was a Portuguese neurosurgeon. João Lobo Antunes was born in Lisbon as the second of six sons of João Alfredo de Figueiredo Lobo Antunes (born 1915), prominent Neurologist and Professor, close collaborator of Egas Moniz, Nobel prize of physiology, and wife Margarida da Beira Cardoso de Melo Machado, daughter of Joaquim José Machado, 70th, 82nd and 91st Governor of Mozambique and 110th Governor of Portuguese India, and wife Mariana Cardoso de Melo. His great-grandfather in male line was an illegitimate son of Bernardo António de Brito Antunes, 1st Viscount of Nazaré. His brother is novelist António Lobo Antunes.
He has a degree in Medicine by the University of Lisbon (1968). He then went to the United States, and worked in the Department of Neurosurgery of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and taught at the Columbia University. In 1983 he returned to Portugal, to get a PhD from the University of Lisbon. A year later he was Professor in Neurosurgery at the Faculty of Medicine.
In 1990, he was elected vice-president of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies; in 1999 he was elected the President of the European Neurosurgery Society.