Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship

The fellowship consists of one clinical year, as well as a second optional year for further clinical work and/or research training in the laboratories of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The clinical year provides fellows extensive experience in surgery and radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain tumors, base of skull tumors, spine tumors, and peripheral nerve tumors. In addition, the fellowship offers exposure to the didactic and intellectual environment of one of the world’s premiere multidisciplinary brain tumor centers and a fully integrated spine tumor center.

The broad spectrum of oncological diseases seen at Memorial Sloan Kettering gives our fellows a unique training experience. Upon completing the program, fellows will possess a thorough understanding of both general and neurological oncology. They will not only participate in a large number of surgical procedures on brain and spine tumors, but in postoperative management as well.

The clinical training provided during the fellowship is split between the brain and the spine services and follows the apprenticeship model.

Fellows are exposed to more than 200 major operative cases during the year and will perform surgical procedures at a minimum of two full operating days per week under the direction of an attending surgeon. Fellows are also responsible for preoperative and postoperative patient care, and on nonoperating days, the fellows share the responsibility of covering the weekly outpatient clinic, doing hospital consultations, and supervising and instructing residents and medical students. Call schedule is every third or fourth night and weekend.


During time spent on the brain service, fellows gain experience treating:

  • primary brain tumors and metastases
  • pituitary tumors
  • complex combined skull base tumors with head and neck with and without plastic surgery
  • acoustic neuromas
  • basal meningiomas
  • stereotactic radiosurgery


During time spent on the spine service, fellows gain experience treating:

  • Extradural and intradural tumors
  • Percutaneous cement augmentation for spine tumors
  • Osteoporotic fractures related to spine treatment
  • Pain procedures
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

Core Curriculum & Conferences

The fellowship program is designed within a multidisciplinary setting to provide the education and training necessary for the practice of neurosurgical oncology.

Case Conferences

There are weekly combined clinical conferences with neurology, orthopaedics, radiation therapy, and neuropathology for the review and discussion of cases. The conferences consist of didactic lectures with clinical case presentations.

Treatment Planning Conferences

Fellows attend weekly treatment planning conferences for brain and spine radiosurgery.

Tumor Boards

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Neurosurgery has brain and spine tumor boards each week at which new or complicated patients are presented to a multidisciplinary group.

Brain Tumor Center Seminar Series

The Brain Tumor Center offers a monthly seminar series, which fellows are encouraged to attend.

Morbidity and Mortality Conferences

In conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, fellows present at the monthly Morbidity and Mortality conference.

Grand Rounds

Monthly Grand Rounds offers a forum for discussion of multidisciplinary management of complex surgical problems. Invited guest lecturers provide subject-specific education.

Journal Club

Journal Club is held weekly for the review and discussion of subject-specific literature. Fellows are expected to formally present once a month at journal club.

Annual Courses

Several courses are also offered annually, including general and surgical oncology, biostatistics, computer courses, and basic research techniques.


During the clinical year, fellows are encouraged to participate in clinical research projects, and they receive strong support in this endeavor. In the second year, interested candidates may conduct research in the Brain Tumor Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Program Director

Viviane Tabar - Physician Profile