James Doty (physician)

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James R. Doty
Born (1955-12-01) 1 December 1955 (age 67)
  • Neurosurgeon
  • entrepreneur
  • philanthropist

James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS, FAANS (born 1 December 1955)[citation needed] is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, an affiliate of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute. He is the author of a self-help book called Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart. Doty is also the Senior Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science (2017).


Doty is an American neurosurgeon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He received his undergraduate training in biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine, leaving in 1977 without a degree following acceptance to Tulane University School of Medicine where he graduated in 1981. He was later awarded his undergraduate degree from Irvine in 1978. He accepted a U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship completing his internship at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI in 1982 and his neurosurgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. in 1987. He completed pediatric neurosurgery training at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and completed a research fellowship in neurophysiology. He received board certification by the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1990. Doty spent 9 years on active duty service in the U.S. Army Medical Department, attaining the rank of Major.

Research career[edit]

Doty's past research interests have focused on the development of technologies using focused beams of radiation in conjunction with robotics and image-guidance techniques to treat solid tumors and other pathologies in the brain and spinal cord.[1][2] He is recognized as an expert in stereotactic radiosurgery and complex and minimally invasive spine surgery.[3] Additionally, he has multiple patents including a device for spine stabilization and an electrode for monitoring of brain activity.[4][5][6]

Following a sabbatical, Doty returned to Stanford University in 2007 and began collaborative research explorations into the neuroscience of compassion and altruism with Stanford colleagues. What had begun as an informal research initiative called "Project Compassion" was later formalized within the School of Medicine by then Dean Phil Pizzo as the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).

As Director of CCARE, Doty has collaborated on a number of research projects[7] focused on compassion and altruism including the use of neuro-economic models to assess altruism, use of the CCARE-developed compassion cultivation training (CCT) in individuals and its effect, assessment of compassionate and altruistic judgment utilizing implanted brain electrodes and the use of optogenetic techniques to assess nurturing pathways in rodents. He also published on the influence of mindful meditation on surgical performance.[8]

He is on the advisory board to the Fogarty Institute of Innovation. Additionally, Doty is on the advisory board of a number of non-profit organizations including the Charter for Compassion of which he is Vice-Chair. He is the former Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation. He also writes a blog for the Huffington Post.[9]

Innovation and invention[edit]

In the late 1980s, following a conversation with his colleague, John Adler, M.D., at the time a resident at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, he was introduced to the concept of the CyberKnife and later invested in the company that manufactures the device, Accuray, Inc. Following development of the prototype device at Stanford University, Doty was so convinced of its potential to change the manner in which radiation therapy was delivered that he convinced an investor to set up the first CyberKnife facility in the U.S. prior to FDA approval under an Investigational Device Exemption. Within one year of the facility opening, Accuray was effectively bankrupt having exhausted all means of raising further capital. Doty then provided ongoing funding to Accuray and became CEO.[10] He ultimately convinced a venture firm in Taiwan to provide an infusion of funds and restructured the company, which soon thereafter received FDA approval for their CyberKnife technology. Accuray went public in 2007 (NASDAQ:ARAY) with a market cap of $1.3bn.

Doty had been successful as an entrepreneur during the dot com heyday acting as an angel investor in a number of start-up companies.[10] Following the dot com crash, he watched his fortune evaporate and became effectively bankrupt having to sell the majority of his assets to live up to his financial obligations. Having made a number of commitments to charitable organizations, Doty donated all of the stock of Accuray ultimately donating $29,000,000 to charity.

Doty remains a consultant and advisor to medical technology and device companies and a variety of venture capital firms. He is an operating partner at Capricorn Health and Special Opportunities Fund (a part of Capricorn Investment Group).


Doty has set up health clinics throughout the world through his donation to Global Healing, and created programs to support AIDS-HIV programs through Family and Children Services.[citation needed]

His donation to Stanford University School of Medicine is one of the largest of any graduate or faculty member.[11] He endowed the Chair of the Dean of the School of Medicine at Tulane University following Hurricane Katrina and refurbished its library, in addition to setting up a scholarship for socioeconomically disadvantaged students to commit to a career of service. He remains on the Tulane University School of Medicine Board of Governors.

Awards and honors[edit]

Member, Founder's Circle Stanford University (2009)

Member (Outstanding Alumnus-Tulane University), The Paul Tulane Society (2008)

"Healthcare Hero", New Orleans City Business Journal (2008)

Selected publications[edit]

  • Seppala, E. M.; Hutcherson, C. A.; Nguyen, D. T. H.; Doty, J. R.; Gross, J. J. (2014). "Loving-kindness Meditation: A tool to improve healthcare provider compassion, resilience, and patient care". Journal of Compassionate Healthcare. 1: 1–9. doi:10.1186/s40639-014-0005-9. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  • Martin, D.; Seppala, E.; Heineberg, Y.; Rossomando, T.; Doty, J.; Zimbardo, P.; Shiuel, T.- T.; Berger, R.; Zhou, Y. Y. (2014). "The impact of social dominance orientation and economic systems justification". Journal of Business Ethics. 129: 237–249. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2157-0. S2CID 11549807.
  • Ruchelli, G.; Chapin, H.; Darnall, B.; Seppala, E.; Doty, J.; Mackey, S. (2014). "Compassion meditation training for people living with chronic pain and their significant others: a pilot study and mixed-methods analysis". The Journal of Pain. 15 (4): S117. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.479. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  • Seppala, E.; Rossomando, T.; Doty, J. (2013). "Social connection and compassion: Important predictors of health and well-being". Social Research. 80 (2): 411–430. doi:10.1353/sor.2013.0027. S2CID 141321625. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  • Jazaieri, H.; McGonigal, K.; Jinpa, G. T.; Doty, J. R.; Gross, J. J.; Goldin, P. R. (2013). "A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation". Motivation and Emotion. 38: 23–35. doi:10.1007/s11031-013-9368-z. S2CID 35717645.
  • Jazaieri, H.; Jinpa, G. T.; McGonigal, K.; Rosenberg, E. L.; Finkelstein, J.; Simon-Thomas, E.; Cullen, M.; Doty, J.; Gross, J. J.; Goldin, P. R. (2012). "Enhancing compassion: A randomized controlled trial of a Compassion Cultivation Training program". Journal of Happiness Studies. 1 (4): 1–14. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9373-z. S2CID 17669639.
  • Chang, S. D.; Murphy, M.; Geis, P.; Martin, D. P.; Hancock, S. L.; Doty, J. R.; Adler, J. R. (1998). "Clinical experience with image-guided robotic radiosurgery (the Cyberknife) in the treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors". Neurologia Medico-Chirurgica. 38 (11): 780–783. doi:10.2176/nmc.38.780. PMID 9919913. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  • Adler, J. R.; Chang, S. D.; Murphy M. J.; Doty, J.; Geis, P.; Hancock, S. L. (1997). "The Cyberknife: A frameless robotic system for radiosurgery". Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. 69 (1–4 Pt2): 124–128. doi:10.1159/000099863. PMID 9711744.
  • Doty, J. R.; Thomson, J.; Simonds, G.; Rengachary, S. S.; Gunby, E. N. (1989). "Occult intrasacral meningocele: Clinical and radiographic diagnosis". Neurosurgery. 24 (4): 616–25. doi:10.1097/00006123-198904000-00023. PMID 2710309.
  • Doty, J. R.; Alving, B. M.; McDonnell, D. E.; Ondra, S. L. (1986). "Heparin-associated Thrombocytopenia in the neurosurgical patient". Neurosurgery. 19 (1): 69–72. doi:10.1227/00006123-198607000-00010. PMID 3748340.


  1. ^ Chang, D.; Murphy, M. J.; Doty, J. R.; Adler, J. R. Jr (1999). "Stereotactic Radiosurgery: New Innovations". Perspectives in Neurological Surgery. 10 (1): 151–159.
  2. ^ Ondra, S. L.; Doty, J. R.; Mahla, M. E.; George, E. D. (1988). "Surgical Excision of a Cavernous Hemangioma of the Rostral Brain Stem: Case Report". Neurosurgery. 23 (4): 490–493. doi:10.1227/00006123-198810000-00015. PMID 3200380.
  3. ^ Chang, S. D.; Murphy, M. J.; Doty, J. R.; Hancock, S. L.; Adler, J. R. (1999). Image-guided robotic radiosurgery: Clinical and radiographic results with the CyberKnife. New York: Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers.
  4. ^ Doty, James R. "Spine Stabilization Device and Method". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  5. ^ Doty, James. "Device and method for monitoring evoked potentials and electroencephalograms". Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  6. ^ Doty, J. R.; Mahla, M. E.; Furlow, T. W. Jr. (1988). "Intraoperative monitoring of evoked potentials with a spiral scalp electrode. Technical note". Neurosurgery Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 30 (1): 73–74. doi:10.1016/0090-3019(88)90185-1. PMID 3394015.
  7. ^ "Current Research".
  8. ^ Safran, Tyler; Vorstenbosch, Joshua; Doty, James R.; Davison, Peter (8 August 2022). "Unlocking Performance Excellence: Review of Evidence-Based Mindful Meditation". Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 150 (4): 903e–908e. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000009500. ISSN 0032-1052. PMID 35939647. S2CID 251445242.
  9. ^ "James R. Doty, M.D". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b Griggs, Ted (December 2007). "Gulfport Neurosurgeon Loses Fortune to Keep His Word". Mississippi Medical News. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  11. ^ Richter, Ruthann (18 September 2007). "Former faculty entrepreneur digs deep into his own pockets to honor his commitment to Stanford". Stanford School of Medicine. Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2013.

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