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James Elder
Schedule an appointment (614) 685-1965
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I am the director of neurosurgical oncology and an associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at The Ohio State University. My clinical and scientific expertise revolves around the surgical/medical treatment of human brain and spine tumors, understanding their biology and applying novel therapeutics to their treatment.

Throughout my neurosurgical training, I maintained an interest in neurosurgical oncology. I dedicated a year during residency to work at California Institute of Technology developing artificial extracellular matrix proteins with the goal of characterizing the extracellular matrix cues important for brain tumor stem cell differentiation. After residency, I spent a clinical year at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a neurosurgical oncology fellow. During this time, I participated in the interdepartmental review process for proposed clinical trials and was involved in the enrollment and evaluation of clinical trial participants.

My current research focuses on clinical trials and translational research related to collaborative efforts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC –James). I am principal investigator (PI) on multiple clinical trials, including a newly opened clinical trial that aims to determine the maximum tolerated dose of carboplatin delivered by convection-enhanced delivery into the brain of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. I am also PI or co-PI on multiple gene therapy studies and oncolytic (cancer-killing) virus studies in humans that involve application of viral vectors into brain tumors during surgery for resection or biopsy for recurrent glioblastoma.

Another clinical focus that has been the subject of multiple publications involves the development and application of minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat brain and spine tumors. I have published eight book chapters and over 50 articles in medical journals, and I have presented my work at multiple national and international scientific conferences.

My translational research largely involves collaborative efforts with a neuro-oncology research team at Ohio State that includes neuro-oncologists, neuro-pathologists and basic science researchers. My contributions include the development of surgical techniques in animal models that facilitate delivery of therapeutic agents in glioma and brain metastasis models, such as convection-enhanced delivery and intra-arterial drug-delivery methods.

One of the highlights of my work at The James was the establishment of the Salvino Family & Accenture Brain Cancer Research Fund, endowed in part by a generous gift from the family of one of my patients. I’m very excited about the potential discoveries and breakthroughs ahead—particularly in the area of glioblastoma, also known as brain cancer—based on research that this bequest will make possible. I’m grateful and very proud to participate in the work taking place at Ohio State, and I share in the work of a creating a cancer-free world.


  • Rated in the top 10 percent of physicians in the nation for patient satisfaction, 2015, 2016

Medical Degree

  • M.D.
    Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons


  • Neurological Surgery
    LA County - USC Medical Center
    7/1/2003 - 6/30/2009

Specialties and conditions I treat

  • Neurological Surgery
  • Brain Cancers
  • Pituitary Cancers
  • Brain Concussion
  • Spine
  • Ganglioneuroma
  • Glioma
  • Astrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma, Subependymal
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Neurocytoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Brain Stem Tumor
  • Cerebellar Cancers
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Headache

Locations where I practice

Please note: Not all physicians schedule patients at each listed location. Please call the “Schedule an appointment” number shown above for scheduling assistance.

More about my work

My background


  • Neurological Surgery
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    7/1/2009 - 6/30/2010

My Department

Neurological Surgery

Industry Relationships

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we support a faculty member’s research and consulting in collaboration with medical device, research and/or drug companies because a faculty member’s expertise can guide important advancements in the practice of medicine and improve patient care. In order to provide effective management of these relationships, the University requires annual disclosures from all faculty members with external interests related to their University responsibilities.

As of 03/25/2016, Dr. Elder has reported no financial relationships with medical device, research and/or drug companies.