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Michael Lim, M.D.

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

Languages: English, Korean


Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), Brain Cancer, Brain Tumors, Glioblastoma, Immunotherapy, 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, Cancer Vaccines, Checkpoint Inhibitors, Spine Radiosurgery, Trigeminal Neuralgia

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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

Carboxylated Branched Poly(β-amino ester) Nanoparticles Enable Robust Cytosolic Protein Delivery and CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing. Rui Y, Wilson DR, Choi J, Varanasi M, Sanders K, Karlsson J, Lim M, Green JJ. Sci Adv. 2019 Dec 6;5(12):eaay3255

Herrmann A, Lahtz C, Song J, Aftabizadeh M, Cherryholmes GA, Xin H, Adamus T, Lee H, Grunert D, Armstrong B, Chu P, Brown C, Lim M, Forman S, Yu H. Oncogene. 2019 Dec 9

PD-L1 Expression in Pediatric Low-Grade Gliomas is Independent of BRAF V600E Mutational Status. Martin AM, Bell WR, Yuan M, Harris L, Poore B, Arnold A, Engle EL, Asnaghi L, Lim M, Raabe EH, Eberhart CG. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019 Dec 9

In vivo Bioluminescence Tomography Center of Mass-Guided Conformal Irradiation. Deng Z, Xu X, Garzon-Muvdi T, Xia Y, Kim E, Belcaid Z, Luksik A, Maxwell R, Choi J, Wang H, Yu J, Iordachita I, Lim M, Wong JW, Kang-Hsin Wang K. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 Nov 15

Anti-PD-1 Mediated Anti-Tumor Immune Response in GBM is Enhanced by Local Chemotherapy and Abrogated by Systemic Chemotherapy. Mathios D, Kim J, Mangraviti A, Phallen J, Park CK, Jackson CM, Garzon-Muvdi T, Kim E, Theodros D, Polanczyk M, Martin AM, Suk I, Ye X, Tyler B, Bettegowda C, Brem H, Pardoll DM, Lim M. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Dec 21;8(370):370ra180

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

A Patient's Guide to Brain Tumors January 2020

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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