Division of Head and Neck Oncology

The U-M Division of Head and Neck Oncology is comprised of clinical faculty members with expertise and interest in head and neck cancer surgery, head and neck skin cancer, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, sentinel lymph node biopsy, salivary gland tumors, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, cranial base surgery, microvascular free tissue transfer and transoral robotic surgery. The division delivers state-of-the-art patient care, provides residents and fellows with top-notch clinical training and conducts innovative research.


Patient Care

Our head and neck surgeons provide comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation for patients afflicted with diseases and conditions arising in the head and neck, such as salivary glad disorders, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, oral cancer, throat cancer, voice box cancer, salivary gland cancer and sinus cancer. The team also provides reconstructive surgical services.

Head and neck diseases and conditions can affect critical functions such as speaking, swallowing and eating, as well as physical appearance. Our head and neck surgeons customize their selection of treatments for each individual patient, to maximize cure rates while minimizing side effects. Treatments are designed to effectively treat the disease or condition with an eye toward maintaining the patient's quality of life.


Clinical and didactic teaching of residents and medical students take place on a daily basis. Faculty members instruct undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education courses. The division also actively mentors residents and fellows on several research projects.


U-M is one of five hospitals in the country to be awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute. The goal of the SPORE grant is to significantly improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of head and neck cancer.

Our researchers were the first to discover cancer stem cells in head and neck tumors. These are the small number of cells within a tumor that drive the growth and spread of cancer. Our researchers seek to understand how cancer stem cells work and identify drugs that target and destroy these cells.

In addition, our researchers are at the forefront of understanding how HPV, or human papillomavirus, plays a role in the recent increase in head and neck cancers. We know patients with HPV-related tumors respond differently to treatment, and our clinical trials seek to understand how we can deliver the most effective treatments with the fewest side effects.


Service to both the community and university is an essential element of the division’s work. Community service efforts include participation in the department's annual free throat cancer screenings, [email protected] clinics and medical mission trips.