UPMC Physician Resources

Ajay Niranjan, MD, MBA

Ajay Niranjan, MD, MBA

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
Director, UPMC-Brain Mapping Center (MEG)
Associate Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
Director, Radiosurgery Research


Ajay Niranjan, MD, is an associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Niranjan received his medical training at the King George’s Medical College in Lucknow, India from 1980 to 1985, graduating with a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree. Dr. Niranjan completed general surgery in 1989 residency and in and neurological surgery residency 1992. Dr. Niranjan joined the University of Pittsburgh as a fellow in image-guided neurosurgery in 1997 and completed his fellowship in 2000. He joined the faculty of neurological surgery in July of 2000.

Dr. Niranjan’s major research interest is in the development of presurgical brain mapping using magnetoencephalography (MEG). His other research interests include development of strategies to enhance the effect of radiosurgery on brain tumors, and role of hypothalamic radiosurgery in appetite and body weight modulation. His laboratory has studied the radiobiological effects of radiation on brain-tumor microenvironment and has evaluated the effects of radiation on neural stem cells implantation in the brain.

Dr. Niranjan serves as principal investigator on the following two projects: “Multicenter Phase II Study of Border Zone Stereotactic Radiosurgery with Bevacizumab Chemotherapy in Patients with Recurrent or Progressive Glioblastoma Multiforme” and “A Safety and Feasibility Study of Minocycline Therapy for Management of Adverse Radiation Effects after Brain Metastases Radiosurgery.”

He has co-authored over 170 articles in refereed journals and over 80 book chapters. He has contributed guidelines for stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia, pituitary adenomas, arteriovenous malformation, acoustic tumors, and brain metastases. He has edited three books

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

Specialized Areas of Interest

Radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain tumors; radiosurgery for brain vascular malformations; radiosurgery for functional brain disorders; pre-surgical brain mapping using MEG.

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Clinical MEG Society 
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society

Media Events

Delaying stereotactic radiosurgery worsens trigeminal neuralgia pain outcomes
November 25, 2015
MedWire News

Research Activities

• Radiosurgery Research: 

1) Phase II Study of Border Zone SRS with Bevacizumab in Patients with Recurrent or Progressive GBM:  

Dr. Niranjan is the principal investigator on this clinical trial which is designed to evaluate the concept of border zone radiosurgery in association with bevacizumab. One angle of this research is that VEGF will improve the effect of radiosurgery on tumor tissue by making tumor more sensitive to radiation by increasing tumors oxygenation (by forced normalization of blood vessels). Another angle is that it will reduce the adverse radiation effects on surrounding normal tissue by depleting radiation induced VEGF. With this clinical trial Dr. Niranjan hopes to bring together all the pieces to truly impact the survival of patients with recurrent Glioblastoma.  

2) A Safety and Feasibility Study of Minocycline Therapy for Management of ARE after Brain Metastases Radiosurgery:

Dr. Niranjan is the principal investigator on this clinical trial. The goal of this study is to evaluate the safety and feasibility of minocycline in improving adverse radiation effects after radiosurgery in patients with brain metastases. Fifteen patients with adverse radiation effects will be treated with minocycline (100mg BID) for three months. This clinical trial has the potential to prove that minocycline therapy is safe in this patient population. In addition, positive results will provide preliminary evidence for its use in an array of radiosurgical indications.

3) Randomized Controlled Study of Neurocognitive Outcomes for 5 or > Brain Metastases Treated with SRS or WBRT:

Dr. Niranjan is the local site principal investigator on this multi-institutional clinical trial. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is any difference in neurocognitive performance of the patients who are initially treated using stereotactic (gamma knife) radiosurgery versus whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT). 

• MEG Research: 

Functional Imaging Evidence of Cortical Plasticity with Spinal Cord Stimulation:

The aim of this project is to investigate—among chronic pain patients implanted with cervical spinal cord stimulators—the alterations in cortical functional activity due to pain sensation in the primary somatosensory cortex, and pain perception in the orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate cortex. As part of this study, MEG recordings will be obtained in 15 patients with cervical spinal cord stimulators, and with the device in the ‘on’ and the ‘off’ configurations. Researchers anticipate that data will not only evaluate the efficacy of the MEG in assessing patients’ response to pain by correlating the extent of restoration of cortical disorganization to the perceived pain relief, but also serve to identify neuroanatomical structures intricately involved in pain sensation and its emotional component, that may open avenues, clinically and academically, for targeted psychological neuromodulation in the future.

CME Courses

Minimally Invasive Approaches to the Management to Neurosurgical Diseases

Minimally Invasive Approaches to the Management to Neurosurgical Diseases

Publish Date: 8/22/2017
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