It has been a very productive and active year in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery marked by continued growth. The medical center was once again named the “Best Hospital” in central Ohio, while our department was ranked fourth in the nation and first in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report. This recognition, determined in part by our colleagues, is a testament to our entire team’s dedication and exceptional talent in advancing medicine through research, education and patient care. 

One of our top priorities continues to be recruiting extraordinary clinical and research talent. To expand our expertise and meet increased clinical volume, Brandon Kim, MD, and Spencer Lindsey, MD, joined our clinical faculty in Laryngology and Pediatric Otolaryngology, respectively. Shuman He, MD, PhD (hearing loss and cochlear implants), Ruili Xie, PhD (neural mechanisms of age-related and noise-induced hearing loss), and Christin Ray, PhD, SLP (speech therapy rehabilitation after cochlear implantation), also joined our growing Otology research faculty. Consequently, our departmental faculty has grown to 46 clinicians and scientists, and we expanded our research funding portfolio by more than 11 percent between FY17 and FY18. 

Our residency program also continues to improve its strong reputation, matching all four residents from our top seven candidates, receiving a record number of applicants, and further increasing our national ranking. 

Several of our faculty have been recognized with national awards and appointments this year. Of special note, Aaron Moberly, MD, was inducted into the prestigious Triological Society’s Harris P. Mosher Society; Kris Jatana, MD, and his research colleagues received the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA) Broyles Maloney Award; and Oliver Adunka, MD, Princess Ogbogu, MD, Meredith Lind, MD, Kris Jatana, MD, and Matt Old, MD, were named or elected into leadership positions on prestigious committees throughout the country.

We offer our utmost thanks to John Taggart, MD, alumni resident of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and his wife, Carol, who provided a generous endowed gift to our department. We also thank Joan’s Foundation for their years of philanthropic support toward the Joan Bisesi Fund for Head and Neck Cancer Research, which reached $1 million this year. In addition, we extend gratitude to David E. Schuller, MD, emeritus faculty and former chair of the department, who received Ohio State’s esteemed Distinguished Service Award for his contributions and outstanding service to the university during his 40-year career. 

My first year as chair has been remarkable. I expect 2019 to be a year of further growth and success with the introduction and evolution of several departmental ventures and advancements, including: a new alliance between Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and the Mercy Health System, the eConsult service, which will soon form the basis for strategies to develop new referral patterns and our national vestibular center, which will form the foundation of a much-needed clinical resource with unique research opportunities. The creation of a Head and Neck Biobank within the Total Cancer Care/ORIEN network will also provide new local and national opportunities for research. 

I am truly honored to serve this department and look forward to guiding us in our advancement of the academic mission.


James W. Rocco, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
The Mary E. and John W. Alford Research Chair in Head and Neck Cancer
Director, Head and Neck Disease Specific Research Group