Robert C. Cantu, MD

Clinical Professor, Neurosurgery

Robert Cantu
617.638.5300
72 E. Concord Street

Biography

Currently Dr. Cantu’s professional responsibilities include those of Clinical Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Co-Founder of the CTE Center at the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA; Senior Advisor to the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee; Founding member, Co-Founder, Medical Director, and Chairman Medical Advisory Board Concussion Legacy Foundation, Boston, MA; Adjunct Professor Exercise and Sport Science and Medical Director National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; Co-Director, Neurologic Sports Injury Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; Medical Director and Director of Clinical Research at the Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts; and Neurosurgical Consultant Boston Eagles football team. Dr. Cantu consults with numerous NFL, NHL and NBA teams, and served as Neurosurgical Consultant to the Boston Cannons professional soccer team from 2003-2010. Dr. Cantu also serves on the Mackey White TBI advisory committee to the NFLPA, and on the International Rugby Board’s independent advisory group on concussion.

He has authored over 392 scientific publications, including 32 books on neurology and sports medicine, in addition to numerous book chapters, peer-reviewed papers, abstracts and free communications, and educational videos. He has served as associate editor of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Exercise and Sports Science Review, and on the editorial board of The Physician and Sports Medicine, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, and Journal of Athletic Training. In 2003 Dr. Cantu became the section head for the Sports Medicine Section of Neurosurgery.

He grew up in the northern California community of Santa Rosa. In 1960, he received his B.A. degree from the University of California Berkley where he pitched on the varsity baseball team. Jointly, in medical school and graduate school, he received his M.A. degree in endocrinology in 1962, and in 1963, his M.D. from the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. Following a surgical internship at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City in 1963-1964, he began a neurosurgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and simultaneous position of research fellow in physiology at Harvard Medical School. Upon completion of his residency in 1968, he joined the neurosurgery staff at MGH, where his practice and laboratory were located, while assuming the position of acting assistant director of neurosurgery and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Boston City Hospital. After five years of academic neurosurgery with Harvard Hospitals, Dr. Cantu entered private neurosurgery practice at the suburban Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts where he currently serves as Chairman Department of Surgery, Chief Neurosurgical Service and Director Service of Sports Medicine.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Cantu is medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, an ongoing registry instituted in 1982 for data collection and analysis of spine and head injuries. From this data important contributions have been made in sport safety and accident reduction; most notably football rule changes concerning tackling and blocking with the head, the establishment of football helmet standards, improved on-the-field medical care, and coaching techniques. He also serves on the Board of Trustees as Vice President of NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment).

Dr. Cantu also is Co-Director of the Neurological Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Other Positions

  • Clinical Professor, Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine

Education

  • University of California, San Francisco, MD
  • University of California, San Francisco, MA
  • University of California, Berkeley, BA

Publications

  • Published on 3/8/2019

    Alosco ML, Tripodis Y, Rowland B, Chua AS, Liao H, Martin B, Jarnagin J, Chaisson CE, Pasternak O, Karmacharya S, Koerte IK, Cantu RC, Kowall NW, McKee AC, Shenton ME, Greenwald R, McClean M, Stern RA, Lin A. A magnetic resonance spectroscopy investigation in symptomatic former NFL players. Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Mar 08. PMID: 30848432.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/4/2018

    Cherry JD, Mez J, Crary JF, Tripodis Y, Alvarez VE, Mahar I, Huber BR, Alosco ML, Nicks R, Abdolmohammadi B, Kiernan PT, Evers L, Svirsky S, Babcock K, Gardner HM, Meng G, Nowinski CJ, Martin BM, Dwyer B, Kowall NW, Cantu RC, Goldstein LE, Katz DI, Stern RA, Farrer LA, McKee AC, Stein TD. Variation in TMEM106B in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2018 11 04; 6(1):115. PMID: 30390709.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/24/2018

    Yau RK, Dennis SG, Boden BP, Cantu RC, Lord JA, Kucera KL. Catastrophic High School and Collegiate Cheerleading Injuries in the United States: An Examination of the 2006-2007 Basket Toss Rule Change. Sports Health. 2019 Jan/Feb; 11(1):32-39. PMID: 30354940.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2018

    Adams JW, Alvarez VE, Mez J, Huber BR, Tripodis Y, Xia W, Meng G, Kubilus CA, Cormier K, Kiernan PT, Daneshvar DH, Chua AS, Svirsky S, Nicks R, Abdolmohammadi B, Evers L, Solomon TM, Cherry JD, Aytan N, Mahar I, Devine S, Auerbach S, Alosco ML, Nowinski CJ, Kowall NW, Goldstein LE, Dwyer B, Katz DI, Cantu RC, Stern RA, Au R, McKee AC, Stein TD. Lewy Body Pathology and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Associated With Contact Sports. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018 Sep 01; 77(9):757-768. PMID: 30053297.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/26/2018

    Neidecker J, Sethi NK, Taylor R, Monsell R, Muzzi D, Spizler B, Lovelace L, Ayoub E, Weinstein R, Estwanik J, Reyes P, Cantu RC, Jordan B, Goodman M, Stiller JW, Gelber J, Boltuch R, Coletta D, Gagliardi A, Gelfman S, Golden P, Rizzo N, Wallace P, Fields A, Inalsingh C. Concussion management in combat sports: consensus statement from the Association of Ringside Physicians. Br J Sports Med. 2019 Mar; 53(6):328-333. PMID: 30049779.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/23/2018

    Broglio SP, Kontos AP, Levin H, Schneider K, Wilde EA, Cantu RC, Feddermann-Demont N, Fuller GW, Gagnon I, Gioia GA, Giza C, Griesbach GS, Leddy JJ, Lipton ML, Mayer AR, McAllister TW, McCrea M, McKenzie LB, Putukian M, Signoretti S, Suskauer SJ, Tamburro R, Turner M, Yeates KO, Zemek R, Ala'i S, Esterlitz J, Gay K, Bellgowan PSF, Joseph K. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Department of Defense Sport-Related Concussion Common Data Elements Version 1.0 Recommendations. J Neurotrauma. 2018 Dec 01; 35(23):2776-2783. PMID: 29717643.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/23/2018

    Alosco ML, Tripodis Y, Fritts NG, Heslegrave A, Baugh CM, Conneely S, Mariani M, Martin BM, Frank S, Mez J, Stein TD, Cantu RC, McKee AC, Shaw LM, Trojanowski JQ, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Stern RA. Cerebrospinal fluid tau, Aß, and sTREM2 in Former National Football League Players: Modeling the relationship between repetitive head impacts, microglial activation, and neurodegeneration. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Sep; 14(9):1159-1170. PMID: 30049650.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2018

    Alosco ML, Mez J, Tripodis Y, Kiernan PT, Abdolmohammadi B, Murphy L, Kowall NW, Stein TD, Huber BR, Goldstein LE, Cantu RC, Katz DI, Chaisson CE, Martin B, Solomon TM, McClean MD, Daneshvar DH, Nowinski CJ, Stern RA, McKee AC. Age of first exposure to tackle football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Ann Neurol. 2018 May; 83(5):886-901. PMID: 29710395.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/30/2018

    Cantu R. Physical therapists' perception of workplace ethics in an evolving health-care delivery environment: a cross-sectional survey. Physiother Theory Pract. 2018 Mar 30; 1-14. PMID: 29601224.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/16/2018

    Ellenbogen RG, Batjer H, Cardenas J, Berger M, Bailes J, Pieroth E, Heyer R, Theodore N, Hsu W, Nabel E, Maroon J, Cantu R, Barnes R, Collins J, Putukian M, Lonser R, Solomon G, Sills A. National Football League Head, Neck and Spine Committee's Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol: 2017-18 season. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jul; 52(14):894-902. PMID: 29549147.

    Read at: PubMed

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