- Hansen-MacDonald Professor of Neurological Surgery
- Director of Spinal Surgery
Roger Härtl, M.D., is the Hansen-MacDonald Professor of Neurological Surgery and Director of Neurosurgery Spine at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center in New York. He is also the founder and director of the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care and a co-director of the Och Spine program at NewYork-Presbyterian, as well as founder of Weill Cornell Medicine's Global Neurosurgery Initiative in Tanzania (for which he was named AANS Humanitarian of the Year for 2022). He serves as the official neurosurgeon for the New York Giants Football Team.
Dr. Härtl's clinical interest focuses on simple and complex spine surgery for degenerative conditions, tumors, and trauma as well as biological approaches for disc repair and regeneration. He is a world-renowned pioneer and leader in minimally invasive spinal surgery and computer-assisted spinal navigation surgery and augmented reality. He is actively involved in improving neurosurgical care in emerging countries, and is the leader of Weill Cornell Medicine's Global Neurosurgery Initiative in Tanzania. In order to achieve the very best in patient outcomes, Dr. Härtl's practice emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to spinal disease. He collaborates closely with other specialists such as neurologists, pain specialists, sports medicine doctors, and physical therapists.
His patients come from all over the globe and include many physicians, surgeons, and even other neurological and spine surgeons. He has been repeatedly named to the lists of New York Super Doctors, America's Top Surgeons, and America's Best Doctors, and has been included on the list of New York’s Best Doctors in New York magazine. He has authored more than 250 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the editor of four books on minimally invasive spinal surgery and biological disc repair and regeneration.
In the news:
• Dr. Härtl Named Inaugural Winner of Hans Kraus Award for Muscle Pain Education
• Dr. Härtl Named Humanitarian of the Year by AANS
• Dr. Härtl publishes "Photographs at the Edge: Vittorio Sella and Wilfred Thesiger"
• Dr. Härtl was named winner of the Best Paper 2018 Award from the Global Spine Journal (GSJ).
• Dr. Roger Härtl and Team Win Daedalus Fund Grant
• Dr. Roger Härtl Uses Adipose-Derived Stem Cells to Repair Herniated Disc
Dr. Härtl has provided commentary for numerous television shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS in addition to national radio shows. His expertise has been sought through interviews in The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, and other media outlets.
One of Dr. Härtl's patients, boxer Danny Jacobs, was featured in a TV ad from NewYork-Presbyterian:
Dr. Härtl received his M.D. from the Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, Germany. In 1994 Dr. Härtl came to the Weill Cornell Medical College as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Surgery and the Brain Trauma Foundation to pursue research in traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. He completed another fellowship in neurocritical care at the Charite Hospital of the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, followed by a surgical internship and residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He completed his neurosurgery residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, after which he pursued specialized training in complex spine surgery at the Barrow's Neurological Institute in Phoenix under Dr. Volker Sonntag. In 2004 Dr. Härtl returned to re-join the Department of Neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Härtl's scientific interest focuses on clinical and basic science research surrounding innovative and less invasive surgical and biological treatment strategies for degenerative diseases of the spine.
Together with the Biomedical Engineering Department at Cornell he is working on tissue-engineering techniques for the repair and regeneration of degenerated spinal discs, the most common cause of back and neck pain. Dr. Härtl has lectured and published extensively on the surgical treatment of spinal disorders, and neurotrauma. He is a leader in the application of evidence-based medicine to neurosurgery and worked with the Brain Trauma Foundation in New York on the development of treatment guidelines for the medical and surgical management of head injury that are now used worldwide.