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.


Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7596

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. Abla AA, Ivan ME, Lawton MT. Subtemporal-medial transpetrous (kawase) approach for anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm clipping: operative 3-dimensional video. Neurosurgery. 2014 Sep; 10 Suppl 3:488-9.
  2. Abla AA, Benet A, Lawton MT. The far lateral transpontomedullary sulcus approach to pontine cavernous malformations: technical report and surgical results. Neurosurgery. 2014 Sep; 10 Suppl 3:472-80.
  3. Abla AA, Nelson J, Rutledge WC, Young WL, Kim H, Lawton MT. The natural history of AVM hemorrhage in the posterior fossa: comparison of hematoma volumes and neurological outcomes in patients with ruptured infra- and supratentorial AVMs. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):E6.
  4. Rutledge WC, Abla AA, Nelson J, Halbach VV, Kim H, Lawton MT. Treatment and outcomes of ARUBA-eligible patients with unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations at a single institution. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):E8.
  5. Torné R, Rodríguez-Hernández A, Lawton MT. Intraoperative arteriovenous malformation rupture: causes, management techniques, outcomes, and the effect of neurosurgeon experience. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):E12.
  6. Russin JJ, Spetzler RF, Giannotta S, Meyer FB, Lawton MT, Cohen-Gadol AA. Introduction: Strategies for management and outcomes of arteriovenous malformations. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):Introduction.
  7. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Editorial: Prenidal aneurysm rupture with posterior fossa AVMs. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):E5.
  8. Tada Y, Makino H, Furukawa H, Shimada K, Wada K, Liang EI, Murakami S, Kudo M, Kung DK, Hasan DM, Kitazato KT, Nagahiro S, Lawton MT, Hashimoto T. Roles of Estrogen in the Formation of Intracranial Aneurysms in Ovariectomized Female Mice. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug 29.
  9. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Revascularization for unclippable posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms: extracranial-intracranial or intracranial-intracranial bypass? World Neurosurg. 2014 Nov; 82(5):586-8.
  10. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Indocyanine green angiography for cerebral aneurysm surgery: advantages, limitations, and neurosurgeon intuition. World Neurosurg. 2014 Nov; 82(5):e585-6.
  11. Amin-Hanjani S, Albuquerque FC, Britz G, Connolly ES, Gunel M, Lavine SD, Lawton MT, MacDonald J, Ogilvy CS, Prestigiacomo CJ. Commentary: unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations: what a tangled web they weave. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug; 75(2):195-6.
  12. Korja M, Hernesniemi J, Lawton MT, Spetzler RF, Morgan MK. Is cerebrovascular neurosurgery sacrified on the altar of RCTs? Lancet. 2014 Jul 5; 384(9937):27-8.
  13. Rutledge WC, Ko NU, Lawton MT, Kim H. Hemorrhage rates and risk factors in the natural history course of brain arteriovenous malformations. Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Oct; 5(5):538-42.
  14. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Cerebellomedullary fissure dissection and tonsillar mobilization: a gateway to lesions around the medulla. World Neurosurg. 2014 Nov; 82(5):e591-2.
  15. Shen F, Degos V, Chu PL, Han Z, Westbroek EM, Choi EJ, Marchuk D, Kim H, Lawton MT, Maze M, Young WL, Su H. Endoglin deficiency impairs stroke recovery. Stroke. 2014 Jul; 45(7):2101-6.
  16. Lawton MT, Abla AA. Management of brain arteriovenous malformations. Lancet. 2014 May 10; 383(9929):1634-5.
  17. Potts MB, Sheth SA, Louie J, Smyth MD, Sneed PK, McDermott MW, Lawton MT, Young WL, Hetts SW, Fullerton HJ, Gupta N. Stereotactic radiosurgery at a low marginal dose for the treatment of pediatric arteriovenous malformations: obliteration, complications, and functional outcomes. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Jul; 14(1):1-11.
  18. Abla AA, Lawton MT. Anterior cerebral artery bypass for complex aneurysms: an experience with intracranial-intracranial reconstruction and review of bypass options. J Neurosurg. 2014 Jun; 120(6):1364-77.
  19. Etminan N, Beseoglu K, Barrow DL, Bederson J, Brown RD, Connolly ES, Derdeyn CP, Hänggi D, Hasan D, Juvela S, Kasuya H, Kirkpatrick PJ, Knuckey N, Koivisto T, Lanzino G, Lawton MT, Leroux P, McDougall CG, Mee E, Mocco J, Molyneux A, Morgan MK, Mori K, Morita A, Murayama Y, Nagahiro S, Pasqualin A, Raabe A, Raymond J, Rinkel GJ, Rüfenacht D, Seifert V, Spears J, Steiger HJ, Steinmetz H, Torner JC, Vajkoczy P, Wanke I, Wong GK, Wong JH, Macdonald RL. Multidisciplinary consensus on assessment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: proposal of an international research group. Stroke. 2014 May; 45(5):1523-30.
  20. Potts MB, Jahangiri A, Jen M, Sneed PK, McDermott MW, Gupta N, Hetts SW, Young WL, Lawton MT. Deep arteriovenous malformations in the basal ganglia, thalamus, and insula: multimodality management, patient selection, and results. World Neurosurg. 2014 Sep-Oct; 82(3-4):386-94.

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.