Nduka Amankulor, MDAssistant Professor
Associate Director, Adult Neurosurgical Oncology
Nduka Amankulor, MD, a specialist in the surgical treatment of complex brain and spine tumors, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in June of 2012.
Dr. Amankulor received his medical degree and neurosurgical training from the Yale University School of Medicine. He then completed a clinical fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Amankulor is a cancer biologist who is studying the biological underpinnings of gliomas and metastatic brain tumors.
Specialized Areas of Interest
Surgical treatment of complex brain and spine tumors.
Professional Organization Membership
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society for Neuro-Oncology
Education & Training
BA, Philosophy, New York University, 1998
MD, Yale School of Medicine, 2004
Residency, Yale School of Medicine, 2011
Fellowship, Neurosurgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2012
Honors & Awards
Leo H. Criep Patient Care Award, 2015
University of Pittsburgh Physicians Foundation Scholar, 2016
Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Melan MA, Roy S, Zhong S, Hamilton RL, Lieberman FS, Drappatz J, Amankulor NM, Pollack IF, Nikiforov YE, Horbinski C. Targeted next-generation sequencing panel (GlioSeq) provides comprehensive genetic profiling of central nervous system tumors. Neuro Oncol [Epub ahead of print], 2015.
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.
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.
Ling D, Vargo JA, Wegner RE, Flickinger JC, Burton S, Engh J, Amankulor N, Quinn AE, Ozhasoglu C, Heron DE. Postoperative 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):150-6, 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 21(2):286-94, 2015.
Mazzacurati L, Marzulli M, Reinhart B, Miyagawa Y, Goins WF, Li A, Kaur B, Caligiuri M, Cripe T, Chiocca N, Amankulor N, Cohen JB, Glorioso JC, Grandi P. Use of miRNA response sequences to block off-target replication and increase the safety of an unattenuated, glioblastoma-targeted oncolytic HSV. Mol Ther 23(1):99-107, 2015.
Pitter KL, Tamagno I, Feng X, Ghosal K, Amankulor N, Holland EC, Hambardzumyan D. The SHH/Gli pathway is reactivated in reactive glia and drives proliferation in response to neurodegeneration-induced lesions. Glia 62(10):1595-607, 2014.
8. Pietrus A, Katz AM, Ekström EJ, Wee B, Halliday JJ, Pitter KL, Werbeck JL, Amankulor NM, Huse JT, Holland EC. Osteopontin-CD44 Signaling in the Glioma Perivascular Niche Enhances Cancer Stem Cell Phenotypes and Promotes Aggressive Tumor Growth. Cell Stem Cell 14(3): 357-69, 2014.
9. Amankulor NM, Xu R, Iorgulescu JB, Chapman T, Reiner AS, Riedel E, Lis E, Yamada Y, Bilsky M, Laufer I: The incidence and patterns of hardware failure after separation surgery in patients with spinal metastatic tumors. Spine J 14(9):1850-9, 2014.
10. Kohanbash G, McKaveney K, Sakaki M, Ueda R, Mintz AH, Amankulor N, Fujita M, Ohlfest JR, Okada H: GM-CSF Promotes the Immunosuppressive Activity of Glioma-Infiltrating Myeloid Cells through Interleukin-4 Receptor-α. Cancer Res 73(21):6413-23, 2013.
A complete listing of Dr. Amankulor's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.
Dr. Amankulor is the primary investigator of a Phase II surgical trial (UPCI 13-154) comparing the efficacy of Bevacizumab with a heat-shock protein vaccine plus Bevacizumab in surgically resected recurrent gliomas. In addition, he is co-investigator on multiple clinical trials for gliomas at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).
Dr. Amankulor’s research has performed groundbreaking tumor immunology research, including elucidating the basis for innate immune escape in low-grade gliomas.