David W. Lowry, MD, MBA

David W. Lowry, MD, is a board-certified neurological surgeon at the Brain + Spine Center who starts by listening. After hearing your story, he includes also the physical exam, imaging findings and other studies to determine how to best help – whether with surgery or less invasive treatments. If surgery is appropriate, he then determines whether a minimally invasive approach will work best, and also whether robotics or advanced imaging will be of benefit.

Dr. Lowry is also an innovator, holding 10 patents in neurostimulation and minimally invasive spinal devices.  He is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), and is an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and the North American Spine Society (NASS). Dr. Lowry holds ten patents, and has also served as a consultant for venture capital firms such as the Mayfield Fund and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) as well as for some of their portfolio companies at work on neuroscience medical devices. While academic neurosurgery has not been a primary focus of his professional activity, Dr. Lowry has been published in journals including the Journal of Neurosurgery, Surgical Neurology, Neurosurgery, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Stroke.

Dr. Lowry studied and trained at US top-five programs in neurosurgery: he earned his MD from Johns Hopkins, and completed his seven-year residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). While in medical school he worked in the laboratory of Henry Brem, MD, now Chief of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and a pioneer in treating brain tumors. Dr. Brem modeled excellence as a clinician, researcher, and teacher, and did so while demonstrating compassion for his patients and respect for staff and colleagues.

During Dr. Lowry’s residency, UPMC’s neurosurgery faculty included innovators in microvascular compression syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm, including the late Peter Jannetta, MD, who built and chaired the department, and who had devised microvascular decompression, also known as the Jannetta procedure. World thought leaders in stereotactic radiosurgery, often applied to brain tumors and vascular malformations, include L. Dade Lunsford, MD, Chair Emeritus at UPMC, and Douglas Kondziolka, MD, now Professor & Vice Chair at NYU Langone, both of whom are among the most highly published academic neurosurgeons. UPMC’s neurosurgery department continues to produce thought-leading research in these areas and also neuro-oncology under the leadership of its current chair, Robert Friedlander, MD.

Dr. Lowry’s own work in medical device innovation led him to seek an MBA while at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also inspired by a desire to better understand the organizational structures that support international thought leaders and innovation.

A fundamental career decision for any physician comes near the end of training: whether to continue one’s career in academia, which requires doing less clinical work in order to continue doing research and teaching, or whether to focus solely on providing clinical care. A decision related to this is choosing where to live – a larger city, where top-tier neurosurgery programs tend to be located, or a smaller one; water, fields or mountains; proximity to family and friends. Dr. Lowry and his wife chose to move to West Michigan, and in 2005 Dr. Lowry started the Brain + Spine Center in Holland to serve the lakeshore area. The Lowrys have three young adult sons they chose to raise in Holland, and have many friendships with roots going back to their years at Hope College, from where they both graduated. Dr. Lowry also served on the Hope College Board of Trustees for 16 years, and in that capacity also served as Secretary of the Board and Co-Chair of the college’s Investment Committee. Donna Lowry, MD, Dr. Lowry’s wife, is the President/CEO of Ready for School and the Medical Director of Reach Out and Read West Michigan.  Drs. Lowry work together to ensure excellence in healthcare so that patients can enjoy and share the best possible quality of life.