Kalil G. Abdullah, M.D., MSc is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

He specializes in the treatment of adult brain tumors. 

Dr. Abdullah treats brain tumors using traditional microsurgery techniques and awake craniotomies to map intricate regions of the brain during surgery. He also uses endoscopic, tubular, and laser therapy to provide minimally invasive surgery options to his patients. He performs some of these surgeries using an intraoperative MRI scanner which allows him to see tumor resection in real time. He also performs fluorescence-guided tumor resections, and led the surgical team that performed the first such surgery in North Texas.

Dr. Abdullah earned his medical degree at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, where he was a National Institutes of Health Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar. He completed a residency in neurological surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and then received advanced training in open and endoscopic neurosurgical oncology through a fellowship at the Wellington Hospital in New Zealand. He completed an additional research fellowship in stem cell biology and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a master’s degree in health economics and policy from the London School of Economics.

Dr. Abdullah directs an Integrated Brain Tumor Research Program that takes tumor tissue directly from the operating room to the laboratory to develop new drug and treatment targets. He is actively involved in both running and enrolling patients in clinical trials for brain tumors. 

He has published more than 100 research papers and has been an invited lecturer both nationally and internationally. He co-edited the seminal textbook on malignant gliomas, Glioblastoma


Medical School
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (2012)
Graduate School
London School of Economics and Political Science (2018), Economics
University of Pennsylvania (2019), Neurological Surgery


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Management of Giant Cervical Teratoma with Intracranial Extension Diagnosed in Utero.
Thawani JP, Randazzo MJ, Singh N, Pisapia JM, Abdullah KG, Storm PB, J Neurol Surg Rep 2016 Jul 77 3 e118-20
Comparing Utility Scores in Common Spinal Radiculopathies: Results of a Prospective Valuation Study.
Nayak NR, Stephen JH, Abdullah KG, Stein SC, Malhotra NR, Global Spine J 2016 May 6 3 270-6
Cost-Utility Analysis of Instrumented Fusion Versus Decompression Alone for Grade I L4-L5 Spondylolisthesis at 1-Year Follow-up: A Pilot Study.
Alvin MD, Lubelski D, Abdullah KG, Whitmore RG, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Clin Spine Surg 2016 Mar 29 2 E80-6
Cost-Utility Analysis of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion With Plating (ACDFP) Versus Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy (PCF) for Patients With Single-level Cervical Radiculopathy at 1-Year Follow-up.
Alvin MD, Lubelski D, Abdullah KG, Whitmore RG, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Clin Spine Surg 2016 Mar 29 2 E67-72
Cost-Utility Analysis of 1- and 2-Level Dorsal Lumbar Fusions With and Without Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenic Protein-2 at 1-Year Follow-Up.
Alvin MD, Derakhshan A, Lubelski D, Abdullah KG, Whitmore RG, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Clin Spine Surg 2016 Feb 29 1 E28-33
Stab wound to the intramedullary spinal cord: Presurgical and surgical management options for a retained blade to optimize neurological preservation.
Agarwal P, Burke JF, Abdullah KG, Piazza M, Smith BP, Thawani JP, Malhotra NR, Surg Neurol Int 2016 7 Suppl 42 S1096-S1098
Prediction of quality of life improvements in patients with lumbar stenosis following use of membrane stabilizing agents.
Lubelski D, Thompson NR, Agrawal B, Abdullah KG, Alvin MD, Khalaf T, Mazanec DJ, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Krishnaney AA, Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2015 Dec 139 234-40
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Traumatic Fractures in Ankylosing Spinal Diseases.
Nayak NR, Pisapia JM, Abdullah KG, Schuster JM, Global Spine J 2015 Aug 5 4 266-73
A Systematic Review of Lumbar Fusion Rates With and Without the Use of rhBMP-2.
Galimberti F, Lubelski D, Healy AT, Wang T, Abdullah KG, Nowacki AS, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Spine 2015 Jul 40 14 1132-9
Adverse Events With the Use of rhBMP-2 in Thoracolumbar and Lumbar Spine Fusions: A 9-Year Institutional Analysis.
Lubelski D, Abdullah KG, Steinmetz MP, Alvin MD, Nowacki AS, Chakka S, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, J Spinal Disord Tech 2015 Jun 28 5 E277-83


Featured Books Legend Featured Books