Benjamin Warf

Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School; Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Chair, Boston Children's Hospital

Board Member since 2013

Dr. Benjamin Warf is currently Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and holds the Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Chair at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he serves as Director of Neonatal and Congenital Anomalies Neurosurgery. He serves on the CURE International Board of Trustees and is the Medical Director of CURE Hydrocephalus.

Ben grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky, where his father was a pastor. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1984, he trained in neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University and was subsequently the first Fellow in Pediatric Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. He then served as Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Director of Surgical Education at University of Kentucky Medical Center until 2000, when he and his wife, Cindy, moved their family to Uganda as full time missionaries with CURE International.

Ben was the founding Medical Director of CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda (CCHU) from 2000 to 2006. During those years he developed and validated a new surgical treatment for infant hydrocephalus (the ETV/CPC procedure) that avoids the life-long risk of shunt dependence. He began the CURE Hydrocephalus training and treatment program based at CCHU that has trained and equipped surgeons in more than 20 developing countries to perform this operation, which he has subsequently introduced into North America where it is becoming widely used. He was also responsible for characterizing neonatal infection as the most common cause of infant hydrocephalus in Uganda and has worked to raise awareness about the previously unrecognized global burden of this disease, including testimony before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights. Dr. Warf was named a MacArthur Fellow for his work in 2012. Aside from his pediatric neurosurgical practice at Boston Children’s Hospital, his current work focuses on increasing global access to optimal evidence-based treatment for children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida, hydrocephalus-related research, and advocating for children with disabilities in the developing world.

Ben and Cindy, his wife of 38 years, have 6 adult children (one of whom has significant disabilities) and 4 grandchildren. They reside in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and are members of Park Street Church in Boston.