Charles Liu, PhD, MD has been an integral member of the neurosurgery team at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute since 2014.  He currently serves as the Surgical Director of the Hoag Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.  In addition, he is the Director of Neurorestoration at Hoag, a program that brings together key platform technologies that operationalizes cutting-edge research concepts to clinical application to restore sensorimotor and cognitive neurological dysfunction for Hoag patients.  

Charles Liu completed his undergraduate education in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his PhD in chemical/bioengineering at Rice University.  He then attended medical school at Yale University before completing his neurosurgical training at the University of Southern California affiliated hospitals.  

Dr. Liu is engaged in a broad spectrum of efforts that brings together the fields of engineering and medicine to develop systems-level solutions to challenges that lead to human suffering due to loss of nervous system function over the life-span.  He is a recognized expert in complex intracranial surgery, epilepsy surgery, neurotrauma, and neurorehabilitation.  

He has also made key contributions in a large number of internationally visible “first-in-human” applications of transformative technologies to restore neurological function.  He is currently a professor of neurosurgery, neurology, urology, biomedical engineering, and physical therapy and biokinesiology at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as the Director of the USC Neurorestoration Center.  


He is also the Director of Neurorecovery Integrated Care Team and Chair of Neurosurgery and Orthopedics at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.  He has had a long-standing association with Caltech, where he is appointed as visiting associate in Biology and Bioengineering.  

He has worked in close partnership with multiple private and public sector health systems to craft creative solutions to issues related to access to specialty services in underserved communities.  For example, he has provided principal leadership in the establishment of the USC Epilepsy Consortium, a unique patient-centered partnership for epilepsy care that connects over 20% of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers registered programs in California, including the first and only adult epilepsy center in Central California at Kern Medical in Bakersfield.  

He has made a large number of contributions to the published literature and delivered numerous key-note lectures nationally and internationally.  He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and directs a large number of collaborative research projects funded by federal and nonfederal agencies, including NIH, NSF, DARPA, and PAC-12 Conference.  He is also the Head Team Neurosurgeon for the USC Department of Athletics and is the neurosurgical consultant to the Rose Bowl Game. 

Meet Our Team

Behind everything we offer our patients at Newport Neurospecialists are the compassionate and experienced doctors, ready to provide world-class healthcare.


Jay Puangco, MD currently serves as Chief of Service for the Hoag Voltmer Sleep Center. He is one of the most sought after sleep physicians in Orange County.


David Brown, MD is a Neurologist and fellowship trained Stroke Specialist who has been voted one of the top Neurologists in Orange County.


David Millett, MD, PhD is a passionate epileptologist who has established two epilepsy programs over the past 9 years in Southern California.


Jason Muir, MD is uniquely board certified in Neurology, Sleep Medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology. He is highly respected by his colleagues and peers in the fields of neurology and sleep medicine.


Andrew Ly, MD is advising and leading the charge in developing a concussion/head injury program for the community. He is a board-certified member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Victor Doan, MD is board-certified neurologist. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology.


Vivek Mehta, MD is a Neurosurgeon with particular expertise in complex and minimally invasive brain and spine surgery. He currently serves as the Surgical Director of the Hoag Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.


James Park, D.O. is a board-certified neurologist and epileptologist – who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of seizures. He brings that passion and expertise to the Hoag Epilepsy Program.


Charles Liu, MD, PhD has been an integral member of the neurosurgery team at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute since 2014.


Jonathan Russin, MD has been an integral member of the neurosurgery team at the Pickup Family Neuroscience Institute since 2016. He serves as the primary cerebrovascular microsurgical resource to support the neurosurgical and neuroendovascular programs.


Lauren Bennett, Ph.D., ABPP-CN is a clinical neuropsychologist specializes in neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury, vascular disease/stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and the relationship between psychological and cognitive symptoms. sports.

nurse practitioner


Kelly Watkins FNP-C is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a background in neuroscience nursing. She collaborates alongside Dr. Millett and Dr. Mehta as part of Hoag’s Epilepsy Program as well as Hoag’s Neurology and Neurosurgery Program. 

Miki Ohata


Miki Ohata is a board certified Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner who specializes in memory and cognitive disorders. She is excited for the opportunity to be part of the team to develop a memory and cognitive disorders screening program for Newport Neurospecialists.

Patient Testimonials

What Our Patients Have To Say About Our Healthcare Services

“I have trouble putting into words just how fantastic Dr. Mehta is. He was there for me in my time of real need helping me through two major spine surgeries. He took the time to explain everything to me. Never pressured me to just jump into a surgery but rather provided me options. Once it became clear that surgical intervention was an absolute must he was very quick to respond, I was admitted to Hoag Hospital right away and handled himself amazingly. He is hands down the best surgeon I’ve ever met. I would highly recommend him for any spine surgery. I am so thankful to him for him. I had lost function to my arm and was very scared I would never be able to use my arm again however shortly after the surgery function to my arm is already coming back. Thank you so much for all of your help.”

J. Merrill

“I’m very thankful for the wonderful staff and physicians at Hoag. I was treated extremely well and everyone seemed genuinely concerned about my well being.”

Susie Chew

“My memory and naming ability are awesome now. My husband said from the moment I woke up from surgery, ‘The old Tiffany is back.’ Dr. Millett and Dr. Liu are phenomenal. I am so grateful for the help they’ve given me.”

Tiffany Mueller

“Dr. Park is a listener and a teacher. He carefully listened to all my issued, I know this because he went over everything I said one by one and helped me understand what’s happening to me. He made me also feel very comfortable and not be rushed. Most doctors’ office is very systematic and quick to dismiss you. Highly recommend him!”

Patient from

“When we moved to Arizona, Dr. Millet asked me if I wanted him to help me find a doctor there. I said, ‘No. I’m staying with you. We’re with you for life.’”

Emily Shafer

“By monitoring me almost every day, being flexible and responsive, Dr. Mehta gave me the confidence that doing the procedure was the right thing to do.” 

Tim Hsiao

Better Health Care is Our Mission

Concussions | Sleep | Epilepsy | Stroke | Neurodiagnostics | Neurophysiology


 520 Superior Ave, Suite #205 Newport Beach, CA 92663 

(949) 764-1843


16405 Sand Canyon Ave, 220
Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 336-8633


510 Superior Ave, Suite 200-A
Newport Beach, CA 92663