David Adamson, MD, PhD, MPH, MHSc


Titles and Roles

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Emory University School of Medicine
Chief of Neurosurgery
Atlanta VA Medical Center
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


David Adamson, MD, PhD, MPH, MHSc, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University. He is also the Chief of Neurosurgery at Atlanta VA Health Care System.

Dr. Adamson is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute.


The care and study of neuro-oncology patients has always been a significant motivation for his neurosurgical and research education, training, and early career. Dr. Adamson earned medical and graduate degrees (MD and PhD '98) at Johns Hopkins focused on the neurosciences with a thesis heavily involved with learning tools for studying and targeting the molecular biology of disorders of the brain. This was followed by a program (MPH '99) focused on learning the tools of biostatistics in human investigation. He then matriculated into a neurosurgical residency at Duke University, internationally renowned for its surgical and research neuro-oncology environment. During this training, he studied under one of the foremost neuro-oncology surgeons in our country, Dr. Allan Friedman (former chairman of Duke Neurosurgery) as well as internationally renowned skull base neurosurgeon Dr. Takanori Fukushima. He also pursued a neuro-oncology research fellowship under the mentorship of one of the leading neuro-oncology scientists in our country, Dr. Darrell Bigner (former director of the Duke Brain Tumor Center). This research fellowship helped develop skills in areas including large-scale genomic analyses, epigenetics, proteomics, molecular and cellular biology, xenograft development, clinical studies, and statistical analyses. His early career at Duke was complemented with a graduate program (MHSc '07) focused on clinical trial design, implementation, and analysis. In 2015, he joined the Emory faculty.


Dr. Adamson's research covers basic science and clinical areas, all with a focus in neuro-oncology. His laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlaying migration of glioma cells in glioblastoma.


Dr. Adamson received the Top Doctor Award from Atlanta Magazine in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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