Graduate Studies Faculty

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Edward Neuwelt, M.D.

Admin Unit: Blood Brain Barrier and Neuro-Oncology Program
Phone: 503-494-5626
Fax: 503-494-5627
Office: Mac Hall 5170
Mail Code: L603
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:
blood brain barrier brain tumors neuro-oncology drug delivery primary CNS lymphoma medical MRI » Click here for more about Dr. Neuwelt's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Neuwelt has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Neuwelt has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Background Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D. is a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. He divides his time between clinical work, primarily in the area of neuro-oncology including both operative neurosurgery and chemotherapy, and directing his research laboratory.


Program History

In the early 1980s, Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D., an OHSU neurosurgeon, pioneered a unique method of outwitting the brain's protective blood-brain barrier. By temporarily opening this barrier, chemotherapy, antibodies and other potential new therapeutics can pass into the brain and reach the tumor.

Since then, Dr. Neuwelt has devoted his neuro-oncology practice to researching and refining this treatment for patients with brain tumors. A recent development is the use of chemoprotective agents which may provide bone marrow and hearing protection for patients undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy with BBBD.


Faculty Appointments:

In Texas, Dr. Neuwelt was Assistant Professor in both Surgery and Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He was also Chief of the Neurosurgery Service at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas, Texas from 1978 – 1981. Dr. Neuwelt moved his laboratory to Portland Oregon in 1981 where he joined the faculty at the Oregon Health & Science University, both in the Department of Neurology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He was Chief of the Neurosurgery Service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon 1981 – 1989, and he maintains an affiliation with the Portland VA Neurosurgery Service. Currently Dr. Neuwelt is a Professor in the departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery. He is a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at OHSU, and also regularly teaches the neurology and neurosurgery house staff on topics related to brain tumors.


Activities and Organizations:

Dr. Neuwelt is the principal investigator of three NIH R01 grants, one VA Merit Review grant, and a DOD Center of Excellence award. (see Preclinical Research) He has been a regular member of the VA Merit Review Study Section on Neurobiology, and an NIH Study Section (NSP-A) that reviews program project and center grants. Dr. Neuwelt is a regular reviewer of neuroscience-related journals, including Neurosurgery, for which he was a member of the editorial board. He initiated and is director of Think First Oregon, a brain and spinal cord injury prevention program. He has eight approved patents, five of which have been licensed to Adherex, Inc. to investigate thiol agent chemoprotection. In collaboration with Dr. James Rosenbaum and Dr. Richard Rosenbaum, Dr. Neuwelt set up and directs a science class for high school students that introduces young people to laboratory research. With regard to the BBB Program, Dr. Neuwelt has overseen the expansion of the program to eight institutions across the US and internationally including Canada and Israel, as well as the annual Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Consortium meeting funded by an R13 grant.

Research Interests

The OHSU Blood-Brain Barrier and Neuro-Oncology Program conducts innovative patient-oriented research in all aspects of imaging and therapy of brain tumors. Dr. Neuwelt’s research interests have centered around the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and brain tumor therapy. In his initial VA Merit Review grant in 1978, Dr. Neuwelt predicted that manipulation of the BBB with transient osmotic shrinkage had the potential for a therapeutic role in brain tumor therapy. This hypothesis has been verified (Kraemer 2001), and the BBB disruption technique is now central to the preclinical and clinical research studies in the Neuwelt laboratory. Overall, Dr. Neuwelt’s research interests have centered around improving brain tumor therapy, reducing chemotherapy side effects, and improving brain tumor imaging. Dr. Neuwelt currently has a VA Merit review grant, three NIH research grants, an R13 NIH meeting grant, and is a member of a DOD breast cancer Center of Excellence.
Cancers in the brain are difficult to treat because of neurotoxicity, tumor resistance, and minimal delivery of potential therapies across the blood-brain barrier. We do basic science and preclinical studies of new approaches to delivery, treatment, and imaging in primary and metastatic brain tumor models.

Selected Publications

Dr. Neuwelt has written or edited several books and book chapters, and has over 200 peer reviewed scientific publications. Please refer to his listing here



Dr. Neuwelt attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois from 1965 – 1968 and then received his M.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado in 1972. For his postgraduate Training, Dr. Neuwelt did a surgical internship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, 1972 – 1973, followed by a Neurosurgical Residency at the same institution from 1973 – 1978. During this time, Dr. Neuwelt also completed two neuro-oncology and neurosurgery research fellowships, first at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1974 – 1976) and then Queen Square Hospital in London, England (1976). While at the NIH, Dr. Neuwelt also completed his military duty as a Clinical Associate (Lt. Commander) in the United States Public Health Service, Neurosurgery and Enzymology Sections in Baltimore, Maryland (July, 1974 - July, 1976). Dr. Neuwelt is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a fully trained neuro-oncologist.



Neuro-Oncology Blood-Brain Barrier Program