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Otolaryngology Research

The Saint Louis University Department of Otolaryngology encourages students and faculty to work side-by-side as they pursue research. 
Walen Research

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Saint Louis University actively participates in multiple facets of research including bench work, translational, and clinical research that aims to improve the understanding of disease processes and patient care for a variety of otolaryngological conditions. The results of our research are published in scientific journals and accepted as oral or poster presentations at national and international meetings.

The research conducted in our department is performed by our clinical faculty, otolaryngology residents, adjunct research faculty, and medical school students with a propensity to the study of disorders of the head and neck. The dedication this group brings to research in Otolaryngology allows us to approach patients with the highest level of care and the most cutting-edge treatments.

Research Areas

SOM Student Research Guidelines

Student Research

Saint Louis University's Department of Otolaryngology is well known for its research endeavors. The department is currently conducting over 45 studies, and in the last five years has published over 90 manuscripts. SLU School of Medicine students have the opportunity to partner with our faculty and residents on a research project. Past projects have resulted in published manuscripts and presentations at regional and national conferences.

How to Apply

Research project assignment is done on a first-come, first-served basis through the department research coordinator. If a waitlist of interested students exists, projects will be capped at two. There is no guarantee of project assignment, nor can an estimated timeline be provided.

Applicants must submit otolaryngology student research application and provide a copy of their most recent resume/CV. Please make sure you submit a complete application and send all pertinent supporting materials.

Prerequisites to research involvement are listed below. If you have not completed these prerequisites, do not submit your application.

MS1/MS2: ENT Case Challenge and Faculty Shadowing (x3)
MS3/MS4: CV with detailed research experience and Faculty Shadowing (x3) or  OASIS Otolaryngology Course


Once you have been assigned a project, you are responsible for obtaining and providing proof of SLU SOM approval for your involvement. This is applicable to every type of research project (i.e., IRB, database, case report). Please coordinate your approval with the otolaryngology research coordinator.


ENT Case Challenge
Jonny Brewer

Tina Vandever

Research Coordinator
Deniece Webb

Clinical Research

clinical research
SLU Otolaryngology has a diverse range of clinical research activity. As a vital component of the department’s clinical mission, our research projects and initiatives covers: otologic disorders, vestibular, voice and speech, sinus and nasal disorders, pediatrics, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and head and neck cancer.


grand rounds
The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Surgery has a growing epidemiology research core. Our team oversees all aspects of epidemiology research outcomes focusing on head and neck cancer prevention, early detection, control, survivorship, and quality of life. Statistician, Matthew Simpson, MPH, supports the research efforts of faculty, residents, and medical students.

Basic Science

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and  Neck Surgery partners with several innovative bioscience research laboratories at Saint Louis University School of Medicine to support resident training and faculty research.  The integrated team of adjunct and collaborating faculty with cutting edge laboratory resources joining our department increases resident and medical student exposure to basic science and translational initiatives.

SLU Adjunct Faculty

SLU Collaborating Faculty

Basic Science Research Highlights, Department of Otolaryngology

General Otolaryngology
Role of FOXP3+ CD4+ and FOXP3+ CD8+ T regulatory cells in obstructive sleep apnea
Principal Investigator: Thomas Sanford, M.D.

Vision Statement

Saint Louis University's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery will produce high-quality nationally-recognized research to advance our field.

Mission Statement

The Department of Otolaryngology at Saint Louis University aims to produce clinical and epidemiologic research directed at improving the quality of life of patients in our field. We seek to advance knowledge in otolaryngology, define cutting-edge treatments, and improve patient outcomes. Our mission requires the commitment of our faculty, residents, and staff. We strive to promote productive partnerships within and across fields, and we will work in an ethical, honest manner to expand the boundaries of otolaryngology knowledge and practice. 

Mandatory Responsible Conduct of Research Training

The National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health require training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for programs supporting research training, career development or research education.

All students, postdoctoral fellows and trainees at Saint Louis University who are supported by external funds must receive at least eight hours of formalized RCR training. To meet this requirement, Saint Louis University provides a series of two-hour workshops throughout the year. Training should be completed by the end of your program. Attending at least four workshops puts you in compliance but attending more is always encouraged. Training should be completed by the end of your program.