Duke Neurosurgery faculty named World Experts in glioblastoma


July 21, 2021, is Glioblastoma Awareness Day


Duke brain tumor specialists recognized as world experts in glioblastoma, based on publications of the last ten years  

Duke neurosurgeons John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, and Peter Fecci, MD, PhD, and Duke neuro-oncologist Annick Desjardins, MD, have  been recognized as  “World Experts” in glioblastoma by Expertscape, an online resource that identifies the world’s top experts in all medical fields.  

Expertscape's PubMed-based algorithms place Sampson, Fecci, and Desjardins in the top 0.1% of scholars writing about glioblastoma over the past 10 years -- a level Expertscape labels "World Expert." The ranking compared 75,361 authors worldwide, who wrote about glioblastoma.

Dr. Sampson is the Robert H., MD, and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery at Duke University and inaugural chair of the Duke Department of Neurosurgery.  He is a recognized leader in the surgical resection and experimental treatment of complex brain tumors. He divides his time between his clinical practice and an active research laboratory investigating new modalities of direct brain tumor infusion and immunotherapy. He has remained continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2000. He is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine as well as the Association of American Physicians.  In 2018, he was named president of the Private Diagnostic Clinic, the physician practice of Duke Health.  


Dr. Fecci is an associate professor of neurosurgery, as well as director of the Duke Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis. In the lab he focuses on integrating strategies for reversing T cell dysfunction with current immune-based platforms as a means of deriving and improving rational and precise anti-tumor therapies. He is a recipient of the 2015 Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award and the 2021 Lloyd J. Old STAR Award, and was a 2021 inductee into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Surgically, he focuses on primary and metastatic brain tumors and has helped to advance the use of laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for tumors and radiation necrosis. Duke is now one of the highest volume centers for LITT in the U.S.

Dr. Desjardins is a professor in the departments of Neurosursgery and Neurology, as well as director of clinican research in the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. Her clinical research focuses on providing innovative and aggressive therapies to adults with primary brain tumors. Dr. Desjardins and colleagues received a great deal of attention for the groundbreaking work in treating patients with recurrent glioblastoma with a modified poliovirus injected directly into the tumor, creating a targeted immune response. In a study published in 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the therapy showed significantly improved long-term survival, with a three-year survival rate of 21 percent in a phase 1 clinical trial. Desjardins was co-lead author of the study.