Main Campus Entrance-MKE
John Nerva, MD

John D. Nerva, MD

Assistant Professor


  • Neurosurgery
    8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
    Milwaukee, WI 53226


Endovascular Fellowship, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2017-2018
Neurosurgical Residency, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2010-2017
Cerebrovascular Fellowship, Macquarie Neurosurgery, Sydney, Australia, 2016
MD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2006-2010


John D. Nerva, MD, is a fellowship trained, board certified neurosurgeon who joined the faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2021. He specializes in the treatment of cerebrovascular and spinal vascular disease and is part of a select group of neurosurgeons with fellowship training in both open vascular microsurgery and endovascular techniques for the treatment of brain aneurysms, vascular malformations, and stroke. He also collaborates with radiation oncology to perform stereotactic radiosurgery for select vascular malformations at Froedtert-MCW.

Dr. Nerva grew up in Minnesota and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota. He also attended the University of Minnesota for medical school, graduating with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. He completed neurosurgery residency at the University of Washington during which time he also completed cerebrovascular fellowship training at Macquarie University in Australia. After residency, he received advanced training in minimally invasive endovascular techniques at the University of Florida. Prior to joining MCW, he was on the faculty at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Dr. Nerva's clinical research relates to patient outcomes and refinements of surgical and endovascular techniques for cerebrovascular disease. He has authored over 100 manuscripts, abstracts, book chapters, and presentations, including several at national and international meetings, and has served as key personnel on NIH/NINDS-funded research studying computer simulations of brain aneurysm treatment. He is also recognized as a reviewer for several marquee peer-reviewed neurosurgical journals and has been invited to teach at regional and national neurosurgical courses.

"Neurosurgeons often see patients after receiving troubling and confusing news or after a life changing event like a stroke, brain hemorrhage, or traumatic injury. It is an absolute honor and privilege to help patients and their families during this time of need. I want patients to understand their condition, the available treatment options, and the potential outcomes of therapy. My priorities are to carefully explain and counsel patients and families about the condition and to offer the safest approach to address the problem. I also enjoy hearing the patient's perspective and learning about what matters most to them. As a vascular neurosurgeon, I offer a comprehensive approach for the evaluation and management of cerebrovascular and spinal vascular disease, which may include medical therapy, open microsurgery, endovascular techniques, and radiosurgery. Neurosurgery is a constantly evolving field, and my goal is to combine the newest treatment advances with compassionate patient care."

Board Certification

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery


  • Cerebrovascular and spinal vascular disease 

Clinical Programs

Research Interests

  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Spinal vascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Carotid-Cavernous fistula
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Subdural hematoma