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CORE Grant Recipients

CORE Grant Recipients

2018

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF)

AAO-HNSF Research Grant sponsored by Xoran Technologies, LLC

William G. Morrel, MD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Nashville, TN
Project Title:Optimization of CI electrode array insertion using micro-CT-based models

Bio: Will Morrel is a current third-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received the Morehead-Cain Scholarship and obtained a B.S. in Biology with Highest Honors. He completed medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. His research will focus on the use of pre-operative image-analysis tools and intra-operative guidance to optimize placement of cochlear implant electrode arrays on a patient-specific basis.

AAO-HNSF Resident Research Grants

Andrew B. Baker, MD
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Project Title: Cochlear implant electrode insertion: effect on stria vascularis blood flow

Bio: Andrew Baker, MD is a third-year resident physician in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Oregon Health and Science University. After graduating with dual degrees in Physics and Biological Sciences from Clemson University, Andrew spent several years developing nanocomposite piezoelectric membranes. He then went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. His current research interests involve examining the mechanisms causing hearing loss with cochlear implantation.

Carla V. Valenzuela, MD
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Project Title: Quantifying cochlear synapses in the early stages of endolymphatic hydrops

Bio: Carla V. Valenzuela is a current T32 resident in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. She grew up in Nashville, TN and attended the University of Maryland-Baltimore County as a Meyerhoff Scholar. During that time, she was selected as a Goldwater Scholar - regarded as the preeminent national award for students in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematic fields. She earned her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2015. She is excited to be working with Drs. Jeffery T. Lichtenhan and Mark A. Rutherford on quantifying cochlear synapses in the setting of experimental endolymphatic hydrops.

Yew Song Cheng, BM, BCh
New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Project Title: The Neural Basis of Cortical Adaptions in Cochlear Implant Use

Bio: Y. Song Cheng earned his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London, then received his medical training from the University of Oxford in the UK. Prior to residency, he was a recipient of American Otological Society Research Fellowship, which supported his research in middle and inner ear mechanics at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, MA. His proposed research focuses on cortical plasticity in cochlear implantation, which he will pursue under the mentorship of Dr. Mario Svirsky and Dr. Robert Froemke at the Laboratory for Translational Auditory Research at New York University Medical Center.

Jenna Devare, MD
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Title: Mechanisms of Cochlear Implant Function in Chronically Implanted Mice

Bio: Jenna Devare, MD graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and BA in French from Indiana University-Bloomington. She received her medical degree at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she also completed an NIH-sponsored K30 Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Translational Investigation. She is currently a resident in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at University of Michigan. As one of the six-year research track residents, she has completed nine of eighteen months of research supported by an NIH T32 grant. Her research interests include the study of inner ear biology, cochlear implants, and gene therapy.

Pawina Jiramongkolchai, MD
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Project Title: Olfactory training and functional connectivity in post-viral olfactory loss

Bio: Pawina Jiramongkolchai, M.D., is a third-year resident in the T-32 Physician Scientist Training Program in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Princeton University and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University. During medical school, she was a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship. She is interested in clinical outcomes research and is currently working under the mentorship of Dr. Jay Piccirillo.

Adam Kaufman MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA
Project Title: The Role of Bitter Taste Receptors in Middle Ear Innate Immunity

Bio: Adam Kaufman is a fourth-year resident in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Columbia University where he received a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in biochemistry. Dr. Kaufman attended Yale University School of Medicine where he graduated as a Farr Scholar and concurrently earned both a Master of Health Science degree and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. At Yale, he conducted research on potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. Presently, Dr. Kaufman’s research interests are focused on the role of bitter taste receptors in middle ear innate immunity.

Leila J. Mady, MD, MPH, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Project Title: Biodegradable Stents: Novel Treatment Approach for Laryngotracheal Stenosis

Bio: Leila Jean Mady is a resident in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in finance with a concentration in chemistry from New York University. She subsequently pursued graduate studies through a joint MD/PhD/MPH program at Rutgers University. With a background in the basic sciences and public health, she has a passion for translating health advancements from the bench to the bedside and community. Her current research will investigate the application of a novel biodegradable stent to develop a minimally-invasive approach and biodegradable solution for airway reconstruction.

Patrick M. Morgan, MD
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Project Title: Candidate genes of the oncogenic phenotype in high-risk p53 mutations

Bio: Patrick F. Morgan, MD is a third-year resident of the Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Clemson University, Patrick went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. His current interests include both basic science research and clinical research. During his training, Patrick has focused on the identification of novel oncogenic pathways related to p53 mutations, advanced cutaneous head and neck cancer, and HPV-related OPSCC.

Rula Mualla, MD
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Project Title: Validating Sleep Questionnaires in Children with Down Syndrome

Bio: Rula Mualla is a third year otolaryngology resident at Oregon Health and Science University. She is originally from Michigan and attended University of Michigan for college where she majored in evolutionary anthropology and minored in biochemistry. She also attended medical school at University of Michigan. She has previously studied the effect of obesity and muscle mass on surgical outcomes. Current research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric sleep disordered breathing.

Zhen J. Qian, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA
Project Title: Cognitive Decline in Mouse Models of Age-Related Hearing Loss

Bio: Z. Jason Qian is an otolaryngology resident at Stanford. He became interested in the relationship between hearing and cognitive function while completing his medical degree at Columbia, where he contributed to the growing body of work that demonstrates a correlation between age-related hearing loss and cognitive decline. Jason continues this work at Stanford, where he combines techniques in cognitive and auditory neuroscience to study novel mouse models of age-related hearing loss. The long-term aim of his research is to establish a mechanistic pathway between hearing loss and cognitive decline.

Jesse R. Qualliotine, MD
University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Project Title: Nanorobotics in HPV-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Bio:Dr. Jesse Qualliotine is a third-year resident in Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California San Diego. After obtaining a B.S. in biomedical engineering at Columbia University, Jesse earned his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently completing an NIH T32 research fellowship and is investigating nanorobotic applications for detection of HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Jared Shenson, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA
Project Title: Multispectral digital 3D operative imaging in otolaryngology

Bio: Jared Shenson, MD, is a third-year resident physician in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in cell biology from Yale University, and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. As a self-taught designer and computer programmer, he is passionate about blending these disciplines with medicine to advance care of his patients. His current research interests lie at the intersection of design and health technology, specifically addressing the usability, implementation, and impact of novel technologies for clinicians, patients, and health professions students.

Matthew Shew, MD
University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Project Title: Meniere's: Evaluation of microRNA profiles of human inner ear perilymph

Bio: Dr. Matthew Shew is a resident physician in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. After graduating with degrees in Biochemistry and French from Bowdoin College, Matthew went on to receive his Doctor in Medicine at Indiana University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Hinrich Staecker, Dr. Shew’s current research focuses on microRNAs as novel biomarkers for inner ear disease. After residency, Dr. Shew plans to pursue a fellowship in Neurotology.

AAO-HNSF Maureen Hannley Research Grant

Amy Anne Lassig, MD
Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN
Project Title: The effect of Vitamin C on wound healing after mandibular fracture

Bio: Amy Anne Lassig is a head and neck surgeon at Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota. She completed residency and a Head and Neck Oncology Surgery – Microvascular Reconstruction fellowship at the University of Michigan and since then has enjoyed a clinician scientist position in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Lassig has a Career Development Award from Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation and previously from the Triological Society and conducts a research program in perioperative wound healing with specific interest in the effects of tobacco products on wound healing.

AAO-HNSF Health Services Research Grant

Mark Ellis, MD
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Project Title: Creation and validation of a head and neck cancer body image disturbance scale

Bio: Mark Ellis is a second year resident in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Georgia and his MD from the Medical College of Georgia. His primary clinical interests are in head and neck oncology and reconstructive surgery. His research interests lie in developing patient-centered scales and strategies to measure and improve quality of life in head and neck cancer patients. He is grateful to be mentored by Drs. Terry Day, Evan Graboyes and Katherine Sterba.

American Head and Neck Society (AHNS)

AHNS Pilot Grant

Shethal Bearelly, MD
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson, AZ
Project Title: The Role of Oral Tactile Sensation in Dysphagia

Bio: Shethal Bearelly, MD is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at University of Arizona. He completed his residency at University of California, San Francisco in 2016 and fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology/microvascular reconstruction at Vanderbilt University in 2017. His clinical practice includes mucosal malignancies, endocrine, TORS, skin cancer, and microvascular reconstruction. His research focuses on quality of life following head and neck cancer treatment and functional outcomes such as dysphagia and dysphonia.

AHNS Alando J. Ballantyne Resident Research Pilot Grant

Andrey Finegersh, MD, PhD
University of California, San Diego, CA
Project Title: Epigenetic reprogramming of HPV related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Bio: Andrey Finegersh is a 3rd year resident in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UCSD. He completed his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he studied epigenetic effects of alcohol and was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award through the NIH/NIAAA. He will be working with Dr. Joseph Califano to study how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to altered gene expression in HPV-related head and neck cancer.

AHNS Eddie Mendez Memorial Resident Research Pilot Grant

Hannan A. Qureshi, MD
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Project Title: Functional analysis of the immune microenvironment in head and neck cancer

Bio: Hannan Qureshi is a 4th-year Otolaryngology resident at the University of Washington and is currently completing a two-year NIH T32 research fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. McGarry Houghton. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from Northwestern University and obtained his medical degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His current research focuses on studying the differences in the tumor microenvironments of HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck cancer.

AHNS/AAO-HNSF Translational Innovator Combined Award

Travis P. Schrank, MD, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Project Title: NRF2 Mediated Radiation Resistance in HNSCC

Bio: Travis Schrank is currently a Head and Neck Cancer Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his Residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of South Carolina. Prior to residency, Dr. Schrank received his PhD in protein molecular biophysics. His current research interests include radiation resistance, intratumoral molecular heterogeneity, and NRF2 signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; as well as the bio-thermodynamics of high order multiprotein complexes and their role cellular signaling.

American Neurotology Society (ANS)

ANS/AAO-HNSF Herbert Silverstein Otology and Neurotology Research Award

Elliot Kozin, MD
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Project Title: Otopathologic Changes Following Head Injury

Bio: Elliott D. Kozin, MD is the Neskey-Coghlan Neurotology Fellow at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, MA. Dr. Kozin’s clinical and research training occurred at the University of Pennsylvania, National Institutes of Health, and Harvard Medical School. He has a broad research training in a variety of disciplines, including wound healing, auditory neuroprosthetics, and clinical otology/neurotology.  Dr. Kozin currently leads a multi-institutional team investigating relationship between head injury and audiovestibular dysfunction.

American Rhinologic Society (ARS)

ARS Resident Research Grant

Pawina Jiramongkolchai, MD
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Project Title: Efficacy of Mometasone furoate nasal irrigation for chronic rhinosinusitis

Bio: Pawina Jiramongkolchai, M.D., is a third-year resident in the T-32 Physician Scientist Training Program in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Princeton University and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University. During medical school, she was a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship. She is interested in clinical outcomes research and is currently working under the mentorship of Dr. Jay Piccirillo.

Justin Morse, MD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Nashville, TN
Project Title: Inflammatory and Microbial Derivation of CRS Endotypes

Bio: Justin Morse is a resident physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Prior to residency, Justin completed medical school at University of North Carolina School of Medicine. During this time, he worked on multiple research initiatives involving novel stem cell therapies and tissue engineering for the alveolar cleft under the mentorship of Dr. John van Aalst, MD. While at Vanderbilt further research has been focused toward olfaction and pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis under the mentorship of Dr. Justin Turner, MD PhD. Currently, Justin is working to elucidate the role of the sinus microbiome on endotypes of chronic rhinosinusitis.

ARS New Investigator Award 

Charles Tong, MD
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Project Title: Pathogenesis of Inverted Papilloma: viral influence and somatic mutations

Bio: The focus of my research has been on the pathogenesis of inverted papillomas, specifically the etiologic
role of the human papilloma virus and the somatic mutations that lead to malignant transformation. Over
the past year we have prospectively collected tumor specimens appropriate for genetic sequencing and
microarray analysis for viral signatures. It is through these innovative techniques that we strive to
understand the pathophysiology of this common skull base tumor. The overall goal of our work is to
advance the care of patients with sinonasal malignanciesthrough scientific discovery and clinical expertise.

ARS Friends in Research Young Investigator Award 

Adam Kimple, MD, PhD
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Project Title: Targeting Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 22 to Enhance Mucociliary Clearance

Bio: Adam Kimple is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. He completed his MD/PhD at UNC – Chapel Hill in 2012. Following this, he continued his training at UNC and completed a residency in Otolaryngology and a fellowship in Advanced Rhinology, Allergy and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery. His clinical and research interests are centered around treating patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and mucociliary disorders such as cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia. He enjoys working with patients of all ages to improve their quality of life through optimal management of their sinus disease.

American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO)

ASPO Research Career Development Award

Nikhila Raol, MD
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Project Title: Screening for vocal fold motion impairment in infants after heart surgery

Bio: Nikhila Raol, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and pediatric otolaryngologist at Emory University/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She completed her otolaryngology residency at Baylor College of Medicine and her pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Her clinical and research interests are centered on pediatric voice and dysphagia, pediatric sleep apnea, and health care cost and resource utilization. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three kids. Outside of work, she enjoys cheering on her favorite sports teams, dancing, learning languages, and experiencing a great Bollywood movie.

ASPO Research Grant

Ksenia Aaron, MD
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Project Title: Inner ear gene therapy for genetic hearing loss

Bio: Ksenia Aaron, M.D. is a T32 Neurotology Clinician-Scientist Fellow at Stanford University. Immigrating from a small town in Siberia, Russia; she received her undergraduate degree with Honors in Neuroscience from the University of California-Los Angeles with a secondary degree in Spanish. Ksenia graduated cum laude with a medical degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel. She then completed her Otolaryngology residency at the University of Southern California. Under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Cheng and Prof. Anthony Ricci, she will work on elucidating the underlying mechanism and rescuing auditory deafness of a novel hearing loss animal model.

David Smith, MD, PhD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - Research Foundation
Project Title: Development of a Non-invasive Genomic Test to Identify Pediatric OSA

Bio: Charles Moore is a second year Otolaryngology resident at the University of Cincinnati.  He completed his undergraduate degree in computer science at Louisiana State University with a focus in animation and motion capture technology. He then attended medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport Louisiana where he became interested in otolaryngology. His research interests include sleep medicine, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, as well as new imaging technologies that can bridge his experience in computer science with otolaryngology.

The Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)

AAFPRS Leslie Bernstein Resident Research Grant

Vivek Kanumuri, MD
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA
Project Title: Optogenetic Stimulation of the Facial Nerve

Bio: Vivek Kanumuri, MD is a resident physician in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He graduated from Rutgers University - New Jersey Medical School in 2014 and was elected in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. During his time in medical school he also completed a prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship where he worked on multiphoton imaging and optical manipulation of epileptic circuits at Columbia University. He is currently working on the development of optical neuro-prosthetics in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Syed Ali, MD
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Title: Inhibition of Facial Nerve Regeneration in the Thy1-GFP Rat

Bio: S. Ahmed Ali, M.D. graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from Wayne State University, and received his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is currently a PGY-3 resident at the University of Michigan Otolaryngology Program. His research interests include utilizing machine learning for predicting clinical scenarios, smartphone application usage in surgery, and facial nerve growth and inhibition in the rat model.

Suresh Mohan, MD
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Project Title: Enhancement of Axonal Penetration through Cross-Facial Nerve Grafts

Bio: Dr. Suresh Mohan is an otolaryngology resident at Harvard Medical School. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, he graduated from the University of Michigan with concentrations in music and cell and molecular biology. He completed medical school at Brown University and spent one year at the National Institutes of Health investigating novel small molecule inhibitors for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Currently, Dr. Mohan is completing a T32 research fellowship under the mentorship of Drs. Tessa Hadlock and Nate Jowett. He is investigating novel techniques for study of peripheral nerve regeneration focused on applications for clinical management of facial palsy.

No Meritorious Applications Received

AAFPRS Leslie Bernstein Investigator Development Grant
No applications received

AAFPRS Research Scholar Award
No meritorious applications received.

AAFPRS Leslie Bernstein Grant
No meritorious applications received.

AMD Resident Research Grant
No meritorious applications received

ASPO Dustin Micah Harper Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) Research Grant
No applications received.

AHNS/AAO-HNSF Young Investigator Combined Award
No meritorious applications received

AAO-HNSF Rande H. Lazar Health Services Research Grant
No meritorious applications received

AAO-HNSF Bobby R. Alford Endowed Research Grant
No meritorious applications received