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Ethan Winkler


Vascular and endovascular neurosurgeon

Dr. Ethan Winkler is a neurosurgeon who cares for both adult and pediatric patients. He treats conditions involving the brain, neck or spine, including brain aneurysms (weak, bulging spots on brain arteries), arteriovenous malformations and arteriovenous fistulas (irregular connections between arteries and veins), cavernous malformations (abnormal clusters of small blood vessels that may leak), moyamoya disease (in which progressively narrowing carotid arteries limit blood flow to the brain), stroke and carotid artery disease (in which fatty deposits narrow the vessels bringing blood to the brain). He performs both open microsurgery (techniques using high magnification and very fine instruments) and minimally invasive procedures.

In research, Winkler focuses on understanding the mechanisms that result in stroke, such as blood vessel malformations and aneurysms. He directs the UCSF Vascular Anomalies & Stroke Computation Laboratory, which brings together genetic, stem cell and bioengineering technologies to understand how these conditions occur and to design better therapies. To improve patient care, he also seeks to develop safer ways to operate on the brain's blood vessels.

Winkler earned his medical degree and a doctorate in neurobiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. He completed a residency in neurological surgery at UCSF, followed by a fellowship in endovascular neurosurgery and a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute.

  • Education

    University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, MD, PhD, 2014

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Neurological Surgery, 2021

  • Fellowships

    Barrow Neurological Institute, Endovascular Neurosurgery, 2022

    Barrow Neurological Institute, Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Neurosurgery, 2023

  • Academic Title

    Assistant Professor

Where I see patients (2)

    My work

    Options for treating brain aneurysms

    Developing a brain aneurysm – a weak area in an artery that bulges with blood – can require surgery. Dr. Winkler explains how our experts choose the best care.