Dr. Linda M. Liau is a Professor and the W. Eugene Stern Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Co-Director of the UCLA Brain Tumor Center. She is the Principal Investigator and Director of the NCI-designated UCLA Brain Cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence). She received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry and B.A. degree in Political Science, both with honors, from Brown University in 1987. She then received her M.D. degree from Stanford University in 1991, and a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from UCLA in 1999. After completing her residency and fellowship training in neurosurgery at UCLA, she joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine. She also has a M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Dr. Liau is currently a tenured Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a board-certified neurosurgeon with both an active research laboratory and a busy clinical practice in the field of brain tumors and neurosurgical oncology.
Dr. Liau has been the Principal Investigator on several research grants and clinical trials, and her work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past 20 years. She is the mentor for several NIH training grants for residents, fellows, and postdoctoral researchers in her laboratory. Her research interests include translational experimental therapeutics of cell-based immunotherapy for brain tumors and the characterization of biomarkers of response to immune-based therapies. She is internationally recognized for her achievements in understanding the immunology of malignant brain tumors and pioneering the use of dendritic cell-based vaccines for glioblastoma. Clinically, she has developed novel ways to map brain function during awake brain tumor surgeries, and specializes in surgery for brain tumors in eloquent areas. Dr. Liau has authored over 170 peer-reviewed research articles, along with several book chapters, and a textbook entitled Brain Tumor Immunotherapy. She is on the editorial boards of several scientific/medical journals and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology (2007–2017). She was the first woman President of the Western Neurosurgical Society (WNS), and currently serves as a Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS). She has received numerous awards for her academic accomplishments and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2018.