Costas G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD

  • L. Dade Lunsford Professor
  • Executive Vice Chair
  • Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
  • Co-Director, UPMC Brain Tumor Center, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
  • Director, Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory

Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon-scientist who has devoted his entire career to the treatment of brain tumor patients. He completed his neurosurgical residency and graduate PhD training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with additional neurosurgical oncology training at the University of California San Francisco.

Dr. Hadjipanayis is executive vice-chair for the University of Pittsburgh Neurological Surgery, director of the UPMC Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery (CIGNS) and serves as co-director of the department's Brain Tumor Program. Dr. Hadjipanayis also directs the Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory in the Hillman Cancer Center and has been the principal investigator of multiple clinical trials and university, private foundation, and NIH-funded grants focused on brain tumors.

He was recently recruited back to UPMC in October of 2022 from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City where he served as the chair of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Union Square/Beth Israel and the director of neurosurgical oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Hadjipanayis has focused much of his career on innovation, translational research, and intraoperative technology development. In 2011, Dr. Hadjipanayis was the first to use 5-ALA (Gleolan) and perform fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS) in the United States and helped lead the FDA approval of Gleolan for glioma surgery in June 2017. Dr. Hadjipanayis and his lab are actively studying the development and use of magnetic hyperthermia therapy (MHT) for treatment of glioblastoma in combination with adjuvant therapies. This collaborative research involves Johns Hopkins University and Penn State University.

Dr. Hadjipanayis is the current secretary/treasurer of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Tumor Section. He will become chair of the AANS/CNS Tumor Section in 2024 leading the largest group of neurosurgical oncologists in the world. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons and the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS). He currently serves as the chair of the research subcommittee for the SNS.

Dr. Hadjipanayis has been a tireless brain tumor advocate serving on the nonprofit boards of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation (SBTF) and StacheStrong. Since returning to UPMC, Dr. Hadjipanayis has been actively involved with the initiation of novel brain tumor clinical trials for the intraoperative visualization and intraoperative photodynamic therapy (PDT) of malignant brain tumors. Under his existing IND, a multicenter pediatric neurosurgical oncology trial will also be launched in 2023 for the visualization and detection of pediatric brain tumors. This will be the first multicenter pediatric clinical trial focused on 5-ALA fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS).

Dr. Hadjipanayis is also developing novel prospective stereotactic radiosurgery trials with his partners in the CIGNS for brain metastases and high-grade gliomas. Dr. Hadjipanayis has brought new intraoperative technologies to UPMC for the first time that include the use of a voice-controlled, robotic-assisted exoscope for FGS of malignant brain tumors. Dr. Hadjipanayis was the first in the world to use this technology for resection of a brain tumor in 2023 at UPMC Presbyterian. He also reinstituted laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for brain tumors at UPMC Presbyterian in 2023.

Dr. Hadjipanayis is developing important infrastructure for clinical research in the Department of Neurological Surgery that will permit more effective initiation of trials that are investigator-initiated and industry sponsored.

As director of the Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory, important collaborations have been established with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. In addition, his current R01 focuses on the development of magnetic hyperthermia therapy (MHT) for treatment of GBM in combination with adjuvant therapies (chemoradiation). This multidisciplinary and multi-institutional effort includes both the Department of Neurological Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, and Penn State University. As part of this R01, a new collaboration has also been established at the Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Pittsburgh. This large veterinary hospital will permit the study and MHT treatment of canines with spontaneous gliomas.

As chair of the research subcommittee for the SNS, Dr. Hadjipanayis and Linda Liau, MD, of UCLA launched the Neurosurgeon-Scientist Training Program (NSTP). This new program provides select research funding to neurosurgery residents from across the country who have demonstrated productive research in a mentored setting. 

Since Dr. Hadjipanayis’s arrival at the University of Pittsburgh, a new CAST-approved neurosurgical oncology fellowship was established and is the first of its kind at UPMC. The first neurosurgical oncology fellowship began July 1, 2023.

Dr. Hadjipanayis' publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Surgical management of brain and spinal cord tumors; stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife and LINAC-based); fluorescence-guided neurosurgery; laser-interstitial thermal therapy (LITT); intraoperative awake/cortical mapping; neuroendoscopy.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgery

Hospital Privileges

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

Professional Organization Membership

American Academy of Neurological Surgeons
American Board of Neurological Surgery
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Neurosurgery Research Education Fund
Society of Neuro-Oncology
Society of Neurological Surgeons

Professional Activities

Secretary/Treasurer, AANS/CNS Tumor Section
Chair, Research Subcommittee, Society of Neurological Surgeons

Education & Training

  • BA, Medical Scholar’s Program, University of Delaware, 1994
  • MD, Sydney Kimmel Jefferson Medical College, 1998
  • General Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, 1999
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery fellowship, University of Pittsburgh 2004
  • PhD, Biochemistry/Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • Neurological Surgery Residency, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
  • Surgical neuro-oncology fellowship, University of California, San Francisco, 2006

Honors & Awards

  • Top Doctor for Neurosurgery, Castle Connolly, 2018-23
  • Super Doctor,, 2021-22
  • Leica Award, AANS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 2022
  • Cullman Family Award For Excellence in Physician Communication, Mount Sinai Health System, 2019
  • Distinguished Physician of the Year, Hellenic Medical Society, 2019
  • Inaugural Brain Tumor Biotech Young Innovator Award, Weill Cornell Medicine, 2013
  • Health Care Hero Award Winner, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2013
  • Young Investigator Award, American Brain Tumor Association, 2011
  • Translational Research Award, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, 2010
  • Robbins Scholar Award, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, 2010
  • Robert Ginsberg Surgical Oncology Award, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, 2009
  • Philip Jory Award, Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation, 2009
  • Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist, Georgia Cancer Coalition, 2007
  • Basic Research Fellowship Award, American Brain Tumor Association, 2006
  • Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08), National Institute of Health, 2005
  • Inaugural Stuart Rowe Society Presentation Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32), National Institutes of Health, 2003
  • Resident Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, 1999
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Jefferson Medical College, 1997
  • Benjamin and Mary Siddons Measey Award, Jefferson Medical College, 1997
  • Hobart Amory Hare Medical Student Honor Society, Jefferson Medical College, 1996
  • Honor Society Award, Association of Pathology Chairs, 1996
  • Bernard B. Rotko Scholarship, Jefferson Medical College, 1996
  • Nicholas T. Padis Award, Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia, 1995
  • Golden Key National Honor Society, University of Delaware, 1994
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Delaware, 1994