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John S. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D.


Harvard Medical School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Residency, Neurological Surgery
University of Southern California

Fellowship, Stereotactic Radiosurgery
University of Southern California

Fellowship, Brain Tumor Molecular Biology
University of Toronto


John S. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally known neurosurgeon-scientist who specializes in brain tumors, is a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. He was the founding chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Dell Med. In addition to his role at the medical school, he serves as vice president of medical affairs at China Medical University in Taiwan.

Kuo came to Dell Med from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a professor of neurological surgery and human oncology and director of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program. He led the Central Nervous System Tumors Group at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, a nationally known institution for cancer research, care and community involvement. During his 12 years there, he led and expanded multiple high-quality multidisciplinary teams — delivering clinical care for brain tumors, pituitary tumors and hydrocephalus — and advanced discoveries from lab research to clinical trials.

Kuo is among an elite group of neurosurgeons who have earned research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. His research has been featured in journals such as Nature Reviews and Science Translational Medicine. He has been invited as visiting professor and speaker at institutions including Massachusetts General Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center. His honors include being named among “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly and the 2015 Preuss Award for best tumor research at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He also is an endowed visiting professor of surgery at National University of Singapore and was elected to the Society of University Surgeons and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. He serves as the tumor editor for World Neurosurgery and Operative Neurosurgery and was chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons membership committee and co-chaired the UW-Madison Biological Sciences Divisional (Tenure) Committee.

A native of Taiwan, Kuo immigrated as a child to New York City, then graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s in biology (summa cum laude), and both a medical degree and doctorate through a joint program of Harvard Medical School (Health Sciences and Technology) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After advanced training in neurosurgery at the University of Southern California and University of Toronto, Kuo was recruited to UW-Madison, where he created successful clinical and research programs by assembling multidisciplinary teams, mentoring and training colleagues and students across campus, and being awarded major grants for innovative research discoveries. He pursued a similar strategy at Dell Med to advance the care of brain and spine patients, partnering with clinical and research colleagues in neuroscience, cancer and other areas to leverage technology and bioscience advances on campus and in the Austin community. He also brought a commitment to mentoring students and faculty, for which he has won awards at Wisconsin, Harvard and MIT.

Professional Affiliations
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Society of Neuro-Oncology
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
Awards & Honors
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons
  • America's Top Doctors
    Castle Connolly
  • Preuss Award
    AANS/CNS Joint Tumor Section