Spring 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to Our Newly Announced 2024 Residency Matches

Uchechukwu “Uche” Ezeh, MS

Medical School: University of Miami
Undergraduate: Cornell
Enjoys:  Golden State Warriors, R&B (ie. Boyz II Men, Musiq Soulchild, Dru Hill), cooking Nigerian Egusi soup for friends and family, and home-brew coffee.


David Grimm, MS

 Medical School: Stanford  
Undergraduate: UC Davis
Enjoys: Aqua scaping, Saltwater Reefing, Soccer, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


Brooke Warren

 Medical School: UCSF 
Undergraduate: UC Davis 
Enjoys: Dance, Golden Gate Park, staying active with weightlifting, LA Lakers, finding the best coffee shops with quality lattes.


Lekha Yesantharao

 Medical School: Hopkins
Undergraduate: Columbia
Enjoys: Singing, dance, and visual arts.


Michaele Francesco Corbisiero, MSc, MPH

 Medical School: Colorado 
Undergraduate: Queen’s University (Canada)
Enjoys: Playing ice hockey, the Italian soccer club Juventus, reading, and old classic cars, especially Alfa Romeo.

John Sunwoo, MD has received a Stanford Medicine Catalyst Award.

Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery and, by courtesy, of Dermatology, Chief of Head & Neck Surgery, Director of Head & Neck Cancer Research

Dr. John Sunwoo has received a Stanford Medicine Catalyst Award , for his project “Harnessing tissue-resident NK Cells for Cellular Therapy of Solid Tumor” to develop a novel tissue-resident NK cell therapy for clinical use.

The Stanford Medicine Catalyst Program is a joint strategic effort between Stanford’s School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children’s Health to support inventors across the Stanford community in developing and accelerating the most promising innovations for transformative health. Dr. Sunwoo’s team includes Dr. Allison Betof Warner (Assistant Professor of Medicine/Oncology, Director of Solid Tumor Cellular Therapy, Director of Melanoma Medical Oncology, and co-Director of the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program); Dr. Dimitri Colevas (Professor of Medicine/Oncology and Leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Research Group), and Dr. Steven Feldman (Site Head and Scientific Director for Stanford's Laboratory of Cell and Gene Medicine). The project will use information from discoveries made in Dr. Sunwoo’s laboratory to generate a clinical-grade NK cell therapy product endowed with unique properties that are advantageous for the treatment of solid malignancies, like head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Nesrine Benkafadar, PharmD, PhD has received an R21 grant from NIH/NIDCD.

Dr. Nesrine Benkafadar has received an Early Career Research R21 grant from NIH/NIDCD for her project entitled “Avian-inspired Regenerative Therapies for Hearing Loss”. Her research aims to unravel the mechanisms underlying the quiescent and non-regenerative nature of cochlear supporting cells in adult mice, shedding light on their molecular and epigenetic signatures. 

Through a comprehensive characterization of these cells under both normal and damage-induced conditions, this study will provide critical insights into the barriers that impede their ability to re-enter the cell cycle and regenerate hair cells. The end goal is to translate this newfound knowledge into effective clinical treatments that can reverse hearing loss and restore auditory function in humans. 

 Michael Chang, MD has received a Seed grant from Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE).

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery

Dr. Michael Chang has received a Seed grant for his project “Improving Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosis Through Deep Learning of Endoscopic Images.” This project, funded by the Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE) grant, aims to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) based platform to enhance detection and surveillance of nasopharyngeal cancer. This collaborative research grant further strengthens our team’s foundational work towards being an AI research center of distinction in rhinology.

Jennifer Cochran, PhD, Anthony Ricci, PhD, and Kristen Steenerson, MD are Co-Principal Investigators on a Coulter Seed Award.

Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research, Addie and Al Macovski Professor and Professor of Bioengineering
Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine and Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery and, by courtesy, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Vice Chair of Research
Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery

Professor Jennifer CochranProfessor Anthony Ricci, and Clinical Assistant Professor Kristen Steenerson have received funding for their project entitled, “Small molecule potassium channel modulator to treat acute episodes of peripheral vertigo.”

Vertigo is a debilitating dysfunction of the inner ear that can strike suddenly but often chronically. It can worsen with age and lead to many secondary problems associated with falling and with a loss of social interactions. Patrick Lo, a recent Innovation Fellow from Stanford Biodesign, leads the initiative attempting to reduce vestibular input in the short term by selectively modulating a potassium channel found in the sensory hair cells. Reducing the vestibular input should alleviate vertigo symptoms without the present side effects associated with today’s standard of care. Recent funding targets proof-of-concept experiments to create a cell-based assay for channel modulation and to identify compounds that selectively modulate this channel. Following identification of these compounds, local application to the inner ear will test the fundamental hypothesis that vestibular input is reduced by modulation of these potassium channels.

Peter Santa Maria, MBBS, PhD and Viktoria Schiel, PhD are Co-Principal Investigators on a Seed grant from Stanford SPARK.

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering
Postdoctoral Scholar of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery

Dr. Peter Santa Maria, Dr. Viktoria Schiel (Co-Principal Investigator), and Anping Xia (Co-Investigator) have received funding for their project entitled “Targeting NLRP3 inflammasome induced sensory hearing loss.”  

Together they are investigating a small molecule approach to treat macrophage-associated hearing loss in the inner ear. The Seed grant will be used to help develop a treatment for immune-mediated hearing loss and sudden sensorineural hearing loss.