Board Certified Neurological Surgeon

Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Frank Holladay attended the University of California at Berkeley for an undergraduate degree in zoology, at which time he realized the direction he wanted to take in his career — medicine.
He went on to attend Creighton University Medical School. while performing surgery on a brain tumor in medical school at Creighton university he knew he wanted to become a neurosurgeon. After his fellowship in neurosurgery, he took a teaching position at the University of Kansas.




I’d say the desire to help people. I mean, I found medicine had a lot of things that I wanted. I needed to do something with my life that I felt had meaning. And once I was in medical school and was doing rotations with physicians, I loved their independence. The fact that I could control my own destiny, and really could help people, it gave my life some meaning. I think those things came together to draw me to the field of medicine.


I really liked internal medicine a lot when I was a third-year medical student, but as I rotated through different specialties in internal medicine, I felt like it wasn’t enough. The doctors were not able to do enough. They see a patient and change the medication, and then see you the next visit and change the medication again. I just felt powerless, versus in surgery. When I was a high school student, I used to fix my car. I would do something and make something change. And so, I was drawn to surgery that way, where I could actively participate in fixing a patient’s health.
And so, I decided that I wanted to do surgery, but I wanted to do something that had a certain level of difficulty. It had to. You know, it had to require some intellectual challenge. I didn’t want to be bored anddoing exactly the same thing all the time. And then I had a patient that had a brain tumor and I decided to follow that patient through. So, through the patient’s course in the hospital, and when that patient went into surgery, the neurosurgeon let me scrub in and participate in removing the tumor. I just found that very, very exciting, and so I decided at that moment that I wanted to go into neurosurgery.
What first brought me into neurosurgery was the brain really, and as a resident, the spine aspect of neurosurgery was fairly straightforward and I was kind of bored with spine. I just thought I did the same old thing and it wasn’t that exciting to me, but as I went along and, especially after I finished my residency and started at KU, I started doing more and more surgery myself. At that time, there were a lot of new things we could do with the spine and really help people. And so, I gradually began to do more and more spine work as newer technologies emerged. And when I went into private practice, spine began to fill more and more of my routine and the patient population that I saw. Today I probably do 80 percent spine and 20 percent brain.


That can be difficult. When a patient comes in and they’re saying to me, “Yeah, I’ve got this back pain and its an S1 radiculopathy,” and I think, “How do you know? Can you just tell me where you hurt?” Because patients are in pain, and they read so much before they come in to try to find an answer, that new knowledge dramatically influences what they want to have done. People come in with a simple herniated disc and want me to fuse their spine, when all they really need is a tiny, little microdiscectomy, or they’ll come in and they’ll say, “I just don’t want a fusion. I read about it. They’re horrible,” and it turns out it’s exactly what they need. They have some significant spine problems that need to be fused.
What has to happen is spending some time trying to, number one, educate the patients in a very straightforward way. I educate the patient first about what the pathology is, what the problem is, and then I explain some of these treatment options and then explain to them why I want to do what it is I want to do. That’s part of the education process, when we work together, and then they understand their condition and what is the best treatment. Patients need to participate and control the decision-making, but they could be heavily influenced by the Internet and it can sometimes be detrimental.


I think the more the patient understands about their condition, the better, but they’ll need a guide. The more they understand their condition, the better they’re able to go through the process of having the operation; the more they understand about the surgery itself, the more they’ll understand what they’re going to experience after surgery. I think the more education they receive, the better their result, because they’ll understand what’s going on. They’ll be able to understand and perform the necessary rehab that they need and understand why they need to do certain kinds of rehab, etc., to get a good result.
Education is vital. And it helps with the anxiety part of surgery. They understand what we’re going to say, what the surgery is going to be like, and it helps them psychologically significantly, being educated.


I think that, for one, I feel like I’m a very good surgeon and I have a tremendous amount of experience. I’ve been operating for a long time, and my patients have tended to do well, but I’ve learned that some procedures help certain patients more than others. I have a better idea of which direction to go with patients. So, I think it’s my technical ability, my experience, and then the fact that we incorporate a lot of new ideas, newer treatments, newer ways of care, newer ways of fusing the spine. For example, less invasive techniques that, before this technology, used to have the patients in the hospital for days, and now they’ll go home follow surgery, even after a big operation. I think that sets our practice apart.



  • Minimally invasive spine surgery

  • Spinal Fusion – Anterior/Posterior Fusion including the XLIF procedure

  • Trauma

  • Adult Brain Disorders


University of California Berkeley: Berkeley, California

  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology

Medical School:

  • Creighton University School of Medicine: Omaha, Nebraska – Cum Laude



  • Creighton University Affiliated Hospitals: Omaha, Nebraska

Residency: Neurological Surgery

  • University of Kentucky Medical School: Lexington, Kentucky


  • Research Fellow, Neurological Surgery
    University of Kentucky Medical Center: Lexington, Kentucky

  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons


  • Board Certified Neurosurgeon

  • Licensed Physician and Surgeon, State of Kansas

  • Licensed Physician and Surgeon, State of Missouri

Hospital Affiliations:

  • Providence Medical Center
    8929 Parallel Parkway
    Kansas City, Kansas 66112

  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center
    9100 West 74th Street
    Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204

Professional Organizations:

  • Diplomat, American Board of Neurological Surgery

  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons

  • Member, Congress of Neurological Surgeons CNS

  • Member, American Assoc. of Neurological Surgeons AANS

  • Member, Joint Section on Tumors AANS/CNS

Principal Investigator


Multi-center, randomized, open label, two parallel group study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of surgery, conformal radiotherapy and TRVAX Immunotherapy compared to surgery, conformal radiotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy (Temodar) in patients with newly diagnosed grade III and IV Astrocytoma.

  1. Holladay, F.P. and Fruin, A.H.
    Cerebellar Oligodendroglioma in a Child.
    Neurosurgery 6 (1980): 552-554.

  2. Holladay, F.P., Bean, J.R., Young, B., Todd, E.P. and Roy, M.W.
    Cerebral Vascular Response to Moderate Blood Loss: Modification by Hypertension.
    Stroke 14 (1983): 765-768.

  3. Roy, M.W., Guthrie, G.P., Jr., Holladay, F.P. and Kotchen, T.A.
    Effects of Verapamil on Renin And Aldosterone in the Dog and Rat.
    American Journal of Physiology 245 (1983): E410-E416.

  4. Wells, J., Durr, M., Grashner, B., Holladay, F., Campbell, M., Hammeke, J., Egan, D.
    Inhibition of Protein and Amino Acid Loss by Single Amino Acids.
    Clinical Physiology Biochemistry 3 (1985): 8-15.

  5. Malone, D.G., O’Boynick, P.L., Ziegler, D.K., Hubble, J.P., and Holladay, F.P.
    Osteomyelitis of the Skull Base.
    Neurosurgery 30 (1992): 426-431.

  6. Holladay, F.P., Lopez G., De, M., Moraznt, R.A., and Wood, G.W.
    Generation of Cytotoxic Immune Responses Against a Rat Glioma by In Vivo Primin and
    Secondary In Vitro Stimulation with Tumor Cells.
    Neurosurgery 30 (1992): 499-505.

  7. Gilbert, J., Wiser, H. and Holladay, F.P.
    A Cerebrospinal Fluid Glucose CSF Biosensor For Diabetes Mellitus.
    American Society for Artificial Internal Organs 38 (1992): 82-87.

  8. Holladay, F.P., Heitz, T., Chen, Y.L. and Wood, G.W.
    Successful Treatment of a Malignant Rat Glioma with Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes.
    Neurosurgery 31 (1992): 528-533.

  9. Holladay, F.P. and Wood, G.W.
    Generation of Cellular Immune Responses Against a Glioma Associated Antigen(s).
    Journal of Neuroimmunology 44 (1993): 27-32.

  10. Wood, G.W., Holladay, P.F., Oweity, T. and Watanabe, I.
    Treatment of Human Glioblastoma Multiforme by Specific Cellular Immunotherapy:
    A Case Report.
    Kansas Medicine 94 (1993): 200-202.

  11. Holladay, F.P., Griffitt, W.E. and Wood, G.W.
    Immunology and Immunotherapy of Brain Malignancy.
    Brain Tumors: A Comprehensive Text Ed.
    Morantz, R.A. and Walsh, J. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1993. 779-798.

  12. Holladay, F.P., Choudhuri, R., Heitz, T. and Wood, G.W.
    Generation of Cytotoxic Immune Responses During the Progression of a Rat Glioma.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 80 (1994): 90-96.

  13. Holladay, F.P., Heitz-Turner, T., Bayer, W.L. and Wood, G.W.
    Autologous Tumor Cell Vaccination Combined with Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy in
    Patients with Grade III/IV Astrocytoma.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 27 (1996): 179-189.

  14. Wood, G.W., Turner, T.H., Holladay, F.P.
    Immune Rejection of a Progressing Glioma Using Effector Cells Generated From
    Intracerebral Tumor-Bearing Rats.
    Journal of Immunotherapy 22 (1999): 497-505.

  15. Wood, G.W., Golladay, F.P., Turner, T.H., Wang, Y.Y., Chiga, M.
    A Pilot Study of Autologous Cancer Cell Vaccination and Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy
    Using Anti-CD3 Stimulated Lymphocytes in Patients with Recurrent Grade III/IV Astrocytoma.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 48 (2000): 113-120.

  16. Wood, G.W., Holladay, F.P.
    Autologous Vaccine and Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy as Treatment for Brain Tumors.
    In Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Ed. Liau, L., Becker, D.P., Cloughesy, T.F., Bigner, D.
    Human Press: Totowa, NJ, 2001 171-192.