Paul A. Gardner, MD

  • Peter J. Jannetta Professor
  • Executive Vice Chair, Surgical Services
  • Neurosurgical Director, Center for Cranial Base Surgery
  • Director, Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab

Paul A. Gardner, MD, joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in 2008 after completing his residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his undergraduate studies at Florida State University, majoring in biochemistry, and received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

[See also Gardner Appointed Peter J. Jannetta Professor.]

Dr. Gardner completed a two-year fellowship in endoscopic endonasal pituitary and endoscopic and open skull base surgery. His research has focused on evaluating patient outcomes following these surgeries and more recently on genomic and molecular analysis of rare tumors. Dr. Gardner has been the neurosurgical director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since April of 2008, and leads a renowned course on endoscopic endonasal surgery three times a year.

Dr. Gardner is co-author of the book Skull Base Surgery, part of the Master Techniques in Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery series published by Wolters Kluwer. The book offers step-by-step expert instruction on more than 45 procedures, covering both open and minimally invasive approaches to the skull base. In addition, he is an author on over 250 peer-reviewed articles.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Endoscopic endonasal and open skull base surgery; pituitary tumors; vascular surgery; cranial nerve disorders; minimally invasive surgery; peripheral nerve surgery.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgeons

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Presbyterian
Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Professional Organization Membership

Acoustic Neuroma Association
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Medical Association
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
North American Skull Base Society
Pennsylvania Neurological Society
Pituitary Network Society

Education & Training

  • AA, Okaloosa-Walton College, 1993
  • BS, Biochemistry, Florida State University, 1997 (Magna cum Laude)
  • MD, University of Pittsburgh, 2001
  • Fellowship, Endoscopic and Open Skull Base Surgery, 2007
  • Residency, Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Pittsburgh's Best Doctors, Pittsburgh Magazine, 2012-20

Selected Publications

Koutourousiou M, Fernandez-Miranda J, Vaz Guimaraes Filho F, de Almeida JR, Wang EW, Snyderman CH, Gardner PA. Outcomes of endonasal and lateral approaches to petroclival meningiomasWorld Neurosurg 99:500-517, 2017.

DeKlotz TR, Stefko ST, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Wang EW. Endoscopic endonasal optic nerve decompression for fibrous dysplasiaJ Neurol Surg B 78(1):24-29, 2017.

Rowan NR, Zwagerman NT, Heft-Neal ME, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH. Juvenile nasal angiofibromas: a comparison of modern staging systems in an endoscopic eraJ Neurol Surg B 78(1):63-67, 2017.

Tepedino MS, Pinheiro-Neto CD, Bezerra TF, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Voegels RL. Endonasal identification of the orbital apex. Laryngoscope 126(1):33-8, 2016. 

Rowan NR, Wang EW, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Snyderman CH. Nasal deformities following nasoseptal flap reconstruction of skull base defectsJ Neurol Surg B 77(1):14-18, 2016.

Snyderman CH, Gardner PA, Lanisnik B, Ravnik J. Surgical telementoring: a new model for surgical trainingLaryngoscope 126(6):1334-38, 2016.

Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Jankowitz BT. Management of major vascular injury during endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery. Otolaryngol Clin N Am 49(3):819-28, 2016.

Stefko ST, Snyderman C, Fernandez-Miranda J, Tyler-Kabara E, Wang E, Bodily L, Bilonick RA, Gardner PA. Visual outcomes after endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngioma: the Pittsburgh experienceJ Neurol Surg B 77(B4):326-32, 2016.

Zwagerman NT, Zenonos G, Lieber S, Wang WH, Wang EW, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Snyderman CH, Gardner PA. Endoscopic transnasal skull base surgery: pushing the boundariesJ Neurooncol 130(2):319-30, 2016.

Vaz-Guimaraes F, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Wang E, Snyderman CH. Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery for vascular lesions: a systematic reviewJ Neurosurg Sci 60(4):503-13, 2016.

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

Research Activities

Dr. Gardner’s recent projects include refinement of a molecular prognostication panel evaluation for clival chordoma. Ninety-two tumors were evaluated for genetic alterations using FISH, LOH and IHC studies. The panel, developed along with Georgios Zenonos, MD, was refined using a multivariate analysis and a resultant, proposed division of tumors with clinical management pathways was recently published. This panel is being applied prospectively as part of a study incorporating it into regular clinical practice. This panel is also being investigated for use by the Chordoma Foundation to identify patients with aggressive, poor prognosis tumors who would be candidates for early chemotherapy trials.

Dr. Gardner continues evaluation of clinical cohorts of patients with skull base tumors to show impact and outcomes of treatment, largely endoscopic endonasal surgery.

Dr. Gardner also has a continued role as investigator for Peripheral Nerve Matrix (PNM), an extracellular matrix-derived product for nerve repair. The company (Renerva) formed about this product is working toward both large animal and clinical studies which will attempt to bring the product closer to FDA approval.

Dr. Gardner has also entered into a multi-institutional study with the University of Minnesota to further study the genetic and epigenetic makeup of chordomas and chondrosrcomas. These efforts will dramatically further the pathway toward personalized treatment of these and other rare tumors.

Media Appearances

Life-saving brain tumour surgery a success for Cork teenager Aaron McMahon
July 20, 2018
Irish Examiner

Surgery Workshop Held
October 17, 2015
The New Indian Express

Into another dimension: A local couple uses a 3-D printer to help diagnose and treat a brain tumor
February 4, 2015
San Luis Obispo County New Times

Search for less-invasive avenue for brain surgery leads to eyelid, UPMC surgical team
February 1, 2015
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Woman has brain surgery through her Eyelid to prevent headaches after doctors said traditional surgery was too dangerous
January 27, 2015
London Daily Mail

Hard search for less invasive brain surgery leads to eyelid
January 27, 2015
Fox News

Hard Search for Less Invasive Brain Surgery Leads to Eyelid
January 26, 2015
New York Times

Pioneering Surgery Saves 5-Year-Old's Life
December 16, 2009
KDKA-TV Evening News

Rare surgery to restore Jain Acharya's eyesight
March 6, 2009

A million well-wishers, 15 doctors point guru to Pittsburgh
February 12, 2009
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

UPMC On Topic Videos

Pituitary Adenomas and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains pituitary adenoma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Craniopharyngiomas and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains craniopharyngioma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Chordoma Tumors and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains chordoma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery at UPMC
Dr. Gardner talks about the benefits of minimally invasive brain surgery at UPMC.