Costas G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD

HadjipanayisSkilled neurosurgeon Costas G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine, specializes in surgical neuro-oncology (Brain and Spine). He performs delicate operations specializing in the removal of brain tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous), skull base tumors, spinal tumors and experimental treatments for malignant tumors. Dr. Hadjipanayis joined Emory in June 2007.

  •  Dr. Hadjipanayis's research interests involve pioneering treatments and imaging for patients with malignant brain tumors.
  • His surgical focus includes mapping language function of the brain while the patient is awake (awake craniotomy) to guide the removal of tumors located within or adjacent to language centers in the brain.
  • In addition, he is performing minimally-invasive endoscopic procedures to treat disorders in the brain and endoscopic procedures through the nose for removal of skull base tumors.

What makes Dr. Hadjipanayis a stand out?

Dr. Hadjipanayis is a neurosurgeon-scientist who is active in the surgical management of brain and spinal tumors and the development of novel therapeutics for brain tumors.  His clinical focus involves the use of neuro-endoscopy for minimally invasive brain tumor removal. His research laboratory effort is based in the Winship Cancer Institute where he is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Georgia Cancer Coalition, and other private foundations.

Groundbreaking Research

  • Dr. Hadjipanayis' research involves the study of magnetic nanoparticles for targeted imaging and therapy of brain cancer. He has strong collaborations with the Department of Radiology at Emory University and the Magnetics Laboratory at the University of Delaware.
  • In addition, his research studies focus on the use of various recombinant herpes-simplex viruses for treatment of brain cancer. He has developed a mouse model for direct delivery of therapeutic agents (herpes simplex virus) into the rodent brain by convection-enhanced delivery (CED).
  • Dr. Hadjipanayis' research effort also focuses on the isolation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) from brain tumor specimens harvested by him at the time of surgical resection (Emory Institutional Review Board Approved). These CSCs have been implicated in the development and maintenance of brain cancer. Isolated CSCs are implanted into mice by his lab for generation of brain tumor xenografts and novel therapeutic agent development.

Innovative Procedures and Treatments

Dr. Hadjipanayis is currently performing minimally invasive neuro-endoscopic procedures for resection of deep-seated brain tumors. With the use of a 3-6 mm endoscope, midline deep seated tumors can be potentially removed with a 5 mm opening in the skull and a 2.5 cam skin incision. He is the only neurosurgeon in Georgia performing neuroendoscopic resection of colloid cyst brain tumors.

Areas of Clinical Interest

  • surgical neuro-oncology (brain and spine)
  • neuro-endoscopy
  • stereotactic radiosurgery and brain biopsies
  • experimental therapeutics for malignant glioma
  • complex cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal instrumentation
  • microvascular decompression
  • peripheral nerve
  • spinal tumor removal
  • spinal reconstruction

The Road to Emory

  • Dr. Hadjipanayis received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
  • He comes to Emory from the medical staff of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital.
  • He completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he simultaneously obtained a PhD in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry.
  • He studied the use of new viral agents in the therapy of malignant brain tumors in combination with radiation therapy.
  • In addition, he spent time after his residency learning intraoperative brain mapping techniques for the removal of brain tumors located in critical areas of the brain.
  • He has been designated a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar.

Recent Publications

  • Hadjipanayis CG, Bonder MJ, Balakrishnan S, Wang X, Mao H, Hadjipanayis GC.  Metallic iron nanoparticles for MRI contrast enhancement and local hyperthermia. Small 4(11):1925-1929, 2008.
  • Hadjipanayis CG, Fellows-Mayle W, DeLuca N. Therapeutic efficacy of a herpes simplex virus with radiation or temozolomide for intracranial glioblastoma after convection-enhanced delivery. Molecular Therapy 16(11):1783-1788, 2008.
  • Hadjipanayis CG and Van Meir E. Tumor initiating cells in malignant gliomas: biology and implications for therapy. Journal of Molecular Medicine (epub ahead of print) 2009.

More about Emory Neurological Surgery 

Emory Neurological Surgery ranks among the nation's leading departments for neurosurgical patient care, teaching and research related to the brain, as well as the spinal cord, nerves and muscles.  One focus involves the treatment of malignant and nonmalignant brain, spine, and skull base tumors.  Other focuses involve neurovascular (cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations) and degenerative (Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease) disorders.  Emory University's Department of Neurosurgery has expanded its services to keep up with demand for outstanding patient service. This expansion really emphasizes what Emory is all about-to provide first-rate clinical care to patients while conducting promising research in our labs. More brains and more brain power make Emory a stronger team.


Dr. Hadjipanayis ran a marathon in 2003. His parents are from Greece and Cyprus and he is the first medical doctor in his family. His wife was a nurse. His father is Chairman of the Department of Physics and head of the Magnetics Laboratory at the University of Delaware.