Precision Medicine for Head and Neck Cancer

J. Chad Brenner, Ph.D.
Dr. Brenner is an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan school of Medicine interested in clinical genomics and the development of precision medicine based strategies. His laboratory focuses on head and neck cancers including squamous cell carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

The Michigan Otolaryngology and Translational Oncology Laboratory (MiOTO) is focused on discoveries in molecular medicine and therapeutics. Under the leadership of Dr. Chad Brenner, we are making cutting-edge advances in cancer research, from improved diagnostic tools to novel therapies for patients, which we hope to bring to the patient care setting.

The overarching goal of the lab is to identify putative predictive genomic biomarkers for targeted therapies and understand primary and secondary resistance mechanisms for these therapies. The lab utilizes next generation sequencing strategies including exome, RNAseq, and targeted capture sequencing for the development and analysis of genomics-driven clinical trials and genetic characterization of therapeutic resistance. The lab also specializes in using high-throughput functional screens to identify therapeutic targets and molecular strategies to advance for pre-clinical modeling in cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models. We are studying the development of primary and secondary resistance for targeted therapies using sequential clinical samples from clinical trials.

Our multi-faceted approach draws upon the resources of the University of Michigan Health System, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Michigan Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and collaborations with the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, one of several comprehensive cancer centers in the nation designated by the National Cancer Institute. Our research group is part of the Immuno-Oncology Cancer Moonshot team that is focused on the advancement of immunotherapies in Head and Neck Cancer. Our collaborations extend to other institutions nationally and internationally, as well as with members of industry to help bring our research findings to practical applications by the development of new diagnostics and therapies.

For Scientists

We are currently accepting applications from graduate students, medical students, residents and post-doctoral fellows. Please contact Dr. Brenner directly by email.


Dr. Chad Brenner

J. Chad Brenner, Ph.D.

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