Carol R. Bradford, M.D., M.S.

Carol R. Bradford, M.D., M.S.

Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Medical School
Chief Academic Officer, Michigan Medicine
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

READ: Dr. Bradford’s Monthly Message to the Michigan Medicine Community

An internationally recognized head and neck cancer researcher, surgeon and leader in academic medicine, Carol R. Bradford, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S., is the executive vice dean for academic affairs (EVDAA) for the University of Michigan Medical School, chief academic officer for Michigan Medicine, and a professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. 

A longtime member of the University of Michigan community, Dr. Bradford earned her B.S. in cellular and molecular biology, her M.S. in microbiology/immunology and her M.D. (cum laude) at the U-M. She then completed a general surgery internship at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital and research fellowship and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency at the U-M before joining the faculty in 1992 as an assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. She earned promotion to associate professor in 1998 and professor in 2004. She became department chair in 2009, a position she held until she was appointed EVDAA on July 1, 2016. From 2012-18, she held the Charles J. Krause, M.D., Collegiate Professorship in Otolaryngology.

Dr. Bradford specializes in head and neck cancer surgery, focusing her research on identifying and evaluating biomarkers that can predict outcomes. She works to develop therapies to combat certain types of head and neck cancer that are resistant to traditional forms of treatment. She also pioneered the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy as a safe and reliable tool to stage patients with melanoma of the head and neck. She has published nearly 275 peer-reviewed articles and contributed to more than 20 book chapters.

Her many awards include a Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in 2007, Clinical Excellence Award from Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Awards in 2009 and the University of Michigan Medical School’s Community Service Award in 2010. She was elected as the first woman president of the American Head and Neck Society in 2012, and received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2015. That same year, she was inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.

She served as president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists in 2017 and on the board of directors of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery from 2014-18. She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Head and Neck Society, and American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.