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, with an emphasis on low and high grade gliomas.

Dr. Abdullah treats brain tumors using traditional microsurgery techniques and minimally invasive surgery options including endoscopy and laser therapy. Some of these surgeries are performed using an intraoperative MRI scanner- one of the few in the nation of its kind- which allows him to see tumor resection in real-time.

He received his medical degree from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar at the National Institutes of Health. He completed his neurosurgery residency and chief residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a fellowship in open and endoscopic neurosurgical oncology at Wellington Regional Hospital in New Zealand.

Dr. Abdullah’s research focus is on the intracranial delivery of therapies during and after resection of brain tumors, specifically glioblastoma. He completed post-doctoral research in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and has developed polymers with the potential to provide treatment directly to tumors. Having obtained a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, he additionally has a research effort to improve quality of care for brain tumor patients, including analyses of economic and health policies in cancer care. Dr. Abdullah and his team are also actively involved in enrolling patients in clinical trials for malignant brain tumors.

Dr. Abdullah has published over 100 research publications and articles, has been independently funded as a cancer researcher, and has been an invited lecturer both nationally and internationally. He co-edited the seminal textbook on malignant gliomas, “Glioblastoma” published in 2016 by Elsevier.


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