Q&A with Research Assistant Sophie Gerndt

Sophie Gerndt, MD, is a research assistant supporting head and neck cancer research efforts in the lab of Jose Zevallos, MD. What does your work in the Zevallos lab entail? I am a physician who graduated from medical school in Juarez City, Mexico. For the past year and a half I have been working as […]

Surge in research funding raises hope for head and neck cancer treatment

Surgeon-scientists and researchers in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University have just been awarded $1.7 million in grants to improve understanding and treatment of head and neck cancer. The grants will fund research to: explore the de-intensification of treatments for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer; identify the genomics of high risk HPV-associated and other cancers; understand […]

Pedal the Cause… Come back or join for the first time!

You are invited to participate in the Department of Otolaryngology team Heads Up for this year’s Pedal the Cause on Sept. 25 and 26. Participants—including kids—can choose to walk, run, spin, ride a bike or volunteer. While last year’s event was held virtually, there are plans for an in-person Pedal the Cause fundraising event this […]

New technology expands use of transoral robotic surgery (TORS)

The use of robotic-assisted surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University has increased steadily over the past few years, and recent advances in the DaVinci robotics platform should promote even greater usage. Surgeons value the technology for its ability to facilitate difficult surgery through high-resolution 3D visualization, tremor filtration, motion scaling, and a […]

Treating cancer in the shadow of COVID-19

While clinical activities at Barnes-Jewish Hospital have ground to a near halt due to COVID-19, the Department of Otolaryngology’s head and neck surgeons remain as busy as ever, treating cancer patients who can’t afford to wait. Some of those patients come from hundreds of miles away because their own hospitals shut down surgical efforts completely. […]

The surgeon-scientist who works to remove scalpels

photo of alums at recent AAO meeting

Crafting furniture in his garage, Clint T. Allen, MD, carves away at oak and walnut, one day creating cabinets or, on another, maybe a countertop for his new bar. An otolaryngologist who trained at Washington University School of Medicine, Allen is like many of his fellow surgeons: he enjoys using sharp tools. Yet when it […]

Medical students present, earn recognition at national conference

Med students pose with Triologic poster

Medical students working in research labs in the Department of Otolaryngology recently presented and earned recognition at the Triological Society’s Combined Sections Meeting, a national conference that features all otolaryngology specialties. Erik Nakken (Washington University School of Medicine) and Smrithi Chidambaram (St. Louis University School of Medicine) scored first place for their poster presentation, Sociodemographic […]

Understanding individual cells to overcome treatment challenges in head and neck cancer

Sid Puram, MD, PhD, thinks that optimizing personalized cancer treatment requires better knowledge about tumor heterogeneity.  Understanding individual tumor cells will promote better and discrete treatment options for head and neck cancer patients. Head and neck tumors are composed of a variety of cells that have different functions, much like bees in a hive. Some […]

Throat cancers: unraveling the links between HPV and smoking

Headshot of Jose Zevallos, MD with banner

Over the last two decades, there has been a rapidly rising proportion of cancers of the throat linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. Cancers of the throat, or oropharyngeal cancer, caused by HPV have increased by an alarming 225% over the last 20 years.  Why smokers’ outcomes […]