Ajay Niranjan, MD, MBA

Professor
Director, UPMC-Brain Mapping Center (MEG)
Associate Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
Director, Radiosurgery Research


Ajay Niranjan

Contact

412-647-6781

Biography

Ajay Niranjan, MD, is a professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Niranjan received his medical training at the King George’s Medical College in Lucknow, India from 1980 to 1985, graduating with a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree. Dr. Niranjan completed general surgery residency in 1989 and neurological surgery residency 1992. Dr. Niranjan joined the University of Pittsburgh as a fellow in image-guided neurosurgery in 1997 and completed his fellowship in 2000. He joined the faculty of neurological surgery in July of 2000.

Dr. Niranjan’s major research interest is the analysis of clinical outcomes gamma Knife radiosurgery for tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders of brain. His another research interest is in the development of pre-surgical brain mapping using magnetoencephalography (MEG). His other research interests include development of strategies to enhance the effect of radiosurgery on brain tumors. His laboratory has studied the radiobiological effects of radiation on brain-tumor microenvironment and has evaluated the effects of radiation on neural stem cells implantation in the brain. Dr. Niranjan serves as principal investigator on the project: “Thalamic Segmentation using Advanced MR Imaging Techniques.”

Dr. Niranjan has co-authored over 210 articles in refereed journals, over 170 book chapters and five books. His recent book, Leksell Radiosurgery—presenting an update on state-of-the-art radiosurgery technology, including outcomes—was published in May of 2019. He has contributed guidelines for stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia, pituitary adenomas, arteriovenous malformation, acoustic tumors, and brain metastases. Dr. Niranjan is the director of UPMC Brain Mapping Center which houses a magnetoencephalography unit. MEG is performed for pre-surgical mapping of critical brain functions in patients with brain tumors and for localization of seizure focus in patients with long standing epilepsy.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain tumors; radiosurgery for brain vascular malformations; radiosurgery for functional brain disorders; pre-surgical brain mapping using MEG.

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Clinical MEG Society 
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
International Radiosurgery Research Foundation
International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society

Education & Training

MBBS, King George’s Medical College, 1985
Residency, General Surgery, King George’s Medical College, 1989
Residency, Neurological Surgery, King George’s Medical College, 1992
Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2000
MBA, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Honors & Awards

Best Doctors in America, Pittsburgh Magazine, 2016-19
UPMC Excellence in Patient Experience, Physician and Medical Staff Honor Roll, 2017

Selected Publications

Niranjan A, Lunsford LD, Richardson RM. Current Concepts in Movement Disorder Management, Karger, 2018.

Niranjan A, Kano H, Iyer A, Kondziolka D, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Role of adjuvant or salvage radiosurgery in the management of unresected residual or progressive glioblastoma multiforme in the pre-bevacizumab era. J Neurosurg 122(4):757-65, 2015.

Niranjan A, Laing EJ, Laghari FJ, Richardson RM, Lunsford LD. Preoperative magnetoencephalographic sensory cortex mapping. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery 91(5):314-22, 2013.

Niranjan A, Gobbel G, Novotny J, Bhatnagar JP, Fellows W, Lunsford LD. Impact of decaying dose rate in gamma knife radiosurgery: in vitro study on 9L rat gliosarcoma cells. J Radiosurgery and SBRT 1(4):257-64, 2012.

Niranjan A, Kano H, Khan A, Kim IY, Kondziolka D, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Radiosurgery for brain metastases from unknown primary cancers. Int J Rad Oncol Biol Phys 77(5):1457-62, 2010.

Niranjan A, Kano H, Mathieu D, Kondziolka D, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Radiosurgery for craniopharyngioma. Int J Rad Oncol Biol Phys 78(1):64-71, 2010.

Niranjan A, Mathieu D, Flickinger JC, Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD. Hearing preservation after intracanalicular vestibular schwannoma radiosurgery. Neurosurg 2008;63(6):1054-62, 2008.

Niranjan A, Fellows W, Stauffer W, Burton EA, Hong CS, Lunsford LD, Kondziolka D, Glorioso JC, Gobbel GT. Survival of transplanted neural progenitor cells enhanced by brain irradiationJ Neurosurg 107(2):383-91, 2007.

Niranjan A, Wolfe D, Tamura M, Soares MK, Krisky DM, Lunsford LD, Li S, Fellows-Mayle W, DeLuca NA, Cohen JB, Glorioso JC. Treatment of rat gliosarcoma brain tumors by HSV-based multigene therapy combined with radiosurgery. Mole Ther 8(4):530-42, 2003.

Niranjan A, Moriuchi S, Lunsford LD, Kondziolka D, Flickinger JC, Fellows W, Rajendiran S, Tamura M, Cohen JB, Glorioso JC. Effective treatment of experimental glioblastoma by HSV vector-mediated TNF alpha and HSV-tk gene transfer in combination with radiosurgery and ganciclovir administration. Mole Ther 2(2):114-20, 2000. 

Niranjan A, Kondziolka D, Baser S, Heyman R, Lunsford LD. Functional outcomes after gamma knife thalamotomy for essential tremor and MS-related tremor. Neurol 55(3):443-6, 2000.

A complete list of Dr. Niranjan's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research Activities

Dr. Niranjan is currently principal investigator on project “Thalamic Segmentation using Advanced MR Imaging Techniques” for which he has received a grant award of $46,000 from the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF). This study utilizes innovative ways of identifying ventralis intermedialis (VIM) nucleus using state of the art high resolution imaging techniques. This research project is based on Dr. Niranjan’s clinical research work in the application of radiosurgery for management of intractable tremors.

In this study he and his team are working on three ways of identifying VIM nucleus. These include:

  1. a diffusion imaging based MRI paradigm to segment thalamic nuclei in individual patient,
  2. high definition fiber tractography (HDFT) to construct the cerebellothalamocortical tract (CTC) which passes through VIM, and
  3. 7T high definition images using variable time inversion time to identify VIM.

In the initial phase, the imaging data from normal subject will be used for thalamic segmentation. As part of this project, 10 tremor patients will undergo investigational brain imaging prior to stereotactic radiosurgery. The data will be analyzed offline with innovative data processing techniques to map thalamic nuclei. Patients will also be imaged at 5-12 months after SRS. Follow-up data will be analyzed to study the effect of SRS on thalamus as well as volume of fiber tracts.

Media Appearances