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Julian Motzkin


Neurologist and pain medicine specialist
Freestyle skier, musician and brain imaging researcher

About me

Dr. Julian Motzkin is a neurologist who cares for patients with a variety of pain conditions. He has special interests in head and face pain (such as trigeminal neuralgia), back and pelvis pain, neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome (chronic pain in an extremity, such as an arm or leg, following an injury or other event). He considers each patient's unique needs to generate personalized and comprehensive pain management plans that typically integrate physical therapy, psychological therapy, medication recommendations and procedures. He has expertise in using advanced imaging techniques to perform a broad range of interventional pain procedures, particularly neuromodulation (stimulating nerves to interrupt pain signals) as well as injections for head and face pain.

Motzkin's research focuses on understanding individual differences in brain organization that can lead to chronic pain. He works closely with his colleagues in psychiatry, radiology, neurosurgery, neurology and anesthesia to develop new, personalized treatments for brain disorders. His goal is to develop precision medicine tools for noninvasive brain stimulation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (a technique for assessing brain activity). He is currently leading a study of transcranial magnetic stimulation (or TMS) for hard-to-treat chronic neuropathic pain conditions, combining brain imaging of pain circuits with targeted noninvasive brain stimulation to better understand how this technique can relieve pain.

Motzkin earned his medical degree and doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison through its medical science training program. He completed a residency in neurology and a fellowship in pain medicine at UCSF.

Motzkin is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, International Association for the Study of Pain, American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Neuromodulation Society and North American Neuromodulation Society.

  • Education

    University of Wisconsin – Madison, MD, 2016

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Neurology, 2020

  • Fellowships

    UCSF, Pain Medicine, 2021

My work is guided by the belief that appreciating the uniquely individual aspects of pain can lead to profound breakthroughs in treatment.

Where I see patients (3)