Dennis Turner

Professor of Neurosurgery
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Neurobiology
Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Campus mail: 4510 Stead Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-7777
Email address:

Current clinical research interests include clinical trials regarding adaptive deep brain stimulation and gene therapy in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, deep brain stimulation for depression, and sensory restoration for development of brain machine interfaces. Clinical treatments include deep brain stimulation, which is now a common procedure for treating Parkinson's disease and tremor. Basic science research interests focus on evaluation of metabolism changes with aging and Alzheimer's disease, particularly in response to ischemia and hypoglycemia, as well as epilepsy and seizure mechanisms as functions of both post-lesion injury and aging brain. These basic science interests include new approaches to optical imaging of the brain, cellular understanding of metabolism using direct substrate recordings (ie, oxygen, glucose, lactate) and developing new methods to understand complex interactions between neurons, astrocytes and blood vessels.  Further interests include changes in cerebral blood flow with stroke, neurovascular coupling, and spreading depolarization.

Education and Training

  • Indiana University at Bloomington, B.A. 1971
  • Indiana University at Bloomington, M.A. 1973
  • Indiana University, School of Medicine, M.D. 1975
  • University of Minnesota, Medical School, Intern
  • University of Washington, Resident, Neurological Surgery
  • University of Oslo, Norway , Fellowship, Functional Neurosurgery

Department Affiliation

  • Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery)