Dr Aminoff was born and educated in England, graduating from University College London in 1962 and as a physician from University College Hospital Medical School in 1965. He subsequently trained in neurology and clinical neurophysiology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (Queen Square) in London, and also undertook basic research on spinal physiology at its affiliated Institute of Neurology, which led to the award of an MD degree (in the UK, an advanced medical degree based upon research) on completion of his thesis. In 1974, he moved from England to the UCSF School of Medicine in California, where he has been Professor of Neurology since 1982. He was Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories at UCSF until July 2004, when he stepped down to assume the role of Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology (2004-2017). He is director of the Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center. He is involved in a number of clinical trials and physiological studies of patients with movement disorders.
Dr. Aminoff is the author of over 230 published medical or scientific articles, as well as the author or editor of some 30 books, many of which have gone into several editions, and of numerous chapters on topics related to neurology. His published scientific contributions led to the award of a Doctorate in Science, an advanced doctorate in the Faculty of Science, by the University of London in 2000. He is the one of the two editors-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences published by Academic Press in 2003, with a second edition published in 2014, and is one of the series editors of the prestigious, multi-volume Handbook of Clinical Neurology (Elsevier). He was Editor-in Chief of the journal Muscle & Nerve for 10 years (1998-2007) and has also served on numerous other editorial boards. His other interests include medical history, and his biography of Brown-Séquard (Brown-Séquard: An Improbable genius Who Transformed Medicine) was published in 2010, and of Sir Charles Bell in 2017, by Oxford University Press.
Dr. Aminoff was for 8 years a Director of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, serving as Chair in 2011. He is married and has three children—one is a pediatric rheumatologist in Oakland, another is an attorney and deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles, and the third is a prosecutor in the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.