Ori Barzilai, MD


Conditions Treated

Memorial Sloan Kettering neurosurgeon Ori Barzilai
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About Me

I am a neurosurgeon who specializes in caring for people with primary spine tumors or cancer that has spread to the spine from other parts of the body. I have specialty training in using leading-edge surgical methods to treat spinal tumors and degenerative disorders. These include minimally invasive techniques, spinal endoscopy, image guidance, and robotics. Advanced approaches allow me to remove tumors with the highest level of precision while making the lowest impact on my patients’ quality of life.

As a member of MSK’s Multidisciplinary Spine Tumor Center, I work with a team of specialists, including radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, pain specialists, rehabilitation specialists, and medical oncologists. Providing our patients with comprehensive care requires a true team approach. At MSK, our vast experience and expertise make us uniquely suited to do this. For example, by combining surgery with radiosurgery and targeted therapies, we have revolutionized the way we treat spine tumors. In some instances, we are even able to offer our patients surgical strategies that won’t require them to be admitted to the hospital.

I am also involved in clinical research to improve treatments for spine tumors. I am particularly focused on patient outcomes and developing new therapies and technologies. My current work involves looking for ways to make systemic therapies, such as immunotherapy, more effective in treating spine tumors.  

A cancer diagnosis can cause a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. The thought of having to undergo spinal surgery can make these concerns worse. When I meet with patients and their loved ones, I truly listen to them and hear their expectations, goals, and fears before we agree on a clear treatment plan together. I hope that after seeing me they feel safe, calm, and confident with their care team.  

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. We love to travel and go to the beach. I am an avid runner, a passionate soccer fan, and an unexceptional guitar player.

  • Clinical Expertise: Primary and Metastatic Spinal Tumors; Complex Reconstruction and Stabilization of the Spine; Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery; Degenerative Spinal Disorders; Endoscopic Spinal Surgery; Intradural Tumors; Tumors of the Spinal Cord; Neurofibromatosis; Schwannomatosis
  • Awards and Honors: Globus Spine Fellow Award (2017)
  • Languages Spoken: English; Hebrew
  • Education: MD, Tel Aviv University
  • Residencies: Neurological Surgery – Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Spine Oncology – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Neurological Surgery (Israel)

See My Colleagues


Barzilai O, Laufer I, Yamada Y, Higginson DS, Schmitt AM, Lis E, Bilsky MH. Integrating Evidence-Based Medicine for Treatment of Spinal Metastases Into a Decision Framework: Neurologic, Oncologic, Mechanicals Stability, and Systemic Disease. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Jul 20;35(21):2419-2427.

Barzilai O, Laufer I, Robin A, Xu R, Yamada Y, Bilsky M. Hybrid Therapy for Metastatic Epidural Spinal Cord Compression: Technique for Separation Surgery and Spine Radiosurgery. Neurosurgery (suppl: Operative  Neurosurgery)

Barzilai O, Amato MK, McLaughlin L, Reiner AS, Ogilvie SQ, Lis E, Yamada Y, Bilsky MH, Laufer I. Hybrid surgery–radiosurgery therapy for metastatic epidural spinal cord compression: A prospective evaluation using patient-reported outcomes. Neuro-Oncology Practice. 2017 Jul 22.

Barzilai O, Lidar Z, Constantini S, Salame K, Bitan-Talmor Y, Korn A. Continuous mapping of the corticospinal tracts in intramedullary spinal cord tumor surgery using an electrified ultrasonic aspirator. J Neurosurg Spine. 2017 Aug;27(2):161-168.

Sowash M, Barzilai O, Kahn S, McLaughlin L, Boland P, Bilsky MH, Laufer I. Clinical outcomes following resection of giant spinal schwannomas: a case series of 32 patients. J Neurosurg Spine. 2017 Apr;26(4):494-500.

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Ori Barzilai’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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