Professor and James Garber Galbraith Endowed Chair of Neurosurgery

Area of Interest: Brain Tumors

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Dr. Markert received an A.B. degree cum laude in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University, where he also pursued graduate studies in Applied Mathematics. He then obtained his M.D. degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988 with a simultaneous award of a Masters in Public Health, also from Columbia University. He performed his general surgery internship, as well as his neurological surgery residency, at the University of Michigan Medical Center under Dr. Julian "Buz" Hoff during the period of 1988 to 1995. During his residency, he spent 18 months in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Martuza at Massachusetts General Hospital studying the potential application of genetically-engineered herpes simplex virus as a treatment approach for malignant glioma. He then returned to the University of Michigan where he completed his Chief Residency in 1995.

Upon completion of his residency, he became a faculty member of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Immediately after joining the faculty, he completed an additional research program under Dr. Bernard Roizman at the University of Chicago in the area of molecular herpes virology. In April of 1996, he returned to UAB as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. There, under the mentorship of Dr. Richard B. Morawetz, he prospered in the area of clinical neuro-oncologic surgery and rose through the ranks. In 2006, he was appointed Director of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has been fortunate to work with an extremely talented and congenial group of faculty and residents.

On October 1, 2013, the Division of Neurosurgery was granted Departmental status by the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and Dr. Markert was named the inaugural chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Markert's research interests center around novel therapies for the treatment of malignant glioma, and translating findings from the laboratory into the clinical arena. His major interest remains the use of herpes simplex virus and other viruses as oncolytic and gene therapy vectors for the treatment of malignant brain tumors and other cancers, including malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

He has been an active participant in program project grants centered at both the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Chicago under the directorship of Dr. Richard Whitley, which has resulted in several new findings in this arena and he has been Co-Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Brain Tumor SPORE along with Dr. Yancey Gillespie.

Dr. Markert has been extremely active in organized neurosurgery as well, holding positions in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Academy of Neurological Surgery, and the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He has served as President of the Southern Neurosurgical Society.

Dr. Markert's clinical interests include neurosurgical care of benign and malignant brain and spinal tumors, including open surgery and radiosurgery, as well as other aspects of general neurosurgery. He also maintains an active portfolio of clinical trials aimed at developing new approaches for the care of neurosurgical disease.

Appointments by referral can be made with Dr. Markert by calling 205-934-7170.


Jackson, J. D., A. M. McMorris, J. C. Roth, J. M. Coleman, R. J. Whitley, G. Y. Gillespie, S. L. Carroll, J. M. Markert, and K. A. Cassady. Assessment of Oncolytic HSV Efficacy Following Increased Entry-Receptor Expression in Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Cell Lines. Gene Therapy. 2014; August. doi:10.1038/gt.2014.72.

Foreman, Paul M, James M Markert, Arnold G Diethelm, and Mark N Hadley. 2014. The History of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Neurosurgery. 2014; June. doi:10.1227/NEU.0000000000000464.

Gebhardt BJ, Dobelbower MC, Ennis WH, Bag AK, Markert JM, Fiveash JB1. Patterns of failure for glioblastoma multiforme following limited-margin radiation and concurrent temozolomide. Radiat Oncol. 2014; Jun 6;9:130. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-9-130.

Thomas, Evan M, Richard A Popple, Xingen Wu, Grant M Clark, James M Markert, Barton L Guthrie, Yu Yuan, Michael C Dobelbower, Sharon A Spencer, and John B Fiveash. 2014. Comparison of Plan Quality and Delivery Time between Volumetric Arc Therapy (RapidArc) and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Multiple Cranial Metastases. Neurosurgery. 2014; May. doi:10.1227/NEU.0000000000000448.

Cody, James J, James M Markert, and Douglas R Hurst. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Improve the Replication of Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus in Breast Cancer Cells. PloS One 2014; 9 (3): e92919. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092919.

Roth, Justin Charles, Kevin A Cassady, James J Cody, Jackie N Parker, Kathleen H Price, Jennifer M Coleman, James O Peggins, et al. Evaluation of the Safety and Biodistribution of M032, an Attenuated HSV-1 Virus Expressing hIL-12, After Intracerebral Administration to Aotus Non-Human Primates. Human Gene Therapy. Clinical Development. 2014, February. doi:10.1089/hum.2013.201.

Markert, James M, Shantanu N Razdan, Hui-Chien Kuo, Alan Cantor, Anette Knoll, Matthias Karrasch, L Burt Nabors, et al. A Phase I Trial of Oncolytic HSV-1, G207, Given in Combination with Radiation for Recurrent GBM Demonstrates Safety and Radiographic Responses. Molecular Therapy: The Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 2014; February. doi:10.1038/mt.2014.22.

Kicielinski, Kimberly P, E Antonio Chiocca, John S Yu, George M Gill, Matt Coffey, and James M Markert. Phase I Clinical Trial of Intratumoral Reovirus Infusion for the Treatment of Recurrent Malignant Gliomas in Adults. Molecular Therapy: The Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 2014; February. doi:10.1038/mt.2014.21.

Megison ML, Gillory LA, Stewart JE, Nabers HC, Mroczek-Musulman E, Waters AM, Coleman JM, Kelly V, Markert JM, Gillespie GY, Friedman GK, Beierle EA. Preclinical evaluation of engineered oncolytic herpes simplex virus for the treatment of pediatric solid tumors. PLoS One. 2014; Jan 30;9(1):e86843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086843.

Gaston, David C, Carl I Odom, Li Li, James M Markert, Justin C Roth, Kevin A Cassady, Richard J Whitley, and Jacqueline N Parker. Production of Bioactive Soluble Interleukin-15 in Complex with Interleukin-15 Receptor Alpha from a Conditionally-Replicating Oncolytic HSV-1. PloS One 2013; 8 (11): e81768. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081768.

Gillory, Lauren A, Michael L Megison, Jerry E Stewart, Elizabeth Mroczek-Musulman, Hugh C Nabers, Alicia M Waters, Virginia Kelly, et al. Preclinical Evaluation of Engineered Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus for the Treatment of Neuroblastoma. PloS One 2013; 8 (10): e77753. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077753.

Whitley, Richard J, and James M Markert. Viral Therapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013; 110 (29): 11672–73. doi:10.1073/pnas.1310253110.

Griguer, Corinne E, Alan B Cantor, Hassan M Fathallah-Shaykh, G Yancey Gillespie, Amber S Gordon, James M Markert, Ivan Radovanovic, Virginie Clement-Schatlo, Chevis N Shannon, and Claudia R Oliva. Prognostic Relevance of Cytochrome C Oxidase in Primary Glioblastoma Multiforme. PloS One 2013; 8 (4): e61035. doi:10.1371/ journal. pone.0061035.

Friedman, Gregory K, Joel Raborn, Virginia M Kelly, Kevin A Cassady, James M Markert, and G Yancey Gillespie. Pediatric Glioma Stem Cells: Biologic Strategies for Oncolytic HSV Virotherapy. Frontiers in Oncology 2013; 3: 28. doi:10.3389/fonc.2013.00028.

Cody, James J, Pietro Scaturro, Alan B Cantor, G Yancey Gillespie, Jacqueline N Parker, and James M Markert. Preclinical Evaluation of Oncolytic δγ(1)34.5 Herpes Simplex Virus Expressing Interleukin-12 for Therapy of Breast Cancer Brain Metastases. International Journal of Breast Cancer 2012: 628697. doi:10.1155/2012/628697.

Markert, James M. The Role of Early Resection vs Biopsy in the Management of Low-Grade Gliomas. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 2012; 308 (18): 1918–19. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14523.

Clark, Grant M, Richard A Popple, Brendan M Prendergast, Sharon A Spencer, Evan M Thomas, John G Stewart, Barton L Guthrie, James M Markert, and John B Fiveash. Plan Quality and Treatment Planning Technique for Single Isocenter Cranial Radiosurgery with Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy. Practical Radiation Oncology 2012; 2 (4): 306–13. doi:10.1016/j.prro.2011.12.003.

Menendez, Joshua Y, David F Bauer, Chevis N Shannon, John Fiveash, and James M Markert. Stereotactic Radiosurgical Treatment of Brain Metastasis of Primary Tumors That Rarely Metastasize to the Central Nervous System. Journal of Neuro-Oncology 2012; 109 (3): 513–19. doi:10.1007/s11060-012-0916-2.

Odom, Carl I, David C Gaston, James M Markert, and Kevin A Cassady. Human Herpesviridae Methods of Natural Killer Cell Evasion. Advances in Virology 2012: 359869. doi:10.1155/2012/359869.

Friedman, Gregory K, Marilyn C Haas, Virginia M Kelly, James M Markert, George Yancey Gillespie, and Kevin A Cassady. Hypoxia Moderates γ(1)34.5-Deleted Herpes Simplex Virus Oncolytic Activity in Human Glioma Xenoline Primary Cultures. Translational Oncology 2012; 5 (3): 200–207.

Friedman, Gregory K, Kevin A Cassady, Elizabeth A Beierle, James M Markert, and G Yancey Gillespie. Targeting Pediatric Cancer Stem Cells with Oncolytic Virotherapy. Pediatric Research 2012; 71 (4 Pt 2): 500–510. doi:10.1038/pr.2011.58.

Markert, James M, James J Cody, Jacqueline N Parker, Jennifer M Coleman, Kathleen H Price, Earl R Kern, Debra C Quenelle, et al. Preclinical Evaluation of a Genetically Engineered Herpes Simplex Virus Expressing Interleukin-12. Journal of Virology 2012: 86 (9): 5304–13. doi:10.1128/JVI.06998-11.

Advani, S J, J M Markert, R F Sood, S Samuel, G Y Gillespie, M Y Shao, B Roizman, and R R Weichselbaum. Increased Oncolytic Efficacy for High-Grade Gliomas by Optimal Integration of Ionizing Radiation into the Replicative Cycle of HSV-1. Gene Therapy 2011; 18 (11): 1098–1102. doi:10.1038/gt.2011.61.

Bauer, David F, Shantanu N Razdan, Alfred A Bartolucci, and James M Markert. Meta-Analysis of Hemorrhagic Complications from Ventriculostomy Placement by Neurosurgeons. Neurosurgery 2011; 69 (2): 255–60. doi:10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821a45ba.

Bauer, David F, and James M Markert. Ventricular Shunt in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurosurgery. 2011; March. doi:10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821815cc.

Dobelbower, Michael C, Omer L Burnett Iii, Robert A Nordal, Louis B Nabors, James M Markert, Mark D Hyatt, and John B Fiveash. Patterns of Failure for Glioblastoma Multiforme Following Concurrent Radiation and Temozolomide. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 2011; 55 (1): 77–81. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9485.2010.02232.x.

Tufaro, Frank, and James M. Markert. 2007. Herpesviruses as Therapeutic Agents. In Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis, edited by Ann Arvin, Gabriella Campadelli-Fiume, Edward Mocarski, Patrick S. Moore, Bernard Roizman, Richard Whitley, and Koichi Yamanishi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.