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Michael Lim, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Michael Lim, M.D.
4.7 out of 5
193 Ratings
  • Director of Brain Tumor Immunotherapy
  • Professor of Neurosurgery

Languages: English, Korean


Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), Brain Cancer, Brain Tumors, Glioblastoma, Metastatic Brain Tumors, Neurosurgery, Neurosurgical Oncology, Radiosurgery, Skull Base Surgery, Skull Base Tumors, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) more

Research Interests

Brain Tumor Vaccines; Brain Metastases; Trigeminal Neuralgia; Spine Radiosurgery

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 410-614-1627
600 N. Wolfe Street
Phipps Suite 123
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-1627 | Fax: 410-502-4954

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

Appointment Phone: 410-955-6406
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-550-0465
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map


Dr. Michael Lim's surgical interest is in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors as well as pituitary and skull base tumors. He also has an interest in surgical treatments of trigeminal neuralgia. He utilizes the most advanced techniques in neurosurgery including image guided surgery, microsurgery, minimally invasive techniques, and endoscopic surgery.

Dr. Lim also possesses expertise in radiosurgery. He is the Director of the Spine Radiosurgery program. In addition to treating spinal tumors, he is an expert in the treatment of brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, and trigeminal neuralgia with radiosurgery.

To contact Dr. Michael Lim, call 410-614-1627 or email

In October 2016, Dr. Lim was recognized for outstanding patient care, earning a Service Excellence Award from HealthNetwork Foundation. The awards are presented annually to 10 physicians who have demonstrated extremely high levels of integrity and compassionate care. Dr. Lim was nominated by former grateful patients. more


  • Director of Brain Tumor Immunotherapy
  • Director of the Metastatic Brain Tumor Center
  • Director of the Johns Hopkins Trigeminal Neuralgia Center
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2000)


  • Stanford University School of Medicine / Neurosurgery (2007)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery / Neurological Surgery (2012)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Lim's primary research interest involves immune-based therapies against brain tumors. His research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune evasion by primary brain tumors with the goal of translation to novel therapies against gliomas. Dr. Lim also performs clinical research. He publishes extensively in radiosurgery and also has interests in brain tumor clinical trials for which he works closely with the neuro-oncologists in a team approach.


Dr. Lim is the Director of the Brain Cancer Immunology Laboratory at Johns Hopkins. His laboratory explores mechanisms of immune resistance and novel therapies for brain tumors.  In addition, his laboratory performs translational studies to develop the next generation of clinical trials.

Dr. Lim is the co-principal investigator of 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 Trial Keywords

EGFRvIII, Vaccine, Oncophage

Clinical Trials

STUDY NAME: SRS (Stereotactic Radiosurgery) Plus Ipilimumab

  • SUMMARY: This research is being done to look at the safety of using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and Ipilimumab together to treat melanoma that has spread to the brain or spine. Both Ipilimumab and SRS are used alone for the treatment of melanoma that has spread. Standard of care uses both of these treatments but are not at the same time. By using them together, we expect better treatment of melanoma, but there might be an increase in side effects. This research study plans to look at the timing and sequence of the SRS and the Ipilumumab. There is also an option to adjust the doses of the Ipilumumab if too many side effects are seen. Ipilimumab is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of melanoma that has spread throughout the body. It works by activating your immune system to fight off cancer. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma in the brain or spine. It uses radiation to treat tumors without needing to cut or use stitches. The combination of SRS and Ipilimumab in this research study is investigational. The word "investigational" means that this combination is not approved by the FDA.

STUDY NAME: A Randomized Study of Nivolumab or Nivolumab Combined With Ipilimumab Versus Bevacizumab in Adult Subjects With Recurrent Glioblastoma(GBM)(CheckMate 143)

  • SUMMARY: The purpose of the study is to understand the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Nivolumab as a single agent or in combination with Ipilimumab versus Bevacizumab in patients diagnosed with Recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM).

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

1.Factors associated with survival for patients with glioblastoma with poor pre-operative functional status.
Chaichana KL, Martinez-Gutierrez JC, De la Garza-Ramos R, Weingart JD, Olivi A, Gallia GL, Lim M, Brem H, Quinones-Hinojosa A.
J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Jun;20(6):818-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.07.016. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

2.Increased Subventricular Zone Radiation Dose Correlates With Survival in Glioblastoma Patients After Gross Total Resection.
Chen L, Guerrero-Cazares H, Ye X, Ford E, McNutt T, Kleinberg L, Lim M, Chaichana K, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Redmond K.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Mar 26. doi:pii: S0360-3016(13)00182-X. 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.02.014. [Epub ahead of print]

3.Anti-PD-1 Blockade and Stereotactic Radiation Produce Long-Term Survival in Mice With Intracranial Gliomas.
Zeng J, See AP, Phallen J, Jackson CM, Belcaid Z, Ruzevick J, Durham N, Meyer C, Harris TJ, Albesiano E, Pradilla G, Ford E, Wong J, Hammers HJ, Mathios D, Tyler B, Brem H, Tran PT, Pardoll D, Drake CG, Lim M.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Jun 1;86(2):343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.12.025. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

4.Three-dimensional amide proton transfer MR imaging of gliomas: Initial experience and comparison with gadolinium enhancement.
Zhou J, Zhu H, Lim M, Blair L, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Messina SA, Eberhart CG, Pomper MG, Laterra J, Barker PB, van Zijl PC, Blakeley JO.
J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Feb 25. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24067. [Epub ahead of print]

5.Vaccine strategies for glioblastoma: progress and future directions.
Jackson C, Ruzevick J, Brem H, Lim M.
Immunotherapy. 2013 Feb;5(2):155-67. doi: 10.2217/imt.12.155.

6.Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in adult patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors.
Chaichana KL, Pendleton C, Jackson C, Martinez-Gutierrez JC, Diaz-Stransky A, Aguayo J, Olivi A, Weingart J, Gallia G, Lim M, Brem H, Quinones-Hinojosa A.
Neurol Res. 2013 Mar;35(2):206-11. doi: 10.1179/1743132812Y.0000000126. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

7.Glycerol rhizotomy and radiofrequency thermocoagulation for trigeminal neuralgia in multiple sclerosis.
Bender M, Pradilla G, Batra S, See AP, James C, Pardo CA, Carson BS, Lim M.
J Neurosurg. 2013 Feb;118(2):329-36. doi: 10.3171/2012.9.JNS1226. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

8.The role of STAT3 activation in modulating the immune microenvironment of GBM.
See AP, Han JE, Phallen J, Binder Z, Gallia G, Pan F, Jinasena D, Jackson C, Belcaid Z, Jeong SJ, Gottschalk C, Zeng J, Ruzevick J, Nicholas S, Kim Y, Albesiano E, Pardoll DM, Lim M.
J Neurooncol. 2012 Dec;110(3):359-68. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0981-6. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

9.Multiple resections for patients with glioblastoma: prolonging survival.
Chaichana KL, Zadnik P, Weingart JD, Olivi A, Gallia GL, Blakeley J, Lim M, Brem H, Quiones-Hinojosa A.
J Neurosurg. 2013 Apr;118(4):812-20. doi: 10.3171/2012.9.JNS1277. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

10.Perspectives on key articles in neurosurgery.
Lim M, Sherman JH, Wang VY, Smith ZA, Cho JM, Colen CB, Kim CY, Zada G, Li G, Yang I.
Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3:58. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.96869. Epub 2012 May 31. No abstract available.

11.Clinical trials with immunotherapy for high-grade glioma.
Ruzevick J, Jackson C, Phallen J, Lim M.
Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2012 Jul;23(3):459-70. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jun 8. Review.

12.Potential role for STAT3 inhibitors in glioblastoma.
Jackson C, Ruzevick J, Amin AG, Lim M.
Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2012 Jul;23(3):379-89. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jun 5. Review.

13.Subependymoma: clinical features and surgical outcomes.
Jain A, Amin AG, Jain P, Burger P, Jallo GI, Lim M, Bettegowda C.
Neurol Res. 2012 Sep;34(7):677-84. doi: 10.1179/1743132812Y.0000000064. Epub 2012 Jun 28. Review.

14.The Transconjunctival Transorbital Approach: A Keyhole Approach to the Midline Anterior Skull Base.
Raza SM, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Lim M, Boahene KD.
World Neurosurg. 2012 Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print]

15.Postoperative Anticoagulation in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valves Following Surgical Treatment of Subdural Hematomas.
Amin AG, Ng J, Hsu W, Pradilla G, Raza S, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Lim M.
Neurocrit Care. 2012 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]

16.Seizure control for patients undergoing meningioma surgery.
Chaichana KL, Pendleton C, Zaidi H, Olivi A, Weingart JD, Gallia GL, Lim M, Brem H, Quiones-Hinojosa A.
World Neurosurg. 2013 Mar-Apr;79(3-4):515-24. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.02.051. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

17.The predictive value of serum myeloperoxidase for vasospasm in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Lim M, Bower RS, Wang Y, Sims L, Bower MR, Camara-Quintana J, Li G, Cheshier S, Harsh GR 4th, Steinberg GK, Guccione S.
Neurosurg Rev. 2012 Jul;35(3):413-9; discussion 419. doi: 10.1007/s10143-012-0375-4. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

18.Challenges in immunotherapy presented by the glioblastoma multiforme microenvironment.
Jackson C, Ruzevick J, Phallen J, Belcaid Z, Lim M.
Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:732413. doi: 10.1155/2011/732413. Epub 2011 Dec 10. Review.

19.Stereotactic radiosurgery of cranial arteriovenous malformations and dural arteriovenous fistulas.
See AP, Raza S, Tamargo RJ, Lim M.
Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2012 Jan;23(1):133-46. doi: 10.1016/ Review.

20.Effectiveness of repeat glycerol rhizotomy in treating recurrent trigeminal neuralgia.
Bender M, Pradilla G, Batra S, See A, Bhutiani N, James C, Carson BS, Lim M.
Neurosurgery. 2012 May;70(5):1125-33; discussion 1133-4. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823f5eb6.

Activities & Honors


  • Service Excellence Award, Healthnetwork Foundation, 2016
  • Best Consulting Physician Award, Suburban Hospital, 2018

Videos & Media

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Our Expert: Michael Lim, M.D.

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Practice Update Phase 0 Immunotherapy Clinical Trials in Neuro-Oncology December 2019

Practice Update Biological Basis for Low Responsess to Immunotherapy in GBM November 2019

Practice Update Stereotactic Radiosurgery vs Whole Brain Radiation for Patients With Four or More Brain Metastases November 2019

Practice Update Current Status of Immunotherapy for GBM 2018

Practice Update Checkpoint Inhibitors in Combination with Novel Therapies for Recurrent GBM 2018

Practice Update Evidence-Based Use of Immunotherapy in GBM: An Expert Review 2018

Practice Update New Data on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Gioblastoma 2017 

Gifts Fast cars, fancy suits and a friendship that gave one professor a new lease on life. August 29,2017


Incorporating Immunotherapy into the Standard of Care: Could Systemic Chemotherapy Hamper Success? March, 2017


Recorded webinar with ABTA - Metastatic Brain Tumors: What you Need to Know (11/9/2016)

Recorded Online Seminar; Trigeminal Neuralgia

Podcast: Brain Tumor Types-Metastasized Brain Cancer

Recorded Online Seminar: Updates in Treatment Options for Brain Metastases

Recorded Webinar: Trigeminal Neuralgia: Leave No One in Pain


Direct-to-brain chemo better than systemic drugs when immunotherapy is to follow, MedicalXpress (12/23/2016)

He couldn’t eat, drink or work. And doctors couldn’t explain his searing pain. Washington Post (03/14/2016)

Dr. Michael Lim on Toxicities of Checkpoint Inhibitors, OncLive (11/23/2015)

Celldex Vaccine Rindopepimut Cuts Death Risk From Brain Cancer, Study Shows, Wall Street Journal (11/20/2015)

Delivering a One-Two Punch to Cancer, Doorways to Discovery (November 2014)

Facing Pain, Johns Hopkins Health (Winter 2013)

New Weapons in the Brain Cancer Fight, NeuroLogic (Spring 2012)

The Hunt for a Brain Tumor Vaccine, Collaborations in Discovery (November 2011)

Extreme pain could be nerve disorder, WJLA-TV (04/26/2011)

Amazing Medical Mysteries: The Suicide Disease, Reader's Digest

Tool Kit: A Brain Surgeon's Must Have Gizmos, Wired Magazine (November 2010)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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