Research Summary

I am a neurosurgeon-scientist, and I have been running a neurosurgical practice caring for brain tumor patients and a basic science lab in the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center (BTRC) since my initial faculty appointment at UCSF in 2008. Throughout that time, my lab has been well funded by the NIH and numerous private foundations, with the central focus of the lab being mechanisms of angiogenesis, invasion, and therapeutic resistance in brain tumors like glioblastoma, metastases, and pituitary tumors. My clinical practice has developed in parallel with my laboratory, with my glioblastoma and pituitary tumor surgical cases often providing valuable tissue for lab research as part of my clinical and translational research programs. The expertise from my scientific and clinical research has been supplemented by numerous successful collaborations with academic and industry investigators in the past eight years. As a neurosurgeon-scientist, I have mentored numerous medical and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and neurosurgery residents on scientific and clinical projects, as well as assisting them developing their careers integrating dual roles combining neurosurgical practices with scientific investigation. My position as a neurosurgeon and scientist specializing in the care of patients with aggressive brain tumors and the role of the tumor microenvironment in driving this aggressive biology and therapeutic resistance uniquely positions me to serve as PI for a variety of grants.

Research Funding

  • September 17, 2018 - August 31, 2023 - Modeling and druggable-genome screening of glioblastoma invasion using regional biopsy-guided biomaterials systems , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA227136
  • September 30, 2013 - June 30, 2022 - Tumor cell and microenvironment changes causing antiangiogenic therapy resistance , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01NS079697
  • July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2014 - Characterizing and Targeting Tumoral Factors Recruiting Perivascular Progenitors , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K02NS064167


Stanford University (Stanford, CA), BS, 1993, Biological Sciences
Stanford University (Stanford, CA), MS, 1993, Biological Sciences
Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), MD, 2000, Medicine
Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), PhD, 2000, Neuroscience

Honors & Awards

  • 2004
    Preuss Award, best basic science brain tumor research, American Association of Neurologic Surgeons (AANS) meeting, "Generation of Brain Tumor Neovasculature from Transplanted Bone Marrow."
  • 2005
    Ronald L. Bittner Award, best brain tumor research, American Association of Neurologic Surgeons (AANS) meeting
  • 2005
    William Scoville Resident Research Award, New England Neurosurgery meeting, "Generation of Glioma Neovasculature from Transplanted Bone Marrow."
  • 2005
    Congress of Neurologic Surgeons (CNS) Resident Research Award, "Enhanced Replication of Oncolytic HSV in Glioma Cells that Evade Temozolomide Chemotherapy Through DNA Repair."
  • 2005
    American Academy of Neurologic Surgeons Resident Research Award, "Stromal Derived Factor-1 Interacts with Environmental Cues to Induce Bone Marrow-Derived Cells to Differentiate into Tumor Endothelium and Pericytes."
  • 2006
    Mahaley Award, best clinical study in neuro-oncology, presented at American Association of Neurologic Surgeons (AANS) meeting
  • 2006
    Integra Foundation Award, best benign brain and peripheral nerve tumor research, presented at Congress of Neurologic Surgeons (CNS) meeting
  • 2007
    Synthes Skull Base Award, Congress of Neurologic Surgeons (CNS) meeting
  • 2009
    American Brian Tumor Association (ABTA) Young Investigator Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) meeting

Selected Publications

  1. Carrete LR, Morshed RA, Young JS, Avalos LN, Sneed PK, Aghi MK, McDermott MW, Theodosopoulos PV. Analysis of upfront resection or stereotactic radiosurgery for local control of solid and cystic cerebellar hemangioblastomas. J Neurosurg. 2023 Aug 04; 1-8.  View on PubMed
  2. Cummins DD, Garcia JH, Nguyen MP, Saggi S, Chung JE, Goldschmidt E, Berger MS, Theodosopoulos PV, Chang EF, Daras M, Hervey-Jumper SL, Aghi MK, Morshed RA. Association of CDKN2A alterations with increased postoperative seizure risk after resection of brain metastases. Neurosurg Focus. 2023 08; 55(2):E14.  View on PubMed
  3. Uggerly ASV, Cummins DD, Nguyen MP, Saggi S, Goldschmidt E, Chang EF, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Theodosopoulos PV, Hervey-Jumper SL, Daras M, Aghi MK, Morshed RA. Genomic alterations associated with rapid progression of brain metastases. Neurosurg Focus. 2023 08; 55(2):E15.  View on PubMed
  4. Aghi MK, Brastianos PK, Kim AH, Kalkanis SN, Tonn JC. Introduction. Update on brain metastases. Neurosurg Focus. 2023 08; 55(2):E1.  View on PubMed
  5. Vasudevan HN, Delley C, Chen WC, Mirchia K, Pan S, Shukla P, Aabedi AA, Nguyen MP, Morshed RA, Young JS, Boreta L, Fogh SE, Nakamura JL, Theodosopoulos PV, Phillips J, Hervey-Jumper SL, Daras M, Pike L, Aghi MK, Tsai K, Raleigh DR, Braunstein SE, Abate AR. Molecular Features of Resected Melanoma Brain Metastases, Clinical Outcomes, and Responses to Immunotherapy. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 08 01; 6(8):e2329186.  View on PubMed
  6. Morshed RA, Cummins DD, Nguyen MP, Saggi S, Vasudevan HN, Braunstein SE, Goldschmidt E, Chang EF, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Theodosopoulos PV, Daras M, Hervey-Jumper SL, Aghi MK. Genomic alterations associated with postoperative nodular leptomeningeal disease after resection of brain metastases. J Neurosurg. 2023 Jul 28; 1-10.  View on PubMed
  7. Chalif EJ, Young JS, Villa GR, Aghi MK, Lenzi J, Berger MS. High-volume facilities are not always low risk: comparing risk-standardized mortality rates versus facility volume as quality measures in surgical neuro-oncology. J Neurosurg. 2023 Jun 30; 1-8.  View on PubMed
  8. Young JS, Al-Adli NN, Muster R, Chandra A, Morshed RA, Pereira MP, Chalif EJ, Hervey-Jumper SL, Theodosopoulos PV, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Aghi MK. Does waiting for surgery matter? How time from diagnostic MRI to resection affects outcomes in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. J Neurosurg. 2023 Jun 23; 1-14.  View on PubMed
  9. Ong V, Harary M, Mozaffari K, Mekonnen M, Hwang L, Patel S, Mahgerefteh N, Nayeri D, Chandla A, Duong C, Yang I, Aghi MK. Gender-Based Disparities in Academic Productivity Arise During Neurosurgery Residency: A Systematic Review. Neurosurgery. 2023 Jun 07.  View on PubMed
  10. Sampson JH, Singh Achrol A, Aghi MK, Bankiewicz K, Bexon M, Brem S, Brenner A, Chandhasin C, Chowdhary S, Coello M, Ellingson BM, Floyd JR, Han S, Kesari S, Mardor Y, Merchant F, Merchant N, Randazzo D, Vogelbaum M, Vrionis F, Wembacher-Schroeder E, Zabek M, Butowski N. Targeting the IL4 receptor with MDNA55 in patients with recurrent glioblastoma: Results of a phase IIb trial. Neuro Oncol. 2023 06 02; 25(6):1085-1097.  View on PubMed
  11. Chalif EJ, Morshed RA, Oh T, Dalle Ore C, Aghi MK, Gupta N. In Reply: Neurosurgical Outcomes for Pediatric Central Nervous System Tumors in the United States. Neurosurgery. 2023 Jul 01; 93(1):e13.  View on PubMed
  12. Jain S, Rick JW, Joshi RS, Beniwal A, Spatz J, Gill S, Chang AC, Choudhary N, Nguyen AT, Sudhir S, Chalif EJ, Chen JS, Chandra A, Haddad AF, Wadhwa H, Shah SS, Choi S, Hayes JL, Wang L, Yagnik G, Costello JF, Diaz A, Heiland DH, Aghi MK. Single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics reveal cancer-associated fibroblasts in glioblastoma with protumoral effects. J Clin Invest. 2023 03 01; 133(5).  View on PubMed
  13. Choudhary N, Osorio RC, Oh JY, Aghi MK. Metabolic Barriers to Glioblastoma Immunotherapy. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Feb 28; 15(5).  View on PubMed
  14. Garcia JH, Akins EA, Jain S, Wolf KJ, Zhang J, Choudhary N, Lad M, Shukla P, Gill S, Carson W, Carette L, Zheng A, Kumar S, Aghi MK. Multi-omic screening of invasive GBM cells in engineered biomaterials and patient biopsies reveals targetable transsulfuration pathway alterations. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 24.  View on PubMed
  15. Osorio RC, Aabedi AA, Carson W, Badani A, Chalif E, Theodosopoulos PV, Kunwar S, Aghi MK, Goldschmidt E. Risk Factors for Significant Postoperative Hemorrhage After Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumor Resection: A Case-Control Study of 1066 Surgeries. Neurosurgery. 2023 Jul 01; 93(1):206-214.  View on PubMed
  16. Chalif EJ, Aghi MK. Facility Volume and Pituitary Surgery. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 06; 168(6):1567-1568.  View on PubMed
  17. Morshed RA, Nguyen MP, Cummins DD, Saggi S, Young JS, Haddad AF, Goldschmidt E, Chang EF, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Theodosopoulos PV, Hervey-Jumper SL, Daras M, Aghi MK. CDKN2A/B co-deletion is associated with increased risk of local and distant intracranial recurrence after surgical resection of brain metastases. Neurooncol Adv. 2023 Jan-Dec; 5(1):vdad007.  View on PubMed
  18. Morshed RA, Saggi S, Cummins DD, Molinaro AM, Young JS, Viner JA, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Goldschmidt E, Boreta L, Braunstein SE, Chang EF, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Theodosopoulos PV, Hervey-Jumper SL, Aghi MK, Daras M. Identification of risk factors associated with leptomeningeal disease after resection of brain metastases. J Neurosurg. 2023 Jan 13; 1-12.  View on PubMed
  19. Hervey-Jumper SL, Zhang Y, Phillips JJ, Morshed RA, Young JS, McCoy L, Lafontaine M, Luks T, Ammanuel S, Kakaizada S, Egladyous A, Gogos A, Villanueva-Meyer J, Shai A, Warrier G, Rice T, Crane J, Wrensch M, Wiencke JK, Daras M, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor JW, Butowski N, Clarke J, Chang S, Chang E, Aghi M, Theodosopoulos P, McDermott M, Jakola AS, Kavouridis VK, Nawabi N, Solheim O, Smith T, Berger MS, Molinaro AM. Interactive Effects of Molecular, Therapeutic, and Patient Factors on Outcome of Diffuse Low-Grade Glioma. J Clin Oncol. 2023 04 10; 41(11):2029-2042.  View on PubMed
  20. Wang EJ, Haddad AF, Young JS, Morshed RA, Wu JPH, Salha DM, Butowski N, Aghi MK. Recent advances in the molecular prognostication of meningiomas. Front Oncol. 2022; 12:910199.  View on PubMed

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