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Issam A. Awad, MD

John Harper Seeley Professor of Surgery

Director, Neurovascular Surgery

Director, Safadi Program of Excellence in Clinical and Translational Neuroscience

Issam A. Awad, MD, is an internationally recognized leader in neurosurgery. He is skilled in the surgical management of neurovascular conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord, including cerebral aneurysms, cerebrovascular malformations, carotid surgery, hemorrhagic stroke and skull base tumors.

Dr. Awad's research focuses on vascular biology, genetics, and comprehensive outcome analysis in neurovascular disease and stroke. His active projects include National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded investigations of molecular mechanisms involved in the formation and progression of cerebrovascular malformations. Additionally, he leads several clinical trials on minimally invasive techniques for surgical treatment of hemorrhagic stroke.

Dr. Awad’s research contributions have spanned more than two decades. His scientific innovations include the characterization of subcortical ischemic lesions in the aged, advances in the understanding of the natural history and biologic behavior of cerebral vascular malformations, and numerous technical advances in neurovascular and epilepsy surgery.

Recognized as a pioneering and productive scholar, Dr. Awad has educated scores of neurosurgeon trainees and holds prominent editorial responsibilities. He has authored leading textbooks and published more than 250 scholarly papers related to clinical innovations, surgical outcomes and research.

Additionally, Dr. Awad has been elected to some of the most distinguished professional societies and has held leadership positions in professional and learned societies in the United States and around the world. He has served as President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Chairman of the Cerebrovascular Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Chairman of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and on the Executive Committee of the American Stroke Association and the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons. He is the Founding Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Angioma Alliance. He has been recognized as one of the "Best Doctors in America" for more than a decade.

Practice Locations

The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Center for Advanced Medicine
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Year Started Practice


Board Certification

Neurological Surgery

Medical School

Loma Linda University School of Medicine


Loma Linda University Medical Center, CA


Cleveland Clinic, OH


The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ


Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
American Academy of Neurological Surgery
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American College of Surgeons
American Epilepsy Society
American Heart Association
American Society of Neuroimaging
American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Chicago Medical Society
Chicago Neurological Society
Chicago Society of Neuroscience
Chilean Society of Neurosurgery
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
International College of Surgeons
International Platform Association
New England Neurosurgical Society
New York Academy of Sciences
North American Skull Base Society
Research Society of Neurological Surgeons
Societe de Neurochirurgie de Langue Francaise
Society of Neurological Surgeons (Senior Society)
International College of Surgeons
World Society of Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery
World Association of Lebanese Neurosurgeons
Yale Surgical Society

Languages Spoken



Office Phone

(773) 702-2123

Office Fax

(773) 702-3518

Office Postal Address

Issam A. Awad, MD
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 3026
Chicago, IL 60637

Physician Photo

Clinical Interests

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Learn More About Dr. Awad

Dr. Awad is director of the Safadi Program of Excellence in Clinical and Translational Neuroscience.

Dr. Awad helps collegiate hockey player Sam Messina get back on the ice after surgery to repair his arteriovenous malformation.

As medical director of the University of Chicago Medicine's HHT program, Dr. Awad leads a multidisciplinary team that cares for patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Learn more about Dr. Awad’s research.

Dr. Awad reunited with a grateful patient 27 years after he performed surgery on her following a stroke.

Dr. Awad’s cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) clinic attracts patients from around the world. Learn how he helped 4-year-old Zane Smith, whose family traveled from Cambridge, England to seek Dr. Awad’s expertise.

Ohio resident Sherry Kedra sought out Dr. Awad after a cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) leaked into her brain. When a second CCM bled a year later, Kedra returned to Chicago for surgery. Read Sherry's story.

Grateful for the successful treatment of a dural arteriovenous malformation/fistula (DAVM/DAVF) in his brain, Bill Davis and his wife Judy made a generous donation to support Dr. Awad's research. Read Bill's story.

After suffering a massive stroke, Jim Faulkner credits Dr. Awad's expert care for giving him a second chance at life. Read Jim's story.

Dr. Awad successfully detected and removed a cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) that had been causing Steven Steinhilber to experience seizures. Read Steven's story.

In a four-hour procedure, Dr. Awad, who has performed more than 800 such surgeries in his 25-year career, treated multiple cerebral aneurysms in a single operation.

Read how Dr. Awad removed a large tumor, a large meningioma, from the base of a woman’s brain, restoring her vision.

By performing an experimental procedure, Dr. Awad saved the life of a man who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke.

A pill to prevent brain surgery? Dr. Awad and his colleagues are investigating a drug that may lower the risk for people with the familial form of CCM.

Selected Publications

View a partial list of Dr. Awad's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.