Sandeep Kunwar, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Neurosurgeon, Co-Medical Director, Gamma Knife Program
Board certified in neurosurgery and renowned for his work in minimally
invasive cranial and spine neurosurgery, Dr. Kunwar played an instrumental
role in the evolution of the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute
where he now serves as medical director for two of the Institute’s
programs: co-medical director of the Gamma Knife® Program, medical
director of the Endoscopic Skull Base and Pituitary Center, and innovation
in minimally invasive spinal surgery.
In addition to his focus on Gamma Knife radiosurgery, Dr. Kunwar specializes
in minimally invasive brain and spine surgery. His innovative work in
these fields and pioneering research in drug delivery to the brain have
brought him national and international recognition. He has performed more
than 3,500 minimally invasive operations, and has developed a minimally-invasive
approach to skull-based tumors and improved access to the spine.
Dr. Kunwar is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical society and is a recipient
of the Preuss Resident Research Award and the Ronald Bittner Tumor Award
from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress
of Neurological Surgeons. He has served as the lead principal investigator
for a number of international multi-institutional clinical trials, including
the largest surgical based drug trial for brain tumors (PRECISE trial).
In 2006, Dr. Kunwar began his private practice in Fremont, California after
7 years of successful practice at UCSF. He joined the medical community
at Washington Hospital Healthcare System and he continues to serve as
an Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery on the faculty at UCSF.
At UCSF, he developed one of the busiest surgical programs in San Francisco
and was selected by world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Charles Wilson, to
take over his pituitary surgery practice after his retirement. Dr. Kunwar
received his medical degree and neurosurgical training at the University
of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
Dr. Kunwar’s clinical interests include adult brain and spinal cord
tumors, minimally invasive spinal surgery, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery
for metastatic and primary brain tumors, and the treatment of pituitary
adenomas by the endonasal approaches. He has one of the largest pituitary
surgical services in the world.
Dr. Kunwar’s research includes the development and institution of
novel surgical-based therapies for the treatment of malignant gliomas.
These strategies utilize tumor-targeted cytocidal proteins delivered through
direct intracerebral microinfusion (convection-enhanced delivery), which
bypasses the blood-brain barrier.
In 1999, Dr. Kunwar joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological
Surgery at the University of San Francisco developing a very busy clinical
and research program in one of the best Neurosurgery departments in the
He has also been instrumental in developing new techniques to perform standard
spinal operation without the need to expose the spine , cutting muscles
or removing normal bone anatomy.
He also works to improve the use of technology to perform standard/ procedures
through less invasive approaches. He teaches other Neurosurgeons these
advanced technologies. He also presents at national and international
medical conferences on a region basis.