Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS

Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS

Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS, who joined the Emory faculty in 1993, is currently Professor of Neurological Surgery and Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at Emory University and Program Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program. He occupies the Al Lerner Chair in Neurosurgery and is Vice-Chairman of the Department and Director of the Neurosurgical Residency Program. Dr. Oyesiku is also Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery and Biotechnology.


Neurological Surgery (Board certified since 1998)

Areas of Expertise

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Brain Tumors
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Groundbreaking Research and Clinical Trials

Dr. Oyesiku’s clinical and research focus is the surgical treatment and molecular biology of pituitary tumors. Dr Oyesiku has performed more than 1.500 surgeries for pituitary tumors and is one of a few surgeons in the U.S. and worldwide (and the first in Georgia) utilizing advanced 3-D endoscopic surgery for resection of pituitary tumors. This technology provides the surgeon with improved spatial resolution making surgery safer.

Dr. Oyesiku partners with Adriana Ioachimescu, MD, PhD, and a team of clinicians who collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with pituitary tumors at Emory’s Pituitary /Neuroendocrine Center. The Emory Pituitary/NeuroendocrineCenter has a nationwide and worldwide referral base and provides patients with comprehensive and personalized medical and surgical management of pituitary disorders. Specialists in Endocrinology, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology, Neurophthalmology, Radiation Oncology, and ENT collaborate to provide state-of-the-art as well as novel advances in care and translational research.

Dr. Oyesiku is also Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery and Biotechnology, which is dedicated to unraveling pituitary tumorigenesis The Laboratory’s Pituitary Tumor Bank and Database allows clinicians and researchers to provide patients with advanced molecular biological analysis of their tumors. The laboratory was the first to identify unique aspects of pituitary adenoma gene expression and was the first to discover a key molecular marker for nonfunctional pituitary tumors that has enhanced the understanding of these tumors. Dr. Oyesiku and his team of researchers also developed a new modality for imaging pituitary tumors. This molecular imaging diagnostic tool was pioneered and first utilized at Emory for patients with pituitary tumors. The molecular imaging allows doctors to identify a key tumor marker in patients with clinically non functional pituitary tumors noninvasively, thereby identifying potential patients for a new targeted chemotherapy. The research team is currently undertaking this potentially groundbreaking new drug therapy for nonfunctional tumors that could lead to the first drug therapy for clinically nonfunctional pituitary tumors. To date, there has been no medical therapy available for patients with clinically non functional tumors.

The Road to Emory: Education

  • Medical School: University of Ibadan School of Medicine, Ibadan, Nigeria 1979
  • Internship: General Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria, 1980
  • Masters of Science: University of London, UK, as a Commonwealth Scholar, 1982
  • Surgery Residency: University of Connecticut—General Surgery, Hartford, CT, 1987.
  • Fellowships: University of Florida – Stereotactic Radiological Surgery, Jacksonville, Florida, 1998
  • Other: Emory University School of Medicine, PhD. Graduate School of Arts and Science, Atlanta, GA, 1996

He obtained his neurosurgical training at Emory University. During his residency he also completed a PhD degree in neuroscience at Emory University, studying the role of neurotrophic factors in neuronal survival and regeneration. Dr. Oyesiku was appointed to the neurosurgical faculty at Emory upon completion of his training.


  • American College of Surgeons: Fellow; Board of Governors; Advisory Council for Neurosurgery
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • President, International Society of Pituitary Surgeons
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons: Past President
  • CNS Joint Section of Neurotrauma/Critical Care: Executive Committee
  • CNS Joint Section of Tumors: Executive Committee
  • Federation for International Education in Neurosurgery: Board of Directors
  • Georgia Neurosurgical Society: Past President, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Society of Neurological Surgeons: Chairman, Match Committee
  • World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies: CNS Delegate; Chair, Neuroendocrine Committee


  • Resident Award, American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • Young Investigator Award, Brain Trauma Award
  • Augustus McCravey Resident Award, Southern Neurosurgical Society
  • Dr. Oyesiku received an NIH CIDA Award and Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • He is a recipient of an NIH RO1 award for the molecular imaging and targeting of pituitary tumors, and is PI of the R25 NIH training grant for Neurosurgery.
  • In 2009, Dr. Oyesiku was named Editor-in-Chief of Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).
  • He is also an ad hoc reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals.
  • He has been selected by his peers as one of The Best Doctors in America.
  • He was selected by the Consumer Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Surgeons.
  • He is named in Marquis Who’s Who in America

Major or Recent Publications

  • Oyesiku N.M., Jones R.K.: Migration of a Heifetz aneurysm clip to the caudal equina causing lumbar radiculopathy. Case Report and Review of the Literature. J Neurosurgery 65: 256-257, 1986.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Gahm N.H., Goldman R.L.: Cerebral arteriovenous fistula in the Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 30:245-248, 1988.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Barrow D.L., Eckman J.R., Tindall S .C., Colohan A.R.T. Intracranial Aneurysms in Sickle Cell Anemia: Clinical features and pathogenesis. J Neurosurgery 75: 356-363, 1991.
  • Colohan AR., Oyesiku N.M. Moderate head injury: an overview. J Neurotrauma. 9 Suppl 1:S259-64, 1992.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Colohan A.R.T., Barrow D.L., Reisner A. Cocaine-induced aneurysmal rupture: an emergent negative factor in the natural history of intracranial aneurysms? Neurosurgery, 32:518-526, 1993.
  • Tindall G.T., Oyesiku N.M., Watts N.B, Clark R.V., Christy J., Adams D.A. Transsphenoidal Microsurgical Adenomectomy of Growth Hormone-Secreting Adenomas in Acromegaly: Outcome Analysis and Determinants of Failure. J Neurosurgery, 78:205-215, 1993.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Wigston D.J. CNTF stimulates neurite outgrowth from spinal cord neurons. J Comp. Neurol, 364:68-77, 1996.
  • Oyesiku N.M. Intracranial Aneurysms in Sickle Cell Anemia: Clinical Management. GSMA Quarterly 7- 9, 1996.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Wilcox , J.N., Wigston D.J. Changes in expression of CNTF and CNTFRa after spinal cord injury. J Neurobiol, 251-261, 1997.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Evans C-O, Parks, J.S, Brown, M.S., Tindall G.T. Pituitary adenomas: screening for Gaq mutations. J of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 82:4184-4188, 1997.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Evans, C-O, Houston S, Darrell, R.S., Smith J.S, Fulop, Z.L., Dixon, C. Edward, Stein, D.G. Regional changes in expression of neurotrophic factors and their receptors after traumatic brain injury in the adult rat brain. Brain Research 833: 161-172, 1999.
  • Evans, C-O, Oyesiku N.M., Brown, M.S , Parks, J.S. Screening for MEN-I Tumor Suppressor Gene Mutations in Sporadic Pituitary Tumors. J Endocrinological Investigation 23:304-309, 2000.
  • Schultz A., Brat DJ, Oyesiku N.M., Hunter S., Intrasellar Pituitcytoma in a patient with other endocrine neoplasms Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 125: 527-530, 2001.
  • Evans C-O, Young A N, Brown MR, Brat DJ, Parks JS, Neish AS, Oyesiku N.M. Novel patterns of gene expression in pituitary adenomas identified by cDNA microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 86: 3097-3107, 2001.
  • Biousse V., Newman, N.J., Oyesiku, N.M. Precipitating factors in pituitary apoplexy. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 71:542-545, 2001.
  • Alleyne C.H. Jr., Barrow, D.L., Oyesiku N.M. Combined transsphenoidal and pterional craniotomy approach to giant pituitary tumors. Surgical Neurology 57:380-390, 2002.
  • Hadley M.N., Walters B.C., Grabb P.A., Oyesiku N.M., Przybylski G.J., Resnick D.K., Ryken T.C., Mielke DH. Guidelines for the management of acute cervical spine and spinal cord injuries. Clinical Neurosurgery. 49:407-98, 2002.
  • Evans, C-O, Reddy, P, Brat D.J., O'Neill E.B., Branch B., Stevens, V.L., Oyesiku, N.M., Differential Expression of Folate Receptor in Pituitary Adenomas, Cancer Research 63:4218-4224, 2003.
  • Zhan, X, Evans, C-O, Oyesiku, N.M., Desiderio D Proteomics and transcriptomics analyses of secretagogin down regulation in human non-functional pituitary adenomas. Pituitary 6: 189-202, 2004.
  • Jun He; Evans, C-O, Stuart W. Hoffman; Oyesiku, N.M, Donald Stein Progesterone and Allopregnanolone Reduce Inflammatory Cytokines after Traumatic Brain Injury. Experimental Neurology, 189:404-412, 2004.
  • Oyesiku, N.M., Halkar R. K., Galt J. R., Faraj B. A., Evans C.O. SPECT/CT of FolateScan ( Tc-99m EC20) in pituitary tumors: A novel imaging tracer and Technique. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Vol 45 (5 S) 368P 2004.
  • Todd J. Scarbrough T.J, Crocker I.R., Davis L.W., Barrow D.L., Fowler B.Z., Oyesiku N.M. Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations Treated Utilizing a Linear Accelerator-Based Patient Rotator or Commercially Available Radiosurgery System. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery 83:91-100, 2005.
  • Moreno C, Evans C-O, Okor M; Desiderio, D.M., Oyesiku N.M. Novel Molecular Signaling in Human Clinically Non-Functional Pituitary Adenomas by Gene Expression Profiling. Proceedings of the 13th World Congress of Neurological Surgery, Marrakech, Morocco, Medimond International Proceedings, pg 1151-1156, 2005, Medimond S.r.l., Bologna, Italy.
  • Evans C-O, Halkar, R.K., Galt, J.R., Faraj, B.J. Oyesiku, N.M. Molecular Targeting and Imaging of Non- Functional Pituitary Tumors: Preliminary Results. Jpn J Neurosurg 15:437-443, 2006.
  • Oyesiku NM. 2005 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Presidential Address. Homogeneity and heterogeneity: lessons from nature and society. Clinical Neurosurgery. 53:1-9, 2006.
  • Oyesiku N.M. Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Cushing’s Disease: a review. Neurosurgical Focus 23: 2007.
  • Evans, C-O, Moreno, C. Desiderio, Zhan, X., McCabe M.T., Vertino, P.M., Desiderio, D.M., Oyesiku N.M Molecular Pathogenesis of Human Prolactinomas Identified by Gene Expression Profiling, RT-qPCR, and Proteomic Analyses. Pituitary. 11:231-245, 2008.
  • Fisher, R. E., Siegel, B. A., Edell, S. L., Oyesiku N.M., Morgenstern, D.E., Messmann, R. A., Amato, R. J. Exploratory Study of 99mTc-EC20 Imaging for Identifying Patients with Folate Receptor–Positive Solid Tumors. J Nucl Med 2008 49: 899-906, 2008.
  • VS Chhabra, Li A, Evans C, Oyesiku, N.M. Silent ACTH Adenomas: Clinical Experience and Biological Correlates Neurol Croat 57:Suppl 3 pp 28, 2008.
  • Evans C-O., Yao C., Laborde D., Oyesiku NM., Folate receptor expression in pituitary adenomas cellular and molecular analysis. Vitamins & Hormones. 79:235-66, 2008.
  • Srivatsa S. Ioachimescu A.G. Oyesiku N.M. Hunter S.B. Visual vignette. Endocrine Practice. 14(9):1192, 2008.
  • Yao, C., Evans, C-O, Stevens, V.L., Owens, T.R, Oyesiku N.M. Folate Receptor  Regulates Cell Proliferation In Mouse Gonadotroph T3-1 Cells. Exp. Cell Res 315:3125-3132, 2009.
  • Oyesiku, N.M Editor’s Letter. Neurosurgery 65: N15 , Dec 2009.
  • Oyesiku, N.M. A Big Bang. Neurosurgery 66: 1-6, Jan 2010.
  • Oyesiku, N.M Editor’s Letter. Neurosurgery 65: N15 , Dec 2009
  • Dhabaan, A, Elder, E, Schreibmann, E, Crocker, I, Curran, W, Oyesiku, N. M, Shu, H-K, Fox, T. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics, 2010.
  • Oyesiku N.M. Measuring Excellence and Competence in Neurosurgery. Clinical Neurosurgery, 2010.
  • Kari, E., Oyesiku N.M, Dadshev V., Wise, S.K. Comparison of traditional two-dimensional endoscopic pituitary surgery with new three-dimensional endoscopic technology. American Journal of Rhinology, 2010.
  • Galt, J. R., Halkar, R.K.; Evans, C-O; Osman, N. A.; LaBorde, D; Fox, T.H; Faraj, B.A.; Kush K.; Wang, H., Oyesiku, N.M. In-vivo assay of folate receptors of non-functioning pituitary adenomas with 99mTc-Folate SPECT/CT. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2010.

Review Articles

  • Oyesiku N.M., Tindall G.T.: Neurosurgery - The year in Review -1988. Contemporary Neurosurgery Vol. 10., No. 27, 1989.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Colohan A.R.T. Moderate Head Injury: An Overview In NIH CNS Trauma Status Report, p 259-264, 1992.
  • Oyesiku, N.M. Management of Growth Hormone Secreting Adenomas: An Update, Thieme, 2002.

Book Chapters

  • Oyesiku N.M., Bakay R.A.E.: CNS Transplantation. In Neurosurgery - The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice. Ed. 2., Crockard H.A., Hayward R.D, Hoff J.T. (eds) Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. 1992 pp 448-469.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Barrow DL: Infectious, Traumatic and other Unusual Aneurysms. In: Current Treatment of Aneurysms. AANS Publications. William’s and Wilkin’s, Baltimore, pp 243-275, 1993.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Bakay R.A.E., Surgery for Spinal Tumors. In Medical Care of the Surgical Patient, J.P. Lippincott, Philadelphia 1995 pp 602-604.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Tindall G.T.,: Pituitary Gland: Surgery A Problem Solving Approach, (ed. 2), John H. Davis, George F. Sheldon, C.V. Mosby, St Louis, 1995 pp 2363-2396.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Tindall G.T.: Management of Hypersecreting Pituitary Tumors. In The Practice of Neurosurgery Tindall G.T., Cooper P.R., Barrow D.L. (eds) William’s and Wilkin’s, Baltimore, 1996 pp 11351152.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Tindall G.T., Pituitary Tumors: Principles and Practice of Neurosurgical Critical Care. William’s and Wilkin’s, 1996.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Tindall G.T.: Endocrine-Inactive adenomas: surgical results and prognosis. In Pituitary Adenomas Landolt A.M., Vance, M.L., Reilly, P.L. (eds) Churchill-Livingstone, New York, 1996 pp 377-383.
  • Barrow D.L., Oyesiku N.M., Distal Anterior Cerebral Aneurysms. In Neurosurgery Wilkin’s and Rengachary (eds), William’s and Wilkin’s, pp 2327-2331, 1996.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Pituitary Tumors and Sheehan’s Syndrome in Pregnant Women. In: Neurosurgical Aspects of Pregnancy. AANS Publications pp 77-84, 1996.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Alleyne C, G.T Tindall. Combined pterional and transsphenoidal approach to pituitary tumors. 1998 (in Pituitary Disorders: Comprehensive management Krisht AF & Tindall GT) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1999 pp 369-373.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Alleyne C., Schwartzman S. Fungal infections of the Brain pp 123-139. In: Infections in Neurological Surgery. Osenbach R., Zeidman S. (Eds). Lippincott-Raven. 1999.
  • Olson JJ, Barrow, DL, Gilbert, MR, Oyesiku N.M., Intracranial Tumors in. Oxford Textbook of Surgery, 2000 Chap 44.3, 2801-2828.
  • Resnick, D.K., Oyesiku N.M., Assessment and Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries. In Neurotrauma: Evidence Based Answers to Common Questions Valadka A, and Andrews B. (Eds.) 2002.
  • Oyesiku N.M., What is the best way to assess and classify head-Injured patients? In Neurotrauma: Evidence Based Answers to Common Questions Valadka A, and Andrews B. (Eds.) 2002.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Pathophysiology and Management of Endocrine Function, In Textbook of Neurological Surgery: Principles and Practice. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia Batjer, HH & Loftus, CM (Eds), pp 713-725.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Clinically Nonfunctional Adenomas. In: Principles of Neurosurgery (2nd Ed) Ellenbogen, R & Rengachary, S (Eds) Elsevier 2002.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Assessment of Pituitary Function. In: Principles of Neurosurgery (2nd Ed) Ellenbogen and Rengachary, Elsevier 2002.
  • Oyesiku N.M. Transsphenoidal Surgery. In Medical Care of the Surgical Patient, (3rd Ed) Lubin, Walker, & Smith -Eds., J.P. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2003.
  • Evans C-O, Moreno C., Oyesiku N.M. Novel Molecular Signaling and Classification in Human Clinically Non-Functional Pituitary Adenomas Identified by Microarray and Reverse Transcription-Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction. In Contemporary Endocrinology: Genomics in Endocrinology: DNA Microarray Analysis in Endocrine Health and Disease. Edited by S.Handwerger and B. Aronow, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2007.
  • Muh, C.R., Oyesiku N.M. Non-functioning Adenomas: Diagnosis and Treatment. In Diagnosis and Management of Pituitary Disorders, Brooke Swearingen and Beverly M. K. Biller (eds.) Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp 271-288, 2008.
  • Muh, C.R., Oyesiku N.M.. Assessment of Pituitary Function. Chapter in Essentials of Neurosurgery. pp 194-220.
  • Kalangu KKN, Kato Y, Dechambenoit G (Eds). Access Publishing, Nagoya, Japan, 2009.
  • Muh, C.R., Oyesiku N.M. Functioning Pituitary Adenomas. Chapter in Essentials of Neurosurgery. K Kalangu.
  • Muh, C.R., Oyesiku N.M. Multimodality Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas. The International Review of Modern Surgery. Frost and Sullivan.
  • Laborde, D.V., Oyesiku N.M. Orbitozygomatic Approach to the Sellar Region in Skull Base Surgery: Basic Techniques. Moore, C.E, Olson J.J. (eds). Plural Publishing, San Diego, pp 71-79, 2010.


  • Oyesiku N.M., Amacher A.L. Patient Care in Neurosurgery 3rd Edition. Boston/Toronto. Little, Brown & Company, 1990.
  • Oyesiku N.M., Amacher A.L. Patient Care in Neurosurgery (Japanese Language Edition). Medical Sciences International Ltd. Tokyo, 1992.
  • Barrow DL, Tindall SC, Oyesiku N.M., Washington J, Hunter SB, Owens DS, Harper FN (eds). Neurosurgery Board Review, Questions and Answers for Self-Assessment, Alleyne CH Jr. New York/Stuttgart, Thieme 1997.

Media Credits/Press Releases

  • Cutting-Edge Brain Surgery Without The Scalpel 4-17-2000.
  • ‘Beam shaper’ sharpens brain surgeons’ aim Emory Report April 24, 2000 Volume 52, No. 30.
  • Emory University Tests Safety and Effectiveness of Device for the Possible Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. March 2002.
  • Emory Offers New Targeted Radiation Treatment for Brain Tumors with First Machine of its Kind. Oct 6, 2004.
  • Dr. Nelson Oyesiku comments on a non-invasive procedure for treatment of brain tumors. WLVI-WB Boston, MA, Science Daily, Capital News 9. 10/9/04-10/14/04.
  • Emory doctors, neurosurgeon Nelson Oyesiku interviewed about a new noninvasive surgical procedure for treatment of brain tumors. CNN, CLTV-CABLE Chicago IL, WLOS-ABC Greenville SC 10/6/04.
  • Emory Offers New Targeted Radiation Treatment for Brain Tumors with First Machine of its Kind.10/12/2004.
  • Emory studies COGNIShunt device for Alzheimer's treatment 21-Mar-2002
  • An alternative to cancer treatment Capital News 9 Health Team 9, Atlanta, GA.
  • Emory Researchers Awarded $1.6 Million to Study Common Type of Pituitary Tumor.
  • Emory Neurosurgeon Elected President of Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle April 22-28, 2005 KUDOS Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, has been elected president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.


Dr. Oyesiku enjoys playing golf, and is an avid fan of football and cricket. He also enjoys traveling and is a voracious reader.