Dr. Chad Brenner

J. Chad Brenner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Director, Michigan Otolaryngology and Translational Oncology Laboratory


Dr. Brenner is an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is also a member of the U-M Rogel Cancer Center. His lab, the Michigan Otolaryngology and Translational Oncology lab (MiOTO), aims to identify new diagnostic tests and precision medicine therapies for cancer patients.

In addition to receiving his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan, Brenner also received a master's in engineering in bioelectrical engineering and a doctorate in cellular and molecular biology for his seminal contributions to molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer progression and therapeutic inhibition of the disease.

Areas of Interest

Dr. Brenner's research is focused on genomic and bioinformatics approaches to discover novel strategies that benefit patients with head and neck cancer (precision medicine).  Dr. Brenner’s lab has identified novel approaches to overcome PI3K inhibitor resistance pathways in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma as well as discovered novel driving lesions in both common and uncommon head and neck cancers, including human papilloma virus (HPV) positive head and neck cancer and salivary gland tumors. Current studies build on this previous work and are now focused on understanding how head and neck tumors with PI3K pathway alterations adapt to precision-guided therapies, and if immune checkpoint inhibitors can be used to prevent cancer initiation of pre-cancerous lesions. With the goal of initiating new clinical trials that benefit head and neck cancer patients, additional research is focused on understanding how to leverage precision medicine approaches to improve the immune response to cancer. Finally, Dr. Brenner and his team are also using genomic information to develop liquid biomarker (blood or urine) based tests and studying how these tests can be used for early detection of head and neck cancer or to give real time information of treatment responses to patients.

Honors & Awards

Dr. Brenner has received a number of awards including the Lindau-Nobel Graduate Student Award, the American Association for Cancer Research Scientist in Training in Award, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.

Web Sites

1150 W Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48109