Skip Navigation
Find a Doctor


Photo of Dr. Henry Brem

Henry Brem, MD

Director, Department of Neurosurgery
Professor of Neurological Surgery

See Research on Pubmed | See Research on Google Scholar

Appointment Phone


Main Location

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

View All Locations
Out-of-State & International Patients +
Out of State Patients

Call 410-464-6641 (8a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

Learn more about our out-of-state patient services »

International Patients

Call +1-410-502-7683 (7a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

Learn more about our international patient services »


  • Director, Department of Neurosurgery
  • Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgeon-in-Chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Director, Hunterian Neurosurgical Research Laboratory
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Oncology

Centers & Institutes

  • Acoustic Neuroma Center
  • Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
  • Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center
  • Glioma Center
  • Meningioma Center
  • Metastatic Brain Tumor Center
  • Pituitary Center
  • Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


Acoustic Neuromas, Brain Cancer, Brain Tumors, Glioblastoma, Gliomas, Meningiomas, Metastatic Brain Tumors, Neurosurgery, Pituitary Tumors, Skull Base Tumors

Research Interests

Delivery of chemotherapy directly to the brain; New clinical treatments for brain tumors; Computer navigation systems used during surgery; Brain tumor vaccines; Anti-angiogenesis therapies


Henry Brem has developed new tools and techniques that have changed the field of neurosurgery.  Brem carried out the pivotal clinical study that introduced navigational imaging into the neurosurgical suite.  His work led to the FDA's approval of the first image guidance computer system for intraoperative localization of tumors.  Furthermore, he has changed the surgical armamentarium against brain tumors by inventing and developing Gliadel® wafers to intraoperatively deliver chemotherapy to brain tumors.  His work has shown that surgeons can accurately deliver potent therapies directly at the tumor site.

Henry Brem is the Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins University, Director of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief. He also is a professor of Oncology, Ophthalmology, and Biomedical Engineering. 

Brem received his undergraduate degree from New York University, his medical degree from Harvard, and trained in neurosurgery at Columbia.  At Hopkins, he has built one of the largest brain tumor research and treatment centers in the world.  He reinstituted the Hunterian Neurosurgery Laboratory (originally founded by Cushing) and has trained numerous researchers who have revolutionized the fields of intraoperative imaging, angiogenesis, immunotherapy, and controlled release polymers for drug delivery to the brain. 

Brem has changed the surgical treatment of brain tumors by introducing new approaches for targeted therapy.  He developed new classes of polymers and microchips for drug delivery that are custom synthesized for the agent being developed.  The polyanhydrides, which were the first new treatments for brain tumors that the FDA had approved in 23 years, have been shown in his laboratory to be biocompatible and potent. He then designed and led the clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy.

Brem has used his laboratory experience to design and lead many novel multi-institutional clinical trials to prove the safety and efficacy of this approach in patients with brain tumors. His work has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1982, and is currently funded by several active grants.

Brem's teaching was recognized by the Hopkins Professors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1996.  In 1998 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  In 2000 he was awarded the Grass Award by the Society of Neurological Surgeons for meritorious research; in 2001 he received the Founders Award of the Controlled Release Society; in 2004 he received the New York University Distinguished Alumni Award; in 2005 he was co-recipient of the Society for Biomaterials Technology Innovation and Development Award and was named the Coleman Fellow in Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University. In 2011 he delivered the commencement address for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has been recognized by the Castle Connolly Guide each year from 2002 in “America’s Top Doctors”, and from 2005 – present in “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer”. In 2013, the Society for NeuroOncology and the Section on Tumors of the AANS/CNS named him as the recipient of the Abhijit Guha Award. In 2014, The Johns Hopkins University established the Henry Brem Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery.

Brem is constantly sought after as a guest lecturer across the world. In 1996 he was the Altman Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2005 he was the E. Llewelyn Thomas Lecturer at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering in Toronto, Canada, as well as the Noun Shavit Memorial Lecturer at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel. Brem was the Rosomoff Visiting Professor to the University of Miami in Florida in 2007, and in 2008 he was a visiting professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. He was the Henry A. Shenkin, MD Lecturer at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, in 2009. In 2010, he was the Van Wagenen Professorship Lecturer at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY, and the Tenth Annual Hugo V. Rizzoli M.D. Lecturer of Walter Reed Army Medical Center & National Naval Medical Center. In 2011 he delivered the Seventh Annual Stuart Rowe Society Lecture at University of Pittsburgh. In 2013 he was the Yale University Voynick Lecturer.

In 2000, Brem was named director of the Department of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Since his appointment, Brem has brought to Johns Hopkins many of the nation’s best neurosurgeons, who share his philosophy to provide the best clinical care, while pushing research boundaries to enhance patient’s outcomes in the field of neurosurgery. Brem strives to ensure that each patient receives the best possible state of the art care in neurosurgery from his team. In addition, patients can be assured that they will have a team of physicians and scientists who are thinking about the patient’s problems and design the best therapy possible across all disciplines and sciences. Patients can also be assured that the latest research, the newest technology, and the best possible and most innovative therapies will be made available to them.

Brem and his team have established one of the best fellowship and residency programs in the US. His mission, which extends through his team, is to train the next generation to be cutting-edge neurosurgeons who will become academic leaders in their field. Brem’s leadership and his team were recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2010, when it ranked Johns Hopkins as the #1 neurosurgery program in the nation,   a distinction it held for four consecutive years. In 2014 the Neurosurgery Residency Program was ranked in the top three Neurological Surgery Residency Programs in the US by U.S. News & World Report and Doximity. 

To sustain his vision of combining scientific progress with improved clinical outcomes, philanthropy is important to Dr. Brem.  He has raised over $30 million to establish a Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins.  During his chairmanship, the Department of Neurosurgery has raised over $109 million, including nine endowed chairs to support, sustain and stabilize the department’s spirit of innovation and excellence.

In summary, over the past 30 years, Henry Brem has introduced new therapeutic approaches to Neurosurgery.  His devotion to patient care, clinical excellence and translational science has brought together a unique group of neurosurgeons and investigators that have changed the field of neurosurgery. His approach to science and medicine has also had significant impact throughout Johns Hopkins. His trainees have gone on to distinguished careers in science and medicine and are serving in leadership roles throughout the world. He continues his practice of complex brain surgery and to lead the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Department.


  • English


2009 - present: NYU in DC Committee, New York University Alumni

2007- present: Society of Neurological Surgeons – Committee on Resident Education (CoRE)

2007 - present: B.R.A.I.N. (Brain Research Academy International for Neoplasia) founding member

2007: American Academy of Neurological Surgery, Scientific Program Chair - 69thAnnual Meeting,

Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, Nevada Oct 31-Nov 3, 2007.

2005 - present: Society of Neurological Surgeons, Research Updates in Neuroscience for Neurosurgeons (RUNN) at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; RUNN Course Co-Director; RUNN Curriculum (Subcommittee)

2003- present: Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences: IOM Membership Committee, Vice-Chair, Section 1 (2003-2005) IOM, Membership Committee, Chair, Section 1 (2005-2007) IOM, Nomination Committee, (2011-present)

2002 – 2009: Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation, Executive Council Member

2001: Liaison to the National Cancer Institute for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Board of Directors

Additional Resources

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Harvard Medical School (Boston MA ) (1978)


    • Neurological Institute of New York / Neurosurgery (New York NY ) (1984)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1980)


    • Neurological Surgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery (1986)
  • Research & Publications +


    Dr. Brem is the principal investigator in the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Subependymoma and Ependymoma Research Center. This research center conducts basic science, translational and clinical practice research with the goals of optimizing current treatment options and developing new therapies that will positively impact the care and lives of patients with subependymomas and ependymomas, primary central nervous system (CNS) brain tumors

    Clinical Trials

    Learn more about clinicial trials at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    2014: Henry Brem Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University

    2010 - 2013: Neurosurgery Department Ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report

    2013: Abhijit Guha Award, Society for Neuro-Oncology and the Section on Tumors of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons

    2013: The Michael S. Voynick Lecture in Neuro-Oncology Award, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    2012: Castle Connolly Magazine, Top Doctors: Washington-Baltimore

    2012: Boy Scouts of America, Health Leadership Award

    2011: Commencement Address, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    2011: Seventh Annual Stuart Rowe Society Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Neurosurgery

    2010: Tenth Annual Hugo V. Rizzoli, M.D. Lecturer, Walter Reed Army Medical Center & National Naval Medical Center, National Capital Neurosurgery

    2010: Faculty Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

    2010: Van Wagenen Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

    2010: Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award, Voices Against Brain Cancer

    Professional Activities

    Editorial Board Appointments:

    Neurosurgery, Editorial Advisory Board, 2011 - present
    World Neurosurgery, 2010 - present
    Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2006-2008
    NeuroRx (ASENT), 2002-2005
    Annals of Surgical Oncology (Section of Neuro-Oncology,) Executive Committee 2002-2005
    AACR, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2001
    Neuro-Oncology, 1998 - 2003
    Neurosurgery, 1997 - 2011


    Section Editor, Youmans Textbook of Neurological Surgery-6th Edition, 2011
    Section Editor, Youmans Textbook of Neurological Surgery-5th Edition, 2004
    Guest Editor, Special Edition: Implant Approach to Chemotherapy,(JNO) 1995


  • Videos & Media +


    Meet our Experts: Dr. Henry Brem

    Dr. Henry Brem, director of the Department of Neurosurgery, focuses on the surgical treatment of pituitary tumors, meningiomas, gliomas, acoustic neuromas and other solid brain tumors.

    Dr. Brem Describes the Spirit of Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery

    Dr Henry Brem, Director of Neurosurgery, discusses the unique spirit of the team's clinical and research approach to diagnosing, treating & caring for patients with spine problems, brain tumors, pediatric neurosurgery conditions and cerebrovascular issues.

    Patient story: Brain Tumor Patient, Carlos

    Diagnosed with a grade two astrocytoma brain tumor, Carlos is currently living with brain cancer. Carlos is receiving his treatment and care from Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Brem at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center.

    Dr. Henry Brem, Part 1 of 2 - Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Convocation 2011

    Henry Brem, M.D., Harvey Cushing Professor and Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery, Commencement Address to Graduates, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Convocation 2011

    Dr. Henry Brem, Part 2 of 2 - Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Convocation 2011

    Henry Brem, M.D., Harvey Cushing Professor and Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery, Commencement Address to Graduates, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Convocation 2011

    Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery First Annual Harvey Cushing Lecture Part 1 of 3

    Dr. Henry Brem and Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa present at the first annual Harvey Cushing Lecture at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery First Annual Harvey Cushing Lecture Part 2 of 3

    Dr. Ben Carson delivers the first part of his talk as part of the Harvey Cushing lecture.

    Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery First Annual Harvey Cushing Lecture Part 3 of 3

    Dr. Ben Carson concludes his presentation as part of the first annual Harvey Cushing lecture at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    Video Links

    Recent News Articles & Media Coverage

    Giffords' Case Offers Insight on Mysteries of the ''Changeable'' Brain, PBS Newshour (01/17/2011)


  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-955-2249
    Appointment Phone: 410-955-2248
    Fax: 410-955-8263
    Location Map


    • Neurosurgery - Neuro-Oncology
    • Neurosurgery - Brain Tumor
    • Neurosurgery - Neurological Surgery

Is This You? Edit Profile


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. All rights reserved.