Faculty Focus - Sunit Das


Sunit Das, MD, PhDsunit das

Dr. Sunit Das was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and moved with his family to the United States at the age of two. He studied English Literature at the University of Michigan and Philosophy at Harvard University before obtaining his MD degree from Northwestern University. After completing his PhD in Neurobiology at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Das returned to Northwestern University for his neurosurgical training. He joined the faculty at St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto in October 2010. Dr. Das is married to Pavani Reddy Das, a specialist in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Antibiotic Stewardship Committee at North York General Hospital. She is also member of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a physician consultant for Public Health Ontario in the Division of Infection Control. Their daughter, Lakshmi, is 2 years old.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Dr. Das’s clinical and research interests are focused on improving of our clinical and biological understanding of primary cancers of the brain. He is particularly interested in the clinical management of malignant gliomas. His research focuses on the nexus of neural stem cell and cancer biology, with the hope that advancing our understanding of the biology of malignant gliomas will allow the identification of novel therapies for this disease.

Recent Publications

  • Das, S., Bonaguidi, M., Muro, K., and Kessler, J.A. (2008). Generation of Embryonic Stem Cells: Limitations of and Alternatives to Inner Cell Mass Harvest. Neurosurg Focus 24(3-4): E4.
  • Das, S., Smith, T., Raizer, J.J., and Muro, K. (2008). Immunotherapeutic treatment strategies for primary brain tumors. Curr Treat Options Oncol 9: 32-40.
  • Das, S., Srikanth, M., and Kessler, J.A. (2008). Mechanisms of disease: cancer stem cells and glioma. Nature Clin Pract Neuro 4: 427-435.
  • Yadav, A.K., Renfrow, J.J., Scholtens, D.M., Xie, H., Duran, G.E., Bredel, C., Vogel, H., Chandler, J.P., Chakravarti, A., Robe, P.A., Das, S., Scheck, A.C., Kessler, J.A., Soares, M.B., Sikic, B.I., Harsh, G.R., and Bredel. M. (2009). Monosomy of chromosome 10 associated with dysregulation of epidermal growth factor signaling in glioblastomas. JAMA 302: 276-289.
  • Goebeske, K., Das, S., Bonaguidi, M., Radulovic, J., Disterhoft, J., and Kessler, J. (2009). BMP signaling mediates effects of exercise on hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition. PLoS One 4: e7506.
  • Bendok, B.R., Sherma, A.K., Hage, Z.A., Das, S., Naidech, A.M., Surdell, D.L., Adel, J.G., Shaibani, A., Batjer, H.H., Carroll, T.J., and Walker, M. (2010). Perprocedural MRI perfusion imaging to assess and monitor the hemodynamic impact of intracranial angioplasty and stenting. J Clin Neurosci 17: 54-58.
  • Surdell, D.L, Hage, Z.A., Eddleman, C.S., Das, S., Duckworth, E., Eskandari, M.K., Awad, I.A., Batjer, H.H., and Bendok, B.R. Complications of internal carotid artery stenting and their management, in Textbook of Peripheral Vascular Interventions (2nd ed.), ed. R. Heuser and M. Henry. Informa HealthCare Press: New York, 2009.
  • Arnaout, O. and Das, S. (2009). Pineal apoplexy, in The Pineal Gland and Melatonin: Recent Advances in Development, Imaging, Disease and Treatment, ed. M. Turgut and R. Kumar. NOVA Science Publishers: New York, 2009.
  • Das, S., and Bendok, B.R. (2009). Shear gradients and platelet aggregation. Neurosurgery 65: N14-N15.
  • Das, S. (2011). Cancer stem cells in adult gliomas. Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology. http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org


Current Grants

  • b.r.a.i.n.child Research Award 7/2011-7/2013
    Amount: $44,100
    Project title: The role of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the maintenance of stem-cell identity in glioblastoma brain tumor stem cells.
  • b.r.a.i.n.child Research Award 1/2011-1/2013
    Amount: $80,000
    Project title: The role of prostacyclins in the survival of glioblastoma brain tumor stem cells.
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital Auxillary Board Award 9/2009-9/2011
    Amount: $100,000 (PI)
    Project title: Treatment of brain tumor stem cells using a self-assembling gel.
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital Dixon Award 4/2009-4/2012
    Amount: $600,000 (Co-PI)
    Project title: Self-assembling peptide ampiphiles in the treatment of brain tumors.

Selected Awards

  • 2007-2008 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Basic Science Research Award
  • 2008 Resident Award for Excellence in Medical Student Education
  • 2009 Northwestern Memorial Hospital Auxillary Board Research Award
  • 2009 Northwestern Memorial Hospital Dixon Translational Research Award
  • 2009 Resident Award for Excellence in Medical Student Education
  • 2010 Resident Award for Excellence in Medical Student Education
  • 2010 Resident Award for Best Paper in Basic Science