Department History

John B. Shapleigh, MD (Chair, 1896-1923)

Dr. John B. Shapleigh was born in St. Louis, Missouri on October 31, 1857. He received his education at Washington University, St. Louis, graduating from that institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1878. Later on he began the study of medicine and entered the St. Louis Medical College, from which he graduated in 1881. After serving as assistant physician in the City Hospital, he went to Vienna where he took a post-graduate course in clinical otology. He returned to St. Louis in the latter part of 1885 and began private practice in Otology. Dr. Shapleigh became Professor and Head of Department of Otology in the Medical Department of Washington University. He was Dean of the faculty in 1901-1902 and was physician to St. Luke’s Hospital and the Protestant Hospital. He was president of the Medical Society of City Hospital Alumni and a member of the St. Louis Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the Missouri State Medical Association, the American Otological Society and the Academy of Medicine. The Shapleigh Family gave a bequest in 1937 to support and maintain the Dr. John B. Shapleigh Library for the Otological Research Library within the Washington University Medical School.


Greenfield Sluder, MD (Chair, 1923-1928)

Dr. Greenfield Sluder was born in St. Louis on August 30, 1865. He received his education in the Manual Training School of Washington University and then graduated from St. Louis Medical College in 1888. He served as intern in the City Hospital of St. Louis and then began private practice in his native city and was an Instructor in clinical medicine at the college from 1891-1898. In 1896 and in 1900 he went to Europe to extend his medical studies in the Universities of Berlin and Vienna, taking special courses in diseases of the nose and throat. He became lecturer in laryngology until 1905. Dr. Sluder served as Director of Laryngology and Rhinology from 1923-1928 and Professor of Oto-Laryngology. Dr. Sluder was lecturer on diseases of the nose, throat and chest in the Medical Department of Washington University and a member of the staff of St. Luke’s Hospital and Martha Parson’s Free Hospital for Children. He was a member of the St. Louis Medical Society, the Medical Society of City Hospital Alumni and the Missouri State Medical Association. He served as President of the American Laryngological Association. Dr. Sluder is remembered for his work on sphenopalatine neuralgia (Sluder’s headache) and his studies of tonsillitis and tonsillectomy. He is recognized for development of what is known as “Sluder’s tonsillitome”, an instrument for removal of the tonsils.


Lee Wallace Dean, MD (Chair, 1928-1940)

Dr. Lee Wallace Dean was born in Muscatine, Iowa, March 28, 1873. He received his degree of Doctor of Medicine at the State University of Iowa in 1896 and then studied in Vienna from 1896-1897. He was Chair of Otolaryngology and Dean of The University of Iowa Medical College from 1912-1927. In 1927 he was recruited from the University of Iowa to become Professor and Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University. He was a member of the staffs of the McMillan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Maternity Hospital, Jewish Hospital and the otolaryngologist-in-chief to outpatients, University Clinics. Dr. Dean served as the President of the Iowa State Medical Society, the American Laryngological Society, the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, the American Otological Society, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Otolaryngology. During World War I he was a commander of General Hospital No. 54 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1937 Dr Dean was awarded the de Roaldes Gold Medal of the American Laryngological Association. In 1927 he became editor-in-chief of the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, a position he held until his retirement in 1940. Dr. Dean is known for his work in sinus treatment and research on the effect of smoke-polluted air on human life.


Theodore E. Walsh, MD (Chair, 1940-1966)

Dr. Theodore E. Walsh was born in Calcutta, India. He was educated at Cambridge University and St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School in London, England in 1925. He came to the United States in 1928 after serving on the staff of an English hospital and as a medical office on various British vessels. He was appointed Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in 1940 until his retirement in 1965, and then continued to serve on the faculty of the medical school department, in addition to maintaining a private practice. Dr. Walsh was one of the country’s earliest students of Dr. Julius Lempert, who in 1938 developed the one step fenestration operation for victims of otosclerosis. Dr. Walsh and his colleagues then developed a less drastic operation for deafness, the “mobilization of the stapes” done under a local anesthetic. Dr. Walsh was a pioneer in modern ear surgery. Throughout his tenure he collaborated extensively in the design of testing methods and devices for the hearing impaired patients with Dr. S. Richard Silverman, Director of the Central Institute for the Deaf, and Dr. Hallowell Davis, Director Emeritus. Dr. Walsh died at the age of 70 in 1971. He was a world leader in otolaryngology and contributed to our better understanding and treatment of the diseases of the ear.


Joseph H. Ogura, MD (Chair, 1966-1982)

Dr. Joseph H. Ogura was born in San Francisco, California on May 25, 1915. He received his Medical Degree from the University of California in 1941, began as a resident in Pathology and Medicine from 1941-1942 and completed his residency in Medicine at Cincinnati General Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1945. He fulfilled an Otolaryngology residency at Barnes Hospital & McMillan Hospital in 1948 and then joined the Otolaryngology faculty at the School of Medicine and became Head of the Department of Otolaryngology from 1966 until his death in 1982. He developed many surgical techniques in head and neck cancer surgery, especially conservation surgery of the larynx. He was active in laryngeal and nasopulmonary research for many years and won top research awards at national otolaryngology meetings. Dr. Ogura was much honored for his achievements as he was only the third physician in the history of the American Laryngological Association to receive its coveted “triple crown:” the James Newcomb Award in 1967 for laryngeal research, the Casselberry Award in 1968 for nasopulmonary work, and the deRoaldes Gold Medal in 1979 for career accomplishment. The Ogura Learning Center is now named for him, along with the prestigious annual Ogura Head and Neck Lectureship, established in 1977.


John M. Frederickson, MD (Chair, 1982-1998)

Dr. John M. Fredrickson was born on March 24, 1931 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After receiving his M.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1957, he fulfilled two years of post-graduate training in Medicine and Pathology, and then entered the Otolaryngology residency at the University of Chicago. He spent two years in the Department of Neurophysiology at the University of Freiberg, Germany as a visiting NIH investigator then joined the faculty at Stanford University 1965-1968, went on to the University of Toronto as a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology 1968-1982, and then became the Lindburg Professor and Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine until his retirement. Dr. Fredrickson served as President of the American Laryngological Association, was a member of the Barany Society Executive Committee, and chaired the Examining Committee for Otolaryngology in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Otolaryngology. He served as editor of the American Journal of Otolaryngology and was also a member of the prestigious Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum. Recognition for his research has included an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Linkoping, Sweden, and he received an honorary doctorate form the Medical College of Ohio.


Richard A. Chole, MD, PhD (Chair, 1998-2015)

Dr. Chole is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of otology & neurotology disorders. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications, book chapters and editorials. He has served on the Advisory Council of the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and was appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors at the NIH in 2005. He was elected as the American Otological Society Guest of Honor in 2006 and in 2007 he received the Award of Merit from the American Otological Society for his contributions to research and education and service to the American Board of Otolaryngology. He was chosen to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation in 2008 and he received Presidential Citations from the American Otological Society in 2013 and the American Neurotology Society in 2014. Dr. Chole has received continuous NIH research funding from 1979 to 2016 for his work related to experimental cholesteatoma and otosclerosis, osteoclast cell biology, and microbial biofilms in otolaryngic disease. He is an outstanding teacher and advisor and he is extremely active as a research sponsor resulting in the receipt of awards and research scholarships for many of his residents and students. His innovative thinking has led to the development of new prosthetic devices, surgical approaches, and surgical tools.