Neuro-Oncology Program

The Neuro-Oncology Program at Henry Ford Cancer Institute has strengths in both the treatment of patients through surgery and clinical trials as well as a strong translational research program that is supported by one of the country's largest brain tumor tissue banks. Collaborations occur across several departments, including Neurosurgery, at our Hermelin Brain Tumor Center, Neurology, Radiology, and Pathology.

Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford

The Hermelin Brain Tumor Center offers access to new brain tumor therapies through more than 25 clinical trials and research programs. The Center is the only site in Michigan offering therapies through the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium (ABTC).

The Center is also a leader in the understanding of the genetics of brain tumors, and in the development of therapies matched to each patient's brain tumor genetics for the best chance at recovery. The Center is a major contributor to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a national cooperative of major academic medical centers sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, which is responsible for identifying certain survival-related genes. The data generated from the TCGA and the 1000 tumor tissues in the tumor bank are a major resource for each of the research laboratories at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center.


  • Understanding the role of PKC in the regulation of glioma cell apoptosis and autophagy
  • Understanding self-renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells and glioma stem cells
  • Development of novel approaches for the imaging and treatment of brain tumors using nanoparticles
  • Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells to deliver anti-cancer agents such as the immunomodulatory cytokine IL12
  • Identify critical biomarkers and other pretreatment screening tools to personalize tumor treatment for individual patients
  • Characterizing the role of heparinase in glioma progression
  • Developing the clinical guidelines for metastatic disease
  • The role of the drug Cilengitide in the targeting of angiogenesis
  • Evaluate the outcome of specific chemotherapeutic treatments based on genetic profiling
  • Identification of genes involved in promoting tumor invasion
  • Characterizing the functional role of SPARC and HSP27 in tumor invasion and survival, and their use as therapeutic targets
  • Studying the influence of the tumor genetic background on the effectiveness of anti-invasion therapies
  • Evaluating the role of tumor microenvironment in promoting invasion
  • Studying the role of ADAM 17 in glioma progression and treatment
  • The use of photodynamic and anti-angiogenic approaches in glioma treatment

See member profiles for comprehensive research interests

Leader and clinical co-leader

  • Kalkanis, Steven, M.D.
  • Mikkelsen, Tom, M.D.

Research members

  • Ali, Mesera, Ph.D.
  • Arbab, Ali S., M.D., Ph.D.
  • Brodie, Chaya, Ph.D.
  • Brown, Stephen, Ph.D.
  • Chopp, Michael, Ph.D.
  • deCarvalho, Ana, Ph.D.
  • Ewing, James, Ph.D.
  • Freytag, Svend, Ph.D.
  • Jiang, Feng, PharmD.
  • Noushmehr, Houtan, Ph.D.
  • Poisson, Laila, Ph.D.
  • Valeria Castro Noushmehr, Ana, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical members

  • Aho, Todd, M.D.
  • Brown, Mani, M.D.
  • Lee, Ian, M.D.
  • Rock, Jack, M.D.
  • Walbert, Tobias, M.D., Ph.D., MPH

Chief of neuropathology and tissue analysis

  • Hao, Chunhai (Charlie), M.D.