Mark A. Varvares, M.D., FACS

Harvard Medical School

Professor of Otolaryngology
Associate Chair of Otolaryngology

Research Summary

Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Varvares conducts a research program in head and neck oncology, studying how surgical pathology of head and neck tumors impact survival. Other research interests include a variety of topics in head and neck reconstruction, the role of oncolytic adenoviruses as a possible therapeutic modality to treat head and neck cancer and the role of music therapy as an intervention in cancer management.

Select Publications

Efficacy of bone marrow cytologic evaluations in detecting occult cancellous invasion. Namin AW, Bruggers SD, Panuganti BA, Christopher KM, Walker RJ, Varvares MA. Laryngoscope. 2014 Nov 28. doi: 10.1002/lary.25063. [Epub ahead of print]

Improved overall survival in head and neck cancer with adjuvant concurrent chemoradiology in national databases. Lin S, Massa S, Varvares, M. Head & Neck 2014 Sep 16. doi: 10.1002/hed.23869. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of apotogenic adenovirus type oncolytic vectors in a Syrian hamster head and neck cancer model. Vijayalingam S, Kuppuswamy M, Subramanian T, Strebeck FF, West CL, Varvares M, Chinnadurai G. Cancer Gene Ther. 2014 Jun;21(6):228-37.

PET-CT and the Detection of the Asymptomatic Recurrence or Second Primary Lesions in the Treated Head and Neck Cancer Patient. Dunsky KA, Wehrmann DJ ,Osman MM, Thornberry BM, Varvares MA. Laryngoscope 2013; 123:2161-2164.

Successful myoblast transplantation in rat tongue reconstruction. Luxameechanporn T, Hadlock T, Shyu J, Cowan D, Faquin W, Varvares M. Head Neck 2006; 28(6):517-524.

Surgical margin determination in head and neck oncology: Current clinical practice. The results of an International American Head and Neck Society member survey. Meier JD, Oliver DA, Varvares MA. Head Neck 2005;27(11):952-958.

Success of multiple, sequential, free tissue transfers to the head and neck. Varvares MA, Lin D, Hadlock T, Azizzadeh B, Gliklich R, Rounds M, Rocco J, Deschler DG, Fabian R, Cheney ML. Laryngoscope 2005;115(1):101-104.

Repair of chronic subglottic stenosis with autogenous thyroid cartilage. Varvares MA, Montgomery WW. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2004;113(3 Pt. 1):212-217.

Histological pattern of mandibular invasion by oral squamous cell carcinoma. Wong RJ, Keel SB, Glynn RJ, Varvares MA. Laryngoscope 2000;110(1):65-72.

Use of the radial forearm fasciocutaneous free flap and Montgomery salivary bypass tube for pharyngoesophageal reconstruction. Varvares MA, Cheney ML, Gliklich RE, Boyd JM, Goldsmith T, Lazor J, Baron JC, Montgomery WW. Head Neck 2000;22(5):463-468.

View a complete list of publications on »



1980: B.A. University of Missouri
1986: M.D. Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Postgraduate Training

1986 - 1987: Internship: General Surgery, Northwestern University
1987 - 1988: Residency: Otolaryngology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
1988 - 1991: Residency: Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School
1991 - 1992: Fellowship: Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Professional Memberships (select)

1986: Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
1996: Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society
1992 - present: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
1992 - present: American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
1996 - present: American College of Surgeons
2000 - present: North American Skull Base Society (Director at Large, 2009 - present)
2006 - present: American Society of Clinical Oncology

Honors (select)

1985: Dr. Thomas Sydenham Award in Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

1986: Vesalius Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Study of Anatomy, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

1994, 1998: William W. Montgomery Award for Excellence in Resident Teaching, Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

1996, 2004: Academic Professor of the Year Award for Resident Teaching, Department of Otolaryngology‑Head and Neck Surgery, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

1998: A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring nominee, Harvard Medical School

2007: Caring Physician Award, Saint Louis University Hospital

2009: Outstanding Physician of the Quarter, Saint Louis University Hospital

2012: Distinguished Teaching Award for Humanism in the Clinical Years, Office of Curricular Affairs, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

2012: National Advocacy Award, The American Association of Music Therapists

2014: Missouri Music Therapy Advocacy Award, The St. Louis Music Therapy Association

Editorial Roles

Laryngoscope (reviewer)
Head and Neck
Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
(section editor)
Journal of Skull Base Surgery
(section editor)