Neurosurgery Unit for Pituitary and Inheritable Diseases 

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Neurosurgery Unity

The Neurosurgery Unit for Pituitary and Inheritable Diseases is part of the Surgical Neurology Branch of the NINDS. We are a translational science lab that integrates neurosurgery and science to address the morbidity arising from neuroendocrine tumors of the brain and spinal cord. These include sporadic pituitary tumors and inheritable tumors in VHL and NF2. We rely on syngeneic, pairwise comparisons of the transcriptome, epigenome, proteome and the metabolome to investigate mechanisms of tumor formation and progression.


We have optimized single cell and single nucleus isolation for transcriptomic and chromatin availability assays using fresh surgical and archival tissues. We have successfully generated syngeneic normal tissue derived datasets and found these to be powerful tools to investigate tumorigenic pathways. For mechanistic investigations of the disease pathways, we have created in-vitro models to recapitulate pituitary tumor formation.

Meet our Members

  • Prashant Chittiboina, M.D., M.P.H., Tenure Track Investigator
  • Staff Scientist: Debjani Mandal, PhD
  • Post-Doc: David Asuzu, MD, PhD, PGY5 Resident, NIH/UVA Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgery Research Fellow: Emma Celano, MD, PGY6 Resident, Georgetown Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgery Research Fellow: Alejandro Bugarini, MD, PGY4 Resident, Geisinger Neurosurgery
  • Post-bac: Stefan Stoica, BS
  • Post-bac: Anish Kosanam, BA
  • Post-bac: Elyse Moore, BA
  • Post-bac: Shyama Bhatt, BA

Selected Publications


  1. Letchuman V, Ampie L, Shah AH, Brown DA, Heiss JD, Chittiboina P. Syngeneic murine glioblastoma models: reactionary immune changes and immunotherapy intervention outcomes. Neurosurg Focus. 2022 Feb;52(2):E5. doi: 10.3171/2021.11.FOCUS21556. PMID: 35104794.
  2. Curry BP, Alvarez R, Widemann BC, Johnson M, Agarwal PK, Lehky T, Valera V Chittiboina P. Robotic Nerve Sheath Tumor Resection With IntraoperativeNeuromonitoring: Case Series and Systematic Review. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2022 Feb 1;22(2):44-50. doi: 10.1227/ONS.0000000000000051. PMID: 35007270.
  3. Alvarez R, Mandal D, Chittiboina P. Canonical and Non-Canonical Roles of PFKFB3 in Brain Tumors. Cells. 2021 Oct 27;10(11):2913. doi: 10.3390/cells10112913. PMID: 34831136; PMCID: PMC8616071.
  4. Jonasch E, Donskov F, Iliopoulos O, Rathmell WK, Narayan VK, Maughan BL, Oudard S, Else T, Maranchie JK, Welsh SJ, Thamake S, Park EK, Perini RF, Linehan WM, Srinivasan R; MK-6482-004 Investigators. Belzutifan for Renal Cell Carcinoman von Hippel-Lindau Disease. N Engl J Med. 2021 Nov 25;385(22):2036-2046. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2103425. PMID: 34818478.
  5. Mastorakos P, Pomeraniec IJ, Bryant JP, Chittiboina P, Heiss JD. Flexible thecoscopy for extensive spinal arachnoiditis. J Neurosurg Spine. 2021 Oct 1:1-11. doi: 10.3171/2021.4.SPINE21483. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34598155.
  6. Hwang CK, Chew EY, Cukras CA, Keenan TDL, Wong WT, Linehan WM, Chittiboina P Pacak K, Wiley HE. Intravitreous treatment of severe ocular von Hippel-Lindau disease using a combination of the VEGF inhibitor, ranibizumab and PDG inhibitor, E10030: Results from a phase 1/2 clinical trial. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2021 Dec;49(9):1048-1059. doi: 10.1111/ceo.14001. Epub 2021 Oct 26. PMID: 34549489.


  1. Pemov A, Dewan R, Hansen NF, Chandrasekharappa SC, Ray-Chaudhury A, Jones K Luo W, Heiss JD, Mullikin JC, Chittiboina P, Stewart DR, Asthagiri AR. Comparative clinical and genomic analysis of neurofibromatosis type 2-associated cranial and spinal meningiomas. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 28;10(1):12563. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69074-z. PMID: 32724039; PMCID: PMC7387487.
  2. Martínez de LaPiscina I, Hernández-Ramírez LC, Portillo N, Gómez-Gila AL, Urrutia I, Martínez-Salazar R, García-Castaño A, Aguayo A, Rica I, Gaztambide S, Faucz FR, Keil MF, Lodish MB, Quezado M, Pankratz N, Chittiboina P, Lane J, Kay DM, Mills JL, Castaño L, Stratakis CA. Rare Germline <i>DICER1</i> Variants in Pediatric Patients With Cushing's Disease: What Is Their Role? Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Jul 3;11:433. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00433. PMID: 32714280; PMCID: PMC7351020.
  3. Chasseloup F, Pankratz N, Lane J, Faucz FR, Keil MF, Chittiboina P, Kay DM, Hussein Tayeb T, Stratakis CA, Mills JL, Hernández-Ramírez LC. Germline CDKN1B Loss-of-Function Variants Cause Pediatric Cushing's Disease With or Without an MEN4 Phenotype. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Jun 1;105(6):1983–2005. doi 10.1210/clinem/dgaa160. PMID: 32232325; PMCID: PMC7190031.