
    Following a midlife crisis, Dr. Maroon discovered the importance of physical activity, proper nutrition and a unique method to control stress. This has allowed him to participate in 7 ironman triathlons, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and perform complex neurosurgery in to his 70's. Lessons learned and that will be shared include:

  • Adversity is our best teacher
  • Nothing worthwhile comes easy
  • It is the journey, not the finish
  • Connect the dots
  • Never quit
  • Be humble in victory and learn from defeat

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    Books by Dr. Joseph Maroon:

    The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine Activate Genes for a Longer and Healthier Life

    A groundbreaking examination of new scientific research that holds the secret to weight loss, increased strength, endurance, memory, and a healthier, longer life

    In The Longevity Factor, noted neuroscientist and surgeon Joseph Maroon, M.D., offers the definitive look at recent scientific breakthroughs identifying a group of natural substances — including the much-publicized molecule resveratrol — that can actually activate a specific set of genes in humans that promote a longer, healthier life. These substances, which make red wine, dark chocolate, and green tea good for us, appear to stave off a wide array of age-related diseases and keep us feeling young and vital.

    Resveratrol is the centerpiece of headline-making research being conducted at the Harvard Medical School and elsewhere. Only recently, however, have scientists discovered how to isolate resveratrol and concentrate it into an affordable and safe supplement. Already, more than 200 supplements featuring resveratrol have flooded the market, and there are countless more on the way. But which ones work best? What is a consumer to look for on the label? Since resveratrol is a natural substance, can you get enough of it through diet alone, or should you combine diet with a supplement? And what lies on the horizon from the pharmaceutical industry? All those questions and many more are answered in this immensely informative and practical book.

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