Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, MD, FACS

Associate Professor
Director, Complex Brain Surgery Program
Associate Director, Center for Skull Base Surgery
Director, Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab
Director, Fiber Tractography (HDFT) Lab

Juan C. Fernandez Miranda




Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, MD, FACS, is associate professor of neurological surgery, director of the Complex Brain Surgery Program, and associate director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery. He is also director of the Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab and Fiber Tractography Lab at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and he joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery on July 1, 2008 to complete a two-year clinical fellowship in open and minimally invasive skull base, pituitary, and brain surgery with Amin Kassam, MD, Paul Gardner, MD, and Daniel Prevedello, MD.

Prior to joining the faculty at University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Fernandez-Miranda completed a clinical fellowship in cerebrovascular surgery at the University of Virginia—under the direction of Neal F. Kassell, MD—and a two-year research fellowship in microsurgical neuroanatomy at the University of Florida—under the mentoring of Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., MD.

Dr. Fernandez-Miranda received his medical degree from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and completed his neurological surgery residency at “La Paz” University Hospital of Madrid. Upon completion of his residency, he was awarded the Sanitas Prize 2006 to the best medical postgraduate trainee in Spain.

Dr. Fernandez-Miranda’s clinical focus is endoscopic endonasal skull base and pituitary surgery, open skull base surgery, and complex brain surgery. His research interests lie in the study of surgical neuroanatomy and brain connectivity, and the application of innovative surgical techniques into the operating room. He has published more than 160 scientific peer-review papers, and he has lectured extensively at national and international scientific meetings and professional courses.

The Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab that he directs has a dual educational and research role aiming to improve surgical techniques and outcomes by mastering knowledge of relevant surgical neuroanatomy. Many national and international physicians have conducted training and research at the Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab. The lab has three main research areas: microsurgical neuroanatomy, endoscopic skull base anatomy, and white matter anatomy. Dr. Fernandez-Miranda has major publications and awards on each of these areas, and his research work has contributed significantly to the development and expansion of endoscopic skull base surgery.

The Fiber Tractography Lab, funded with a major NIH award, is focused on the application of advanced fiber mapping techniques—High-Definition Fiber Tractography (HDFT)—for presurgical planning and intraoperative navigation to facilitate brain function preservation and improve resection rates in patients with complex brain lesions. Dr. Fernandez-Miranda’s work is also centered on studying the structure and connectivity of the fiber tracts forming the “Human Connectome,” and their structural alteration in patients with brain tumors, vascular lesions, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition to his clinical and research activities, Dr. Fernandez-Miranda is greatly devoted to teaching and education of residents and fellows, and he received the 2017 best faculty teaching award as selected by his neurosurgery residents. He enjoys teaching 3D surgical neuroanatomy and techniques at local, national, and international venues.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Endoscopic pituitary surgery; minimally invasive endoscopic skull base and brain surgery; open skull base surgery; brain tumors. Research focuses on surgical neuroanatomy (micro-surgical neuroanatomy, endoscopic skull base anatomy, and white matter anatomy), advanced brain imaging techniques, and brain connectivity.

Board Certifications

Spanish Society of Neurosurgery, Spanish Ministry of Science and Education
European Association of Neurosurgical Societies, European Board of Neurosurgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)

Hospital Privileges

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Association of Neurological Surgeon
American College of Surgeons
Cajal Club
Congress of Neurological Surgeons 
European Association of Neurosurgical Societies
German Skull Base Society
International Head and Neck Scientific Group 
Joint Section on Tumors – AANS & CNS
North American Skull Base Society 
Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society
The Pituitary Society
Spanish Society of Neurosurgery

Education & Training

MD, Complutense University of Madrid, 2000
Residency, Neurosurgery, “La Paz” University Hospital of Madrid, 2006
Fellowship, Microsurgical Neuroanatomy, University of Florida, 2007
Fellowship, Cerebrovascular Surgery, University of Virginia, 2008
Fellowship, Endoscopic Endonasal/Skull Base Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, 2010

Honors & Awards

  • Pedro Mata Award of the Neurosurgical Society of Madrid to the Best Neurosurgical Research for the work “Three-Dimensional Microsurgical Anatomy and Tractography of the White Matter of the Human Brain.”
  • Sanitas Prize 2006 to the Best Medical Postgraduate Trainee in Spain.
  • Synthes CMF (Cranio-Maxillofacial) Anatomical Fellowship.
  • Aesculap EANS (European Association of Neurosurgical Societies) Research Prize for the work “Three-Dimensional Structure of the White Matter of the Human Brain.”
  • European Skull Base Fellowship Award, 2009.
  • VII National Research Award, Barclays Foundation, 2009
  • Best Doctors, Pittsburgh Magazine, 2013-2016
  • NIH-R01 Award (R01DC013803-01A1), 2015-2020
  • Annual Faculty Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Neurological Surgery, 2017

Selected Publications

Wang WH, Abhinav K, Wang E, Snyderman C, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC. Endoscopic endonasal transclival transcondylar approach for foramen magnum meningiomas: surgical anatomy and technical noteJ Neurol Surg B 76 - P025, 2015.

Fernández-Miranda JC, Wang Y, Pathak S, Stefaneau L, Verstynen T, Yeh FC. Asymmetry, connectivity, and segmentation of the arcuate fascicle in the human brainBrain Struct Funct 220(3):1665-80, 2015.

Abhinav K, Yeh FC, Mansouri A, Zadeh G, Fernandez-Miranda JC. High-definition fiber tractography for the evaluation of perilesional white matter tracts in high-grade glioma surgeryNeuro Oncol 17(9):1199-209, 2015.

Abhinav K, Acosta Y, Wang WH, Bonilla LR, Koutourousiou M, Wang E, Snyderman C, Gardner P, Fernandez-Miranda JC. Endoscopic endonasal approach to the optic canal: Anatomic considerations and surgical relevanceNeurosurgery 11 Suppl 3:431-46, 2015.

Fernandez-Miranda JC, Gardner PA, Rastelli MM Jr, Peris-Celda M, Koutourousiou M, Peace D, Snyderman CH, Rhoton AL Jr. Endoscopic endonasal transcavernous posterior clinoidectomy with interdural pituitary transpositionJ Neurosurg 121(1):91-9, 2014.

Fernandez-Miranda JC, Pathak S, Engh J, Jarbo K, Verstynen T, Yeh F, Mintz A, Boada F, Schneider W, Friedlander R. High-Definition Fiber Tractography of the Human Brain: Neuroanatomical Validation and Neurosurgical ApplicationsNeurosurgery 71(2):430-53, 2012.

Fernandez-Miranda JC, Morera VA, Snyderman CH, Gardner P. Endoscopic endonasal transclival approach to the jugular tubercleNeurosurgery 71(1 Suppl Operative):ONS146-59, 2012.

Fernandez-Miranda JC, Tormenti M, Latorre F, Gardner P, Snyderman C. Endoscopic endonasal middle clinoidectomy: anatomical, radiological, and technical noteNeurosurgery 71[ONS Suppl 2]:ons233-ons239, 2012

Fernandez-Miranda JC, de Oliveira E, Rubino P, Wen HT, Rhoton AL Jr. Microvascular anatomy of the medial temporal lobe: Part 1: its application to arteriovenous malformation surgeryNeurosurgery 67(3 Suppl Operative):237-76, 2010.

Fernandez-Miranda JC, Rhoton AL Jr, Alvarez-Linera J, Kakizawa Y, Choi C, de Oliveira E. Three-dimensional microsurgical and tractographic anatomy of the white matter of the human brain. Neurosurgery 62(6 Suppl 3):989-1028, 2008.

A complete list of Dr. Fernandez-Miranda's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research Activities

1) Language connectivity pathways and neuroplasticity in aphasic stroke patients.

In this proposal, Dr. Fernandez-Miranda’s strategy is to combine innovative diffusion imaging techniques, behavioral assessment, and intensive speech therapy in patients with chronic stroke-related aphasia in order to establish the role of fiber tracts in language function, identify the consequences of their disruption, investigate the potential neuroplastic changes after treatment, and characterize the white matter structural factors that may influence recovery.

2) Structural Brain Mapping using High Definition Fiber Tracking.

This project uses High-Definition Fiber Tractography, an advanced MRI-based non-invasive imaging technique, to study the intrinsic structure and connectivity of the living human brain, both in normal subjects and neurosurgery/neurology patients.

Media Appearances

Chuck Noll Foundation awards grants to concussion researchers
February 22, 2018
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steeler-sponsored Chuck Noll Foundation funds first concussion research grants
February 22, 2018
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A better road map for neurosurgeons
May 5, 2013

UPMC On Topic Videos

Pituitary Adenoma Treatment
Dr. Fernandez-Miranda discusses treatment options for pituitary adenomas at UPMC.

Meningioma Treatment
Dr. Fernandez-Miranda discusses treatment options for meningioma at UPMC.

Abordaje Endonasal Endoscópico
Dr. Fernandez-Miranda discute el Abordaje Endonasal Endoscópico.

Tumores de Hipofisis
Dr. Fernandez-Miranda discute tratamiento para tumores de hipofisis