The Pituitary Center at Johns Hopkins

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The pituitary gland is a pea-size gland located behind our eyes and often considered the “master endocrine gland.” It regulates most of the body’s hormonal balance. In particular, it controls the function of the adrenal glands, the thyroid, and the ovaries or testes. In addition, it produces growth hormone (GH) which is necessary for growth during childhood and prolactin which is necessary for milk production after pregnancy and delivery.

Pituitary Gland

The pituitary has two parts. The anterior lobe is the source of prolactin, GH, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, controlling the thyroid), gonadotropic hormones (LH and FSH, controlling testes or ovaries) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, controlling the adrenal glands). The posterior lobe contains nerve fibers coming from the brain (hypothalamus) storing oxytocin (necessary for uterine contractions during delivery) and anti-diuretic hormone (necessary to regulate the amount of urine we make).

The most frequent cause of pituitary malfunction is a benign tumor (adenoma) of the gland. Pituitary failure can also occur with pituitary infarction caused by hemorrhage into a pituitary adenoma (apoplexy), or infarction of the gland after a complicated delivery (Sheehan’s syndrome). Radiation therapy involving the pituitary gland and/or the hypothalamus can result in pituitary failure in up to fifty percent of patients at three to five years from radiation therapy. Finally pituitary surgery itself can cause damage of the gland.

Our Team

All pituitary patients' medical records are carefully reviewed by the Pituitary Tumor Center's endocrinologists and nurse coordinator. Based on the available information, patients are scheduled to see either just an endocrinologist, or both an endocrinologist and neurosurgeon.

However, the Pituitary Tumor Center also works very closely with other specialists, such as ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, and radiation oncologists. For example, when an MRI shows that the tumor may have affected a patient's vision pathways, a consultation with a specialized neuro-ophthalmologist is also arranged.

The Pituitary Tumor Center's physicians and allied practitioners work together to develop a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment plan individualized for each patient's unique condition and symptoms. Our goal is to provide optimal care and to minimize the traveling of our patients. In most cases, appointments with all the specialists are scheduled on the same day.


  1. Harvey Cushing Professor and Chairman

  2. Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology

  3. Professor of Neurological Surgery, Pediatrics and Oncology

  4. Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology

  5. Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology

  6. Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology

  7. Professor of Neurological Surgery and Oncology


  1. Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

  2. Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry


  1. Senior Coordinator, Neurosurgical Oncology Program

  2. Pituitary Center Nurse Coordinator

Additional Pituitary Specialists

Dr. Neil Miller
Dr. Paul Hoffman
Dr. Prem Subramanian

Radiation Oncology

Dr. Lawrence Kleinberg


Dr. Michael Holliday


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