Desmond A. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Dr. Desmond A. Brown
Assistant Clinical Investigator and Unit Head
Neurosurgical Oncology Unit, Surgical Neurology Branch (SNB)

BG 10-CRC RM 3D20

Dr. Brown is an Assistant Clinical Investigator (ACI) in the Surgical Neurology Branch. He received a combined MD/PhD degree in 2014 from the combined Rutgers RWJ/Princeton University combined MD/PhD program. He then completed residency in neurological surgery with a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at the Mayo Clinic in 2021. Clinically, his interest is complex resection of intra-axial brain lesions relying on a number of surgical adjuncts (awake resections, intraoperative speech and motor mapping, 5-ALA fluorescence guided resections). 

Visit Lab Page

Dr. Brown is fascinated by the primary cilium as a site of integration of key signaling pathways important in both development and disease. Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that project from the cell surface in a dynamic fashion and receive and process molecular and mechanical signaling cues. They are ubiquitous having been found on essentially all human cell types. His PhD thesis in the laboratory of Jonathan T. Eggenshwiler, PhD elucidated mechanisms through which the primary cilium regulates responses to sonic hedgehog signaling during mouse embryonic development. He cloned a version of mice depleted for the cell cycle-related kinase (CCRK) or CDK20 protein. As anticipated, CCRK is embryonic lethal–clear evidence for the critical requirement for this protein during development. Ultimately, the lab demonstrated that CCRK positively regulates the kinetics by which ciliary proteins such as smoothened (SMO) and Gli2 are imported into the primary cilium thus facilitating potent responses to Hedgehog signaling over long time periods (Snouffer, Brown et al. 2017). It is now known that CCRK is actively transcribed and overexpressed in at least 17 types of human cancers including virtually all glioblastomas (GBMs). In the context of cancer, CCRK represents an important (and novel) signaling hub, integrating critical cancer phenotypes. A non-exhaustive list of cancer phenotypes related to CCRK include increased proliferation, chemotherapy resistance, invasiveness and immunosuppression. The role of the primary cilium in cancer molecular biology remains critically underexplored and this is an area Dr. Brown continues to investigate with the goal of translating novel therapies to the clinic.

Accepted Peer-Reviewed Publications

Brown, DA; Goyal, A; Kerezoudis, P; Alvi, MA; Himes, BT; Bydon, M; Van Gompel, JJ; Chaichana, KL; Quiñones-Hinojosa, A; Burns, TC; Yan, E; Parney, IF (2020). Adjuvant Radiotherapy for WHO grades II and III meningiomas: Insights on survival and practice patterns from a National Cancer Registry. J Neurooncol. 2020 Aug 28. doi: 10.1007/s11060-020-03604-7orld Neurosurgery


Brown, DA; Richter, KR; Haglin, JM; Himes, BT; Lu, VM; Snyder, KA; Hughes, J; Decker, PA; Opoku-Darko, M; Link, MJ; Burns, TC; Parney, IF (2020). Clinical utility of brain biopsy for presumed CNS relapse of systemic lymphoma. Accepted, Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS20-2517)


Alvi, Mohammed Ali; Brown, DA; Yolcu, Y.; Zreik, J; Bydon, M.; Cutsforth-Gregory, JK; Graff-Radford, J; Jones, DT; Graff-Radford, NR; Elder, BD (2020). Predictors of Adverse Outcomes and Cost after Surgical Management for Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: Analyses from a National Database. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2020 Oct;197:106178. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106178


Alvi, Mohammed Ali; Brown, DA; Yolcu, Y.; Zreik, J; Bydon, M.; Cutsforth-Gregory, JK; Graff-Radford, J; Jones, DT; Graff-Radford, NR; Elder, BD (2020). Prevalence and Trends in Management of Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH) in the United States: Insights from the National Inpatient Sample base. World Neurosurg. 2021 Jan;145:e38-e52. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.09.012


Lu VM, O'Connor KP, Himes BT, Brown DA, Nesvick CL, Siada RG, Niazi TN, Schwartz J, Daniels DJ (2020). Effect of surgery and chemotherapy on long-term survival in infants with congenital glioblastoma: an integrated survival analysis.J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2020 Aug 14:1-9. doi: 10.3171/2020.5.PEDS20226.


Lu, VM; Pendleton, C; Brown, DA; Lakomkin, N; Cho, S; Miller, K; Daniels, DJ (2020). Shaping Our Understanding of Medulloblastoma: A Bibliometric Analysis of the 100 Most Cited Articles. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2020 Jul;194:105895. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.105895. Epub 2020 May 23


Lu, VM; Brown, DA; Daniels, DJ (2020). Rare Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Metastasis Throughout the Brain and Spine. World Neurosurg. 2020 Aug;140:301-302. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.05.205.


Brown, DA; Hanalioglu, S.; Chaichana, KL; Duffau, H (2020). Transcortico-subcortical approach for left posterior mesobasal temporal region gliomas: case series and anatomical review of relevant white matter tracts. World Neurosurgery. Jul 139: e737-e747. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.04.147


Himes, BT; Bhargav, AG; Brown, DA; Kaufmann, TJ; Bancos, I; Van Gompel, JJ (2020). Does pituitary compression/empty sella syndrome contribute to MRI-negative Cushing's disease? A single institution experience. Neurosurg Focus. 2020 Jun;48(6):E3. doi: 10.3171/2020.3.FOCUS2084


Lu, VM; Brown, DA; Daniels, DJ (2020). Teaching NeuroImages: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma in white matter. Neurology. 2020 Aug 4;95(5):e608-e609. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000009927.


Brown, DA; Goyal, A; Takami, H; Graffeo, CS; Mahajan, A; Krauss, WE & Bydon, M (2020). Radiotherapy in addition to surgical resection may not improve overall survival in WHO grade II spinal ependymomas. Clin Neurol Neurosurg, 189, 105632. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2019.105632


Brown, DA; Lu, VM; Himes, BT; Burns, TC; Quinones-Hinojosa, A; Chaichana, KL & Parney, IF (2020). Breast brain metastases are associated with increased risk of leptomeningeal disease after stereotactic radiosurgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2020 Apr;37(2):341-352. doi:10.1007/s10585-020-10019-1


Cohen-Cohen, S; Brown, DA; Himes, BT; Wheeler, LP; Ruff, MW; Major, BT; Singh Ospina, NM; Atkinson. JLD; Meyer, FB; Bancos, I; Young, WF; Van Gompel, JJ (2020). Pituitary adenomas in the setting of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1: a single-institution experience. J Neurosurg. 2020 Apr 3:1-7. doi:10.3171/2020.1.JNS193538

Himes, BT; Arnett, AL; Merrell, KW; Gates, MJ; Bhargav, AG; Raghunathan, A; Brown, DA; Burns, TC; Parney, IF (2020). Glioblastoma Recurrence Versus Treatment Effect in a Pathology-Documented Series. Can J Neurol Sci. 2020 Feb 20:1-6. doi:10.1017/cjn.2020.36


Brown DA; Sarkar, G; Decklever, TD; Curran, GL; Sarkar, AJ; Schmeichel, AM; Swaminathan, SK; Kandimala, KK; Jenkins, RB; Burns, TC & Lowe, VJ (2019). K16ApoE Enhances Aβ-associated 11C-PiB Deposition and PET Signal in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism, 9(3): 1000468. ISSN:2161-0460


Calvert, JS; Grahn, PJ; Strommen, JA; Lavrov, IA; Beck, LA; Gill, ML; Linde, MB; Brown, DA; Van Straaten, MG; Veith, DD; Lopez, C; Sayenko, DG; Gerasimenko, YP; Edgerton, VR; Zhao, KD; Lee, KH (2019). Electrophysiological Guidance of Epidural Electrode Array Implantation over the Human Lumbosacral Spinal Cord to Enable Motor Function after Chronic Paralysis. J Neurotrauma, 36(9), 1451-1460. doi:10.1089/neu.2018.5921


Goyal, A; Yolcu, YU; Goyal, A; Kerezoudis, P; Brown, DA; Graffeo, CS; Goncalves S; Burns, TC; Parney, IF (2019). The T2-FLAIR-mismatch sign as an imaging biomarker for IDH and 1p/19q status in diffuse low-grade gliomas: a systematic review with a Bayesian approach to evaluation of diagnostic test performance. Neurosurg Focus. 2019 Dec 1;47(6):E13. doi:10.3171/2019.9.FOCUS19660


Lu, VM; George, ND; Brown, DA; Akinduro, OO; Raghunathan, A; Jentoft, M; Quinones-Hinojosa, A; Chaichana, KL (2019). Confirming Diagnosis and Effective Treatment for Rare Epithelioid Glioblastoma Variant: An Integrated Survival Analysis of the Literature. World Neurosurg, 131, 243-251 e242. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2019.08.007


Lu, VM; Kerezoudis, P; Brown, DA; Burns, TC; Quinones-Hinojosa, A & Chaichana, KL (2019). Hypofractionated versus standard radiation therapy in combination with temozolomide for glioblastoma in the elderly: a meta-analysis. J Neurooncol, 143(2), 177-185. doi:10.1007/s11060-019-03155-6


Navarro-Bonnet, J; Suarez-Meade, P; Brown, DA; Chaichana, KL & Quinones-Hinojosa, A (2019). Following the light in glioma surgery: a comparison of sodium fluorescein and 5-aminolevulinic acid as surgical adjuncts in glioma resection. J Neurosurg Sci, 63(6), 633-647. doi:10.23736/S0390-5616.19.04745-3


Rinaldo, L; Brown, DA; Bhargav, AG; Rusheen, AE; Naylor, RM; Gilder, HE; Monie, DD; Youssef, SJ; Parney, IF (2019). Venous thromboembolic events in patients undergoing craniotomy for tumor resection: incidence, predictors, and review of literature. J Neurosurg. 2019 Jan 4;132(1):10-21. doi:10.3171/2018.7.JNS181175


Welby, JP; Kaptzan, T; Wohl, A; Peterson, TE; Raghunathan, A; Brown, DA; Gupta, SK; Zhang, L; Daniels, DJ (2019). Current Murine Models and New Developments in H3K27M Diffuse Midline Gliomas. Front Oncol. 2019 Feb 27;9:92. doi:10.3389/fonc.2019.00092


Brown, DA; Deep, NL; Driscoll, CL; Link, MJ; Jentoft, ME & Daniels, DJ (2018). Synchronous Epstein-Barr virus-associated skull base and adrenal smooth-muscle tumors in an 8-year-old girl with recent Epstein-Barr virus infection. J Neurosurg Pediatr, 22(3), 283-287. doi:10.3171/2018.3.PEDS17609


Brown, DA; Himes, BT; Kerezoudis, P; Chilinda-Salter, YM; Grewal, SS; Spear, JA; Bydon M; Burns TC; Parney, IF (2018). Insurance correlates with improved access to care and outcome among glioblastoma patients. Neuro Oncol, 20(10), 1374-1382. doi:10.1093/neuonc/noy102


Brown, DA; Himes, BT; Major, BT; Mundell, BF; Kumar, R; Kall, B; Meyer FB; Link MJ; Pollock BE; Atkinson JD; Van Gompel JJ; Marsh WR; Lanzino G; Bydon M; Parney, IF (2018). Cranial Tumor Surgical Outcomes at a High-Volume Academic Referral Center. Mayo Clin Proc, 93(1), 16-24. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.08.023


Rinaldo, L; Brown, DA; Lanzino, G. & Parney IF (2018). Outcomes Following Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting in High-Grade Glioma Patients. Journal of Neurosurgery 129 (4): 984–96. doi: 10.3171/2017.6.JNS17859.


Takami, H., Kumar, R; Brown, DA & Krauss, WE (2018). Histologic Features and Prognosis of Spinal Intradural Extramedullary Ewing Sarcoma: Case Report, Literature Review, and Analysis of Prognosis. World Neurosurg, 115, 448-452 e442. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2018.04.015


Brown, DA & Wijdicks, EF (2017). Decompressive craniectomy in acute brain injury. Handb Clin Neurol, 140, 299-318. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-63600-3.00016-7


Dawson, ET; Brown, DA & Rabinstein, AA (2017). Headache, TIA and subarachnoid haemorrhage: dissecting an unusual cause for stroke-like symptoms. BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Jul 13;2017:bcr2017219927. doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-219927


Snouffer, A; Brown, D; Lee, H; Walsh, J; Lupu, F; Norman, R; Lechtreck, K; Ko, HW; Eggenschwiler, J (2017). Cell Cycle-Related Kinase (CCRK) regulates ciliogenesis and Hedgehog signaling in mice. PLoS Genet, 2017 Aug 17;13(8):e1006912. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006912


Brown, DA; Whealy, MA; Van Gompel, J J; Williams, LN & Klaas, JP (2015). Diagnostic Dilemma in Primary Blastomyces dermatitidis Meningitis: Role of Neurosurgical Biopsy. Case Rep Neurol, 7(1), 63-70. doi:10.1159/000381469


Van Gompel, JJ; Klassen, BT; Worrell, GA; Lee, KH; Shin, C; Zhao, CZ; Brown DA; Goerss SJ, Kall, BA, Stead, M (2015). Anterior nuclear deep brain stimulation guided by concordant hippocampal recording. Neurosurg Focus. 2015 Jun;38(6):E9. doi:10.3171/2015.3.FOCUS1541


Brown, DA; Mallory, GW; Higgins, DM; Abdulaziz, M; Huddleston, PM; Nassr, A; Fogelson JL; Clarke, MJ (2014). A cost-effective method for femoral head allograft procurement for spinal arthrodesis: an alternative to commercially available allograft. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 39(15), E902-906. doi:10.1097/BRS.0000000000000395


Brown, DA; Zhou, LY; Sorkin, NS; Li, AC (2013). ACR Case in Point; Wednesday, October 16, 2013.


Zou, L. Y., Brown, DA & Li, AC (2013). Intramuscular myxoma. Ultrasound Q, 29(3), 255-256. doi:10.1097/RUQ.0b013e3182a25746


Walczak-Sztulpa, J; Eggenschwiler, J; Osborn, D.; Brown, DA; Emma, F; Klingenberg, C; Hennekam, RC; Torre, G; Garshasbi, M; Tzschach, A; Szczepanska, M; Krawczynski, M; Zachwieja, J; Zwolinska, D; Beales, PL; Ropers, HH; Latos-Bielenska, A; Kuss, AW (2010). Cranioectodermal Dysplasia, Sensenbrenner syndrome, is a ciliopathy caused by mutations in the IFT122 gene. Am J Hum Genet, 86(6), 949-956. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.04.012


Brown, DA; Venegas, B; Cooke, PH; English, V & Chong, PL (2009). Bipolar tetraether archaeosomes exhibit unusual stability against autoclaving as studied by dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy. Chem Phys Lipids, 159(2), 95-103. doi:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2009.03.004


Young, W. F., Brown, D., Kendler, A., & Clements, D. (2002). Delayed post-traumatic osteonecrosis of a vertebral body (Kummell's disease). Acta Orthop Belg, 2002 Feb;68(1):13-9.