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Prof Puneet Plaha is Consultant Neuro-oncology Surgeon in Oxford with a specialist interest in brain tumours especially Endoscopic minimally invasive surgery and Awake surgery.  

He qualified in Medicine from one of India’s premier institutes, JIPMER, Pondicherry University in 1996 and completed his Masters degree in Surgery from the same institute in 2000. He undertook a MD degree from Bristol in 2011. He completed his neurosurgical training programme as part of the South West rotation (Bristol and Plymouth) from 2005-2010 and a 1yr Endoscopic pituitary fellowship in 2010-11 and Skull base fellowship 2011-12 in Oxford.

He is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.  He has been Clinical Lead for the Oxford Brain and Spine MDT and Neuro oncology Lead for Thames Valley since Aug 2012. He has been Chair of the Tumour section of the Society of British Neurological Surgeon since March 2019. 

Puneet Plaha

Associate Professor and Consultant NeuroOncology Surgeon.


Research interests

My research interests are focused on using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to resect brain tumours and advanced brain imaging technologies to develop individually-tailored treatment for brain tumours. I set up and have developed the Awake surgery Brain tumour programme in Oxford and use intraoperative stimulation to understand brain function and “supramaximally” resect brain tumours.

Our research aims are:

  1. To understand how brain tumours interact with and affect surrounding neural functional networks.
  2. Plan surgical approaches to the tumour, using non-invasive brain imaging techniques to determine the ideal and maximal resection zone through functional networks.
  3. Understand how surgical morbidity and hospital length of stay can be reduced using a minimally invasive endoscopic approach to resect brain tumours.
  4. Identify the transition zone between low grade gliomas and surrounding normal brain in patients undergoing awake surgery using Ultra High definition Intra operative Brain Imaging. 

Education and Training 

Awake Neurosurgery video: A step-by-step description by Prof Plaha of awake neurosurgery described to the BBC (warning: surgical content). Video kindly provided by BBC Wiltshire on their Facebook site:


Key Publications

Ma R, Livermore LJ, Plaha P.  Fast Track recovery program after Endoscopic and awake intraparenchymal tumor surgery. World Neurosurg 2016.Sep;93:246-52.

Berrington A, Voets NL, Plaha P, Larkin SJ, Mccullagh J, Stacey R, Yildirim M, Schofield CJ, Jezzard P, Cadoux-Hudson T, Ansorge O, Emir U. Tomography 2016. 2(2):94-105.

Emir UE, Larkin SJ, de Pennington N, Voets N, Plaha P, Stacey R, Al-Qahtani K, Mccullagh J, Schofield CJ, Clare S, Jezzard P, Cadoux-Hudson T, Ansorge O. Cancer Research 2016. 76(1):43-49.

Plaha P, Livermore LJ, Voets N, Pereira E, Cudlip S. Minimally invasive endoscopic resection of intraparenchymal brain tumors. World Neurosurg 2014 Jul 29.

Patel NK, Plaha P, Gill SS.  Magnetic imaging directed method for functional neurosurgery using implantable guide tubes.  Neurosurgery 2007 Nov;61(5 Suppl 2):358-66.

Plaha P, Ben-Shlomo Y, Patel NK, Gill SS. Stimulation of the caudal zona incerta is superior to stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus in improving contralateral parkinsonism. Brain 2006 July; 129(Pt 7):  1732-47

Love S, Plaha P, Patel NK, Hotton GR, Brooks DJ, Gill SS. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor induces neuronal sprouting in human brain. Nature Medicine 2005; 11(7): 703 – 704

Patel NK, Bunnage M, Plaha P, Svendsen CN, Heywood P, Gill SS. Intraputamenal infusion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in Parkinson’s disease: A two year clinical, cognitive and quality of life outcome study. Ann Neurol. 2005 Feb;57(2):298-302.

Plaha P, Patel NK, Gill SS. Stimulation of the Subthalamic Region for Essential tremor. J Neurosurgery 2004 July; 101: 48-54.