Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair

Thomas Freeman, MD, FAANS, FACS

Thomas Freeman, MD, FAANS, FACS

Professor With Tenure, College of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair

Medical Director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair

Chief, Division of Neurosurgery

Professor With Tenure, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine

Contact Info 2 Tampa General Circle
7th Floor
Tampa FL 33606

Academic Email:

Academic Phone:(813) 259-0889

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  • MD, Johns Hopkins University, 1981

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Neuroscience


  • Fellow (American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2010 - Present)
  • Member (Florida Medical Association, 2005 - Present)
  • Member (Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 1997 - Present)
  • Fellow (American College of Surgeons, 1997 - Present)

Recent Publications

  • Screven R, Pressman E, Rao G, Freeman TB, Alikhani P. The Safety and Efficacy of Stand-Alone Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Adjacent Segment Disease in a Cohort of 44 Patients. World neurosurgery. 149: e225-e230, 2021.
  • Noureldine MHA, Freeman TB, Alikhani P. Simultaneous Sacroiliac Joint Fusion in Patients with Long Lumbosacral Constructs: Case Report and Operative Technique. World neurosurgery. 139: 434-439, 2020.
  • Freeman TB, Bach K, Murtagh RD. Influence of Lumbar Stenosis Surgery on Sacroiliac Joint Pain-Long-Term Results. World neurosurgery. 136: e386-e392, 2020.
  • Cisbani G, Maxan A, Kordower JH, Planel E, Freeman TB, Cicchetti F. Presence of tau pathology within foetal neural allografts in patients with Huntington''s and Parkinson''s disease. Brain : a journal of neurology. 140(11) : 2982-2992, 2017.
  • Kordower JH, Goetz CG, Chu Y, Halliday GM, Nicholson DA, Musial TF, Marmion DJ, Stoessl AJ, Sossi V, Freeman TB, Olanow CW. Robust graft survival and normalized dopaminergic innervation do not obligate recovery in a Parkinson disease patient. Annals of neurology. 81(1) : 46-57, 2017.
  • Mercado NM, Collier TJ, Freeman T, Steece-Collier K. Repairing the Aged Parkinsonian Striatum: Lessons from the Lab and Clinic. Journal of clinical & cellular immunology. 7(6) , 2016.
  • Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Staples M, Reyes S, Lozano D, Sanberg PR, Freeman TB, van Loveren H, Kim SU, Borlongan CV. Bone marrow-derived stem cell therapy for metastatic brain cancers. Cell transplantation. 24(4) : 625-30, 2015.
  • Freeman T, B. Death perception: how temporary ventilator disconnection helped my family accept brain death and donate organs. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. 5: 9-12, 2015.
  • Cicchetti F, Lacroix S, Cisbani G, Vallières N, Saint-Pierre M, St-Amour I, Tolouei R, Skepper JN, Hauser RA, Mantovani D, Barker RA, Freeman TB. Mutant huntingtin is present in neuronal grafts in Huntington disease patients. Annals of neurology. 76(1) : 31-42, 2014.
  • Cisbani G, Freeman TB, Soulet D, Saint-Pierre M, Gagnon D, Parent M, Hauser RA, Barker RA, Cicchetti F. Striatal allografts in patients with Huntington''s disease: impact of diminished astrocytes and vascularization on graft viability. Brain : a journal of neurology. 136(Pt 2) : 433-43, 2013.
  • Galpern WR, Corrigan-Curay J, Lang AE, Kahn J, Tagle D, Barker RA, Freeman TB, Goetz CG, Kieburtz K, Kim SY, Piantadosi S, Comstock Rick A, Federoff HJ. Sham neurosurgical procedures in clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases: scientific and ethical considerations. The Lancet. Neurology. 11(7) : 643-50, 2012.
  • Borlongan CV, Glover LE, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Freeman TB. The great migration of bone marrow-derived stem cells toward the ischemic brain: therapeutic implications for stroke and other neurological disorders. Progress in neurobiology. 95(2) : 213-28, 2011.
  • Gross RE, Watts RL, Hauser RA, Bakay RA, Reichmann H, von Kummer R, Ondo WG, Reissig E, Eisner W, Steiner-Schulze H, Siedentop H, Fichte K, Hong W, Cornfeldt M, Beebe K, Sandbrink R. Intrastriatal transplantation of microcarrier-bound human retinal pigment epithelial cells versus sham surgery in patients with advanced Parkinson''s disease: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. The Lancet. Neurology. 10(6) : 509-19, 2011.
  • Cicchetti F, Soulet D, Freeman TB. Neuronal degeneration in striatal transplants and Huntington''s disease: potential mechanisms and clinical implications. Brain : a journal of neurology. 134(Pt 3) : 641-52, 2011.
  • Freeman TB, Cicchetti F, Bachoud-Lévi AC, Dunnett SB. Technical factors that influence neural transplant safety in Huntington''s disease. Experimental neurology. 227(1) : 1-9, 2011.
  • Sangala JR, Nichols T, Freeman TB. Technique to minimize paraspinal muscle atrophy after posterior cervical fusion. Clinical neurology and neurosurgery. 113(1) : 48-51, 2011.
  • Phommachanh V, Patil YJ, McCaffrey TV, Vale F, Freeman TB, Padhya TA. Otolaryngologic management of delayed pharyngoesophageal perforation following anterior cervical spine surgery. The Laryngoscope. 120(5) : 930-6, 2010.
  • Cicchetti F, Saporta S, Hauser RA, Parent M, Saint-Pierre M, Sanberg PR, Li XJ, Parker JR, Chu Y, Mufson EJ, Kordower JH, Freeman TB. Neural transplants in patients with Huntington''s disease undergo disease-like neuronal degeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(30) : 12483-8, 2009.
  • Olanow CW, Gracies JM, Goetz CG, Stoessl AJ, Freeman T, Kordower JH, Godbold J, Obeso JA. Clinical pattern and risk factors for dyskinesias following fetal nigral transplantation in Parkinson''s disease: a double blind video-based analysis. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 24(3) : 336-43, 2009.
  • Kordower JH, Chu Y, Hauser RA, Olanow CW, Freeman TB. Transplanted dopaminergic neurons develop PD pathologic changes: a second case report. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 23(16) : 2303-6, 2008.
  • Soderstrom KE, Meredith G, Freeman TB, McGuire SO, Collier TJ, Sortwell CE, Wu Q, Steece-Collier K. The synaptic impact of the host immune response in a parkinsonian allograft rat model: Influence on graft-derived aberrant behaviors. Neurobiology of disease. 32(2) : 229-42, 2008.
  • Kordower JH, Chu Y, Hauser RA, Freeman TB, Olanow CW. Lewy body-like pathology in long-term embryonic nigral transplants in Parkinson''s disease. Nature medicine. 14(5) : 504-6, 2008.
  • Yantzer BK, Freeman TB, Lee WE, Nichols T, Inamasu J, Guiot B, Johnson WM. Torsion-induced pressure distribution changes in human intervertebral discs: an in vitro study. Spine. 32(8) : 881-4, 2007.
  • Prehn AW, Vawter DE, Gervais KG, DeVries RG, Garrett JE, Freeman TB, McIndoo TQ. Studying neurosurgical implants for Parkinson disease: a question of design. Neurology. 67(8) : 1503-5, 2006.
  • Furtado S, Sossi V, Hauser RA, Samii A, Schulzer M, Murphy CB, Freeman TB, Stoessl AJ. Positron emission tomography after fetal transplantation in Huntington''s disease. Annals of neurology. 58(2) : 331-7, 2005.
  • Vawter DE, Gervais KG, Freeman TB. Strategies for achieving high-quality IRB review. The American journal of bioethics : AJOB. 4(3) : 74-6; discussion W32, 2004.
  • Olanow CW, Goetz CG, Kordower JH, Stoessl AJ, Sossi V, Brin MF, Shannon KM, Nauert GM, Perl DP, Godbold J, Freeman TB. A double-blind controlled trial of bilateral fetal nigral transplantation in Parkinson''s disease. Annals of neurology. 54(3) : 403-14, 2003.
  • Vawter DE, Gervais KG, Freeman TB. Does placebo surgery-controlled research call for new provisions to protect human research participants? The American journal of bioethics : AJOB. 3(4) : 50-3, 2003.
  • Hauser RA, Sandberg PR, Freeman TB, Stoessl AJ. Bilateral human fetal striatal transplantation in Huntington''s disease. Neurology. 58(11) : 1704; author reply 1704, 2002.
  • Hauser RA, Furtado S, Cimino CR, Delgado H, Eichler S, Schwartz S, Scott D, Nauert GM, Soety E, Sossi V, Holt DA, Sanberg PR, Stoessl AJ, Freeman TB. Bilateral human fetal striatal transplantation in Huntington''s disease. Neurology. 58(5) : 687-95, 2002.
  • Freeman TB, Willing A, Zigova T, Sanberg PR, Hauser RA. Neural transplantation in Parkinson''s disease. Advances in neurology. 86: 435-45, 2001.
  • Zigova T, Willing AE, Saporta S, Daadi MM, McGrogan MP, Randall TS, Freeman TB, Sanchez-Ramos J, Sanberg PR. Apoptosis in cultured hNT neurons. Brain research. Developmental brain research. 127(1) : 63-70, 2001.
  • Freeman TB, Hauser RA, Willing AE, Zigova T, Sanberg PR, Saporta S. Transplantation of human fetal striatal tissue in Huntington''s disease: rationale for clinical studies. Novartis Foundation symposium. 231: 129-38; discussion 139-47, 2000.
  • Sanchez-Ramos J, Song S, Dailey M, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Hazzi C, Stedeford T, Willing A, Freeman TB, Saporta S, Zigova T, Sanberg PR, Snyder EY. The X-gal caution in neural transplantation studies. Cell transplantation. 9(5) : 657-67, 2000.
  • Freeman TB, Cicchetti F, Hauser RA, Deacon TW, Li XJ, Hersch SM, Nauert GM, Sanberg PR, Kordower JH, Saporta S, Isacson O. Transplanted fetal striatum in Huntington''s disease: phenotypic development and lack of pathology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97(25) : 13877-82, 2000.
  • Sanchez-Ramos J, Song S, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Hazzi C, Stedeford T, Willing A, Freeman TB, Saporta S, Janssen W, Patel N, Cooper DR, Sanberg PR. Adult bone marrow stromal cells differentiate into neural cells in vitro. Experimental neurology. 164(2) : 247-56, 2000.
  • Zigova T, Barroso LF, Willing AE, Saporta S, McGrogan MP, Freeman TB, Sanberg PR. Dopaminergic phenotype of hNT cells in vitro. Brain research. Developmental brain research. 122(1) : 87-90, 2000.
  • Freeman TB, Hauser RA, Sanberg PR, Saporta S. Neural transplantation for the treatment of Huntington''s disease. Progress in brain research. 127: 405-11, 2000.
  • Freeman TB, Vawter DE, Leaverton PE, Godbold JH, Hauser RA, Goetz CG, Olanow CW. Use of placebo surgery in controlled trials of a cellular-based therapy for Parkinson''s disease. The New England journal of medicine. 341(13) : 988-92, 1999.
  • Willing AE, Sudberry JJ, Othberg AI, Saporta S, Poulos SG, Cameron DF, Freeman TB, Sanberg PR. Sertoli cells decrease microglial response and increase engraftment of human hNT neurons in the hemiparkinsonian rat striatum. Brain research bulletin. 48(4) : 441-4, 1999.
  • Hauser RA, Freeman TB, Snow BJ, Nauert M, Gauger L, Kordower JH, Olanow CW. Long-term evaluation of bilateral fetal nigral transplantation in Parkinson disease. Archives of neurology. 56(2) : 179-87, 1999.
  • Othberg AI, Willing AE, Cameron DF, Anton A, Saporta S, Freeman TB, Sanberg PR. Trophic effect of porcine Sertoli cells on rat and human ventral mesencephalic cells and hNT neurons in vitro. Cell transplantation. 7(2) : 157-64, 1998.
  • Sanberg PR, Borlongan CV, Koutouzis TK, Norgren RB, Cahill DW, Freeman TB. Human fetal striatal transplantation in an excitotoxic lesioned model of Huntington''s disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 831: 452-60, 1997.
  • Sanberg PR, Borlongan CV, Othberg AI, Saporta S, Freeman TB, Cameron DF. Testis-derived Sertoli cells have a trophic effect on dopamine neurons and alleviate hemiparkinsonism in rats. Nature medicine. 3(10) : 1129-32, 1997.
  • Borlongan CV, Koutouzis TK, Freeman TB, Hauser RA, Cahill DW, Sanberg PR. Hyperactivity and hypoactivity in a rat model of Huntington''s disease: the systemic 3-nitropropionic acid model. Brain research. Brain research protocols. 1(3) : 253-7, 1997.
  • Sanberg PR, Othberg AI, Borlongan CV, Saporta S, Anton A, Freeman TB, Cahill DW, Allen RC, Cameron DF. Transplantation of testis-derived Sertoli cells into the mammalian brain. Transplantation proceedings. 29(4) : 1926-8, 1997.
  • Holt DA, Nauert GM, Othberg AI, Randall TS, Willing AE, Widen RH, Hauser RA, Sanberg PR, Olanow CW, Freeman TB. Infectious issues in human fetal neural transplantation. Cell transplantation. 6(6) : 553-6, 1997.
  • Kordower JH, Styren S, Clarke M, DeKosky ST, Olanow CW, Freeman TB. Fetal grafting for Parkinson''s disease: expression of immune markers in two patients with functional fetal nigral implants. Cell transplantation. 6(3) : 213-9, 1997.
  • Saporta S, Borlongan C, Moore J, Mejia-Millan E, Jones SL, Bonness P, Randall TS, Allen RC, Freeman TB, Sanberg PR. Microcarrier enhanced survival of human and rat fetal ventral mesencephalon cells implanted in the rat striatum. Cell transplantation. 6(6) : 579-84, 1997.

Positions Held

  • Professor with tenure (Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1999 - 2007)
  • Chief (Division of Neurosurgery, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital 1988 - 1992)


  • Top Doctor (Castle Connolly - 2016)
  • Best Doctors in America (US News and World Reports - 2016)
  • America's Top Doctors (stle Connolly Medical LTD - 2016)
  • The Molly & Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award (American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair - 2013)
  • Top 1% of Neurosurgeons in the U.S. (US News and World Reports - 2012)
  • Platinum Dean’s Recognition Award for “Exemplary service and excellence in teaching and research (University of South Florida - 2010)
  • Best Doctors in America (US News and World Reports - 2010)
  • USF Platinum Dean's Recognition Award for "Exemplary Service and Excellence in teaching and research (University of South Florida - 2010)