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dr. kesari
January 19, 2016

Dr. Santosh Kesari Joins PNI and the Saint John’s Cancer Institute

by Guest Author

One of nation’s foremost neuro-oncologists joins the
Pacific Brain Tumor Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center


Santosh Kesari MD PhDSANTA MONICA (October 1, 2015) — Renowned neuro-oncologist Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the medical staff at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and the Saint John’s Cancer Institute, famed for clinical and translational research.

Daniel F. Kelly, M.D., Director of the Pacific Brain Tumor Center, recruited Dr. Kesari to join the Institute as Director of Neuro-oncology, Professor of Neurosciences, and Chairman of the Department of Translational Neuro-oncology and Neuro-therapeutics.

Dr. Kesari, who also has a doctorate in molecular biology, is an expert in brain cancer and practices what he terms human science— translational research that blends laboratory science and clinical practice to bring innovative, personalized treatment directly to patients.

His research involves immunotherapy, molecular genetics, innovative drug development for cancer stem cells, and development of novel biomarker-based clinical trials for cancers. Before joining Providence Saint John’s, he was professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Director of Neuro-oncology at Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center.

He approaches his research and patient care with the philosophy that patients with malignant brain tumors are best treated when physicians understand the molecular and biological characteristics of their cancers. Dr. Kesari studies cancer stem cells, their roles in the formation of brain tumors, and resistance to treatment. His expertise in the personalized genomic-based care of brain tumor patients will add a critical and complimentary new dimension to the Pacific Brain Tumor Center which is internationally recognized for advances in minimally invasive keyhole brain tumor surgery.

A physician and scientist, Dr. Kesari develops targeted drug therapies that will advance the treatment of brain tumors to a new level. 18,000 Americans are diagnosed with primary brain and spine tumors each year. He cares for these patients as well as a large and growing number of patients with metastatic brain tumors originating from cancers in the breast, lung, skin, and other sources. Dr. Kesari also cares for and studies autoimmune neurological disorders including cancer related encephalitis and neuropathies as well as direct treatment related toxicities from radiation and chemotherapy such as chemobrain and peripheral neuropathy.

For more information, please contact the Pacific Brain Tumor Center at 310-829-8265 or

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Last updated: January 6th, 2020