Nader Sanai, MD
Nader Sanai, MD
Director, Neurosurgical Oncology
Director, Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center
As Director of both the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center (BBTRC) and Neurosurgical Oncology at Barrow Neurological Institute, Dr. Nader Sanai battles cancer on two fronts—in the operating room and in the laboratory. Devoting approximately half of his time to performing surgery on various brain cancers, Dr. Sanai specializes in the surgical and radiosurgical removal of primary and metastatic brain tumors, with an additional emphasis on treating complex tumors of the skull base. He also has extensive experience using intraoperative mapping to maximize tumor removal while sparing crucial structures controlling motor and language function.
In his work as Director of the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, Dr. Sanai oversees research aimed at generating practical, clinically oriented treatments for use in new clinical trials. He directs the Laboratory of Stem Cell Neuro-Oncology, one of five independent laboratories that make up the BBTRC.
Dr. Sanai attended the University of California–San Diego, where he graduated summa cum laude with a BA in French Literature and a BS in Physiology and Neuroscience. He obtained his MD at the University of California–San Francisco, where he also completed his resident neurosurgical training. After completing a fellowship in skull base surgery under the supervision of Dr. Robert F. Spetzler, Dr. Sanai joined Barrow in July 2010.
Education, Training, and Previous Positions
- 2009-2010: Fellowship, Barrow Neurological Institute, Skull Base Surgery
- 2007-2009: Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Neural Stem Cell Biology
- 2004-2009: Residency, UCSF, Neurological Surgery
- 2003-2004: Internship, UCSF, General Surgery
- 1998-2003: MD with thesis, UCSF
- 1994-1998: BS with thesis, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Animal Physiology and Neuroscience summa cum laude
- 1994-1998: BA, UCSD, French Literature, summa cum laude
Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments
- Study Chair, Barrow 5-ALA Intraoperative Confocal Evaluation (BALANCE) Trial
- Co-Director, Brain Tumor Tissue Bank, Barrow Neurological Institute
- Member, St. Joseph’s Hospital Cancer Center Executive Council
- American Association of Cancer Research
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- Congress of Neurological Surgeons
- Society for Neuroscience
- American Brain Tumor Association
- National Brain Tumor Foundation
- Associate Editor, BMC Cancer
- Ad hoc reviewer, The New England Journal of Medicine, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neuro-Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Brain, Annals of Neurology, Frontiers in Neurogenesis, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Selected Honors and Awards
- 2010: Preuss Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
- 2010: National Brain Tumor Foundation Mahaley Award, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- 2009: Honorable Mention, 2009 Academy Award, American Academy of Neurological Surgery
- 2009: Howard Naffziger Resident of the Year Award, UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery
- 2007: Guest Editor, Neurosurgery Clinics of North America, Neural Stem Cells Issue
- 2007: Kaiser Award for Clinical Research, San Francisco Neurological Society
- 2005: Invited Lecturer, Frye-Halloran Symposium on Neuro-Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Neurological Surgery
- 2004: Edwin F. Boldrey Award for Basic Science Research, San Francisco Neurological Society
- 1999: Dean’s Research Prize Finalist, UCSF
- 1998-2003: Medical Scholars Program, UCSF
- 1997: Senior of the Year, UCSD
- 1997-present: Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
- 1994-1998: Provost’s Honors, UCSD
- 1994-1998: Department of Biology Honors Program, UCSD
- 1994-1998: Thurgood Marshall College Honors Program, UCSD
Sanai N, Nguyen T, Ihrie RA, Mirzadeh Z, Tsai HH, Wong M, Gupta N, Berger MS, Huang E, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Rowitch DH, Alvarez-Buylla A. Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy. Nature. Sep 28;478(7369):382-6.
Sanai N, Polley MY, McDermott MW, Parsa AT, Berger MS. An extent of resection threshold for newly diagnosed glioblastomas. J Neurosurg. Mar 18 2011.
Sanai N, Sughrue ME, Shangari G, Chung K, Berger MS, McDermott MW. Risk profile associated with convexity meningioma resection in the modern neurosurgical era. J Neurosurg. May 2010;112(5):913-919.
Sanai N, Polley MY, Berger MS. Insular glioma resection: assessment of patient morbidity, survival, and tumor progression. J Neurosurg. Jan 2010;112(1):1-9.
Sanai N, McDermott MW. A modified far-lateral approach for large or giant meningiomas of the posterior fossa. J Neurosurg. May 2010;112(5):907-912.
Sanai N, Mirzadeh Z, Berger MS. Functional outcome after language mapping for glioma resection. N Engl J Med. Jan 3 2008;358(1):18-27.
Sanai N, Berger MS. Glioma extent of resection and its impact on patient outcome. Neurosurgery. Apr 2008;62(4):753-764; discussion 264-756.
Sanai N, Alvarez-Buylla A, Berger MS. Neural stem cells and the origin of gliomas. N Engl J Med. Aug 25 2005;353(8):811-822.
Sanai N, Tramontin AD, Quiñones-Hinojosa A, Barbaro NM, Gupta N, Kunwar S, Lawton MT, McDermott MW, Parsa AT, Manuel-García Verdugo J, Berger MS, Alvarez-Buylla A. Unique astrocyte ribbon in adult human brain contains neural stem cells but lacks chain migration. Nature. Feb 19 2004;427(6976):740-744.
View complete list of publications on PubMed