David A. Purger, MD, PhD

David was born in the former Yugoslavia and grew up in Washington, DC. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and with concentrations in Linguistics and Chinese language. David moved to California to begin medical school in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In the lab of Dr. Michelle Monje, David used optogenetic techniques to study the plasticity of white matter in the mammalian brain. Additionally, as a member of the Spine Outcomes Laboratory, David uses statistical programming methods and socioeconomic factors research to answer pressing clinical questions in neurosurgery. David is also active in medical student mentorship, recently co-authoring an updated Medical Student Guide for Applying to Neurosurgery on www.neurosurgicalatlas.com. Outside of neurosurgery, David enjoys traveling, photography, hiking and backpacking, tennis, music, and learning about wine.


2017 – Present
Stanford University
 – Stanford, CA
Resident Physician, Department of Neurosurgery

2010 – 2017
Stanford University School of Medicine 
– Stanford, CA
MD, Medical Scientist Training Program

2012 – 2016
Stanford University School of Medicine 
– Stanford, CA
PhD, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

2005 – 2009
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 – Cambridge, MA
SB, Brain and Cognitive Science

Research Interests:

Functional and restorative neurosurgery, neuromodulation, neuron-glial interactions, white matter plasticity, bioinformatics, outcomes and socioeconomic factors research

Program Completion:


Awards and Honors:

2013 Young Investigator Award, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
2010 Building Capacity Locally and Globally Award, Stanford University School of Medicine
2009 Walle JH Nauta Award for Outstanding Research in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2005 National Merit Scholar



David Purger