Ronald J. Ellis, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in adult neurological diagnosis and treatment for patients with HIV or AIDS. He is the only specialist in the neurology of HIV/AIDS in the San Diego area and also receives referrals from throughout California. Both his clinical work and research focus on the neurological manifestations of HIV infection and their pathogenesis and treatment, particularly dementia, neurocognitive disorders and sensory polyneuropathy. In addition to these diagnoses specifically related to HIV, Dr. Ellis provides care for a variety of other neurological conditions in which the presence of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy can substantially influence best practices. These include stroke, epilepsy, and movement disorders. As an example, antiepileptic medications that may be safely used among HIV negative individuals can be a poor choice for HIV infected individuals based on interactions with antiretroviral and other commonly used concomitant medications. In addition, a variety of neurological conditions become increasingly prevalent as people with HIV get older. As a professor in the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Ellis trains medical students, residents and fellows. He supervises neurologists who care for patients during hospital stays. He conducts a variety of industry- and NIH-supported clinical trials. These trials are designed to evaluate the efficacy of new treatments for HIV neurocognitive disorders and dementia, such as tesamorelin, and for HIV-associated, painful distal sensory polyneuropathy, such as pregabalin. Dr. Ellis is associate director of the NIMH-funded P03 HIV Neurobehavioral Research Programs (HNRP) and principal investigator of its Neuromedical Core. He also serves as co-director of the multicenter CNS HIV AntiRetroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) study and the Translational Methamphetamine AIDS Research Center (TMARC) at UC San Diego. TMARC comprises an integrated program of human clinical, neuroimaging, laboratory and animal model investigations being conducted at UC San Diego, the Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and the Scripps Research Institute.Dr. Ellis completed his residency and fellowship at UC San Diego School of Medicine and interned at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He earned his medical degree and PhD from Boston University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in neurology.He has held leadership positions in many NIH-funded clinical trials networks, including the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). He is frequently consulted by the National Institutes of Health to serve on advisory boards, grant review committees, and other expert bodies. He reviews manuscripts for more than a dozen clinical and basic science journals including the Annals of Neurology, JAMA, Neurology, Neuroscience Letters, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Journal of Infectious Diseases, and AIDS. Dr. Ellis continues to make significant contributions to international research on HIV neurology, serving as a co-investigator or consultant on projects in Brazil, Romania, Cameroon, Nigeria and India. He serves as a grant reviewer for the NIH and for multiple national and international research funding organizations.
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Learn about Dr. Ellis
Dr. Ellis' Experience
Dr. Ellis' experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
Specializes in Neurology
Board certified in Neurology
No malpractice claims found
No sanctions found
No board actions found
Accredited by: American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology*
Why It Matters: Dr. Ellis' Board Certifications
Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
All Headaches (incl. Migraine)
Anterior Horn Disease
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Brain and Nervous System Cancer (incl. Gliomas, Astrocytoma, Schwannoma, Medulloblastoma, Chordoma)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cerebral Artery Thrombosis
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuritis
Inflammatory and Toxic Neuropathy
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
Narcolepsy and Cataplexy
Nerve Root Injury and Plexus Disorders (incl. Pinched Nerve)
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Polyneuropathy Due to Alcohol and Drugs
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
Restless Leg Syndrome
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Traumatic Brain Injury
Visual Field Defects
Nerve Block, Somatic
0 Malpractice Claims
No malpractice history found for California.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
Boston University School of Medicine
Medical School | Graduated 1990
Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Internship Hospital | Completed
UC San Diego, School of Medicine
Residency Hospital | Completed
UC San Diego, School of Medicine
Fellowship Hospital | Completed
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Honors
Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications
Dr. Ellis has no media or publications listed.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
Dr. Ellis does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Ellis and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.