Paul A. Gardner, MD

Associate Professor
Executive Vice Chair, Surgical Services
Neurosurgical Director, Center for Cranial Base Surgery

Paul Gardner




Paul A. Gardner, MD, joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in 2008 after completing his residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his undergraduate studies at Florida State University, majoring in biochemistry, and received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Gardner completed a two-year fellowship in endoscopic endonasal pituitary and endoscopic and open skull base surgery. His research has focused on evaluating patient outcomes following these surgeries and more recently on genomic analysis of rare tumors. In April of 2008, Dr. Gardner was named neurosurgical director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Gardner is co-author of the book Skull Base Surgerypart of the Master Techniques in Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery series published by Wolters Kluwer. The book offers step-by-step expert instruction on more than 45 procedures, covering both open and minimally invasive approaches to the skull base. In addition, he is an author on almost 200 peer-reviewed articles.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Endoscopic endonasal and open skull base surgery; pituitary tumors; vascular surgery; cranial nerve disorders; minimally invasive surgery; peripheral nerve surgery.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgeons

Hospital Privileges

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Presbyterian
Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Professional Organization Membership

American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
North American Skull Base Society
Pennsylvania Neurological Society
Pituitary Network Association

Education & Training

AA, Okaloosa-Walton College, 1993
BS, Biochemistry, Florida State University, 1997 (Magna Cum Laude)
MD, University of Pittsburgh, 2001
Fellowship, Endoscopic and Open Skull Base Surgery, 2007
Residency, Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, 2008

Honors & Awards

Best Doctors, Pittsburgh Magazine, 2012-16

Selected Publications

Tepedino MS, Pinheiro-Neto CD, Bezerra TF, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Voegels RL. Endonasal identification of the orbital apex. Laryngoscope 126(1):33-8, 2016. 

Rowan NR, Wang EW, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Snyderman CH. Nasal deformities following nasoseptal flap reconstruction of skull base defects. J Neurol Surg B 77(1):14-18, 2016.

Snyderman CH, Gardner PA, Lanisnik B, Ravnik J. Surgical telementoring: a new model for surgical training. Laryngoscope 126(6):1334-38, 2016.

DeKlotz TR, Stefko ST, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Wang EW. Endoscopic endonasal optic nerve decompression for fibrous dysplasia. J Neurol Surg B  [Epub ahead of print], 2016.

Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Jankowitz BT. Management of major vascular injury during endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery. Otolaryngol Clin N Am 49(3):819-28, 2016.

Rowan NR, Zwagerman NT, Heft-Neal ME, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH. Juvenile nasal angiofibromas: a comparison of modern staging systems in an endoscopic era. J Neurol Surg B [Epub ahead of print], 2016.

Stefko ST, Snyderman C, Fernandez-Miranda J, Tyler-Kabara E, Wang E, Bodily L, Bilonick RA, Gardner PA. Visual outcomes after endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngioma: the Pittsburgh experience. J Neurol Surg B 77(B4):326-32, 2016.

Zwagerman NT, Zenonos G, Lieber S, Wang WH, Wang EW, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Snyderman CH, Gardner PA. Endoscopic transnasal skull base surgery: pushing the boundaries. J Neurooncol 130(2):319-30, 2016.

Vaz-Guimaraes F, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Wang E, Snyderman CH. Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery for vascular lesions: a systematic review. J Neurosurg Sci 60(4):503-13, 2016.

Koutourousiou M, Fernandez-Miranda J, Vaz Guimaraes Filho F, de Almeida JR, Wang EW, Snyderman CH, Gardner PA. Outcomes of endonasal and lateral approaches to petroclival meningiomas. World Neurosurg [Epub ahead of print], 2016.

A complete list of Dr. Gardner's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research Activities

Dr. Gardner’s recent projects include completion of a molecular prognostication panel evaluation for clival chordoma. Ninety-two tumors were evaluated for genetic alterations using FISH, LOH and IHC studies. Six markers were found which predicted progression following surgery and three which predicted progression following radiation. 

Dr. Gardner was principal investigator of a study evaluating five chordoma specimens for tumor mutations using exome sequencing of tumor and comparing it to germline and the known human genome. This has led to development of a hypothetical pattern for progression of chordoma from notochord as well as holding the potential to provide greater understanding of the genetic derangements of chordoma, potentially providing targets for treatment. 

Dr. Gardner continues evaluation of clinical cohorts of patients with skull base tumors to show impact and outcomes of treatment, largely endoscopic endonasal surgery. He also maintains his role as investigator for NeuroGel, an extracellular matrix-derived product for nerve repair. Completed experiments show improved nerve recovery in rat model compared to standard of care (conduit or nerve allograft) following gap repair.

Media Appearances

Surgery Workshop Held
October 17, 2015
The New Indian Express

Into another dimension: A local couple uses a 3-D printer to help diagnose and treat a brain tumor
February 4, 2015
San Luis Obispo County New Times

Search for less-invasive avenue for brain surgery leads to eyelid, UPMC surgical team
February 1, 2015
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Woman has brain surgery through her Eyelid to prevent headaches after doctors said traditional surgery was too dangerous
January 27, 2015
London Daily Mail

Hard search for less invasive brain surgery leads to eyelid
January 27, 2015
Fox News

Hard Search for Less Invasive Brain Surgery Leads to Eyelid
January 26, 2015
New York Times

Pioneering Surgery Saves 5-Year-Old's Life
December 16, 2009
KDKA-TV Evening News

Rare surgery to restore Jain Acharya's eyesight
March 6, 2009

A million well-wishers, 15 doctors point guru to Pittsburgh
February 12, 2009
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

UPMC On Topic Videos

Pituitary Adenomas and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains pituitary adenoma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Craniopharyngiomas and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains craniopharyngioma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Chordoma Tumors and the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
Dr. Gardner explains chordoma tumors and the experience his multidisciplinary team has in treating the tumor with the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach.

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery at UPMC
Dr. Gardner talks about the benefits of minimally invasive brain surgery at UPMC.