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UW Health SMPH
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
UW Hospital and Clinics
(608) 263-7502 | (800) 323-8942 | Map
UW Hospital and Clinics
(608) 263-7502 | (800) 323-8942 | Map

Hospital Affiliation(s)

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (primary)
Veterans Hospital - Wm. S. Middleton Memorial (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
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]
Zorniak M Clark PA Leeper HE Tipping MD Francis DM Kozak KR Salamat MS Kuo JS . Differential expression of 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase and neural lineage markers correlate with glioblastoma xenograft infiltration and patient survival. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jul 1;18(13):3628-36
[PubMed ID: 22589395]
Clark PA Iida M Treisman DM Kalluri H Ezhilan S Zorniak M Wheeler DL Kuo JS . Activation of multiple ERBB family receptors mediates glioblastoma cancer stem-like cell resistance to EGFR-targeted inhibition. Neoplasia. 2012 May;14(5):420-8
[PubMed ID: 22745588]
Algharabil J Kintner DB Wang Q Begum G Clark PA Yang SS Lin SH Kahle KT Kuo JS Sun D . Inhibition of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter isoform 1 accelerates temozolomide-mediated apoptosis in glioblastoma cancer cells. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;30(1):33-48
[PubMed ID: 22759954]
Ranganathan P Clark PA Kuo JS Salamat MS Kalejta RF . Significant association of multiple human cytomegalovirus genomic Loci with glioblastoma multiforme samples. J Virol. 2012 Jan;86(2):854-64
[PubMed ID: 22090104]
Huang Y Agrawal B Clark PA Williams JC Kuo JS . Evaluation of cancer stem cell migration using compartmentalizing microfluidic devices and live cell imaging. J Vis Exp. 2011 Dec 23;(58):e3297
[PubMed ID: 22217858]
Upton DC Welham NV Kuo JS Walker JW Pasic TR . Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps: a proteomic analysis. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2011 Dec;120(12):780-6
[PubMed ID: 22279949]
Baggott CD Einstein MH Miranpuri A Rose SL Kuo JS . What is the optimal venous thromboembolism prophylaxis for gynecological oncology patients with CNS metastases? Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Nov;123(2):409-10
[PubMed ID: 21807402]
Ebben JD Zorniak M Clark PA Kuo JS . Introduction to induced pluripotent stem cells: advancing the potential for personalized medicine. World Neurosurg. 2011 Sep-Oct;76(3-4):270-5
[PubMed ID: 21986423]