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Joseph Charles Maroon, MD, FAANS(L), Is a co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Chuck Noll Foundation. The Chuck Noll Foundation is supported, in part, by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation.
Dr. Maroon was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. His athletic abilities earned him an athletic scholarship to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. As an undergraduate at Indiana, he was selected as a Scholastic All-American in Football.
Following his undergraduate education, he obtained his medical and neurosurgical training at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University in England and a microsurgical Fellowship at the University of Vermont under R. M. Peardon Donaghy.
He began his practice at the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and was promoted to Professor and Director of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh-Presbyterian University Hospital.
In 1984, he joined Allegheny General Hospital as Chairman of Neurosurgery and in 1995 assumed the additional role as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital/Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1999, he rejoined the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh as Professor, Vice Chairman of the Department and Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience.
Dr. Maroon’s clinical and research interests include the development of minimally invasive surgical procedures for diseases of the brain, orbit and spine, prevention and treatment of traumatic injuries to the central nervous system, innovative approaches to pituitary and other brain tumors, complementary and alternative medicine approaches to inflammatory diseases associated with aging, and the prevention and treatment of sports related injuries.
He is the co-developer of ImPACT, a neurocognitive test that is now the standard of care for concussion Management in the NFL, NHL, MLB, NASCAR and over 12,000 high schools and colleges in the United States. It is the only FDA approved test for concussion evaluation (2016). 23 million athletes have been baseline tested to date.
Dr. Maroon is a frequently invited speaker to regional and national groups on the syndrome of “Burnout,” the pathophysiological consequences of stress and methods for acquiring resilience and balance in one’s life. He serves on the editorial boards ofNeurological Research, The Physician and Sports Medicine, Surgical Neurology International (Associate Editor), and Anti-Aging News Journal.
He has been the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past 30 years and the first neurosurgeon appointed in the NFL. He has served as a member of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee since 2007.
In 1986, he was honored as the President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest society of neurosurgeons in North America. He has been honored for his contributions in neurosurgery by many national neurosurgical societies in foreign countries and has published over 290 peer-reviewed papers, 64 book chapters and seven books. He is on the editorial board of four journals. Dr. Maroon’s publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine’s publication database.
Dr. Maroon’s honors and appointments include:
- Member of the Board of Directors of Mylan Laboratories and Chairman of the Scientific and Technology Committee, 2005-2017
- Member of Board of Directors CV Sciences Corporation, Leader in Cannabidiol (CBD) products, Chairman of Nomination and Governance committee, 2018-present
- Medical Consultant to Mylan Corporation
- Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board to General Nutrition Corporation, 2010-2017
- Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Stemedica—a pioneering company in the therapeutic use of stem cells. 2012-present
- Medical Director of the World Wrestling Entertainment Corporation (WWE), 2008-Present
- Senior Vice President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), 2009-Present
- Recipient of 2011 Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, awarded to five individuals out of 500,000 alumni annually
- One of America’s Best Neurosurgeons for 15 consecutive years
- Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee, Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research, 2017-Present
- 2017 Circus Saints and Sinners Man of the Year Western Pa.
- 2018 Humanitarian Man of the Year Award presented annually by Jerome Bettis “The Bus Stops Here” Foundation to benefit underprivileged kids
- 2017-2019 Visiting Professor at Case Western University, University of Buffalo, Harvard Medical School, University of Colorado, West Virginia university
- 2020 Physician of Courage Award, annually selected from 1 of 5,000 physicians at UPMC
Dr. Maroon has maintained his athletic interests as a competitor in 80 triathlon events and 8 Ironman distance races (2.4-mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in Kona, Hawaii (1993, 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2013), Canada (1995), New Zealand (1997), Europe (2000). First in his age group, Muncie 70.3 Ironman 2016; second in his age group, Ironman 70.3, Delaware, OH, 2017, First in age group, Olympic Distance, Delaware, Ohio 2019 and 2020 and St. Petersburgh, Fla. 2021
He was a 1999 Inductee into the Lou Holtz Hall of Fame for athletic accomplishments and contributions to sports medicine along with Joe Montana, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, John Havlicheck and Phil Niekro. Dr. Maroon was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 2009 and the National Fitness Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2010. As Medical Director of the Live Free African Freedom tour in February 2014, Dr. Maroon along with a group of amputees and his daughter, Isabella, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
Dr. Maroon is frequently quoted as an expert source by national media including the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, ABC News Nightline, Consumer Report, NewsMax, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Outside Magazine. He has participated in over 700 Interviews on local, national and satellite TV, radio shows and podcasts on various health topics.
Chuck Noll is certainly well known as the Hall of Fame coach who helped turn the Steelers into an NFL powerhouse, leading the franchise to a remarkable four Super Bowl wins in just six years. Chuck, a man of few words, remains to this day the standard by which all others who coach the Black and Gold will be measured.
But what you may not know is Chuck Noll’s critical role in helping to dramatically increase the understanding of concussions, and pioneered important changes to testing concussions in athletes. His inquisitive mind ultimately led to substantial safety changes across many different sports and levels of competition.
In an era when little was known about concussions, Noll’s commitment to the well-being of his players led to a breakthrough. In 1990, when one of those players had to sit out because of a concussion, Noll asked Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Steelers’ neurosurgeon, to look into head injuries and their effects.
Dr. Maroon ultimately teamed up with Mark Lovell, PhD, and Micky Collins, PhD to create a baseline test for determining the cognitive effects of concussions, the forerunner of what would become the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (IMPACT). The IMPACT Test is today used to monitor athletes’ concussions worldwide. Thanks to Chuck Noll, players today have a medically sound scientific objective method of determining when it is safe to return to play.
The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research is proud to honor the memory of a true innovator for his lasting contribution to player safety by naming our organization after him.