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Frank Attenello, MD, MS
Assistant Professor Of Clinical Neurological Surgery
Neurological Surgery
HCT 1520 San Pablo St Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles


Frank Attenello MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA specializing in treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors. He employs multiple surgical modalities to map and preserve neurologic function in tumor surgery including exoscopic subcortical surgery (BrainPath) and laser interstitial thermal therapy. Dr. Attenello performs both cranial surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery.

Dr. Attenello received combined BS/MS degrees in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University. He then received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he received the institutional Harvey Cushing Neurosurgery Award and the Ronald L. Bittner national Neuro-oncology research award. His work on glioblastoma and neural stem cells at Johns Hopkins was supported by a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He then completed neurosurgical residency at the University of Southern California, with a postdoctoral fellowship in tumor genetics at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the USC faculty in 2016 specializing in surgical neuro-oncology.

Dr. Attenello has authored six neurosurgical book chapters and over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts including articles in Science, BMJ, Genome Biology, and Journal of Neuroscience. He actively serves as one of 24 national scientists as Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine. He is an elected member of multiple national committees including the Council of State Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons’ Young Neurosurgeon Committee and the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation Executive Committee.

He is Principal Investigator and Director of the Glioma Research Laboratory in the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, studying genetics and angiogenesis in glioblastoma as well as role of neural stem cells in brain injury. His laboratory is supported by a NIH KL2 Research Career Development Award and several NIH and foundational grants, including generous patient support. In addition, Dr. Attenello directs a clinical outcomes laboratory studying factors associated with improved outcome in patients with neurologic disease, as well as modifiable factors associated with physician trainee success and burnout. Using data and experience gained in the laboratory, Dr. Attenello is identifying genetic and clinical factors, and new therapies for improved patient outcomes.


The effect of NACHRI children's hospital designation on outcome in pediatric malignant brain tumors. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2017 Aug; 20(2):149-157. View in: PubMed

Intramedullary Cervical Spinal Cord Abscess. World Neurosurg. 2017 Jul 05. View in: PubMed

Impact of the 2003 ACGME Resident Duty Hour Reform on Hospital-Acquired Conditions: A National Retrospective Analysis. J Grad Med Educ. 2017 Apr; 9(2):215-221. View in: PubMed

Pitfalls of administrative database analysis are evident when assessing the 'weekend effect' in stroke. Evid Based Med. 2017 Mar; 22(1):35. View in: PubMed

CRISPRi-based genome-scale identification of functional long noncoding RNA loci in human cells. Science. 2017 Jan 06; 355(6320). View in: PubMed

Risk factors associated with the surgical management of craniopharyngiomas in pediatric patients: analysis of 1961 patients from a national registry database. Neurosurg Focus. 2016 Dec; 41(6):E8. View in: PubMed

Extracranial to intracranial bypass for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms in the pediatric population. J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Dec; 34:6-10. View in: PubMed

Prognostic factors of early outcome and discharge status in patients undergoing surgical intervention following traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Sep; 31:152-6. View in: PubMed

Infection rate correlated with time to repair of open neural tube defects (myelomeningoceles): an institutional and national study. Childs Nerv Syst. 2016 Sep; 32(9):1675-81. View in: PubMed

Uncovering the roles of long noncoding RNAs in neural development and glioma progression. Neurosci Lett. 2016 Jun 20; 625:70-9. View in: PubMed

Single-cell analysis of long non-coding RNAs in the developing human neocortex. Genome Biol. 2016 Apr 14; 17:67. View in: PubMed

Cross-Sectional Analysis on Racial and Economic Disparities Affecting Mortality in Preterm Infants with Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus. World Neurosurg. 2016 Apr; 88:399-410. View in: PubMed

Evaluation of time to aneurysm treatment following subarachnoid hemorrhage: comparison of patients treated with clipping versus coiling. J Neurointerv Surg. 2016 Apr; 8(4):373-7. View in: PubMed

Trends in hospitalization of preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage and hydrocephalus in the United States, 2000-2010. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2016 Mar; 17(3):260-9. View in: PubMed

Reevaluating the weekend effect on patients with hydrocephalus undergoing operative shunt intervention. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2015 Nov 06; 1-7. View in: PubMed

Evaluation of weekend admission on the prevalence of hospital acquired conditions in patients receiving thoracolumbar fusions. J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Aug; 22(8):1349-54. View in: PubMed

Evaluation of Effect of Weekend Admission on the Prevalence of Hospital-Acquired Conditions in Patients Receiving Cervical Fusions. World Neurosurg. 2015 Jul; 84(1):58-68. View in: PubMed

The july effect: an analysis of never events in the nationwide inpatient sample. J Hosp Med. 2015 Jul; 10(7):432-8. View in: PubMed

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in outcomes following pediatric cerebrospinal fluid shunt procedures. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2015 Jun; 15(6):560-6. View in: PubMed

Going Big to Explore the Detail. World Neurosurg. 2015 Jun; 83(6):1041-3. View in: PubMed

Incidence of "never events" among weekend admissions versus weekday admissions to US hospitals: national analysis. BMJ. 2015 Apr 15; 350:h1460. View in: PubMed

Theoretical Basis of Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Prog Neurol Surg. 2015; 29:20-8. View in: PubMed

Health disparities in time to aneurysm clipping/coiling among aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients: a national study. World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec; 82(6):1071-6. View in: PubMed

Prevention of percutaneous spinal cord stimulation electrode migration: a 15-year experience. Neuromodulation. 2014 Oct; 17(7):670-6; discussion 676-7. View in: PubMed

The impact of patient age and comorbidities on the occurrence of "never events" in cerebrovascular surgery: an analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. J Neurosurg. 2014 Sep; 121(3):580-6. View in: PubMed

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in incidence of hospital-acquired complications following cerebrovascular procedures. Neurosurgery. 2014 Jul; 75(1):43-50. View in: PubMed

Recapitulating flesh with silicon and steel: advancements in upper extremity robotic prosthetics. World Neurosurg. 2014 May-Jun; 81(5-6):730-41. 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

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to mechanical revascularization procedures for acute ischemic stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2014 Feb; 23(2):327-34. View in: PubMed

Mechanical thrombectomy in acute stroke: utilization variances and impact of procedural volume on inpatient mortality. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013 Nov; 22(8):1263-9. View in: PubMed

Computed tomography for clearance of cervical spine injury in the unevaluable patient. World Neurosurg. 2013 Sep-Oct; 80(3-4):405-13. View in: PubMed

Minimally invasive posterior atlantoaxial fusion: a cadaveric and clinical feasibility study. World Neurosurg. 2013 Sep-Oct; 80(3-4):414-21. View in: PubMed

Delayed cavernous carotid artery pseudoaneurysm caused by absorbable plate following transsphenoidal surgery: case report and review of the literature. J Neurol Surg Rep. 2013 Jun; 74(1):10-6. View in: PubMed

Stem cells in gliomas. Handb Clin Neurol. 2012; 104:63-73. View in: PubMed

Chemotherapy for brain tumors with polymer drug delivery. Handb Clin Neurol. 2012; 104:339-53. View in: PubMed

Conservative management of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. A review. Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Mar; 30(3):E2. View in: PubMed

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament: genetics and pathophysiology. Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Mar; 30(3):E6. View in: PubMed

Hospital costs associated with shunt infections in patients receiving antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters versus standard shunt catheters. Neurosurgery. 2010 Feb; 66(2):284-9; discussion 289. View in: PubMed

A modified frontal-nasal-orbital approach to midline lesions of the anterior cranial fossa and skull base: technical note with case illustrations. Neurosurg Rev. 2010 Jan; 33(1):63-70. View in: PubMed

Pathological upstaging during radical cystectomy is associated with worse recurrence-free survival in patients with bacillus Calmette-Guerin-refractory bladder cancer. Urology. 2009 Dec; 74(6):1276-80. View in: PubMed

Incidence of symptomatic retethering after surgical management of pediatric tethered cord syndrome with or without duraplasty. Childs Nerv Syst. 2009 Sep; 25(9):1085-9. View in: PubMed

Association of preoperative depression and survival after resection of malignant brain astrocytoma. Surg Neurol. 2009 Mar; 71(3):299-303, discussion 303. View in: PubMed

Gliadel (BCNU) wafer plus concomitant temozolomide therapy after primary resection of glioblastoma multiforme. J Neurosurg. 2009 Mar; 110(3):583-8. View in: PubMed

Suboccipital decompression for Chiari I malformation: outcome comparison of duraplasty with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene dural substitute versus pericranial autograft. Childs Nerv Syst. 2009 Feb; 25(2):183-90. View in: PubMed

Comparison of shunt infection incidence in high-risk subgroups receiving antibiotic-impregnated versus standard shunts. Childs Nerv Syst. 2009 Jan; 25(1):77-83; discussion 85. View in: PubMed

Independent association of extent of resection with survival in patients with malignant brain astrocytoma. J Neurosurg. 2009 Jan; 110(1):156-62. View in: PubMed

Presentation and management of a patient with subcutaneous metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Nat Clin Pract Urol. 2008 Dec; 5(12):691-4. View in: PubMed

Symptom recurrence after suboccipital decompression for pediatric Chiari I malformation: analysis of 256 consecutive cases. Childs Nerv Syst. 2008 Nov; 24(11):1333-9. View in: PubMed

Use of Gliadel (BCNU) wafer in the surgical treatment of malignant glioma: a 10-year institutional experience. Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Oct; 15(10):2887-93. View in: PubMed

Extent of surgical resection is independently associated with survival in patients with hemispheric infiltrating low-grade gliomas. Neurosurgery. 2008 Oct; 63(4):700-7; author reply 707-8. View in: PubMed

Relationship of glioblastoma multiforme to the lateral ventricles predicts survival following tumor resection. J Neurooncol. 2008 Sep; 89(2):219-24. View in: PubMed

Persistent outpatient hyperglycemia is independently associated with decreased survival after primary resection of malignant brain astrocytomas. Neurosurgery. 2008 Aug; 63(2):286-91; discussion 291. View in: PubMed

Correlation of hindbrain CSF flow and outcome after surgical decompression for Chiari I malformation. Childs Nerv Syst. 2008 Jul; 24(7):833-40. View in: PubMed

Intraoperative ultrasonography as a guide to patient selection for duraplasty after suboccipital decompression in children with Chiari malformation Type I. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Jul; 2(1):52-7. View in: PubMed

Spinal deformity after resection of cervical intramedullary spinal cord tumors in children. Childs Nerv Syst. 2008 Jun; 24(6):735-9. View in: PubMed

Outcome of Chiari-associated syringomyelia after hindbrain decompression in children: analysis of 49 consecutive cases. Neurosurgery. 2008 Jun; 62(6):1307-13; discussion 1313. View in: PubMed

Suboccipital decompression for Chiari malformation-associated scoliosis: risk factors and time course of deformity progression. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Jun; 1(6):456-60. View in: PubMed

Endoscopic transcervical odontoidectomy for pediatric basilar invagination and cranial settling. Report of 4 cases. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Apr; 1(4):337-42. View in: PubMed

Resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors in children: assessment of long-term motor and sensory deficits. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Jan; 1(1):63-7. View in: PubMed

Neurological outcome after resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors in children. Childs Nerv Syst. 2008 Jan; 24(1):93-7. View in: PubMed

Oligomeric assembly of native-like precursors precedes amyloid formation by beta-2 microglobulin. Biochemistry. 2004 Jun 22; 43(24):7808-15. View in: PubMed

Cortical synaptic integration in vivo is disrupted by amyloid-beta plaques. J Neurosci. 2004 May 12; 24(19):4535-40. View in: PubMed

In vitro response of prostaglandin E2 receptor (EP3) in the term pregnant rat uterus and cervix to misoprostol. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2003 Jan; 70(3-4):317-29. View in: PubMed

Postoperative surgical site infections in patients undergoing spinal tumor surgery: incidence and risk factors. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Aug 01; 36(17):1410-9. View in: PubMed

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