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Prof. Dr. med. Ralf A. Kockro

Prof. Dr. Ralf A. Kockro is the Director of the Center for Miconeurosurgery at Hirslanden Hospital Zürich, one of the most up to date hospitals in Europe. His previous appointments as an Attending / Consultant Neurosurgeon were at the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland, The Royal London Hospital and the University Hospital Mainz, Germany. He trained at the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany, The National Neuroscience Institute Singapore and the University Hospital Mainz, Germany and he went to Medical School at Heidelberg University, Germany. He was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany.   

Prof. Kockro specializes in complex tumour surgery of the brain, skull base and spinal cord as well as vascular microsurgery of aneurysms and vascular malformations. His emphasis is on minimally invasive procedures applying unique Virtual Reality planning technology as well as the very latest intra-operative tools, especially advanced 3D navigation, intra-operative MRI, CT, Ultrasound and angiography as well as electrophysiological monitoring. He performs awake craniotomies for optimal safety and protection of neurological functions. In the field of spinal surgery Prof. Kockro focuses on minimally invasive techniques of decompression of nerval structures. He is the author of a large number of high-impact scientific publications and holds three patents in the field computer-integrated minimally invasive neurosurgery.  

Important milestones


Since 2015: Director of the Center for Microneurosurgery

Hirslanden Hospital, Zurich

Since 2015: Senior Consultant neurosurgeon

Triemli Hospital, Zurich

Since 2016: Visiting Consultant neurosurgeon

Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai

2012 - 2015

Senior consultant neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, Hirslanden Hospital, Zurich


Habilitation, Venia Legendi in neurosurgery

University of Mainz

2009 - 2012

Consultant Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Zurich


Consultant Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Mainz, Germany


Consultant Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, The Royal London Hospital, UK


Consultant Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Mainz, Germany

1999 - 2005

Resident Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore



University of Heidelberg, Germany


Resident Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, Singapore General Hospital

1995 – 1996

Resident Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany


Junior resident Neurosurgeon

Department of Neurosurgery, UCSF, University of California, San Francisco, USA

1987 - 1994

Medical school

University of Heidelberg, Germany

Scientific positions

Reviewer and expert examiner of the following international scientific journals:

  • Neurosurgery
  • Journal of Neurosurgery
  • World Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgical Review
  • Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
  • Central European Neurosurgery
  • European Neurology

Member of the scientific editorial staff of ISRN Endoscopy

Teaching and Research

Since 2020

Professor of Neurosurgery

University Hospital Mainz, 

Since 2018

Visiting Professor of Neurosurgery

MBRU University of Medicine, Dubai UAE / Queens University Belfast

2010 - 2019

Senior Lecturer of Neurosurgery

University Hospital Mainz, 

2010 – 2015

Senior Lecturer of Neurosurgery

University Hospital Zürich,

1999 - 2009

Head of the Advisory Board for Neurosurgery

Advanced Medical Technologies, Bracco AMT, Princeton, USA

1998 - 1999

Scholarship of the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT)
Development of the Dextroscope Virtual Reality Technology for neurosurgical planning and simulation
Co-founder of Volume Interactions Ptd Ltd

Medical Imaging Laboratory, 
National University of Singapore


  • 2012 American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Synthes Cerebrovascular Award for “Brainstem cavernoma surgery with the support of diffusion tensor imaging”
  • 2004 Indian Society of Neuroradiology Award for Methods of 3D Neuroanatomy Visualization
  • 2002 Golden Mile Award of the European Society of Neuroradiology for Model-enhanced Neuroanatomy
  • 2001 Singapore Enterprise Challenge Award of the National Science and Technology Board for the Development of minimally invasive Neurosurgery with Augmented Reality Navigation
  • 1986 Young Researches Award of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Scientific publications (peer-reviewed journals)

Kockro RA, Schwandt E, Ringel F, Eisenring C, Nowinski WL: Operative anatomy of the skull base: 3D exploration with a highly detailed interactive atlas. Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base, June 2021, DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1729976  

Kockro RA, Wetzel S, Wanke I: Acoustic Hallucinations: Treatment by microsurgical resection of a temporal AVM.
Neurology and Psychiatry (in German). 2020 

Alhoobi M, Khan A, Kockro RA, Ayyad A: Trans lamina terminalis approach to the hypothalamus via the supraorbital craniotomy: Technical note and comparison with other surgical corridors.
Asian Journal of Neurosurgery. 2020, Aug 28; 15(3):660-665 

Eisenring CV, Burn F, Baumann M, Stieglitz LH, Beck J, Raabe A, Kockro RA, Oertel MF:
Smartphone-navigated placement of external ventricular drains.
Acta Neurochirurgica, doi: 10.1007/s00701-019-04131-9, Nov 2019

Kockro RA, Killeen T, Ayyad A, Glaser M, Stadie A, Reisch R, Giese A, Schwandt E: Aneurysm surgery with pre-operative 3D planning in a virtual reality environment: Technique and outcome analysis. World Neurosurg. 2016 Sep 5. pii: S1878-8750(16)30808-7 Download PDF here

Kockro RA, Hauser SB, Bernays RL: In Reply: Glioblastoma Resection Guided by Flow Cytometry. Neurosurgery. 2016 May;78(5):E761-2.

Hugelshofer M, Koechlin NO, Marcus HJ, Kockro RA, Reisch R: Endoscopic fenestration of intraventricular cerebrospinal fluid cysts: the contralateral approach. J Neurosurg. 2016 Apr;124(4):1047-52

Hauser SB, Kockro RA, Actor B, Sarnthein J, Bernays RL: Combining 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Fluorescence and Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Glioblastoma Surgery: A Histology-Based Evaluation. Neurosurgery. 2016 Apr;78(4):475-83

Kockro RA, Amaxopoulou C, Killeen T, Wagner W, Reisch R, Schwandt E, Gutenberg A, Giese A, Stofft E, Stadie AT: Stereoscopic neuroanatomy lectures using a three-dimensional virtual reality environment. Ann Anat. 2015 Sep;201:91-8

Reisch R, Marcus HJ, Kockro RA, Ulrich NH: The supraorbital keyhole approach: how I do it. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2015 Jun;157(6):979-83

Reisch R, Fischer G, Stadie A, Kockro RA, Cesnulis E, Hopf N: The supraorbital endoscopic approach for aneurysms. World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec;82(6 Suppl):S130-7

Reisch R, Marcus HJ, Hugelshofer M, Koechlin NO, Stadie A, Kockro RA: Patients‘ cosmetic satisfaction, pain, and functional outcomes after supraorbital craniotomy through an eyebrow incision. Journal of Neurosurgery, 30:1-5, May 2014

Ulrich NH, Kockro RA, Bellut D, Amaxopoulou C, Bozinov O, Burkhardt JK, Sarnthein J, Kollias SS, Bertalanffy H: Brainstem cavernoma surgery with the support of pre- and postoperative diffusion tensor imaging: initial experiences and clinical course of 23 patients.Neurosurg Rev. 37(3):48, May 2014

Kockro RA, Mallmann A, Renner R, Wetzel SG: Primäres ZNS Lymphom. Erweiterte MRI-Diagnostik (Spektroskopie, DWI, PWI) und MRI gestützte Biopsie. Neurologie & Psychiatrie. Vol. 12, Nr. 1, Januar 2014

Serra C, Huppertz HJ, Kockro RA, Grunwald T, Bozinov O, Krayenbühl N, Bernays RL: Rapid and accurate anatomical localization of implanted subdural electrodes in a Virtual Reality environment. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 74(3):175-82, May 2013

Reisch R, Marcus H, Koechlin NO, Hugelshofer M, Stadie A, Kockro RA: Transcranial endoscope-assisted keyhole surgery: anterior fossa. Innovative Neurosurgery, Vol:1: 77-89, May 2013

Kockro RA: Neurosurgery simulators – Beyond the experiment. World Neurosurgery, 8(5): 101-2, Nov 2013

Kockro RA, Robert R, Serra L, Goh LC, Lee E, Stadie A: Image-Guided Neurosurgery with 3-Dimensional Multimodal Imaging Data on a Stereoscopic Monitor. Neurosurgery, 72 Suppl 1:78-88, Jan 2013

Stadie A, Kockro RA: Mono-Stereo-Autostereo: The Evolution of 3-Dimensional Neurosurgical Planning. Neurosurgery, 72 Suppl 1:63-77, Jan 2013

Kockro RA, Reisch R, Cesnulis E: [in German] Neuro-vaskulärer Konflikt im Bereich des Nervus trigeminus: Multi-modale 3D-Visualisierung und Planung der Dekompression am Simulator. Neurologie & Psychiatrie. Vol. 10, Nr. 4, September 2012

Reisch R, Stadie A, Kockro RA, Hopf N: The Keyhole Concept in Neurosurgery. World Neurosurgery, Feb 2012

Lemm D, de Oliveira FH, Bernays RL, Kockro RA, Kollias S, Fischer I, Rushing EJ: Rare suprasellar glioblastoma: report of two cases and review of the literature. Brain Tumor Pathology. Feb 2012

Bellut D, Woernle CM, Burkhardt JK, Kockro RA, Bertalanffy H, Krayenbühl N: Subdural Drainage versus Subperiosteal Drainage in Burr-Hole Trepanation for Symptomatic Chronic Subdural Hematomas. World Neurosurgery. 77(1):111-8, 2012

Burkhardt JK, Kockro RA, Dohmen-Scheufler H, Woernle CM, Bellut D, Kollias S, Bertalanffy H: Small supratentorial, extraaxial primitive neuroectodermal tumor causing large intracerebral hematoma. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 51(6):441-4, 2011

Bozinov O, Burkhardt JK, Fischer CM, Kockro RA, Bernays RL, Bertalanffy H: Advantages and limitations of intraoperative 3D ultrasound in neurosurgery. Technical note. Acta Neurochirgica Suppl, 109:191-6, 2011

Stadie AT, Degenhardt I, Conesa G , Reisch R, Kockro RA, Fischer G, Hecht H: Comparing expert and novice spatial representation on the basis of VR simulation, mri images, and physical objects. Journal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation, 3:299-306, 2010

Stadie AT, Kockro RA, Serra L, Fischer G, Schwandt E, Grunert P, Reisch R: Neurosurgical craniotomy localization using a virtual reality planning system versus intraoperative image-guided navigation. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg 2010

Grunert P, Glaser M, Kockro RA, Boor S, Oertel J: An alternative projection for fluoroscopic-guided needle insertion in the foramen ovale: technical note. Acta Neurochirgica, 152:1785-92, 2010

Kockro RA, Amaxopoulou C: Review of Zang-Hee Cho (Editor): 7.0 Tesla MRI Brain Atlas: In Vivo Atlas with Cryomacrotome Correlation.Neurosurgical Review 33(3):383-384, 2010

Reisch R, Stadie A,Kockro RA, Gawish I, Schwandt E, Hopf N: The minimally invasive supraorbital subfrontal key-hole approach for surgical treatment of temporomesial lesions of the dominant hemisphere. Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery. 52:163-9, 2009

Kockro RA, Yeo TT, Ng I, Zhu C, Agusanto K, L Serra: DEX-Ray: Augmented Reality neurosurgical navigation with a handheld video probe. Neurosurgery, 65:795-807, 2009

Kockro RA, Hwang P: The virtual temporal bone. An interactive threedimensional leaning aid for cranial base surgery.Neurosurgery 64 (5 Suppl 2):216-29, 2009

Ng I, Hwang PYK, Hwang, Kumar D, Lee CK, Kockro RA, Sitoh YY: Surgical planning for microsurgical excision of cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations using Virtual Reality technology. Acta Neurochirugica, 151:453-63, 2009

Charalampaki P, Ayyad A, Kockro RA, Perneczky A: Surgical complications after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery.Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16:786-9, 2009

Stadie A, Reisch R, Kockro RA, Fischer G, Schwandt E, Boor S, Stoeter P: Minimally invasive cerebral cavernoma surgery using keyhole approaches – solutions for technique-related limitations. Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery 52:9-16, 2009

Charalampaki P, Heimann A, Kockro RA, Kohen W, Kempski O: A new model of skull base reconstruction following expanded endonasal or transoral approaches – long term results in primates. European Surgical Research, 41:208-23, 2008

Kockro RA, Giacomelli R, Scheihing M: Aschoff A, Hampl J: A stereotactic device for rabbits based on mandibular and cranial landmarks. Journal of Neurosurgery, 108:601-606, 2008

Stadie AT, Kockro RA, Tropine A, Boor S, Stoeter P, Reisch R, Perneczky A: A Virtual Reality system for planning minimally invasive neurosurgery. Journal of Neurosurgery, 108:382-94, 2008

Kockro RA, Stadie AT, Schwandt E, Reisch R, Charalampaki C, Ng I, Yeo TT, Hwang P, Serra L, Perneczky A: A collaborative Virtual Reality environment for neurosurgical planning and training. Neurosurgery, 61:379-91, 2007

Hwang P, Kockro RA, Lee CK, Ng I: Virtual reality simulation for skull base surgery. Asian Journal of Neurosurgery , 1:1-8, 2007

Serra L, Kockro RA, Goh LC, Ng H, Lee EC.: The DextroBeam: A stereoscopic presentation system for volumetric medical data. Studies in Health Technology Informatics 85:478-84, 2002

Kockro RA, Serra L, Yeo TT, Chan C, Sitoh YY, Chua G, Ng H, Lee E, Lee YH, Nowinski W: Planning and simulation of neurosurgery in a Virtual Reality Environment. Neurosurgery 46:118-137, 2000

Kockro RA, Hampl J, Jansen B, Peters G, Scheihing M, Giacomelli R, Kunze S, Aschoff A: The efficacy of Rifampin-impregnated CSF-shunt catheters in infection prophylaxis: scanning electron microscopical examinations in vitro and in an animal model. Journal of Medical Microbiology 49: 441-450, 2000

Kockro RA, Serra L, Tsai YT, Chan C, Sitoh YY, Chua GG, Hern N, Lee E, Hoe LY, Nowinski W: Planning of skull base surgery in the virtual workbench: clinical experiences. Health Technology and Informatics 62:187-8, 1999

Serra L, Hern N, Guan CG, Lee E, Lee YH, Yeo TT, Chan C, Kockro RA: An interface for precise and comfortable 3D work with volumetric medical datasets. Health Technology and Informatics 62:328-34, 1999

Serra L, Kockro RA, Chua GG, Ng H, Lee CK, Lee YH, Chan c, Nowinski W : Multimodal volume-based tumor neurosurgery planning in the Virtual Workbench, Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), Springer Berlin/Heidelberg 1496:1007-1016, 1998


1.    A computer enhanced surgical navigation imaging system (camera probe)
Inventor: Kockro, Ralf Alfons
Filing date: April 27, 2004, US Patent Application 20050015005 
Status: Patent granted in USA, Pending in Canada, EU, Japan

 2.    Interaction with a three-dimensional computer model
Inventors: Kockro, Ralf Alfons; Lee, Chee Keong Eugene
Filing date: March 11, 2004, US Patent Application 20040243538 
Status: Patent granted in USA, Pending in Canada, EU, Japan

 3.    A guide system
Inventors: Kockro, Ralf Alfons; Syed, Ahmed
Filing date: June 13, 2001, US Patent Application: 20050203367 
Status: Patent granted in EU, Pending in USA, Canada, Japan

Prof. Dr. med. Ralf A. Kockro
Prof. Dr. med. Ralf A. Kockro
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