Jamshid Ghajar was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in California, Iran and England. As a freshman at UCLA, he started his investigations in the brain sciences at the Brain Research Institute which continued into graduate work in developmental neurobiology. At Cornell University Medical College he completed the MD/PhD program in neuroscience specializing in brain metabolism and blood flow during coma. While he was a resident in the neurosurgery program at New York Hospital he invented several neurosurgical devices which are now used world-wide. After residency he joined the faculty and staff at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and founded the Brain Trauma Research Laboratory and the Brain Trauma Foundation (formerly, "Aitken Neuroscience Center"). He currently spends his time as President of the nonprofit foundation, developing and implementing scientific guidelines for treating head injury. He is also Chief of Neurosurgery at New York's Jamaica Hospital - Cornell Trauma Center and is a practicing neurosurgeon at New York Hospital.
He directs several clinical grants including the Soros Head Injury Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe and the Guidelines for Prehospital Management of Traumatic Brain Injury funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.