Professor Nelson received a B.S. in Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1968, and His M.D. degree from The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 1972. He received his Neurosurgical Residence Training at the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of Dr. Peter Jannetta from 1974-1979. He joined the IU School of Medicine in 1992. He is the Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. He became the Betsey Barton Professor in 1997.
Dr. Nelson's interests in addition to neurosurgical education, professional liability reform, and patient safety and quality, include pituitary disease and spinal disorders. He has investigated antidiuretic hormone and hypernotremia in intracranial disorders and is currently interested in spinal cord injury. He received a Teacher Investigator Award from 1979 to 1984.
Dr. Nelson is a member of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, The Society of Neurological Surgeons, The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgery, and the Neurosurgical Society of America. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana University Medical Group-Specialty Care, Clarian West Hospital, and Clarian's Professional Liability, Insurance Captive.