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Konstantina Stankovic named new chair of Otolaryngology Department

Stankovic, a prominent hearing loss researcher and surgeon and former Harvard faculty member, takes the helm of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

- By Tracie White

Konstantina Stankovic

Konstantina Stankovic, MD, PhD, an auditory neuroscientist and neurotologic surgeon whose research focuses on improving diagnostics and therapeutics for deafness, has been appointed the chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

“Dr. Stankovic is an innovative researcher, skilled surgeon and exceptional leader in the field of otolaryngology,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “We are delighted to have her at Stanford where she will further elevate the preeminence of our Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.”

Stankovic succeeds Robert Jackler, MD, the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor who led the department for 18 years. Recruited in 2003 to help build what was then a small division into a full-fledged department, Jackler is on sabbatical to pursue research into tobacco marketing.

“Dr. Jackler’s many years of leadership have helped forge this department as it has grown into one of the foremost otolaryngology research and patient care institutions in the world,” Minor said. “His years of service as chair have been invaluable.”

Stankovic came to Stanford Medicine from Harvard University, where she was chief of the Division of Otology and Neurotology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. She plans to expand on the department’s initiative to cure and prevent hearing loss and other sensory and communicative disorders by forging multidisciplinary connections both on campus and worldwide.

“I’m excited to lead this wonderful department and keen on enabling new collaborations to advance research, patient care and teaching,” said Stankovic, the Bertarelli Foundation Professor. “I enjoy connecting people who think differently. It’s a great way to break new ground and incredibly fun.”

Stankovic arrived in the United States from Croatia when she was 17. Her fascination with the inner ear began when she was an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she double majored in physics and molecular biology.

What drew her to otolaryngology, Stankovic said, was her love of music and the beauty of the inner ear, a delicate organ where many physical, electrochemical and molecular processes function at extremes to enable sound detection and balance.

Stankovic completed her medical and doctoral degrees through the combined Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. She joined the Harvard faculty in 2008, and in 2018 was appointed chief of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Division of Otology and Neurotology.

Among her many honors, Stankovic was elected a fellow of the American Otological Society and of the American College of Surgeons. She is former president of the American Auditory Society.

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2022 ISSUE 1

Understanding the world within us

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