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The Lim Lab

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Our research

Dr. Lim's lab is focused on understanding basic mechanisms of immunosuppression in GBM. We extensively study both the myeloid and lymphocyte compartments to examine key players in the adaptive process utilized by GBM to avoid immune surveillance and elimination. We are involved in a number of clinical trials examining combination checkpoint blockade as well as molecular biomarkers to predict better response to immunotherapy in patients with GBM.

Several ongoing projects include:

  • Novel combination checkpoint blockade strategies for treating GBM
  • Exploring molecular biomarkers for predicting immune response
  • Stimulating myeloid cells to reverse immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment of GBM
  • Examining complex metabolic interactions within GBM to better understand mechanisms of immunosuppression
  • Exploring immunologic treatments for other neurosurgical diseases such as traumatic brain injury and vasospasm from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

The Lim lab began at Johns Hopkins University when Dr. Lim joined as faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery. Pioneering the first study that examined the use of checkpoint blockade in glioblastoma, he has since built a laboratory that has produced robust preclinical and clinical applications for immunotherapy. After moving to Stanford to become chair of the neurosurgery department in 2020, Dr. Lim established his immunotherapy lab at Stanford in order to further develop its goal of finding new treatments and understanding mechanisms of immunosuppression for glioblastoma 

Dr. Lim Bio

Dr. Lim is the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in brain tumors and trigeminal neuralgia.

Dr. Lim’s clinical interests include the treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, with special interest in gliomas, meningiomas, metastatic tumors, and skull base tumors. Dr. Lim also specializes in surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia. During his time at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Lim built one of the largest brain tumor and trigeminal neuralgia practices and utilized the most advanced surgical technologies and techniques for his patients. As a passionate voice for patient experience, he has been recognized by his peers and patients for his integrity and compassionate care, including a Service Excellence Award from HealthNetwork Foundation.

As a mentor, he has garnered numerous teaching awards, including being honored as an outstanding teacher by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is actively involved in shaping education for neurosurgery and oncology across the United States and around the world.

Dr. Lim’s research interests focus on harnessing the immune system to fight cancer. His laboratory focuses on understanding mechanisms of immune evasion by cancer cells. He has successfully translated his findings from the laboratory to the clinics and has conducted and led several large national immunotherapy clinical trials for brain tumors.

Dr. Lim’s bibliography contains well over 300 articles on topics such as immunotherapy for glioblastoma, long-term survival of glioma patients treated with stereotactic radiation, and treatment of neuropathic pain. His work has appeared in Science Translational Medicine, Clinical Cancer Research, Lancet Oncology, Nature Immunology, and many more publications. He also has written 20 book chapters and monographs.

Dr. Lim is a world leader in immunotherapy for brain tumors. In addition to being invited world-wide to give lectures and seminars, he has given platform presentations on the topics of immunotherapy for brain tumors, neurosurgical techniques and management of brain tumors at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, Radiological Society of North America, Annual Symposium on Brain and Spine Metastases, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and other meetings. In addition, he has served as platform chairman of the CNS session at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference.

Dr. Lim is a member of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and Society for Neuro-Oncology. Dr. Lim served as the program co-chair of the Society for Neuro-Oncology and CNS section of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. He also served on many executive committees, including the Executive Committee for the Joint Tumor Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Clinical Focus

  • Neurosurgery

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Neurological Surgery, Neurosurgery (2012)
  • Residency: Stanford University Neurosurgery Residency (2007) CA
  • Medical Education: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2000) MD