Daniel F. Kelly, M.D.

Medical Director, Pacific Brain Tumor Center & Pituitary Disorders Program
St. John’s Health Center
Santa Monica, California

Dr. Daniel Kelly, a board certified neurosurgeon, is Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Saint John’s Health Center and Professor of Neurosurgery at John Wayne Cancer Institute. Considered to be one of the top neurosurgeons in the US and a recipient of the Patients’ Choice Award for the last 3 years, Dr. Kelly is internationallyrecognized in the field of minimally invasive keyhole surgery for brain, pituitary and skull base tumors. As a practicing neurosurgeon for over 20 years, he has one of the world’s largest series in endonasal surgery with over 1600 procedures performed including over 700 endonasal endoscopic surgeries, and over 1600 craniotomies for brain and skull base tumors. His current surgical practice encompasses the full spectrum of brain and skull base tumors, both benign and malignant, treated with minimally invasive and conventional approaches.  

Dr. Kelly has authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications and more than 20 book chapters on topics of surgical outcomes and techniques, patient satisfaction and complication avoidance for a wide range of tumors including pituitary adenomas, meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, Rathke’s cleft cysts, chordomas, sinonasal carcinomas and olfactory neuroblastomas. His research interests include endonasal endoscopic and keyhole surgical approaches, post-operative quality of life and pituitary hormonal dysfunction, as well as biomarkers of pituitary tumors and metastatic brain tumors. Dr. Kelly was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health funded study assessing pituitary hormonal loss after traumatic brain injury. He is currently the co-principal investigator of a study addressing the relationship between concussion, pituitary dysfunction and quality of life in retired professional football players. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Pituitary Society and a member of the editorial board of the journal Neurosurgery. He is also active in fostering neurosurgical training programs in developing countries and is the Vice Chair of the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery (FIENS). 

Dr. Kelly has a long-standing commitment to continuing medical education and patient education. Over the last decade he has organized 3 ongoing courses and symposia including the California Pituitary Conference, Endonasal and Keyhole Surgery Course (both for physicians), and the California Pituitary & Hormonal Health Symposium for patients and the public. He also lectures widely at national and international meetings and courses.

Dr. Kelly graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1982 and from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1986. He completed neurosurgical residency training in 1993 at George Washington University Medical Center and then joined the UCLA Division of Neurosurgery. In 1998 he became director of the UCLA Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program. He was Professor of Neurosurgery and Vice-Chief of Clinical Affairs for the UCLA Division of Neurosurgery until 2007 when he joined the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Saint John’s Health Center. As Director of the Saint John’s Brain Tumor Center, Dr. Kelly continues to focus his efforts on advancing innovative treatments for patients with brain, pituitary and skull base tumors, providing fellowship training in minimally invasive neurosurgery, and patient education and support.