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Department of Otolaryngology Annual Report
Fiscal Year 2012

Introduction
In 2012 the Department expanded by recruiting five new full-time physicians, including three at the main campus and two at our suburban centers. Additionally, we now offer comprehensive laser and reconstructive surgery at the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Center for Laser and Reconstructive Surgery, dedicated on May 29, 2012, and a multi-disciplinary Sleep Center at Mass. Eye and Ear, Quincy. Two of our physicians now provide advanced robotic surgery for patients suffering from head and neck cancer. The Department of Otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary continues its commitment to delivering excellence in clinical care, research and teaching with the unified goal of advancing the care we provide to our patients.

New recruits:
• Jayme R. Dowdall, M.D., Division of Laryngology
o Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
• Michael H. Fattal, M.D., Mass. Eye and Ear, Concord
o Clinical Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
• Monica S. Lee, M.D., Mass. Eye and Ear, Weymouth-Duxbury
o Clinical Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
• Robin W. Lindsay, M.D., Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
o Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
• Alicia M. Quesnel, M.D., Division of Otology
o Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School

Faculty promotions:
• Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Administrative Promotions:
o Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., appointed Director, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
o M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D., appointed Associate Chief for Research
o Michael J. McKenna, M.D., appointed Associate Chief for Clinical Affairs
o Steven D. Rauch, M.D., appointed Associate Chief for Education and Academic Affairs
• Harvard Medical School Faculty Promotions:
o Daniel M. Merfeld, M.S.E., Ph.D., Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Ramon A. Franco, Jr., M.D., Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Derrick T. Lin, M.D., F.A.C.S., Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Hideko Heidi Nakajima, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Faisal Karmali, Ph.D., Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Jocelyn Songer, Ph.D., Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
o Bo Wen, Ph.D., Instructor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School

Faculty awards and prizes:
• M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D., received the Carhart Memorial Award from the American Auditory Society for “significant and lifelong contributions to the understanding of human hearing.”

• The American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery recently recognized Chief of Otolaryngology Joseph B. Nadol, Jr., M.D., for his contributions to the field of Otology. Dr. Nadol was an honorary guest lecturer at the AAO/HNS annual meeting, where he was presented the prestigious AAO-HNSF/Michael M. Paparella, M.D., Endowed Lecture for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Otology. 

• Mark Parker, Ph.D., CCC-A, was awarded the 2012 American Speech and Hearing Association's Editor's Award for his article "Biotechnology in the Treatment of Sensoruneural Hearing Loss". This award is given to the article that best meets the highest standards in research design, presentation, and impact for a given year.

• Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., has been honored with The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Service Award.

• Steven D. Rauch, M.D., received the Franz Escher Award and Lectureship at the 99th Meeting of the Swiss Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Berne, Switzerland.

• Jennifer L. Smullen, M.D., received the 2012 William Montgomery Teaching Award, which is awarded by residents to a member of the Harvard Medical School Department of Otology and Laryngology faculty for excellence in teaching.

• Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., received the Young Investigator Award from the American Auditory Society.


New equipment/technology:
• With the new Carolyn and Peter Lynch Center for Laser and Reconstructive Surgery, dedicated on May 29, 2012, we now offer state-of-the-art laser equipment for the widest range of skin treatments.

• A multi-disciplinary Sleep Center was recently opened at Mass. Eye and Ear, Quincy, to provide comprehensive sleep studies and treatment for patients who may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome.

• For treating patients with head and neck cancer, James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D. is working with Derrick T. Lin, M.D., F.A.C.S., to offer robotic surgery for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary patients, using technology available at Winchester Hospital.

New services/renovations:
• Laser and Reconstructive Surgery
• The Sinus Center
• Mass. Eye and Ear, Quincy Sleep Center

Research successes:
• Ramon A. Franco, Jr., M.D., will lead a multi-national research collaboration to study throat lesions that can lead to cancer. Working in conjunction with several European nations, the research will use the DNA, RNA and protein changes seen in a patient’s biopsy sample and develop a database of information that could help to provide more individualized care. This project is funded by a grant from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

• In collaboration with Seok-Hyun Yun, Ph.D., from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Jeffrey Tao Cheng, Ph.D., is developing a probe that can be applied to Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for a revolutionary noninvasive diagnostic tool for middle ear disease.

• A few years ago, Sharon G. Kujawa, Ph.D. and M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D. discovered that overexposure to moderate levels of noise can cause degeneration of cochlear nerve fibers, even if the hearing thresholds (and cochlear hair cells) completely recover. This year, Drs. Kujawa and Liberman, along with graduate student Adam Furman, showed that this degeneration is selective for the high-threshold neurons that normally help us hear in a noisy environment. We think this helps explain why hearing-in-noise ability deteriorates in the aging ear.

• The Carolyn and Peter Lynch Center for Laser and Reconstructive Surgery has recruited a Research Fellow to investigate the genetic origin of vascular malformation.

• James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D., has begun recruiting participants to his NIH-funded study of biomarkers for predicting outcome in oropharyngeal cancer. With Edmund Mroz, Ph.D., he has developed a way to use DNA sequencing of tumors to measure differences among cancer cells within individual tumors. Their work indicates that such "intra-tumor heterogeneity" contributes to poor outcomes in head and neck cancer.

• Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with Anantha P. Chandrakasan, Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the first to have extracted energy from the biologic battery in the inner ear to power electronics without damaging hearing. This sets the stage for future autonomous sensing of key molecules in the inner ear and its vicinity to establish diagnosis and guide therapy.

• Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausssane (EPFL) in Switzerland, was the first to have imaged cells inside the inner ear with high resolution and without contrast dyes using two-photon microscopy through the round window.  This sets the stage for ultimate cochlear endoscopy in humans to establish cellular diagnosis.


New Research grants:
• Bertrand Delgutte, Ph.D., was awarded a Curing Kids Fund grant from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to study "Restoring Binaural Hearing with Cochlear Implants in Early-Onset Deafness," which will study ways that perceptual training can help the brain to locate sounds in subjects with early-onset deafness. Results will eventually lead to new sound processors and rehabilitation strategies for people with bilateral cochlear implants.

• Fuxin Shi, Ph.D., was awarded a Curing Kids Fund grant from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to study "Exploiting the Wnt Signaling Pathway for Curing Deafness in Children," which will test the feasibility of curing deafness in children via regeneration of functioning hair cells.

• Benjamin S. Bleier, M.D., received two grant awards this year, one from the American Rhinologic Society to fund his project titled “MDR1/P-gp overexpression and negative feedback insensivity in CRSwNP,” and another from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for his project titled “Non-invasive striatal delivery of glial derived neuropathic factor (GDNF).” 

• Ramon A. Franco, Jr., M.D., received a grant award from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for his project titled “Biomolecular Analysis of Laryngeal Dysplasia.”

• Daniel J. Lee, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Albert Edge, Ph.D., were awarded an R21 Award from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders for his project titled "Delivery of Channel Rhodospin for Optogenetic Control of Neurons in the Cochlea.” The major goal of this grant is to optimize the expression of ChR2 in the auditory periphery using both direct transfection and stem-cell mediated approaches. Both anatomic studies and physiologic characterization of light-activated responses will be performed.

• Richard F. Lewis, M.D., was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for his project titled "Vestibular Migraine Investigated with Psychophysical and Oculomotor Tests."

• Felipe Santos, M.D., was awarded a grant from the American Otological Society, for his study: “Epigenetic regulation of hair cell regeneration in zebrafish.”

• Jeffrey Tao Cheng, Ph.D., was awarded a Harvard Catalyst pilot grant for his project, “OCT for middle ear disease.”

• Ruth Anne Eatock, Ph.D., received an R01 grant from National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders for her project titled “ Synaptic Processing in the Vestibular System.”

• Barbara Herrmann, Ph.D., CCC-A, began a new clinical study of infant evoked responses to new stimuli, funded by Natus Medical, Inc.

• M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D., and Sharon G. Kujawa, Ph.D., were awarded a new 5-year R01 grant from the NIDCD to continue their study of the role of noise- induced cochlear neuronal degeneration in the deterioration of hearing-in-noise abilities and in the generation of tinnitus. Dr. Liberman was also awarded a new 2-year R21 from the NIDCD to study the idea that neonatal thiamine deficiency causes a special type of sensorineural hearing loss called auditory neuropathy.

• Jennifer R. Melcher, Ph.D., was awarded a grant from the Tinnitus Research Consortium to fund her project: “Tinnitus, auditory brainstem response, and cerebral cortical structure.” Dr. Melcher was also awarded an R21 grant this year for her project titled "Sensorimotor gating in humans with tinnitus and hyperacusis."

• Daniel M. Merfeld, Ph.D., M.S.E., was awarded a grant from the NIH-NIDCD for his project titled, "Innovative Methodologies for measuring behavioral vestibular thresholds."

• John Rosowski, Ph.D., was awarded an R01 grant from NIH-NIDCD titled "Middle-Ear Mechanics in Normal and Pathological Ears.

 

Educational highlights:

• Upcoming CME Courses
o “Update on Tracheo-esophageal Voice Restoration and Laryngectomy Care,” directed by Daniel G. Deschler, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Glenn Bunting, M.S.
 March 15-16, 2013, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
o “Laryngology Disorders Update,” directed by Ramon A. Franco, Jr., M.D., and Phillip Song, M.D.
 May 9-10, 2013, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
o Planned Otology Course
 June 7-8, 2013, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
o “12th International Facial Nerve Symposium,” directed by Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., Mack L. Cheney, M.D., and Michael J. McKenna, M.D.
 June 28-July 2, 2013, Liberty Hotel.

• The Department is currently at work in constructing an ENT Surgical Training Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary that is set to open in January 2013. The ENT Surgical Training Laboratory will advance instruction capabilities in nearly every sub-specialty of otolaryngology, including: skull base surgery, general otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, laser surgery, otology and neurotology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, sinus surgery, laryngology, and pediatric otolaryngology. Residents and fellows, as well as experiences surgeons preparing for complex cases, will benefit from the laboratory as a resource.

Community service activities and other outreach:

• The Sinus Center hosted its annual public forum on the nose and sinuses, called “Know Your Nose” on Saturday, October 27th.

• The Department of Audiology, along with members of the Otology Division, hosted their annual public forum on Hearing and Hearing Loss on September 22nd.

• The Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Division hosted a free oral, head, and neck cancer screening to the public at our Boston location, as well as the Mass. Eye and Ear South locations in Quincy, Milton, and Weymouth, on April 20th, 2012.

• In collaboration with the American Academy of Dermatology, Drs. Jessica Fewkes and Oon Tian Tan provided free skin cancer screenings to the public on May 15th, 2012.

• The Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division, led by Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., went on a mission to Quito, Ecuador in March 2012 and another to Antigua, Guatemala in July 2012. Dr. Tan was instrumental in installing a Candela/Syneron Alexandrite Laser at the Instituto Medico Tierra Nueva, Quito for laser hair removal in microtia patients. The laser was funded by an award from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary “Curing Kids Fund”.

• The Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division also continues their collaboration with the ROSE Fund, offering reconstructive surgery to victims of domestic violence.

• Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., led a surgical goiter mission to Migori, Kenya through the Kenya Releif African Aid Organization. Other members of the team are Dr. Paul Konowitz, Dr. Gregory Randolph, Dr. David Lesnik, resident Dr. Dunia Abdul-Aziz and Nancy Kotzuba, R.N. The team performed 25 thyroid surgery cases in 3 days, including 18 goiters.

• Operation Airway is a non-profit initiative directed by Christopher J. Hartnick, M.D. Operation Airway provides annual medical missions to Ecuador to help care for children with airway disorders. A team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric nurses, and ICU physicians from the Mass. General Hospital for Children provide needed medical care while also sharing their knowledge of collaborative specialty care for complex airway surgeries with local healthcare teams.

• Nicolas Y. BuSaba, M.D., F.A.C.S., leads a teaching initiative with the Ministry of Health in Kuwait for a five-year collaboration with the Department of Otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

• Michael Cohen, M.D., served on a medical mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2012, along with MEEI audiologist Annmarie Hennessy and six other medical professionals from the group “Healing the Children,” providing surgical care to children with ear disease as well as basic otologic care to the 150 children at the Makanissa School for the Deaf.

• Ramon A. Franco, Jr., M.D., continues his biannual medical mission to Honduras to perform airway reconstructive surgery, to address voice problems, and to care for patients with laryngeal cancer. Dr. Franco serves as a mentor to specialists in Honduras and to trainees in the country’s only ENT residency program.


Other achievements:

The Department of Otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary was ranked #3 by U.S. News and World Report.

Daniel G. Deschler, M.D., F.A.C.S., was named President Elect of the Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons.

Alex Grilli, M.D., was elected to the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology this year.

Mack Cheney, M.D., F.A.C.S., was appointed as an affiliate of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS to recognize his contributions to the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. Dr. Cheney also represented the Department at the MGH Global Health Day. He will be traveling to Kenya this year for a site visit for a surgical teaching hospital in which we plan to participate in training local surgeons, and routinely represents our global health interests within the Harvard community.

Tessa Hadlock, M.D., was appointed co-chair of the 2013 American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) segment of the upcoming Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings (COSM).


Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., and Mack Cheney, M.D., F.A.C.S., have contracted with Quality Medical Publishing in St. Louis, MO for a new edition of “Facial Surgery: Plastic and Reconstructive.”

Tessa Hadlock, M.D. and Mack Cheney, M.D., F.A.C.S., will host the upcoming International Facial Nerve Symposium in June 2013 in Boston, Mass. They have recruited 44 international faculty for the event.

The Red Sox Foundation has donated $5,000 to Operation Airway, a non-profit initiative directed by Christopher J. Hartnick, M.D. Operation Airway provides annual medical missions to Ecuador to help care for children with airway disorders. A team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric nurses, and ICU physicians from the Mass. General Hospital for Children provide needed medical care while also sharing their knowledge of collaborative specialty care for complex airway surgeries with local healthcare teams.

Barbara S. Herrmann, Ph.D., was co-author of three papers accepted for publication this year – two on Superior Canal Dehiscence and one on Cochlear Implant Outcomes in Older Patients.

Daniel M. Merfeld, M.S.E., Ph.D., was named a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Dr. Merfeld is also now a regular member of the Sensorimotor Integration Study Section of the National Institutes of Health.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S. performed the 3,000th case of intraoperative nerve monitoring during thyroid/parathyroid surgery, placing Mass. Eye and Ear at the forefront of neural monitoring experience worldwide. The intraoperative nerve monitoring program is a joint effort by the Departments of Otolaryngology, Anesthesia and Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., completed a second edition of Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands, published by Saunders/Elsevier. The text was named Saunders/Elsevier best-selling book at the annual AAO meeting in Washington, D.C.

Edward Reardon, M.D., was appointed Chief of Surgery at Milton Hospital, which recently merged with BIDMC to become Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. 

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., was appointed an advisory member of the 20th International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies World Congress (IFOS) global meeting in Seoul, Korea in 2013.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., was appointed to the Executive Steering Committee of the World Congress on Thyroid Cancer in 2013 in Toronto, Canada.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., served as the 2012 co-chair of Voice in Thyroid Surgery, Laryngeal AAO-HNS Guidelines task force.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., was named to the 2013 Thyroid Nodule and Thyroid Cancer Guidelines task force, as well as the Thyroid Cancer Preoperative Imaging task force for the American Thyroid Association (ATA). Dr. Randolph was also appointed Treasurer-elect and a member of the Executive Board of Directors of this organization.

Gregory W. Randolph, M.D., F.A.C.S., served as Course Director and lecturer at the 3rd International Neural Monitory Study Group in Thyroid Surgery in Baveno, Italy.

James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D., now represents the American Head and Neck Society at the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and was also appointed to the Working Group for the AJCC 8th edition Staging Manual.

At the 2012 American Head and Neck Society 8th International Conference in Toronto, James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D., served on the program committee, co-chaired the program on Basic/Translational Research, introduced Dr. Tak Mak: the Basic Science plenary speaker, organized and moderated a panel on "Head and Neck Cancer Genomics: Implications for Therapy", spoke about "Intra-tumor heterogeneity in squamous cell carcinoma: Opening Pandora's Box" and gave a well-attended instructional course on "Doing Research: Setting up a Clinical and Translational Research Program". 

James W. Rocco, M.D., Ph.D. and Derrick T. Lin, M.D., F.A.C.S., gave an instructional course at the American Academy of Otolaryngology meeting in Washington, DC on "The HPV epidemic and Oropharyngeal Cancer"

Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., submitted a paper on the management of life-threatening complications of otitis media with cholesteatoma that has been accepted for publication by the New England Journal of Medicine. 


Joseph B. Nadol, Jr., M.D.
Chairman 

 

Page updated 4/8/13