2021 CORE Grant Recipients

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

AAO-HNSF Resident Research Grant

Maxwell Bergman, MD

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Project Title: The Impact of Chondrocyte Viability on Tissue Engineered Tracheal Grafts

Maxwell Bergman is a third-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in microbiology before attending Georgetown University School of Medicine for his medical and master’s degree. Under the mentorship of Dr. Tendy Chiang, his proposal will assess the impact of chondrocyte preservation in partially decellularized tracheal grafts for use in the repair of long-segment airway defects.


Allison Ikeda , MD

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Project Title: Decision Making Among Adults Considering Sleep Surgery

Allison K. Ikeda, M.D. is a rising fourth year resident and current NIH T32 research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington. After earning her B.S. in Biochemistry/Biophysics at Whitman College, she completed her medical training at Emory University School of Medicine. With co-mentorship from Edward M. Weaver, M.D., M.P.H. and Emily F. Boss, M.D., M.P.H., her research aims to better understand the decision-making process for patients considering sleep surgery, with the overarching goal to align patient preferences with treatment choice to improve clinical outcomes and quality of care.


Sarah Nyirjesy, MD

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Project Title: Listening Effort in Cochlear Implant Users – Benefits from Bimodal Listening

Sarah Nyirjesy, MD is a third year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University. She graduated with honors from Amherst College prior to attending medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine. The goal of her research is to help identify how to improve listening effort for cochlear implant (CI) users in order to optimize overall communication and quality of life, by filling a knowledge gap on the benefits of bimodal listening (i.e. Hearing Aid in ear contralateral to CI) and the role of working memory.


Nithin Peddireddy, MD

The Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Title: Exploration of Netrin-1 during Facial Nerve Regeneration

Nithin Sai Peddireddy is a fourth-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan. He obtained his B.S. in biomolecular sciences from the University of Michigan and his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he was elected to the AOA honor society and The Gold Humanism Honor Society. His current research focuses on improving knowledge surrounding mechanisms underlying facial nerve regeneration to support translational therapeutic applications under the mentorship of Drs. Michael Brenner, Shannon Rudy, and Eva Feldman.


Joshua Smith, MD

The Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, M
Project Title: FGF Signaling Promotes PD-L1 Expression in Head & Neck Cancer

Joshua Smith is a PGY-3 resident at the University of Michigan with a particular clinical interest in head & neck oncologic & reconstructive surgery. His research passions lie in squamous cell carcinoma biology, genetics, biomarkers of treatment response and survival, and development of novel therapeutics. He lives with my wife and four children and enjoys spending as much time with them as possible. Ultimately, he plans to pursue a career in head & neck & oncologic surgery with an active basic science research focus.


Amit Walia, MD

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Project Title: Characterization of Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology in the human inner ear

Amit Walia, MD is an otolaryngology resident and T32 research scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2013, he graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Chemistry and Economics and later obtained his MD from the University of Illinois in Chicago School of Medicine in 2018 where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Society. Under the mentorship of Drs. Mark Rutherford and Craig Buchman, his current research aims to advance the understanding of hearing loss in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and explore the utility of electrocochleography for cochlear implantation.


Roy Xiao, MD

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA
Project Title: Visualizing the Mechanism of End-to-Side Motor Neurorrhaphy

Roy Xiao, MD, MS, is a third-year Otolaryngology resident at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in chemistry and computer science before attending the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine for his medical doctorate and master’s degree. He completed the Medical Research Scholars Program at the National Institutes of Health by studying inhibitors of apoptosis proteins as chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents against head and neck cancers under Dr. Carter Van Waes and Dr. Nicole Schmitt. With Dr. Nate Jowett, he will focus on clarifying the mechanism behind end-to-side motor neurorrhaphy.


AAO-HNSF Health Services Research Grant

Antoine Eskander , MD, ScM, FRCSC

Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario
Project Title: Gaps in Management of System-Wide Depression Screening in Patients with HNC

Dr. Eskander is an internationally recognized health services researcher with expertise in cancer system improvement. He has over 120 publications, nearly 1 million dollars in peer-reviewed grants as a principal investigator, and is a frequently invited national and international speaker. His work has been published in many illustrious journals including the NEJM, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and the JAMA series. He trains graduate and post-doctoral students through his appointment at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He works closely with health policy makers to make cancer care improvements in Ontario using multi-methods approaches including big data, qualitative methods and machine learning.


AAO-HNSF Bobby R. Alford Endowed Research Grant

Myriam Loyo, MD

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Project Title: Measurements of Unilateral Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow in Nasal Obstruction

Dr. Myriam Loyo is an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Her practice concentrates on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Loyo’s current project aims to study nasal flow by peak nasal incentive spirometer and correlate this with patient symptoms and surgeon assessments before and after septorhinoplasty. As the Co-Director of the OHSU Facial Nerve Center, Dr. Loyo also studies patient outcomes for facial reanimation. She completed her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, her facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at OHSU, and Masters in Clinical Research at OHSU’s Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.


AAO-HNSF Maureen Hannley Research Award

Derek Lam, MD

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Project Title: Outcomes of Surgery for Persistent Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Derek J. Lam MD, MPH is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Oregon Health and Science University. He completed medical school, residency, and a Masters of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle and a Pediatric Otolaryngology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Lam is a clinician-scientist studying the diagnosis and management of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, supported by a K23 grant through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. His other interests include dysphagia management, airway reconstruction, and surgical management of adult sleep apnea, including upper airway stimulation.


American Head and Neck Society (AHNS)

AHNS Alando J. Ballantyne Resident Research Pilot Grant

Sarah Dermody, MD

The Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Title: Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) Urine Kinetics in HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer

Sarah Dermody is a rising third year resident and T32 research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan. Sarah graduated from Georgetown University magnum cum laude with a B.S. in Biology and spent one year studying Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. She earned her medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Her research, under the mentorship of Matthew Spector M.D. and Chad Brenner Ph.D., aims to define the clearance and kinetics of urine ctDNA as a novel, non-invasive means of disease monitoring and detection in patients with HPV+ head and neck cancer.


AHNS Alando J. Ballantyne Resident Research Pilot Grant sponsored by AHNS Endocrine Section and EISAI Pharmaceuticals

Tom Barrett , MD

Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Project Title:  Spatial Architecture of Immune Evasion in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Tom Barrett is a rising fourth-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis and he is entering his second year of T32-supported research training. He earned his MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. His research, under the mentorship of Dr. Sid Puram, will focus on understanding the relationship between tumor heterogeneity and the host immune response in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma using single-cell transcriptomics.


AHNS Alando J. Ballantyne Resident Research Pilot Grant sponsored by AHNS Presidential Request for Application Pilot Award on Basic and Translational Research 

Rebecca Gao, MD 

The Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Title: Nanopore Sequencing for the Real-Time Detection of Melanoma-Involved Lymph Nodes

Rebecca W. Gao is a second-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan. She received her B.A. in biological sciences from the University of Southern California, M.S. in global medicine from the Keck School of Medicine, and her M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine. Her research under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Chinn focuses on translational, intraoperative applications of genetic sequencing technology to head and neck surgery.


AHNS/AAO-HNSF Young Investigator Combined Award

Theresa Guo, MD

The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Project Title: Establishing immunogenicity of splice variant derived neoantigens in HNSCC

Theresa Guo, MD, is a head and neck surgical oncologist at University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center.  Dr. Guo completed her residency training in otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and surgical oncology fellowship at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Her research seeks to understand post transcriptional changes, including alternative splicing events, which are prevalent in head and neck cancer.  We utilize computational biology methods to achieve a deeper understanding of these post transcriptional genomic alterations that are not readily apparent through sequencing alone.


AHNS Presidential Request for Application Pilot Award on Mucosal Head and Neck Cancer Research

Albert Han, MD, PhD

The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Project Title: The microbiome of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma in young patients

Dr. Albert Han is a resident physician in Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA Medical Center. He received a BA in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and completed his MD/PhD through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His research interests include gene-microbiota interactions in head and neck cancers as well as tumor neurobiology of oral cavity cancers.


AHNS Pilot Grant

Ryan Carey, MD

The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Project Title: Targeting T2Rs to activate apoptosis in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Dr. Ryan Carey is currently a 5th year resident in Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a career in head and neck surgery. He earned a degree in bioengineering with a minor in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine. Since undergrad, Dr. Carey has been studying taste receptors in airway immunity and host-microbial interactions with Drs. Noam Cohen and Robert Lee. He is currently investigating taste receptor physiology in head and neck cancer and their role in disease stratification and treatment.


American Rhinologic Society (ARS)

ARS Resident Research Grant

Eve Champaloux, MD, PhD

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Project Title: Olfactory Stimulation of Dopaminergic Reward Pathways in the Rat Brain

Eve Champaloux is a third year Otolaryngology resident at the University of Washington. She is originally from northern NY where she attended the University of Rochester for her BS in Neuroscience (distinction in research) and BS in Chemistry (with honors). She attended the MSTP at the University of Virginia where her PhD work focused on the dopamine changes in Parkinson’s disease in the lab of Jill Venton. She completed a T32 year at UW studying reward and olfaction in the lab of Paul Phillips and is looking forward to furthering this work with the support of the ARS CORE grant.


Jackson Vuncannon, MD

Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Project Title: Impact of Corticosteroids on Sinonasal Wound Healing

Jackson Vuncannon, MD is a rising fifth-year resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Emory University. Originally from Monroe, North Carolina, he earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from East Carolina University where he graduated summa cum laude. He then attended Wake Forest School of Medicine for his M.D. His research, under the mentorship of Joshua Levy, MD, MPH, aims to characterize the influence of corticosteroid medications on the earliest phases of sinonasal mucosal wound healing.


ARS Consortium Award

Jose Mattos, MD, MPH

The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Project Title: Cloud-based Patient Outcome Platform (CPOP) for Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Dr. Mattos was born in Washington D.C. but spent his childhood in Lima, Peru. He returned to Washington D.C. at the age of 12 and then attended the University of Virginia for his studies in Philosophy, Medicine, and Public Health. Dr. Mattos completed otolaryngology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and went on to complete fellowship training in Rhinology and Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. His research interests involve quality improvement and patient outcomes in the medical and surgical treatment of nose, sinus, and skull base diseases. He is part of a multi-institutional research group focused on improving patient outcomes in rhinology, as well as furthering the understanding of the causes and treatments of smell and taste disorders.


ARS Women in Rhinology Research Grant sponsored by Xoran Technologies, LLC

Amber Luong, MD, PhD

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Project Title: Predicting Sinonasal Inverted Papilloma Attachment Using Artificial Intelligence

Amber Luong, MD, PhD, serves as a Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the McGovern Medical School of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston with a joint appointment within the Center of Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases at the Institute of Molecular Medicine. Her primary research interest focuses on understanding the role of the innate immune response in the pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis, with a particular interest in the role of environmental fungi. She is also interested in understanding how artificial intelligence and technology can assist in the care of rhinologic patients.


ARS New Investigator Award

Carol Yan, MD

The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Project Title: Olfactory Stem Cells in Post-viral Olfactory Dysfunction

Dr. Carol Yan is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego. She completed medical school and residency training at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Otolaryngology and a fellowship in Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at Stanford University. She serves as a member of the Research and Grants Committee in the American Rhinologic Society (ARS) and Research and Academic Promotion Committee in the section of Women in Rhinology (WiR). Her research interests include post-viral and sinonasal inflammatory-related olfactory dysfunction. She is currently investigating the molecular mechanisms and novel therapeutics for persistent olfactory dysfunction.


American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO)

ASPO Research Grant

Amber Shaffer, PhD

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Project Title: Breast milk feeding and the middle ear microbiome of children with cleft palate

Amber Shaffer, PhD is research manager at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She completed doctoral training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh working with animal models of chronic bladder pain. She transitioned to clinical research in Pediatric Otolaryngology with a focus on otologic outcomes in children with craniofacial anomalies. With co-principal investigator Amanda Stapleton, MD and co-investigators Noel Jabbour, MD and Barbara Methé, PhD, she will be extending previous work to delineate the impact of breast milk on the middle ear microbiota of children with or without cleft palate.


Osama Tarabichi, MD 

The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Project Title: Development of Novel Viral vectors for Inner Ear Gene Therapy

Osama Tarabichi, MD is an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery resident at the University of Iowa. After earning his medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Bahrain, Dr. Tarabichi completed a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the Auditory Brainstem Implant Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He then went on to earn an MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Currently, he is investigating the utility of helper dependent adenoviruses as gene therapy vectors for sensorineural hearing loss.


ASPO Research Career Development Award

Christian Hochstim, MD, PhD

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Project Title: The role of mTORC1 in the development of acquired airway stenosis

Christian Hochstim MD, PhD is an assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC Keck School of Medicine.  He completed his bachelor’s degree at Yale, and his MD/PhD from a combined program between USC and Caltech.  He completed his residency training in the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and his fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Stanford. He is co-director of the CHLA aerodigestive program, with a clinical interest in airway surgery.  His research focus is on tracheal stenosis formation and developing new translational therapies for airway reconstruction.

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