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

John S. Kuo, MD, PhD, FACS Print Friendly Page

Faculty, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Kuo is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Human Oncology, and Director of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program at UW Health. 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 Carbone Cancer Center multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic, and started the multidisciplinary Pituitary Tumor Clinic (with colleagues in endocrinology, neuro-oncology, radiation oncology and neuro-ophthalmology), and organized the interdisciplinary Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus program with allied health providers. Dr. Kuo chairs the CNS Tumors Groups of UW Carbone Cancer Center, leading national/international brain tumor clinical trials and campus-wide translational research to develop new approaches to brain tumor therapies. He helped formulate national clinical guidelines for evaluation and treatment of pituitary tumors and metastatic cancers to the brain, and Dr. Kuo’s work has been highlighted in Science Translational Medicine, Clinical Cancer Research, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology and Neurosurgery, and reported by the media.




Brain and Central Nervous System

Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors

Brain Tumor (Neurosurgery)

Brain Tumor Care


General Neurosurgery

Head Trauma


Pituitary Tumor (Neurosurgery)

Pituitary Tumors

Stereotactic Brain Biopsy

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Trans-sphenoidal Craniotomy

Transphenoidal Craniotomy


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

Hospital Affiliation(s)

University Hospital
UnityPoint Health - Meriter
Veterans Hospital - Wm. S. Middleton Memorial

UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Department of Neurological Surgery

Professional Certifications and Education

Board Certification Neurological Surgery
Fellowship University of Southern California Norris Comphrehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA
Residency University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Internship University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
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.

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
Hsu SPC Kuo JS Chiang HC Wang HE Wang YS Huang CC Huang YC Chi MS Mehta MP Chi KH Temozolomide, sirolimus and chloroquine is a new therapeutic combination that synergizes to disrupt lysosomal function and cholesterol homeostasis in GBM cells. Oncotarget . 2018 Jan 23;9(6):6883-6896
[PubMed ID: 29467937]
Zorniak M Clark PA Umlauf BJ Cho Y Shusta EV Kuo JS Yeast display biopanning identifies human antibodies targeting glioblastoma stem-like cells. Sci Rep . 2017 Nov 20;7(1):15840
[PubMed ID: 29158489]
Doan NB Alhajala H Al-Gizawiy MM Mueller WM Rand SD Connelly JM Cochran EJ Chitambar CR Clark P Kuo J Schmainda KM Mirza SP Acid ceramidase and its inhibitors: a <i>de novo</i> drug target and a new class of drugs for killing glioblastoma cancer stem cells with high efficiency. Oncotarget . 2017 Dec 22;8(68):112662-112674
[PubMed ID: 29348854]
Kalluri HSG Kuo JS Dempsey RJ Chronic D609 treatment interferes with cell cycle and targets the expression of Olig2 in Glioma Stem like Cells. Eur J Pharmacol . 2017 Nov 5;814:81-86
[PubMed ID: 28802717]
Ehrlich NA Zhang RR Kuo JS Anti-Programmed Cell Death Protein-1 Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma is Impaired by Systemic Chemotherapy but Enhanced in Combination With Locally Delivered Chemotherapy. Neurosurgery . 2017 Nov 1;81(5):N34-N36
[PubMed ID: 29088467]
Strebe JK Lubin JA Kuo JS 3K3A-Activated Protein C and Implanted Neural Stem Cells Stimulate Repair and Functional Recovery After Ischemic Stroke. Neurosurgery . 2017 Sep 1;81(3):N20-N21
[PubMed ID: 28859455]
Besemer AE Titz B Grudzinski JJ Weichert JP Kuo JS Robins HI Hall LT Bednarz BP Impact of PET and MRI threshold-based tumor volume segmentation on patient-specific targeted radionuclide therapy dosimetry using CLR1404. Phys Med Biol . 2017 Jul 6;62(15):6008-6025
[PubMed ID: 28682793]
Zhang RR Kuo JS Reduced H3K27me3 is a New Epigenetic Biomarker for Pediatric Posterior Fossa Ependymomas. Neurosurgery . 2017 Jul 1;81(1):N7-N8
[PubMed ID: 28873995]
Liu C Clark PA Kuo JS Kalejta RF Human Cytomegalovirus-Infected Glioblastoma Cells Display Stem Cell-Like Phenotypes. mSphere . 2017 May-Jun;2(3)
[PubMed ID: 28656174]
Keswani SG Moles CM Morowitz M Zeh H Kuo JS Levine MH Cheng LS Hackam DJ Ahuja N Goldstein AM Basic Science Committee of the Society of University Surgeons. The Future of Basic Science in Academic Surgery: Identifying Barriers to Success for Surgeon-scientists. Ann Surg . 2017 Jun;265(6):1053-1059
[PubMed ID: 27643928]
Pointer KB Clark PA Schroeder AB Salamat MS Eliceiri KW Kuo JS Association of collagen architecture with glioblastoma patient survival. J Neurosurg . 2017 Jun;126(6):1812-1821
[PubMed ID: 27588592]
Zhang RR Schroeder AB Grudzinski JJ Rosenthal EL Warram JM Pinchuk AN Eliceiri KW Kuo JS Weichert JP Beyond the margins: real-time detection of cancer using targeted fluorophores. Nat Rev Clin Oncol . 2017 Jun;14(6):347-364
[PubMed ID: 28094261]
Clark PA Gaal JT Strebe JK Pasch CA Deming DA Kuo JS Robins HI The effects of tumor treating fields and temozolomide in MGMT expressing and non-expressing patient-derived glioblastoma cells. J Clin Neurosci . 2017 Feb;36:120-124
[PubMed ID: 27865821]
Meyer EJ Gaggl W Gilloon B Swan B Greenstein M Voss J Hussain N Holdsworth RL Nair VA Meyerand ME Kuo JS Baskaya MK Field AS Prabhakaran V The Impact of Intracranial Tumor Proximity to White Matter Tracts on Morbidity and Mortality: A Retrospective Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study. Neurosurgery . 2017 Feb 1;80(2):193-200
[PubMed ID: 28173590]
Pointer KB Clark PA Eliceiri KW Salamat MS Robertson GA Kuo JS Administration of Non-Torsadogenic human Ether-à-go-go-Related Gene Inhibitors Is Associated with Better Survival for High hERG-Expressing Glioblastoma Patients. Clin Cancer Res . 2017 Jan 1;23(1):73-80
[PubMed ID: 27635088]
Strebe JK Lubin JA Kuo JS "Tag Team" Glioblastoma Therapy: Results From a Phase 1 Trial of Toca 511 and 5-Fluorocytosine for Recurrent High-Grade Glioma. Neurosurgery . 2016 Dec;79(6):N18-N20
[PubMed ID: 27861411]
Kalluri HSG Kuo JS Dempsey RJ Effect of D609 on the expression of GADD45β protein: Potential inhibitory role in the growth of glioblastoma cancer stem like cells. Eur J Pharmacol . 2016 Nov 15;791:510-517
[PubMed ID: 27658347]
Gaal JT Stenerson M Kuo JS The enduring legacy of pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Jerzy Edwin Rose. J Clin Neurosci . 2016 Nov;33:69-72
[PubMed ID: 27523584]
Zhang RR Swanson KI Hall LT Weichert JP Kuo JS Diapeutic cancer-targeting alkylphosphocholine analogs may advance management of brain malignancies. CNS Oncol . 2016 Oct;5(4):223-31
[PubMed ID: 27616199]
Zhang RR Lubin JA Kuo JS Bioresorbable Silicon Electronic Sensors for the Brain. Neurosurgery . 2016 Oct;79(4):N19
[PubMed ID: 27635973]