University of California San Francisco | About UCSF | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
Search Site | Find a Doctor

Michael Lawton, M.D.

Vascular neurosurgeon

Dr. Michael T. Lawton is the chief of Vascular Neurosurgery and specializes in the surgical treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), arteriovenous fistulas, cavernous malformations and cerebral revascularization, including carotid endarterectomy. As chief of the busiest vascular neurosurgery service on the West Coast for over 15 years, he has surgically treated over 3,000 brain aneurysms and over 600 AVMs. He is also trained in the endovascular treatment of aneurysms.

His research at the Center for Neurological Cerebrovascular Research (CCR) investigates the physiology of cerebral circulation and the pathophysiology of vascular malformations. His basic science investigations study the formation, underlying genetics and rupture of brain AVMs, as well as hemodynamics, rupture and computational modeling of brain aneurysms. His clinical investigations study the anatomy of microsurgical approaches to vascular lesions and efficacy of aneurysm, AVM and bypass surgery.

Lawton is the Tong-Po Kan endowed chair, a professor of neurological surgery and vice chairman of the department. He received numerous research awards as a resident and received the Young Neurosurgeon Award from the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and the International Congress of Neurological Surgery. Lawton graduated with honors from Brown University with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. He earned a medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed a general surgery internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed a neurosurgical residency and fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull-base surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute.


Neurosurgery Clinic
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-7500
Fax: (415) 353-2889

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Neurovascular Disease and Stroke Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-8897
Fax: (415) 353-8705

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

More about Michael Lawton

Additional Languages



Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1990


Johns Hopkins Hospital, General Surgery 1991


St. Joseph's Hospital, Cerbrovascular/Skull Base Surgery 1996
St. Joseph's Hospital, Neurological Surgery 1997

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Bendjilali N, Kim H, Weinsheimer S, Guo DE, Kwok PY, Zaroff JG, Sidney S, Lawton MT, McCulloch CE, Koeleman BP, Klijn CJ, Young WL, Pawlikowska L. A genome-wide investigation of copy number variation in patients with sporadic brain arteriovenous malformation. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e71434.
  2. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Awad AJ, Lawton MT. Letter to the Editor: Posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms. J Neurosurg. 2013 Dec; 119(6):1653-5.
  3. Potts MB, Young WL, Lawton MT. Deep arteriovenous malformations in the Basal Ganglia, thalamus, and insula: microsurgical management, techniques, and results. Neurosurgery. 2013 Sep; 73(3):417-29.
  4. Lawton MT. Temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations. Response. J Neurosurg. 2013 Sep; 119(3):615.
  5. Gabarrós Canals A, Rodríguez-Hernández A, Young WL, Lawton MT. Temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations: anatomical subtypes, surgical strategy, and outcomes. J Neurosurg. 2013 Sep; 119(3):616-28.
  6. Degos V, Westbroek EM, Lawton MT, Hemphill JC, del Zoppo GJ, Young WL. Perioperative management of coagulation in nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage. Anesthesiology. 2013 Jul; 119(1):218-27.
  7. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Lawton MT. Contralateral transcallosal approach to basal ganglia cavernous malformation: 3-dimensional operative video. Neurosurgery. 2013 Jun; 72(2 Suppl Operative):ons182.
  8. Rowland NC, Huang MC, Lawton MT, Carter J, Maa J, McDermott MW. Treatment of recurrent, multiloculated, obstructive hydrocephalus with suprahepatic peritoneal catheter placement. J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Jul; 20(7):1038-9.
  9. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Huang C, Lawton MT. Superior cerebellar artery-posterior cerebral artery bypass: in situ bypass for posterior cerebral artery revascularization. J Neurosurg. 2013 May; 118(5):1053-7.
  10. Ivan ME, Lawton MT. Mini supraorbital approach to inferior frontal lobe cavernous malformations: case series. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2013 May; 74(3):187-91.
  11. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Sughrue ME, Akhavan S, Habdank-Kolaczkowski J, Lawton MT. Current management of middle cerebral artery aneurysms: surgical results with a "clip first" policy. Neurosurgery. 2013 Mar; 72(3):415-27.
  12. Lawton MT. Editorial: middle cerebral artery aneurysms. J Neurosurg. 2013 May; 118(5):947-8; discussion 948-9.
  13. Chen W, Guo Y, Walker EJ, Shen F, Jun K, Oh SP, Degos V, Lawton MT, Tihan T, Davalos D, Akassoglou K, Nelson J, Pile-Spellman J, Su H, Young WL. Reduced mural cell coverage and impaired vessel integrity after angiogenic stimulation in the Alk1-deficient brain. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Feb; 33(2):305-10.
  14. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Lawton MT. Management of a recurrent coiled giant posterior cerebral artery aneurysm with trapping and thrombectomy: 3-dimensional operative video. Neurosurgery. 2012 Dec; 71(2 Suppl Operative):ons191.
  15. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Kim H, Pourmohamad T, Young WL, Lawton MT. Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations: anatomic subtypes, surgical results, and increased predictive accuracy of the supplementary grading system. Neurosurgery. 2012 Dec; 71(6):1111-24.
  16. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Zador Z, Rodríguez-Mena R, Lawton MT. Distal aneurysms of intracranial arteries: application of numerical nomenclature, predilection for cerebellar arteries, and results of surgical management. World Neurosurg. 2013 Jul-Aug; 80(1-2):103-12.
  17. Rodríguez-Hernández A, Gabarrós A, Lawton MT. Contralateral clipping of middle cerebral artery aneurysms: rationale, indications, and surgical technique. Neurosurgery. 2012 Sep; 71(1 Suppl Operative):116-23; discussion 123-4.
  18. Englot DJ, Young WL, Han SJ, McCulloch CE, Chang EF, Lawton MT. Seizure predictors and control after microsurgical resection of supratentorial arteriovenous malformations in 440 patients. Neurosurgery. 2012 Sep; 71(3):572-80; discussion 580.
  19. Davies J, Tawk RG, Lawton MT. The contralateral transcingulate approach: operative technique and results with vascular lesions. Neurosurgery. 2012 Sep; 71(1 Suppl Operative):4-13; discussion 13-4.
  20. Weinsheimer S, Brettman AD, Pawlikowska L, Wu DC, Mancuso MR, Kuhnert F, Lawton MT, Sidney S, Zaroff JG, McCulloch CE, Young WL, Kuo C, Kim H. G Protein-Coupled Receptor 124 (GPR124) Gene Polymorphisms and Risk of Brain Arteriovenous Malformation. Transl Stroke Res. 2012 Dec; 3(4):418-27.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.