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Stanford’s Eben Rosenthal named to lead VUMC’s Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Jun. 11, 2021, 11:00 AM

Eben Rosenthal, MD

Following a national search, Eben Rosenthal, MD, the John and Ann Doerr Medical Director and Associate Director of Clinical Care with Stanford Cancer Center, will join Vanderbilt University Medical Center Oct. 11 as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS).

Rosenthal succeeds Roland “Ron” Eavey, MD, SM, Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of OHNS, who announced last year he would be stepping down from his position at the end of the academic year after serving as the department’s leader for 12 years.

Beginning July 1, David S. Haynes, MD, professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Neurological Surgery, will serve as the department’s interim chair until Rosenthal’s arrival in October.

Rosenthal is a surgeon-scientist and academic leader, currently a professor of Otolaryngology and Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, and will bring extensive leadership experience to Vanderbilt. Prior to his tenure at Stanford, he was division director of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and held the John S. Odess Endowed Chair at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Trained in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, Rosenthal specializes in the treatment and reconstruction of head and neck cancer. His research interests involve the use of optical imaging techniques to better detect cancer during surgical procedures, and he has initiated multiple clinical trials in improving cancer surgery and assessing drug delivery. A mentor and frequently invited speaker, Rosenthal has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications.

A committee chaired by Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, G.W. Hale Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group, conducted a national search to identify Rosenthal. Other members of the search committee included Ronald Alvarez, MD, MBA, Lola Chambless, MD, Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN, Jill Gilbert, MD, Kathie Krause, MSN, RN, Galen Perdikis, MD, Warren Sandberg, MD, PhD, Eric Shinohara, MD, Eric Skaar, PhD, MPH, Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA, Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD, Jeffrey Upperman, MD, Robert Webster, PhD, and Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI.

“As a leader of both an otolaryngology division and a cancer center, Dr. Rosenthal brings a unique and compelling vision to one of our most vibrant and collaborative departments. He is internationally recognized for his talents as a surgeon, scientist and mentor. I want to welcome Eben to VUMC and look forward to working together to build on the momentum and rich legacy of OHNS. I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Sternberg and the other members of the search committee for their outstanding work,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “I also wish to sincerely thank Dr. Haynes for his leadership over the coming months, and recognize Dr. Eavey once again for his exceptional leadership, commitment and service to Vanderbilt.”

After tripling in size during the past decade, Vanderbilt’s Department of OHNS offers a comprehensive array of highly specialized adult and pediatric diagnostic and clinical services and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 specialty programs of its kind. It is also ranked among the top three training programs. OHNS is currently home to 70 primary faculty, 25 residents and nine clinical fellows.

“The expertise provided by the world-class clinicians and staff of OHNS is a true differentiator for our health system and of vital importance to the adult and pediatric patients we serve. Some of the department’s services are internationally recognized as destination therapy with patients traveling here from Europe and elsewhere. I look forward to working with Dr. Rosenthal to increase the scope and depth of the department’s offerings,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

OHNS and the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, which also includes the Department of Hearing and Speech Science, are recognized as international leaders in research for new treatments and cures for voice, cancer, hearing, and other diseases of the head and neck. As a result, OHNS is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation in total National Institutes of Health funding among departments of otolaryngology.

“I am very excited to continue the culture of clinical excellence, scientific discovery, and education in the Vanderbilt Department of OHNS. There are so many outstanding faculty at all levels of seniority, that it is a great honor to be given the opportunity to serve in this role,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal earned a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Rosenthal completed his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Medical Center and then did his fellowship training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Eben is married to Mary Hawn, MD, and they have two children, Sarah (22) and Walker (20). Mary will remain at Stanford to continue her role as the Emile Holman Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery and looks forward to spending time getting to know Nashville.

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