Dr. Ojemann received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. After completing his neurological surgery residency at University of Washington medical centers, he began a distinguished career as a neurosurgeon and researcher specializing in epilepsy, joining the University of Washington faculty in 1966.
He retired from clinical practice in 2005 but has continued this research and teaching. For his research, he received the 1984 Grass Prize from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, a Javitts award from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Medical College of Ohio in 1998, the Zulch Prize from the Max Planck Society and Gertrude Reemtsma Foundation in 2000, and the 2003 Cloward Medal of the Western Neurosurgical Society.
He was a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke from 1997-2000. He was on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgery from 1985-92 (Chairman 1991-92), a Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery from 1987-93 (Chairman 1992-93),a member of the Residency Review Committee for Neurosurgery from 1993-99, and on the Board of Director of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons from 1992-95.
In 1991, his medical school honored him as a distinguished alumnus. He was President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery in 1999-2000.
Dr. Ojemann has spoken at medical conferences around the world, including many visiting professorships and named lectureships. He is the author of over 300 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, including two books for the general public co-authored with William Calvin: Inside the Brain (1980) and Conversations with Neil's Brain (1994).
Dr. Ojemann has been married to Dr. Linda Moretti Ojemann since 1967, sharing a common interest in the treatment of patients with difficult seizure problems. Their three children are physicians, two in neurosurgery.
Neurobiology of human cognition, particularly cortical organization for language and memory, investigated in the context of awake neurosurgery under local anesthesia.