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Dustin Donnelly, MD, PhD

Dustin Donnelly, MD, PhD

(4.9) , 18 Reviews
  • Specialty: Neurological Surgery, Neurological Surgery-Spine
    View Expertise
  • Primary Location: 7255 Old Oak Blvd (15 mi.)
    Other Locations
  • Languages Spoken: English

Office Locations

University Hospitals (15 mi.)

7255 Old Oak Blvd
Ste C305
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

UH St John Health Campus (18 mi.)

29101 Health Campus Dr
Bldg 2 Ste 475
Westlake, OH 44145

Biography: Dustin Donnelly, MD, PhD


  • Degenerative Disorders of the Spine
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Spine Pain


  • Assistant Professor, CWRU School of Medicine


Fellowship | Neurological Surgery - Spinal
Neurological Surgery - Spinal - Duke University Hospital (2020 - 2021)

Residency | Neurological Surgery
Neurological Surgery - Brigham And Women's Hospital (2014 - 2020)

Internship | Anesthesiology
Anesthesiology - SUNY Downstate Medical Center College Of Medicine (2013 - 2014)

Medical Education
The Ohio State University College Of Medicine (2004 - 2013)

Other Education
The Ohio State University College Of Medicine (2004 - 2011)

University Of Akron (2004)


Dustin J. Donnelly, MD, PhD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at University Hospitals Spine Institute and an Assistant Professor with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Donnelly sees patients and performs spine surgery at Southwest General Health Center (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) and UH St. John Medical Center (Westlake, Ohio), managing patients with complex spinal deformity, degenerative spine disease, spinal trauma, and intrinsic and extrinsic cancers of the spine.

Dr. Donnelly is recognized as a leading expert in robotic spine surgery. In March 2022, he was the first physician in the Greater Cleveland area to perform spinal surgery using the Mazor X Stealth Edition Robotic Guidance Platform, in a procedure performed at UH St. John Medical Center. The Mazor X platform allows physicians to create a 3D simulation of a planned surgical procedure using CT images of the patient. The platform offers 3D visualization of the surgical area and uses a robotic arm that provides precise placement of surgical tools.

A native of Northeast Ohio, Dr. Donnelly graduated from Highland High School in Medina and earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron. He attended Ohio State University College of Medicine (Columbus, Ohio), where he earned a PhD in Integrated Biomedical Science (studying the dichotomous role of the innate immune response after spinal cord injury) in 2011 and his medical degree in 2013.

In June 2014, Dr. Donnelly completed an internship with SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology (Brooklyn, New York). After finishing his neurosurgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) in 2020, Dr. Donnelly completed a fellowship in neurological surgery at Duke University Medical Center (Durham, North Carolina) in 2021. Following his fellowship training, Dr. Donnelly joined the faculty of UH Spine Institute and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in August 2021.

In his roles as a clinical research fellow, graduate research fellow, graduate research associate and student research assistant, Dr. Donnelly has conducted research in immune responses in secondary injury and repair processes following traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, transduction of wild-type and dominant-negative ERK1/2 into melanoma cells, and the development and testing of synthetic peptide vaccines against the HTLV-1 virus, among other research areas.

Among other honors and awards, Dr. Donnelly is the recipient of Student of the Year, Department of Neurosurgery, Ohio State University College of Medicine (2013); Travel Award for National Neurotrauma Society Symposium (2010); Travel Award for “Practical Training Course in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology” (2009); and Scientific Achievement Travel Award, Medical Scientist Training Program, Ohio State University College of Medicine (2009).

Dr. Donnelly has contributed original publications to a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Communications, Immunology, The Neurohospitalist, World Neurosurgery, NeuroSci, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, The Journal of Neuroscience, Experimental Neurology and Biotechnology and Bioengineering. In addition, he has published abstracts for research findings presented at meetings of the New England Neurosurgical Society, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Ohio State University Medical Center Neuroscience Signature Program, Society for Neuroscience Conference, National Neurotrauma Symposium, and International Symposium on Neural Regeneration, among others.

Professional medical societies in which Dr. Donnelly is a member include American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Physician Scientists Association, Society for Neuroscience and National Neurotrauma Society. Dr. Donnelly also regularly attends training symposiums on spinal surgery, skull base surgery and related topics.

Patient Experience Reviews

4.9 out of 5
- based on 73 Ratings

This was the first time I saw Dr. Donnelly, My Husband came with me. Dr. Donnelly was Very Good Explaining To Both of us About My Cervical Spine Issues, He Spent So Much Time With Us, I Appreciated Everything, Thank You!


Dr. Donnelly was extremely informative regarding my condition and options available to me. He patiently answered all my questions and addressed all my concerns. He took all the time necessary to cover all topics related to my condition. I was very appreciative of his concern and empathy. He was confident in his ability to help me which was very reassurring.


Dr Donnelly and his staff are outstanding! I sure do look forward to my visits with him. Everyone is down to earth and they seem to genuinely care. Thank you team!


Dustin made me feel heard, and respected and had answers to all my questions.


Best neurosurgeon around!!


Dr. Donnelly and his staff were completely courteous, kind, informative and their medical knowledge impressed me completely. I couldn't be In better or safer hands. Thank you Dr. Donnelly and staff.


I felt the physician's plan of care favored his reputation and financial income rather than my long term improvement.


Very professional office with a very compassionate and knowledgeable staff.


Dr. Donnelly from what I gathered is very professional. I'm waiting to hear back from his staff as to my upcoming neck surgery date and hoping it is sooner than later as my neck pain is dizziness is not getting any better from my arthritis....


Dr Patel, Fellow, answered all my question, Dr. Donnelly then went over them with me. Very courteous and listened to my concerns. Waiting for a call regarding surgery schedule.


Everyone was very friendly, easy to work with.


Everything went well during the appointment


Dr. Donnelly and Dr. *** were very knowledgeable. They made me feel very comfortable. I would recommend them to anyone. I feel very comfortable in having him do the surgery on my back.


I really like Dr. Donnelly. He seems very knowledgeable and great personality.


Dr Donnelly is an excellent physician and *** is definitely an asset to his office


Doctor was very knowledgeable.


Very good patient service. Efficient, friendly, knowledgeable! Patient care has improved for me considerably.


Awesome care recommend highly

Industry Relationships

University Hospitals is committed to transparency in our interactions with industry partners, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies. At UH, we disclose practitioner and their family members’ ownership and intellectual property rights that are or in the process of being commercialized. In addition, we disclose payments to employed practitioners of $5,000 or more from companies with which the practitioners interact as part of their professional activities. These practitioner-industry relationships assist in developing new drugs, devices and therapies and in providing medical education aimed at improving quality of care and enhancing clinical outcomes. At the same time, UH understands that these relationships may create a conflict of interest. In providing this information, UH desires to assist patients in talking with their practitioners about industry relationships and how those relationships may impact their medical care.

UH practitioners seek advance approval for certain new industry relationships. In addition, practitioners report their industry relationships and activities, as well as those of their immediate family members, to the UH Office of Outside Interests annually. We review these reports and implement management plans, as appropriate, to address conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with medical research, clinical care and purchasing decisions.

View UH’s policy (PDF) on practitioner-industry relationships.

As of December 31, 2016, Dustin Donnelly did not disclose any Outside Relationships with Industry.