Derek Southwell, M.D.,Ph.D.

K12 Neurosurgery Awardee
photo of Derek Southwell
Duke University School of Medicine-, Durham, NC

Dr. Derek Southwell is an assistant professor of Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering, Pathology, and Neurology, an assistant research professor in Neurobiology, and a faculty network member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. In his clinical work, he specializes in the surgical treatment of epilepsy and movement disorders. His research focuses on the formation and function of the cerebral cortex and the development of cell- and device-based therapies for patients with neurologic diseases and injuries. Specifically, he investigates how genetic and physiologic factors establish the early integration and long-term functional identities of cortical interneuron sub-populations. His lab seeks to identify biomarkers that can be used to diagnose interneuron pathophysiology and to assess its response to therapeutic interventions. They are also examining therapeutic applications of interneuron transplantation in pre-clinical settings and looking for ways to overcome the barriers that currently prohibit the application of this technology in humans.

Dr. Southwell received his Bachelor of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MD and PhD from University of California, San Francisco. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at Stanford University and at the University of California, San Francisco.