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Director of SPARK Global / Associate Director Stanford SPARKOtology, Neurotology and Skull Base SurgeryDr Peter Santa Maria is a surgeon scientist born and raised in Perth, Australia subspecializing in disorders affecting hearing, balance and the facial nerve. Along with his role as Director of SPARK Global and Associate Director of SPARK's therapeutic translational program, he co-leads the Otoinnovation Lab and is the co-Chair of the American Neurotology Society's Skull Base Tumors Study Section and Chair Emeritus of the American Academy of Otolaryngology's Medical Device and Drugs Committee. His clinical practice and research is leading the path forward for innovating better treatments for hearing loss. His lab discovered a tympanic membrane regenerative therapy, completed pre clinical work that has led to ongoing clinical trials. They now are focused on the most challenging chronic ear infections developing therapies that minimize antibiotic resistance and use personalized techniques to target the route cause bacteria. His lab is also investigating novel treatments for inner ear disease including autoimmune inner ear disease and noise induced hearing loss. Dr Santa Maria is a leader in the field particularly having authored book chapters and published papers focusing on hearing preservation in cochlear implant surgery, surgical and treatments of ear tumors including vestibular schwannomas (acoustic neuromas), novel management of difficult to treat chronic ear infections and cholesteatoma and CSF leak repair. He attended medical school at The University of Western Australia before undertaking his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He was the Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery fellow at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2012), Western Australia before undertaking a three year instructorship at Stanford University in Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery (2015). He joined Stanford faculty in 2017. Scientifically, Dr Santa Maria completed his PhD in tympanic membrane (ear drum) wound healing at The University of Western Australia (2012). His tympanic regenerative discovery was accelerated through the SPARK program at Stanford, winning the "Excellence in Stanford SPARK 2014" award, later partnering with Auration Biotech and Astellas pharmaceuticals, to launch clinical trials in 2020. His research includes new devices and therapies for hearing loss. Dr Santa Maria co-invented several medical devices and therapeutics that are in development. Two have won the "Robert Howard Next Step Award in Medical Technology Innovation". He is actively part of device research teams testing new devices that can monitor dizzy attacks in the home, non invasive ways to treat otitis media with effusion and ways to restore hearing without implanting the inner ear. His lab has discovered new antimicrobial therapeutics that act on the most resistant bacterial infections.Clinically, Dr Santa Maria encompasses all areas of adult and pediatric surgery for hearing, balance and facial nerve disorders. He manages all areas of Neurotology including cholesteatoma, chronic otitis media, ear drum perforations and hearing reconstruction, otosclerosis and stapes surgery, eustachian tube surgery, tumors of the ear and skull base including acoustic neuroma, schwannoma, meningioma, glomus tumors, cholesterol granuloma, CSF leaks and squamous cell cancer of the ear as well as hearing implants, including cochlear implants (especially hearing preservation surgery) and bone anchored hearing aids.
CSOMWe are working on understanding we we lose sensory hearing after a chronic middle ear infection. We are understanding the pathogenesis of the disease early on, particularly as it transitions into a chronic infection, including the early immune response and host microbe interactions. We are collaborating to test new novel treatments that can treat pseudomonas and staphylococcus biofilms in chronic suppurative otitis media using a novel rodent model created in our lab. Tympanic membrane regeneration We developed a novel treatment for healing chronic tympanic membrane perforations which we have recently partnered with Astellas pharmaceuticals aiming for a clinical trial in the coming years. This treatment is delivered by hydrogel to heal the ear drum without surgery. We are also working on a therapy to prevent tympanic membrane wound healing that could be used as an alternative to pressure equalization tubes.Growth factor therapy for intra oral wound healingUsing rodent models for intra oral wound healing we are currently testing new grwoth factor therapy for healing in intra oral wounds with potential applications to prevent post tonsillectomy wound healing.Medical devicesWe have invented, prototyped and tested clinically a new medical device for maintaining perioperative normothermia with significant increased efficacy compared to the current standard of care Clinical researchEvaluating outcomes of stereotactic radiation for vestibular schwanomma