Pascal O. Zinn, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Director, Adult Neurosurgical Oncology
  • Director, Molecular Tumor Biology and Personalized Precision Therapy Lab
  • Director, Neurosurgical Oncology Tissue Bank

Pascal O. Zinn, MD, PhD, joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in 2019. He is an assistant professor and director of the adult neurosurgical oncology program. Dr. Zinn has undergone subspecialty training in tumor biology and neurosurgical oncology at the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Institute and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in state-of-the-art, patient-tailored treatment paradigms.

At UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Dr. Zinn is the principal investigator of a molecular biology laboratory, studying approaches in personalized tumor treatments and patient care.

Dr. Zinn strongly believes in the individuality of every patient and is an expert in patient-tailored treatment approaches throughout the course of diagnosis (imaging/biopsy), possible surgical tumor removal/medical management, and follow-up.

Dr. Zinn likes spending time with his patients and their families walking them through this seemingly complex treatment course through discussion, counseling, and review of evidence-based medicine approaches, thus reaching the very best—and most personalized—treatment plan.

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

Specialized Areas of Interest

Neurosurgical oncology; brain, skull base, and spinal cord tumors; personalized precision care for brain and spinal tumor patients; stereotactic radiosurgery for brain and spine tumors, laser ablation treatment for brain tumors.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgeons

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Hamot
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership

American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
CNS/AANS Joint Tumor Section
Glioma Society
Society for Neuro-Oncology
SWOG Cancer Research Network

Professional Activities

NRG Oncology IDH Wildtype Glioma Expert Group
Executive Committee, AANS and CNS Tumor Section
Young Neurosurgeons Co-Chair, AANS and CNS Tumor Section

Education & Training

  • MD, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2007
  • Research Fellowship, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 2012
  • PhD, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2012
  • Research Fellowship, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, 2015
  • Neurosurgery Residency, Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2019

Honors & Awards

  • Castle Connolly Top Doctors in America, 2024
  • Natus Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2022
  • Faculty Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurosurgery, 2022
  • Kinjiro Iwata Award, Baylor College of Medicine, 2019
  • Caroline Ross Endowed Fellowship, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2018
  • Rosenblum-Mahaley Clinical Research Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2018
  • Resident Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2018
  • Runner-Up Oral Platform Presentation Competition, Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2017
  • National Brain Tumor Society Mahaley Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2016
  • Kinjiro Iwata Academic Award, Baylor College of Medicine, 2016
  • Journal of Neuro-Oncology Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2012, 2015
  • William R. Cheek Award, Texas Children’s Hospital, 2015
  • Best Oral Platform Presentation Award, American Society of Neuroradiology, 2015
  • Best Scientific Poster Award, American Society of Functional Neuroradiology, 2014
  • Kinjiro Iwata Academic Award, Baylor College of Medicine, 2013
  • Best Scientific Poster Award, American Society of Functional Neuroradiology, 2013
  • Travel Award, European Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2013
  • Best Oral Platform Presentation Award, American Society of Neuroradiology, 2012
  • The Thomas H. and Mayme P. Scott Fellowship in Cancer Research Award, 2012
  • Poster Award, MD Anderson Brain Tumor Center Retreat, 2011
  • First Prize, Clowes Visiting Professor Research Competition, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 2010
  • Cold Spring Harbor Course on Brain Tumors Scholarship, American Brain Tumor Association, 2010
  • Swiss National Science Foundation two-year fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2009
  • Socrates-Erasmus Scholarship, 2004
  • Acceptance to Swiss Army Special Forces: Honors in Marksmanship, Combat, Commando, and Fit Test, 2000

Media Appearances