Paul Larson, MD

Paul Larson, MD

Professor, Neurosurgery

Research Interests: DBS, MRI-guided surgery, gene therapy, movement disorders

Dr. Paul Larson specializes in functional neurosurgery, specifically deep brain stimulation for movement disorders and MR-guided procedures. The Surgical Movement Disorders program at UCSF and the San Francisco VA Medical Center is one of the largest and most active centers in the world.

Dr. Larson’s research program is built around three core areas of interest. He has 20 years of experience in interventional MRI-guided surgery, and was one of three researchers at UCSF that started and developed the field of iMRI-guided stereotactic surgery for DBS placement and drug delivery. He has had continuous funding for device development and clinical trials in interventional MRI procedures since 2003. Secondly, his group at UCSF has been at the forefront of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. They have had a leadership role in 4 of the 7 human trials completed worldwide to date, and have performed more than 1/3 of all Parkinson’s gene therapy procedures ever performed. He is currently the PI for a fifth gene therapy trial using convection enhanced, iMRI-guided delivery of AAV2-AADC into the putamen of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, Dr. Larson has a significant interest in the neurobiology and underlying brain circuitry of phantom auditory disorders including tinnitus. His work in this area with Dr. Steven Cheung has led to the discovery of a new region of brain involved in auditory perception, as well as a new proposed model of the basal ganglia for chronic tinnitus. They have a U01 grant from the NIDCD to study the use of DBS in the caudate nucleus in patients with severe, medically refractory tinnitus.

Education and Training

1995: MD, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2001: Neurosurgery Residency, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Academic Positions

2001 - 2004: Assistant Professor; Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2004 - 2009: Assistant Clinical Professor; Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2008 - Present: Chief of Neurosurgery; San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center
2009 - 2015: Associate Clinical Professor; Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2011 - Present: Surgical Director; Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center
2011 - 2019: Associate Director; UCSF Neurological Surgery Residency Program
2011 - Present: Vice Chairman; Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2015 - Present: Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery, UCSF