Johnathan Engh, MD

Associate Professor
Director, Neuroendoport Surgery Program
Director, Adult Neurosurgical Oncology

Johnathan Engh




Johnathan Engh, MD, joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in 2008 after completing the department’s seven-year residency program. Originally from northern Virginia, Dr. Engh is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia Medical School.

Dr. Engh’s clinical focus is on neurosurgical oncology, especially minimally invasive operations for central nervous system tumors and intraventricular lesions. He is the director of the adult neurosurgical oncology program as well as the Neuroendoport brain surgery program at the University of Pittsburgh.

From a research perspective, his major interests are the development of minimally invasive tools for cranial surgery and surgical trials for the treatment of brain tumors.

See also: Dr. Engh Receives ACES Award

Specialized Areas of Interest

CNS tumors, minimally invasive surgery, neurosurgical technology and innovation.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgery

Hospital Privileges

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC 
UPMC Passavant
UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership

Allegheny County Medical Society
Alpha Omega Alpha
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Pennsylvania Medical Society
Society of Neuro-Oncology
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Education & Training

BS, Biology and Religion, Duke University, 1997
MD, University of Virginia, 2001
Residency, Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
Fellowship, Neurosurgical Oncology, University of Pittsburgh, 2007

Honors & Awards

America’s Best Doctors, 2011-15
Pittsburgh’s Best Doctors, 2012-2015
UPMC ACES Award, 2014

Selected Publications

Holt DE, Gill BS, Clump DA, Leeman JE, Burton SA, Amankulor NM, Engh JA, Heron DE.  Tumor bed radiosurgery following resection and prior stereotactic radiosurgery for locally persistent brain metastasis. Front Oncol 8;5:84, 2015.

Ling D, Vargo JA, Wegner RE, Flickinger JC, Burton S, Engh J, Amankulor N, Quinn AE, Ozhasoglu C, Heron DE. Post-operative stereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity for large brain metastases: clinical outcomes, predictors of intracranial failure, and implications for optimal patient selection. Neurosurgery 76(2):150-7, 2015.

Weiner GM, Chivukula S, Chen CJ, Ding D, Engh JA, Amankulor N. Ommaya reservoir with ventricular catheter placement for chemotherapy with frameless and pinless electromagnetic surgical neuronavigation. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 130:61-6, 2015.

Okada H, Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Hoji A, Sakaki M, Ahn BJ, Kohanbash G, Drappatz J, Engh J, Amankulor N, Lively MO, Chan MD, Salazar AM, Shaw EG, Potter DM, Lieberman FS. Induction of robust type-1 CD8+ T-cell responses in WHO grade II low-grade glioma patients receiving peptide-based vaccines in combination with poly-ICLC. Clin Cancer Res 15;21(2):286-94, 2015

Chivukula S, Engh J. A Singular Case of Intracranial Sinus Histiocytosis “without” Massive Lymphadenopathy: Isolated Rosai-Dorfman Disease of the Hypothalamus. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg 76(3):244-8, 2015.

Abhinav K, Pathak S, Richardson RM, Engh J, Gardner P, Yeh FC, Friedlander RM, Fernandez-Miranda JC.  Application of High Definition Fiber Tractography (HDFT) in Management of Supratentorial Cavernous Malformations: a combined qualitative and quantitative approach. Neurosurgery 74(6):668-81, 2014.

Luther N, Kondziolka D, Kano H, Mousavi SH, Engh JA, Niranjan A, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Predicting Tumor Control After Resection Bed Radiosurgery of Brain Metastases. Neurosurgery 73(6):1001-6, 2013.

Thirumala P, Lai D, Engh J, Habeych M, Crammond D, Balzer J. Predictive Value of Somatosensory Evoked Potential Monitoring during Resection of Intraparenchymal and Intraventricular Tumors Using an Endoscopic Port. J Clin Neurol 9(4):244-251, 2013.

Faraji AH, Engh JA, Horowitz M, Lunsford LD, Park DM. Multiple discrete aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhages during multimodality management of a hypothalamic glioma-case report. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 115(5):632-635, 2013.

McLaughlin N, Prevedello DM, Engh J, Kelly DF, Kassam AB. Endoneurosurgical resection of intraventricular and intraparenchymal lesions using the port technique. World Neurosurg 79(2 Suppl):S18.e1-8, 2013.

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

Research Activities

Dr. Engh has been involved in many research projects and clinical trials. His major research interests are the development of minimally invasive tools for cranial surgery and the study of iatrogenic injury related to brain surgery. His lab efforts target advances in technology to reach deep-seated brain tumors, moving toward total resection of tumors that are out of reach for traditional surgical methods. The research that he conducted with Gregg Podnar, formerly of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, led to a patent entitled “Endoscopic Ports for Minimally Invasive Surgical Access and Methods of Use Thereof.”

He is currently enrolling participants in several clinical trials. Dr. Engh serves as the principal investigator on a clinical trial entitled “Use of fluorescein dye for removal of brain tumors.” This study is meant to evaluate the use of fluorescein dye to achieve more aggressive brain tumor resection. Dr. Engh is also the principal investigator for a study entitled “Analysis of brain and spinal tumor tissue for research purposes.” This protocol has facilitated the development of a comprehensive primary brain tumor bank at the University of Pittsburgh, including genomics, which was previously not existent at the university. In addition, this protocol has facilitated the development of multiple collaborative research efforts focused on the banking of other brain tumors, including metastases. “A Phase 1 Ascending Dose Trial of the Safety and Tolerability of Toca 511 in Patients with Recurrent High Grade Glioma” is another trial for which Dr. Engh serves as the principal investigator. This study is a multicenter trial evaluating a retroviral vector for the treatment of brain tumors which is delivered via stereotactic injection.

Media Appearances

19-year-old cyst patient
August 17, 2012

Pitt RB hospitalized: Derrick Burns in stable condition
May 24, 2012

Young Stroke Victims
May 11, 2012
WTAE-TV Action News

Surgery through a straw
February 19, 2009
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

UPMC OnTopic Videos

Neuroendoport® for Brain Tumors
Dr. Engh discusses the benefits of Neuroendoport® surgery to remove brain tumors