Cheng Yu, PhD

Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery

Radiation Safety Officer, Keck Medical Center of USC

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Dr. Yu joined the USC School of Medicine in March 1994 as an assistant professor of clinical radiation oncology and then promoted to an associate professor in 2000 and full professor in 2003. He also served as Director of Division of Radiation Oncology Physics at USC from 2003 to 2006. He briefly joined the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2006 as a Clinical Professor and Chief of Robotic Radiosurgery Physics. Dr. Yu completed his undergraduate studies in physics in China before coming to the United States in 1986. He earned his doctorate in solid state physics at Michigan Technological University in 1991 and did a post-doctorate fellowship in radiation oncology at the University of Chicago in 1994.

Dr. Yu plays an integral role in treatment planning, machine calibrations and quality assurance. His extensive experience in stereotactic radiosurgery includes thousands of cases in involving tumors, vascular malformations, pain syndromes and epilepsy.

Dr. Yu’s research interests at USC primarily focus on comparative dosimetry of radiosurgery modalities, such as linac based, Gamma Knife and CyberKnife radiosurgery systems. He is the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, scientific abstracts and meeting presentations, as well as 10 chapters in technical books. Dr. Yu served as a member of AAPM Task Group 135, Quality Assurance for Robotic Radiosurgery, from 2006 to 2010.


  • Mitochondrial permeability transition regulator, cyclophilin D, is transcriptionally activated by C/EBP during adipogenesis J Biol Chem. 2023 Dec; 299(12):105458. . View in PubMed
  • Role of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition in Bone Metabolism and Aging J Bone Miner Res. 2023 04; 38(4):522-540. . View in PubMed
  • Use of Salvage Surgery or Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Multiply Recurrent Skull Base Chordomas: A Single-Institution Experience and Review of the Literature J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2021 Apr; 82(2):161-174. . View in PubMed
  • Paradoxical androgen receptor regulation by small molecule enantiomers Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 03 23; 118(12). . View in PubMed
  • Optimized photochemistry enables efficient analysis of dynamic RNA structuromes and interactomes in genetic and infectious diseases Nat Commun. 2021 04 20; 12(1):2344. . View in PubMed
  • Automatic detection and segmentation of multiple brain metastases on magnetic resonance image using asymmetric UNet architecture Phys Med Biol. 2021 01 13; 66(1):015003. . View in PubMed
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Residual and Recurrent Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenomas: A Contemporary Case Series of GammaKnife and CyberKnife Radiosurgery World Neurosurg. 2020 11; 143:e60-e69. . View in PubMed
  • A Phantom Study of the Spatial Precision and Accuracy of Stereotactic Localization Using Computed Tomography Imaging with the Leksell Stereotactic System World Neurosurg. 2020 07; 139:e297-e307. . View in PubMed
  • Effectiveness of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in the Treatment of Refractory Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Case Series Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2020 06 01; 18(6):571-576. . View in PubMed
  • Long-Term Tumor Control Rates Following Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Acoustic Neuroma World Neurosurg. 2019 Feb; 122:366-371. . View in PubMed
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity for brain metastases: prognostic factors and outcomes J Radiosurg SBRT. 2015; 3(3):179-186. . View in PubMed
  • Radiosurgery for metastatic disease at the craniocervical junction World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec; 82(6):1331-6. . View in PubMed
  • Evolving societal risks and necessary precautions in the age of nuclear power and therapeutic radiation: an American perspectiveWorld Neurosurg. 2014 Dec; 82(6):1060-1070. e1. . View in PubMed
  • Focused ultrasound: relevant history and prospects for the addition of mechanical energy to the neurosurgical armamentarium World Neurosurg. 2014 Sep-Oct; 82(3-4):354-65. . View in PubMed
  • Supplementing the neurosurgical virtuoso: evolution of automation from mythology to operating room adjunct World Neurosurg. 2014 May-Jun; 81(5-6):719-29. . View in PubMed
  • Cerebral arteriovenous malformations: issues of the interplay between stereotactic radiosurgery and endovascular surgical therapy World Neurosurg. 2011 May-Jun; 75(5-6):638-47. . View in PubMed
  • Long-term outcomes and patterns of tumor progression after gamma knife radiosurgery for benign meningiomas Neurosurgery. 2010 Aug; 67(2):322-8; discussion 328-9. . View in PubMed
  • Early decreased tumor volume following fractionated Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for metastatic melanoma and the role of “adaptive radiosurgery”: case report Neurosurgery. 2010 Aug; 67(2):E512-3. . View in PubMed
  • Delayed toxicity from gamma knife radiosurgery to lesions in and adjacent to the brainstem J Clin Neurosci. 2009 Sep; 16(9):1139-47. . View in PubMed
  • Infrared thermal imaging: a review of the literature and case report Neuroimage. 2009 Aug; 47 Suppl 2:T154-62. . View in PubMed
  • The CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery system: description, installation, and an initial evaluation of use and functionality Neurosurgery. 2008 Feb; 62 Suppl 2:785-9. . View in PubMed
  • Chained lightning: part III–Emerging technology, novel therapeutic strategies, and new energy modalities for radiosurgery Neurosurgery. 2007 Dec; 61(6):1111-29; discussion 1129-30. . View in PubMed
  • Chained lightning, part II: neurosurgical principles, radiosurgical technology, and the manipulation of energy beam delivery Neurosurgery. 2007 Sep; 61(3):433-46; discussion 446. . View in PubMed
  • Chained lightning, part I: Exploitation of energy and radiobiological principles for therapeutic purposes Neurosurgery. 2007 Jul; 61(1):14-27; discussion 27-8. . View in PubMed
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: adjacent tissue injury and response after high-dose single fraction radiation: Part I–Histology, imaging, and molecular events Neurosurgery. 2007 Jan; 60(1):31-44; discussion 44-5. . View in PubMed
  • Postoperative Gamma Knife surgery for benign meningiomas of the cranial base Neurosurg Focus. 2007; 23(4):E6. . View in PubMed
  • Toward the emergence of nanoneurosurgery: part I–progress in nanoscience, nanotechnology, and the comprehension of events in the mesoscale realm Neurosurgery. 2005 Oct; 57(4):606-34; discussion 606-34. . View in PubMed
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia Neurosurgery. 2005 Jun; 56(6):1295-301; discussion 1301-3. . View in PubMed
  • An anthropomorphic phantom study of the accuracy of Cyberknife spinal radiosurgery Neurosurgery. 2004 Nov; 55(5):1138-49. . View in PubMed
  • The Leksell gamma knife Model U versus Model C: a quantitative comparison of radiosurgical treatment parameters Neurosurgery. 2004 Jul; 55(1):168-72; discussion 172-3. . View in PubMed
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery for benign cavernous sinus tumors: quantitative analysis of treatment outcomes Neurosurgery. 2004 Jun; 54(6):1385-93; discussion 1393-4. . View in PubMed
  • Study of magnetic resonance imaging-based arteriovenous malformation delineation without conventional angiography Neurosurgery. 2004 May; 54(5):1104-; discussion 1108-10. . View in PubMed
  • Measurements of the relative output factors for CyberKnife collimators Neurosurgery. 2004 Jan; 54(1):157-61; discussion 161-2. . View in PubMed
  • Dosimetric comparison of CyberKnife with other radiosurgical modalities for an ellipsoidal target Neurosurgery. 2003 Nov; 53(5):1155-62; discussion 1162-3. . View in PubMed
  • The CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery system: description, installation, and an initial evaluation of use and functionality Neurosurgery. 2003 Nov; 53(5):1235-9; discussion 1239. . View in PubMed
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery for pituitary adenoma: early results Neurosurgery. 2003 Jul; 53(1):51-9; discussion 59-61. . View in PubMed
  • Fetal radiation doses for model C gamma knife radiosurgery Neurosurgery. 2003 Mar; 52(3):687-93; discussion 693. . View in PubMed
  • Radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for pituitary tumors Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2003 Jan; 14(1):147-66. . View in PubMed
  • Survival and pattern of failure in brain metastasis treated with stereotactic gamma knife radiosurgery J Neurosurg. 2002 Dec; 97(5 Suppl):499-506. . View in PubMed
  • Metastatic melanoma to the brain: prognostic factors after gamma knife radiosurgery Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Apr 01; 52(5):1277-87. . View in PubMed