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. Lad M, Gupta R, Raman A, Parikh N, Gupta R, Chandra A, Para A, Aghi MK, Moore J. Trends in physician reimbursements and procedural volumes for radiosurgery versus open surgery in brain tumor care: an analysis of Medicare data from 2009 to 2018. J Neurosurg. 2021 Jul 30; 1-12.  View on PubMed
  2. Garcia JH, Jain S, Aghi MK. Metabolic Drivers of Invasion in Glioblastoma. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021; 9:683276.  View on PubMed
  3. Jiam NT, David AP, Formeister EJ, Gurrola J, Aghi M, Theodosopoulos P, Villanueva-Meyer J, McDermott MW, El-Sayed IH. Presentation and management of post-operative cerebrospinal fluid leaks after sphenoclival expanded endonasal surgery: A single institution experience. J Clin Neurosci. 2021 Sep; 91:13-19.  View on PubMed
  4. 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. JCI Insight. 2021 Jun 22; 6(12).  View on PubMed
  5. Pekmezci M, Morshed RA, Chunduru P, Pandian B, Young J, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Tihan T, Sloan EA, Aghi MK, Molinaro AM, Berger MS, Hervey-Jumper SL. Detection of glioma infiltration at the tumor margin using quantitative stimulated Raman scattering histology. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 09; 11(1):12162.  View on PubMed
  6. 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. Neurosurgery. 2021 05 13; 88(6):E571-E572.  View on PubMed
  7. 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. J Neurosurg. 2021 Apr 30; 1-9.  View on PubMed
  8. 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. World Neurosurg. 2021 07; 151:e185-e191.  View on PubMed
  9. Ellingson BM, Sampson J, Achrol AS, Aghi MK, Bankiewicz K, Wang C, Bexon M, Brem S, Brenner A, Chowdhary S, Floyd JR, Han S, Kesari S, Randazzo D, Vogelbaum MA, Vrionis F, Zabek M, Butowski N, Coello M, Merchant N, Merchant F. Modified RANO, Immunotherapy RANO, and Standard RANO Response to Convection-Enhanced Delivery of IL4R-Targeted Immunotoxin MDNA55 in Recurrent Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Jul 15; 27(14):3916-3925.  View on PubMed
  10. 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. J Clin Neurosci. 2021 Jun; 88:88-94.  View on PubMed
  11. Joshi RS, Kanugula SS, Sudhir S, Pereira MP, Jain S, Aghi MK. The Role of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Tumor Progression. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Mar 19; 13(6).  View on PubMed
  12. Bander ED, Sherman JH, Bettegowda C, Aghi MK, Sheehan J, Ramakrishna R. Beyond guidelines: analysis of current practice patterns of AANS/CNS tumor neurosurgeons. J Neurooncol. 2021 Feb; 151(3):361-366.  View on PubMed
  13. D'Amico RS, Aghi MK, Vogelbaum MA, Bruce JN. Convection-enhanced drug delivery for glioblastoma: a review. J Neurooncol. 2021 Feb; 151(3):415-427.  View on PubMed
  14. Germano IM, Heth J, Jones PS, Aghi MK. Introduction to special issue dedicated to the 35th anniversary of the joint section on tumors. J Neurooncol. 2021 Feb; 151(3):341-343.  View on PubMed
  15. Haddad AF, Young JS, Aghi MK. Using viral vectors to deliver local immunotherapy to glioblastoma. Neurosurg Focus. 2021 02; 50(2):E4.  View on PubMed
  16. Magill ST, Nguyen MP, Aghi MK, Theodosopoulos PV, Villanueva-Meyer JE, McDermott MW. Postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging and neurological outcome after convexity meningioma resection. J Neurosurg. 2021 Jan 29; 1-8.  View on PubMed
  17. Haddad AF, Young JS, Mummaneni NV, Kasahara N, Aghi MK. Immunologic aspects of viral therapy for glioblastoma and implications for interactions with immunotherapies. J Neurooncol. 2021 Mar; 152(1):1-13.  View on PubMed
  18. 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. Neuro Oncol. 2020 11 26; 22(11):1568-1579.  View on PubMed
  19. 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? World Neurosurg. 2021 02; 146:e755-e767.  View on PubMed
  20. Akins EA, Aghi MK, Kumar S. Incorporating Tumor-Associated Macrophages into Engineered Models of Glioma. iScience. 2020 Dec 18; 23(12):101770.  View on PubMed

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