Steven L. Giannotta is the chair of Department of Neurological Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

A faculty member of the Keck School since 1980, Dr. Giannotta has gained recognition for his work in cerebrovascular disease of the brain and spinal cord. He has surgically treated more than 1000 intracranial aneurysms. He has surgically removed more than 400 acoustic neuromas and, along with several colleagues in otolaryngology, has developed a team approach to complex cranial base lesions including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas of the cranial base, complex aneurysms and other benign conditions affecting the base of the brain and skull. Here’s what you won’t find on his resume:

He’s always had big plans for himself.

“When I was growing up, I wanted to be a cowboy, fighter pilot, automotive engineer, psychiatrist and neurosurgeon.”

He works on his passion outside the office.

“When I’m not working, I enjoy playing golf and working on my vintage car.”

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He wouldn’t trade his career with anyone.

“I’ve always been passionate about vehicles. In fact, I wanted to be an automotive engineer and almost went down that route. The problem was I got a ‘B’ in calculus and because of that, I made a decision to apply to medical school and become a psychiatrist instead. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He still has one thing left on his bucket list.

“I have been quite blessed with opportunity in my life. My wonderful wife and I have been married for over 40 years. We watched our kids grow up and become successful. I had the opportunity to follow my passions by being able to race in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and play golf all across the world. In my career, I have been able to lead a world famous neurosurgery department and national neurosurgical organizations — but what I am most looking forward to is teaching my newborn granddaughter how to play golf.”

His acoustic neuroma patient has been by his side for over 25 years.

“On February 28, 1990, I performed an acoustic neuroma surgery on Dawn Fishback. At the time, she was in school learning to become a physician assistant. I asked her if she would join me as my neurosurgical physician assistant because she could provide another level in acoustic neuroma care with her ability to relate to patients going through the exact same thing. She agreed. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to work with her for the last quarter century.”

He is passionate about the USC Acoustic Neuroma Center.

“I love my work because my residents and faculty colleagues are so good at what they do that it makes me want to up my game to keep up with them. I enjoy working with the USC Acoustic Neuroma Center because I am able to witness how great the results are when the team is functioning at its highest level.”

Dr. Giannotta is a professor and chair of neurological surgery. He leads the neurological surgery group at USC Neurosciences and works with USC Acoustic Neuroma Center. Click here to view Dr. Giannotta‘s full biography.