Team News

Summer 2023 Newsletter

Davud Sirjani, MD promoted to the rank of Clinical Professor.

Clinical Professor, Otolaryngology— Head & Neck Surgery

Dr. Davud Sirjani graduated from the University of Arizona with Honors in Biochemistry and was awarded the most outstanding senior award for the college of sciences and the Centennial Achievement Award. He matriculated to the University of Arizona School of Medicine on the Dean's Scholarship.

He completed a residency in Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis and a fellowship in Head and Neck Cancer and Microvascular reconstruction at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2009.

He joined the Stanford Division of Head and Neck Surgery in 2009 and, since 2012, has also served as Chief of Otolaryngology at the VA in Palo Alto. Dr. Sirjani has pioneered the use of telemedicine to provide complicated head and neck cancer care to remote VA satellite across the Pacific and Mountwaint West.

Under his leadership, the Stanford VA has become a premier hub for head and neck cancer care in the West Coast.

As the director of the salivary program at Stanford since 2013, Dr. Sirjani's practice is focused on minimally invasive parotidectomy.

He was the first surgeon at Stanford to offer patients sialendoscopy. His research interests include innovations in minimizing morbidity from parotid cancer treatment.

Dr. Sirjani's research interests focus on surgical simulation and surgical innovation. He invented the only partoidectomy surgical simulator in the country, which is funded by CIMIT and used to teach other surgeons about the tension placed on the facial nerve during parotidectomy.

Stanford is now a primary center for the treatment of salivary related cancers.

Dr. Sirjani incorporates new innovations, basic science research, and his high volume of operative experience to tailor operations to best suite the patient.

Robson Capasso, MD was the prestigious Louis H. Clerf Lecturer at Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Capasso has published the much-needed data on the value of surgical and nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea, which has generated dynamic discussions about health care utilization in OSA patients.  He discussed how surgeons could catalyze the development of much-needed novel therapies or treatment strategies to help our patients and the available resources around TJU.⁠

Dr. Capasso was also an invited speaker at the 4th annual Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Course in Rome. Attendees gained valuable insights into the latest advancements in OSA management, including innovative treatment modalities and evidence-based approaches.

Robert K. Jackler, MD, was an invited speaker for the Open Medical Institute’s Otology program in Salzburg, Austria.

There are various approaches to global health programs designed to improve the health of populations in resource-limited nations. The highest priority should be to enhance the skills of the nation’s practitioners, as this is the most effective means of improving the health of the country’s population on a lasting basis.  Many global health programs involve first-world physicians going to the resource-poor country and providing care for a small population of patients. This is not always an optimal means of enhancing the skills of the nation’s practitioners and tends to benefit only a small segment of the population in need, with little durable impact.  Another challenge occurs when physicians from developing nations train in first-world countries, a sizable fraction emigrate from their home nation. The brain drain of less developed nations’ finest medical talent represents a serious lost opportunity for health system improvement.

The Open Medical Institute, a philanthropically supported education program sponsored by the American Austrian Foundation, hosts over 40 week-long educational programs annually for young physicians, Students are drawn primarily from former Soviet republics, Africa, and Latin America.  These intensive programs are all held in a spectacular historical building, the Schloss Arenberg, in Salzburg, Austria. Students have their travel, accommodations, and meals provided. The programs are held in collaboration with Weil Cornell Medical School, with American and Austrian professors serving as educators.   

The otology course is one of 3 ENT-themed programs in OMI’s curriculum.  Simply put, this is global health done right!  With 3 ½ days of intensive didactics and 1 ½ days of laboratory dissection training, the 40 students, who were passionately eager to learn, absorbed much knowledge and technical skill which they will utilize in their home countries.  

As the OMI expands its focus toward Asia, Dr Jackler’s hope is that Stanford Medical faculty will contribute expertise to this most worthwhile endeavor.  Stanford OHNS has robust global health programs.  We have long welcomed visiting physician observers from countries with less developed health care, and some of our faculty and trainees have served as educators in developing nations.  We should be proud that these are examples of global health done right.  

Zara M. Patel, MD, a Biodesign Faculty Fellow, is developing a new device to restore olfaction.

Zara M. Patel, MD, a Biodesign Faculty Fellow, received extension funding to develop amedical device for electrical recording and stimulation of the olfactory nerve. This work was highlighted in Stanford Medicine magazine. She is passionate about bringing objectivity to smell testing, breaking down the inherent barriers and biases of language, literacy, socioeconomics, geographics, and cognition that current smell tests carry, and developing this as a treatment modality for olfactory disorders.⁠

Dr. Patel has was also an honored guest speaker for the Korean Society of Endoscopic Neurosurgery and invited faculty of the European Rhinologic Society during a meeting in Bulgaria .

Konstantina Stankovic, MD, PhD, FACS, was the David Schuller, MD, Lecturer at The Ohio State University (OSU) Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery during their graduation festivities. She spoke about the challenges and opportunities in precision diagnosis and therapy for human hearing loss.

Depicted with Dr. David Schuller (right) and Dr. Jim Rocco (left), former and current chairs of the OHNS department at OSU.

Tulio Valdez, MD, MSc, was featured on NBC Bay Area discussing the great work being done to alleviate the sleep issues children are experiencing.

To view the video segment, please click this link.