H. Bryan Neel III, MD, PhD Distinguished Research Lecture

About the H. Bryan Neel III, MD, PhD Distinguished Research Lecture

Funded by the Neel family and friends, the H. Bryan Neel III, MD, PhD Distinguished Research Lecture was established in 1993 to disseminate information regarding new developments in biomedical science to the otolaryngologic community.

2023 Lecturer

Facial Nerve Research: Bench, Bedside, and Beyond

Presented during the Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 1, 2:15 – 3:15 pm (CT).

Theresa (Tessa) A. Hadlock, MD, is a pioneering clinician-scientist with more than 20 years of experience in otolaryngology. She served as director of the Facial Nerve Center for 21 years and was the prior director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Survey, and Fazzalari-Grousbeck Chair in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.  She continues to be a Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Dr. Hadlock has treated over 5,000 patients with facial palsy. She is a world-renowned clinician, investigator, and advocate for facial palsy patients. For over a decade, Dr. Hadlock has been performing reconstructive surgeries on underserved children born with congenital deformities through humanitarian missions to Ecuador, Haiti, and Uganda.

With a passion for managing facial nerve disorders, Dr. Hadlock devotes her career to improving the lives of patients with facial paralysis. She has innovated and popularized surgical, medical, and physical therapy strategies for her patients. In her research, for which she has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Hadlock focuses on establishing more effective methods for regenerating facial nerve function. She has also developed tools to measure the efficacy of reanimation procedures, authoring over 150 articles advancing the art and science of facial palsy.

In addition to the dedication, she commits to her patients and research, Dr. Hadlock also shares her expertise through mentorship and as a preceptor for the clinical fellowship program in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She then completed her residency in otolaryngology and fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School.

About the Lecture

Facial paralysis is a devastating otolaryngologic condition for which contemporary management remains frequently unsatisfactory. This lecture will highlight advances in the study of facial nerve regeneration, including animal model development, and provide insights gained through laboratory investigation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand basic obstacles to neuronal growth following injury and laboratory maneuvers designed to accelerate and improve the bridging of neural defects in facial nerve models.
  2. Appreciate the complexity and non-uniformity of clinical facial nerve outcomes assessment, and the ways in which lack of consensus has hindered clinical progress.
  3. Generate insight as to the future possibilities for technology-assisted facial reanimation.


Previous Lecturers:

  • 2022: Konstantina “Tina” Stankovic, MD, PhD
  • 2021: Alexander H. Gelbard, MD
  • 2020: Glenn E. Green, MD
  • 2019: Baran D. Sumer, MD, FACS
  • 2018: Nikolas H. Blevins, MD
  • 2017: Thomas Lee, MD
  • 2016: Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D.
  • 2015: Lloyd B. Minor, MD
  • 2014: Carter Van Waes, MD
  • 2013: Martin A. Birchall, MD
  • 2012: Allan I. Pack, MD, PhD
  • 2011: James Christopher Post, MD, PhD
  • 2010: Joseph P. Vacanti, MD
  • 2009: Martin J. Burton, DM, FRCS
  • 2008: Blake S. Wilson, BSEE and Richard T. Miyamoto, MD
  • 2007: Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.
  • 2006: Robert McKinnon Califf, MD MACC
  • 2005: Alfred E. Mann, PhD
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