James (Pat) P. McAllister, PhD

James (Pat) P. McAllister, PhD

Professor of Neurosurgery

As a basic neuroscientist, the wealth of professional and personal relationships with outstanding clinician-scientists and students at WashU has taken my career to a new level. I am dedicated to improving the lives of patients with hydrocephalus through translational research.

Dr. McAllister

Research Focus

My research includes a variety of interdisciplinary, translational approaches to advance understanding of the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus and develop improved treatments for this disorder. Working closely with neuroscientists, neurosurgeons and bioengineers, we investigate the neuronal damage that occurs in the hydrocephalic brain and explore treatments that could supplement surgical approaches by protecting cells, reducing neuroinflammation, or promoting regeneration in the hydrocephalic brain. We develop shunt systems that resist cellular obstruction, evaluate the functional effects of endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization, analyze brain compliance using magnetic resonance elastography in patients and animal models, and reveal the pathophysiology of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus.

View research, publications and collaborations »

NIH Biosketch »

Awards and grants

  • Grant reviewer for NIH, NASA and research foundations

Honors & leadership roles

  • Distinguished Service Award, Hydrocephalus Association, 2015
  • Casey Holter Memorial Lecturer, Society for Research into Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida, 2014
  • Matson Memorial Lecturer, American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgery Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery, 2006
  • Robert H. Pudenz Prize for Excellence in Cerebrospinal Fluid Physiology and Hydrocephalus, International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery, 2005
  • Faculty College Teaching Award – Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2002


PhD, Neurobiology
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

BA, Biology
Earlham College
Richmond, IN
1966 – 1970


Postdoctoral Fellowship,
Developmental Neuroanatomy
University of Vermont
College of Medicine
1977 – 1978

Research Associate
University of California in Los Angeles
Mental Retardation Research Center
1978 -1981