John A. Boockvar, MD

Professor, Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Co-Director, Brain Tumor Biotech Center, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Director, Brain Tumor Center, Lenox Hill Hospital

Director, Center for Pituitary Surgery & Acoustic Neuroma Program,
New York Head and Neck Institute

Professor of Neurosurgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Phone: (212) 434-3900

About the Investigator

­Dr. John Boockvar is director of the Brain Tumor Center, Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center and the Acoustic Neuroma Program of the Division of Neurological Surgery and the New York Head and Neck Institute at Lenox Hill and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospitals. Dr. Boockvar is an investigator in the Laboratory of Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy in the Center of Cell Biology, Oncology and Neuroscience at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Boockvar also directs the Brain Tumor Biotech Center at the Institute. Dr. Boockvar is a professor of Neurological Surgery at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Dr. Boockvar is internationally known for his surgical expertise and for providing patients with safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment for brain tumors, skull base disorders, and disorders of the spine. Dr. Boockvar’s surgical expertise is in benign and malignant brain tumors, skull base and endoscopic pituitary surgery, spinal and peripheral nerve tumors, minimally invasive spinal surgery, and complex spinal disorders.  Dr. Boockvar has been recognized for his novel research in brain tumors and stem cell biology.

Dr. Boockvar has been named to the lists of New York’s Top Docs, Best Doctors in New York, America’s Top Surgeons, America’s Best Doctors, and America’s Best Doctors for Cancer. His research has been widely published and he has received numerous national awards including the Eric Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award from Voices Against Brain Cancer for his compassionate work in treating patients with brain cancer. Dr. Boockvar has been repeatedly featured on CNN, ABC, CNBC, CBS, and Fox News Channel, and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show as well as in the New York Times, New York Daily News, and Crain’s Business Journal among others.

In 2007, Dr. Boockvar received acclaim for helping to save a window washer who had fallen 47 stories. By operating on both his brain and spinal cord, Dr. Boockvar not only saved the man’s life but helped him to walk again and regain normal functioning (see The New York Times article about the surgery, as well as a 2014 update on the patient in the New York Post). Dr. Boockvar has been on the cover of The New York Times Science Times twice. On November 9, 2010, the anniversary issue of the Science Times asked science reporters and top researchers to provide their watch list for noteworthy advances in 2011 and to identify which “fields are hot.” This list included Dr. Boockvar and the studies he is conducting for people with Glioblastoma Multiforme (see article).

Research Focus

Dr. Boockvar currently co-directs the Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. His laboratory interests have focused on adult human neural stem cell biology as it relates to brain tumor formation and resistance to therapy.  Dr. Boockvar is a world expert on blood brain barrier disruption to improve the delivery of therapeutics to the human brain.

Dr. Boockvar is the principal investigator of several cutting edge clinical trials using blood brain barrier disruption to deliver high dose chemotherapy for patients with malignant brain tumors that have been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Dr. Boockvar has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery, and Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery.

Dr. Boockvar directs the Brain Tumor Biotech Center at the Institute that seeks to bridge the translational gap between basic and clinical science for patients with malignant brain tumors.  Dr. Boockvar’s laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and he was recently awarded the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Pinnacle Partners Award for his research into brain tumors. He has also won research awards from Voices Against Brain Cancer, the American Brain Tumor Association, the Starr Foundation, Anspach Companies, and the Adelson Foundation.


SUNY Downstate Medical School, Brooklyn, NY
Degree: MD, Medical School Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Research

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Degree: Resident
Field of Study:  Neurosurgery

University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Degree: Post-Doctoral Fellow
Field of Study: Brain Tumor and Stem Cell Biology

  1. Bodhinayake I, Ottenhausen M, Mooney MA, Kesavabhotla K, Christos P, Schwarz JT, Boockvar JA. “Results and risk factors for recurrence following endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma.” Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2014 Apr;119:75-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2014.01.020. Epub 2014 Jan 27. PMID: 24635930
  2. Infanger DW, Cho Y, Lopez BS, Mohanan S, Liu SC, Gursel D, Boockvar JA, Fischbach C. “Glioblastoma stem cells are regulated by interleukin-8 signaling in a tumoral perivascular niche.” Cancer Res. 2013 Dec 1;73(23):7079-89. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1355. Epub 2013 Oct 11. PMID: 24121485
  3. Ottenhausen M, Bodhinayake I, Banu M, Kesavabhotla K, Ray A, Boockvar JA. “Industry progress report on neuro-oncology: Biotech update 2013.” J Neurooncol. 2013 Nov;115(2):311-6. doi: 10.1007/s11060-013-1222-3. Epub 2013 Aug 16. PMID: 23949146
  4. Njoku I Jr, Boockvar JA. “The intersection between genetic engineering and immunotherapy: taking a BiTE out of glioblastoma.” Neurosurgery. 2013 Jun;72(6):N16-7. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000430735.78738.29. No abstract available. PMID: 23685511
  5. Kast RE, Boockvar JA, Brauning A, Cappello F, Chang WW, Cvek B, Dou QP, Duenas-Gonzalez A, Efferth T, Focosi D, Ghaffari SH, Karpel-Massler G, Ketola K, Khoshnevisan A, Keizman D, Magna N, Marosi C, McDonald K, Muñoz M, Paranjpe A, Pourgholami MH, Sardi I, Sella A, Srivenugopal KS, Tuccori M, Wang W, Wirtz CR, Halatsch ME. “A conceptually new treatment approach for relapsed glioblastoma: coordinated undermining of survival paths with nine repurposed drugs (CUSP9) by the International Initiative for Accelerated Improvement of Glioblastoma Care.” Oncotarget. 2013 Apr;4(4):502-30. Review. PMID: 23594434
  6. Haber JS, Banu MA, Ray A, Kesavabhotla K, Boockvar JA. “Industry progress report on neuro-oncology: a biotech update.” J Neurooncol. 2013 Apr;112(2):315-21. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-1036-8. Epub 2013 Feb 20. PMID: 23423513
  7. Gursel DB, Schlaff CD, Boockvar JA. “EGFR targeted inhibition resistance: compensatory activation of ERBB family members in glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells promotes proliferation.” Neurosurgery. 2012 Oct;71(4):N17-8. No abstract available. PMID: 22989968
  8. Burkhardt JK, Hofstetter CP, Santillan A, Shin BJ, Foley CP, Ballon DJ, Pierre Gobin Y, Boockvar JA. “Orthotopic glioblastoma stem-like cell xenograft model in mice to evaluate intra-arterial delivery of bevacizumab: from bedside to bench.” J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Nov;19(11):1568-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 Sep 15. PMID: 22985932
  9. Kesavabhotla K, Schlaff CD, Shin B, Mubita L, Kaplan R, Tsiouris AJ, Pannullo SC, Christos P, Lavi E, Scheff R, Boockvar JA. “Phase I/II study of oral erlotinib for treatment of relapsed/refractory glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma.” J Exp Ther Oncol. 2012;10(1):71-81. PMID: 22946346
  10. Burkhardt JK, Santillan A, Hofstetter CP, Christos P, Berry N, Shin BJ, Foley CP, Garsel DB, Ballon DJ, Gobin YP, Boockvar JA. “Intra-arterial bevacizumab with blood brain barrier disruption in a glioblastoma xenograft model.”J Exp Ther Oncol. 2012;10(1):31-7.
    PMID: 22946342

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