About Ganesh Shankar, MD, PhD

Dr. Ganesh Shankar is a board-certified neurosurgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Mass General and a fellowship in complex spine surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. His clinical specialization encompasses the evaluation and surgical management of all spine pathologies, ranging from degenerative disorders, primary and metastatic spine tumors, intradural pathologies, spine infections, and spine trauma. His surgical approaches include minimally invasive techniques. He specializes in complex spine procedures requiring revision surgery and correction of spine deformities.

Dr. Shankar also performs research on bone biology and molecular determinants of primary and metastatic spine neoplasms. He serves as the Neurosurgical Director of Biospecimen Banking for the Department of Neurosurgery. His research has been recognized by awards from the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, and AO Spine North America.

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Neurosurgery
55 Fruit St.
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
Suite 745
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-1099
Fax: 617-643-6422

Medical Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School*
  • PhD, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts And Sciences
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Previously, Dr. Shankar performed his graduate thesis on Alzheimer’s disease, studying the effects of amyloid beta on the synapse.

  • Shankar GM et al. Natural oligomers of the Alzheimer amyloid-beta protein induce reversible synapse loss by modulating an NMDA-type glutamate receptor-dependent signaling pathway. J Neurosci. 2007 Mar 14; 27(11):2866-75.
  • Shankar GM et al. Amyloid-beta dimers isolated directly from Alzheimer’s brains impair synaptic plasticity and memory. Nat Med. 2008 Aug;14(8):837-42.

1. Current research focus is to perform genomic characterization of tumors of the central nervous system, including those affecting the spinal axis. Through collaborative efforts with MIT, he is developing methods for local delivery of targeted therapies.

  • Shankar GM et al. Sporadic hemangioblastomas are characterized by cryptic VHL inactivation. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014 Dec 24;2:167.
  • Shankar GM et al. Rapid intraoperative molecular characterization of glioma. JAMA Oncology. 2015 Aug;1(5):662-7. 
  • Shankar GM et al. BRAF alteration status and the histone H3F3A gene K27M mutation segregate spinal cord astrocytoma histology. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Oct 20.
  • Shankar GM et al. Germline and somatic BAP1 mutations in high-grade rhabdoid meningiomas. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Apr 1;19(4):535-545.
  • Shankar GM et al. Genotype-targeted local therapy of glioma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Aug 6.

2. Clinical studies to assess outcomes in spinal oncology.

  • Shankar GM et al. Effect of Immunotherapy Status on Outcomes in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma to the Spine. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Nov 22.
  • Shankar GM et al. Systematic Review: The Role of Revision Surgery and Adjuvant Therapy following Subtotal Resection of Osteosarcoma of the Spine. J Neurosurg Spine. 2017 Apr 28:1-8.


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