American Family Children's Hospital
John S. Kuo, MD, PhD close

John S. Kuo, MD, PhD Print Friendly Page

Faculty, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Kuo is associate professor of Neurological Surgery and Human Oncology and Director of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He specializes in treating benign and malignant brain and spinal tumors (i.e., GBM, pituitary tumor, meningioma, astrocytoma, metastatic cancer to brain), with special expertise in stereotactic radiosurgery for tumors, vascular lesions and trigeminal neuralgia. He co-directs the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic, and started the new, multidisciplinary Pituitary Tumor Clinic with colleagues in endocrinology, neuro-oncology, radiation oncology and neuro-ophthalmology. Dr. Kuo chairs the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center CNS Tumors Group, a national leader for clinical trials of new brain tumor therapies, and performs molecular biology research on cancer stem cells.



UW Health Clinics

UW Carbone Cancer Center
(608) 263-8500 | (800) 323-8942 | Map
University Hospital
(608) 263-7502 | (800) 323-8942 | Map
University Hospital
(608) 263-7502 | (800) 323-8942 | Map

Hospital Affiliation(s)

University Hospital (primary)
Veterans Hospital - Wm. S. Middleton Memorial, UnityPoint Health - Meriter (secondary)

UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Department of Neurological Surgery

Professional Certifications and Education

Board Certification Neurological Surgery
Fellowship University of Toronto (Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center)
University of Southern California (Norris Comphrehensive Cancer Center)
Residency University of Southern California
Internship University of Southern California
Medical School Harvard Medical School, MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Boston, MA

Medical interpreters are available to help patients communicate with hospital and clinic staff. For more information, please contact interpreter services at (608) 262-9000.


Our doctors provide a wide range of services. The following list represents some, but not all, of the procedures offered by this physician.

Programs & Conditions


Dr. Kuo’s research focuses on understanding the genesis of brain tumors, with the goal of developing novel therapies. He has investigated the radiosurgical management of brain tumors and the potential clinical use of novel gene markers in medulloblastomas. The Brain Tumor Research Laboratory is currently focused on the molecular biology of brain tumor stem cells and collaborating with other UW scientists to define possible molecular mechanisms of tumor stem cell pathogenesis to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

PubMed Articles
Liu HL Hsu PH Lin CY Huang CW Chai WY Chu PC Huang CY Chen PY Yang LY Kuo JS Wei KC . Focused Ultrasound Enhances Central Nervous System Delivery of Bevacizumab for Malignant Glioma Treatment. Radiology. 2016 May 18;:152444
[PubMed ID: 27192459]
De I Steffen MD Clark PA Patros CJ Sokn E Bishop SM Litscher S Maklakova VI Kuo JS Rodriguez FJ Collier LS . CSF1 Overexpression Promotes High-Grade Glioma Formation without Impacting the Polarization Status of Glioma-Associated Microglia and Macrophages. Cancer Res. 2016 May 1;76(9):2552-60
[PubMed ID: 27013192]
Zhang RR Kuo JS . Detection of Human Brain Tumor Infiltration With Quantitative Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy. Neurosurgery. 2016 Apr;78(4):N9-N11
[PubMed ID: 26986648]
Sharma T Pereira Alves GC Kuo JS . "Inhibiting the Inhibitors" to Support Axonal Regeneration. Neurosurgery. 2016 Feb;78(2):N14-6
[PubMed ID: 26779793]
Swanson KI Nickele CM Kuo JS . Iatrogenic intracranial placement of nasopharyngeal airway after trauma. Br J Neurosurg. 2016 Jan 13;:1-2
[PubMed ID: 26760290]
Zhang RR Pointer KB Kuo JS . Excitotoxic SLC7A11 Expression Is a Marker of Poor Glioblastoma Survival and a Potential Therapeutic Target. Neurosurgery. 2015 Dec;77(6):N16-7
[PubMed ID: 26584321]
Zhang RR Pointer KB Kuo JS . New Molecular Insights and Potential Therapies for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Neurosurgery. 2015 Oct;77(4):N13-4
[PubMed ID: 26379176]
Pointer KB Zhang RR Kuo JS . Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus Glioblastoma Therapy is Potentiated by Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibition. Neurosurgery. 2015 Aug;77(2):N18-20
[PubMed ID: 26181790]
Swanson KI Clark PA Zhang RR Kandela IK Farhoud M Weichert JP Kuo JS . Fluorescent cancer-selective alkylphosphocholine analogs for intraoperative glioma detection. Neurosurgery. 2015 Feb;76(2):115-23; discussion 123-4
[PubMed ID: 25549194]
Nadkarni TN Andreoli MJ Nair VA Yin P Young BM Kundu B Pankratz J Radtke A Holdsworth R Kuo JS Field AS Baskaya MK Moritz CH Meyerand ME Prabhakaran V . Usage of fMRI for pre-surgical planning in brain tumor and vascular lesion patients: task and statistical threshold effects on language lateralization. Neuroimage Clin. 2015;7:415-23
[PubMed ID: 25685705]
Zhang RR Pointer KB Kuo JS Dempsey RJ . Mutational analysis reveals the origin and therapy-driven evolution of recurrent glioma. Neurosurgery. 2014 Dec;75(6):N9-10
[PubMed ID: 25406627]
Brower JV Clark PA Lyon W Kuo JS . MicroRNAs in cancer: glioblastoma and glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Neurochem Int. 2014 Nov;77:68-77
[PubMed ID: 24937770]
Lyon W Mehta TI Pointer KB Walden D Elmayan A Swanson KI Kuo JS . Clinton Woolsey: functional brain mapping pioneer. J Neurosurg. 2014 Oct;121(4):983-8
[PubMed ID: 25105696]
Cong D Zhu W Shi Y Pointer KB Clark PA Shen H Kuo JS Hu S Sun D . Upregulation of NHE1 protein expression enables glioblastoma cells to escape TMZ-mediated toxicity via increased H⁺ extrusion, cell migration and survival. Carcinogenesis. 2014 Sep;35(9):2014-24
[PubMed ID: 24717311]
Weichert JP Clark PA Kandela IK Vaccaro AM Clarke W Longino MA Pinchuk AN Farhoud M Swanson KI Floberg JM Grudzinski J Titz B Traynor AM Chen HE Hall LT Pazoles CJ Pickhardt PJ Kuo JS . Alkylphosphocholine analogs for broad-spectrum cancer imaging and therapy. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Jun 11;6(240):240ra75
[PubMed ID: 24920661]
Pointer KB Clark PA Zorniak M Alrfaei BM Kuo JS . Glioblastoma cancer stem cells: Biomarker and therapeutic advances. Neurochem Int. 2014 May;71:1-7
[PubMed ID: 24657832]
Anderson BM Khuntia D Bentzen SM Geye HM Hayes LL Kuo JS Baskaya MK Badie B Basavatia A Pyle GM Tomé WA Mehta MP . Single institution experience treating 104 vestibular schwannomas with fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy or stereotactic radiosurgery. J Neurooncol. 2014 Jan;116(1):187-93
[PubMed ID: 24142200]
Voss J Meier TB Freidel R Kundu B Nair VA Holdsworth R Kuo JS Prabhakaran V . The role of secondary motor and language cortices in morbidity and mortality: a retrospective functional MRI study of surgical planning for patients with intracranial tumors. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Apr;34(4):E7
[PubMed ID: 23544413]
Kundu B Penwarden A Wood JM Gallagher TA Andreoli MJ Voss J Meier T Nair VA Kuo JS Field AS Moritz C Meyerand ME Prabhakaran V . Association of functional magnetic resonance imaging indices with postoperative language outcomes in patients with primary brain tumors. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Apr;34(4):E6
[PubMed ID: 23544412]
Alrfaei BM Vemuganti R Kuo JS . microRNA-100 targets SMRT/NCOR2, reduces proliferation, and improves survival in glioblastoma animal models. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e80865
[PubMed ID: 24244722]