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Michael Youssef

Michael Youssef, M.D.
Interim Section Head


Regina Oliver

The Neuro-Oncology section embodies the core missions of the Department of Neurology, including excellence in patient care, promoting education, and advancing research in malignant tumors of the CNS and cancer-related neurological disorders. Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally for their academic contributions to low-grade gliomas and glioblastomas. 

Our center, the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in North Texas. The faculty employ a patient-centric approach, blending innovative cancer research with conventional cancer care. 


Our faculty team comprises six individuals, committed to advancing research, education, and clinical care. Four faculty lead extramurally funded research laboratories. Our physician-scientists have engineered nanoparticles to overcome the blood-brain barrier limitations, found innovative methods of inhibiting glioblastoma growth, and are exploring novel strategies to target metabolic vulnerabilities in glioma. The section is home to one of the largest repositories of clinically annotated patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models which give insight into how genetic mutations influence tumor phenotypes. By integrating laboratory investigators and surgeons in clinical settings and operating rooms, the faculty can personalize therapy regimens for patients. The collective knowledge of our faculty contributes significantly to the field of neuro-oncology and faculty are widely regarded as leaders in their field. 

View all faculty Join Our Team

Neuro-Oncology Highlights


Patient visits annually


Patient operations performed by neurosurgery


NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center (only in North Texas)




Faculty with extramural funding


Subspecialty Clinics

Patient Care
Subspecialty Clinics and Care

Beyond providing care for patients with the full range of neuro-oncology diseases, our faculty lead four subspecialty clinics: a multidisciplinary glioma clinic, a Neurofibromatosis clinic, a specialty cancer prevention and screening clinic, and a procedure clinic. A total care program for primary brain tumors enhances our ability to care for our patients in one environment with various specialists.

Subspecialty Clinics


Physicians and scientists within the Neuro-oncology section focus on a range of clinical and basic research topics relevant to the field of glioblastomas and gliomas. Clinical research activities focus on low- and high-grade gliomas, leptomeningeal disease, novel tumor mutations, as well as health disparities. Basic science research investigates mechanisms of genotype-phenotype connections, signal transduction pathways involved in the pathogenesis of cancer, and novel strategies to target metabolic vulnerabilities in gliomas. Faculty research on IDH inhibitors and their efficacy on low-grade IDH mutant gliomas has shaped the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines on treating this disease. Their work in the imaging field has also been instrumental in utilizing non-invasive imaging techniques to identify patients with IDH mutant tumors, through the evaluation of 2HG signaling.

More About Research Publications from Faculty

Our Reach Within the Community

Head for the Cure, an annual spring walk is a well-attended fundraising event. A portion of the funds are directed to our research team to bring novel therapies from bench concepts to the bedside. 

National Brain Tumor Society - Fireside Chats occur once every 6 months to 1 year, where clinical trials are discussed offering insight to community members interested in supporting research. The society funds clinical research activities and community engagement activities. They also provide dedicated support group assistance to patients and caregivers.

Grey Matters, is a local neuro-oncology support group for UT Southwestern brain tumor patients and faculty.