Professor Sekhar earned his undergraduate degree from Madras Medical College in 1973, graduating at the top of the class. After moving to the USA in 1974, he completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh followed by a year of post residency fellowship in skull base and cerebrovascular surgery in Europe with Professor Majid Samii and Professor Gazi M. Yasargil. After joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1984, he focused his clinical activities on skull base and cerebrovascular surgery. Together with the otolaryngology department, he established the first Center for Cranial Base Surgery in the USA. Working with a number of innovators and collaborators at universities in the USA and Europe, he established Skull Base Surgery as a distinct discipline of treatment for many difficult neoplastic and vascular lesions at the base of the brain in the late 80s and 90s.
During the last 25 years, he has also made major contributions to cerebrovascular surgery, innovating skull base approaches to aneurysms, devising various bypass techniques for treating complex aneurysms, and studying and reporting outcomes of treatments for cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. He has also improved operations for vascular compression syndromes such as Trigeminal Neuralgia and Hemifacial Spasm, and has been a pioneer in combining the use of microsurgery and endoscopic surgical techniques to treat brain lesions.
He has been recognized as a leader in neurological surgery nationally and internationally. He has been the Chairman of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Neurological Institute at George Washington University Hospital, the founder of the Mid-Atlantic Neurosurgical and Brain Institute, and the Vice Chair of Neurosurgery at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. He has been the Vice Chair of Neurological Surgery and the Director of Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery at the University of Washington for the past 12 years.
He believes the mandate of a neurosurgical leader is to expand the body of knowledge through innovation and investigation; to apply such knowledge to develop new techniques of Neurosurgery that will be used in the future to help patients with neurological ailments who cannot be helped by current techniques; and to ensure the future of our field by passing on this knowledge to the next generation of neurosurgeons and neuroscientists. He has contributed to this mission by writing over 300 peer-reviewed papers, 8 books including one of the most widely used texts on surgical techniques, and over 150 book chapters for various textbooks. He has taught and mentored countless residents, fellows, and medical students across four academic institutions, as well as numerous visiting scholars from all over the world. In addition, he has mentored several junior faculty, many of whom have become leaders in neurosurgery.
He believes in collaborating with physicians and health care professionals from all disciplines to achieve optimal patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and value of care.
His past research has focused on surgical anatomy, aneurysmal hemodynamics, non-invasive diagnosis of aneurysms, outcomes in skull base and cerebrovascular surgery, and technological applications in neurosurgery including surgical robotics and the creation of new instruments. His current research interests include the application of artificial intelligence and Robotics to improve Neurosurgical care, building the “Hospital of the 21st Century,” and the use of stem cell and regenerative technologies to help patients with stroke and brain injuries.
His vision is to work with basic science and bioengineering researchers to develop innovative treatments for the diseases of today, and to create the Neurosurgery of the future. He believes that the application of treatments based on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, development of stem cell and other regenerative approaches, the use of technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Brain Computer Interface, Nanotechnology, Brain Mapping, Deep Brain Stimulation and drug delivery, and Advanced Imaging will lead to major innovations and improvements for patients with a variety of neurosurgical problems.