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


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. Lau D, Wadhwa H, Sudhir S, Chang AC, Jain S, Chandra A, Nguyen AT, Spatz JM, Pappu A, Shah SS, Cheng J, Safaee MM, Yagnik G, Jahangiri A, Aghi MK Role of c-Met/ß1 integrin complex in the metastatic cascade in breast cancer.  View on PubMed
  2. Ammanuel SG, Edwards CS, Chan AK, Mummaneni PV, Kidane J, Vargas E, D'Souza S, Nichols AD, Sankaran S, Abla AA, Aghi MK, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Kunwar S, Larson PS, Lawton MT, Starr PA, Theodosopoulos PV, Berger MS, McDermott MW Are preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate showers associated with a reduction in surgical site infection following craniotomy? A retrospective cohort analysis of 3126 surgical procedures.  View on PubMed
  3. Ellingson BM, Sampson JH, Achrol AS, Aghi MK, Krystof Bankiewicz K, Wang C, Bexon M, Brem S, Brenner AJ, Chowdhary S, Floyd JR, Han SJ, Kesari S, Randazzo D, Vogelbaum MA, Vrionis FD, Zabek M, Butowski N, Coello M, Merchant N, Merchant F Modified RANO (mRANO), iRANO, and standard RANO response to convection-enhanced delivery of IL4R-targeted immunotoxin MDNA55 in recurrent glioblastoma.  View on PubMed
  4. Andrews JP, Joshi RS, Pereira MP, Oh T, Haddad AF, Pereira KM, Osorio RC, Donohue KC, Peeran Z, Sudhir S, Jain S, Beniwal A, Chopra AS, Sandhu NS, Tihan T, Blevins L, Aghi MK Plurihormonal Pit-1 Positive Pituitary Adenomas: a systematic review and single center series.  View on PubMed
  5. Ekaireb RI, Edwards CS, Ali MS, Nguyen MP, Daggubati V, Aghi MK, Theodosopoulos PV, McDermott MW, Magill ST Meningioma surgical outcomes and complications in patients aged 75 years and older.  View on PubMed
  6. Joshi RS, Kanugula SS, Sudhir S, Pereira MP, Jain S, Aghi MK The Role of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Tumor Progression.  View on PubMed
  7. Young JS, Oh T, Arora T, Blevins LS, Aghi MK, El-Sayed IH, Kunwar S, Theodosopoulos PV Letter: COVID Conundrum: Postoperative COVID-19 Infections Following Endonasal Transsphenoidal Pituitary Surgery.  View on PubMed
  8. Bander ED, Sherman JH, Bettegowda C, Aghi MK, Sheehan J, Ramakrishna R Beyond guidelines: analysis of current practice patterns of AANS/CNS tumor neurosurgeons.  View on PubMed
  9. D'Amico RS, Aghi MK, Vogelbaum MA, Bruce JN Convection-enhanced drug delivery for glioblastoma: a review.  View on PubMed
  10. Germano IM, Heth J, Jones PS, Aghi MK Introduction to special issue dedicated to the 35th anniversary of the joint section on tumors.  View on PubMed
  11. Haddad AF, Young JS, Aghi MK Using viral vectors to deliver local immunotherapy to glioblastoma.  View on PubMed
  12. Magill ST, Nguyen MP, Aghi MK, Theodosopoulos PV, Villanueva-Meyer JE, McDermott MW Postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging and neurological outcome after convexity meningioma resection.  View on PubMed
  13. Haddad AF, Young JS, Mummaneni NV, Kasahara N, Aghi MK Immunologic aspects of viral therapy for glioblastoma and implications for interactions with immunotherapies.  View on PubMed
  14. Vogelbaum MA, Krivosheya D, Borghei-Razavi H, Sanai N, Weller M, Wick W, Soffietti R, Reardon DA, Aghi MK, Galanis E, Wen PY, van den Bent M, Chang S Phase 0 and window of opportunity clinical trial design in neuro-oncology: a RANO review.  View on PubMed
  15. Chandra A, Lopez-Rivera V, Dono A, Brandel MG, Lewis C, O'Connor KP, Sheth SA, Ballester LY, Aghi MK, Esquenazi Y Comparative Analysis of Survival Outcomes and Prognostic Factors of Supratentorial versus Cerebellar Glioblastoma in the Elderly: Does Location Really Matter?  View on PubMed
  16. Akins EA, Aghi MK, Kumar S Incorporating Tumor-Associated Macrophages into Engineered Models of Glioma.  View on PubMed
  17. Chandra A, Brandel MG, Aghi MK In Reply to the Letter to the Editor "Regarding the Path to U.S. Neurosurgical Residency for Foreign Medical Graduates: Trends from a Decade 2007-2017".  View on PubMed
  18. Schulte JD, Buerki RA, Lapointe S, Molinaro AM, Zhang Y, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Perry A, Phillips JJ, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Pekmezci M, Butowski N, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor JW, Chang SM, Theodosopoulos P, Aghi MK, Hervey-Jumper SL, Berger MS, Solomon DA, Clarke JL Clinical, radiologic, and genetic characteristics of histone H3 K27M-mutant diffuse midline gliomas in adults.  View on PubMed
  19. Haddad AF, Chen JS, Oh T, Pereira MP, Joshi RS, Aghi MK Higher cytolytic score correlates with an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and reduced survival in glioblastoma.  View on PubMed
  20. Pereira MP, Oh T, Joshi RS, Haddad AF, Pereira KM, Osorio RC, Donohue KC, Peeran Z, Sudhir S, Jain S, Beniwal A, Gurrola J, El-Sayed IH, Blevins LS, Theodosopoulos PV, Kunwar S, Aghi MK Clinical characteristics and outcomes in elderly patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma.  View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI