My goal is to offer patients individualized care and treatment that considers all options. I like to partner with my patients to help them make their own decisions and treatment choices. As a physician-scientist, my research group focuses on discovering novel, less toxic therapies for patients with head and neck cancers.


Eduardo Méndez, MD, MS is the Co-Director of the Head and Neck Oncology Program for the University of Washington/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He is also joint faculty and Director of the Head and Neck Translational Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  He is an expert in the surgical treatment of head and neck and thyroid cancers, including minimally invasive robotic surgery and laser microsurgery for tumors of the tongue and throat, microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck.

"I am interested in the treatment of head and neck and thyroid cancers, reconstruction of head and neck cancer defects, and minimally invasive approaches to tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract including robotic-assisted surgery and transoral laser microsurgery," Dr. Méndez says. "I am also interested in the genetics of head and neck cancer, and lead efforts to find new targeted therapies to help achieve a cure."

Dr. Méndez obtained his bachelor in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. He then graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland Medical School. He completed his internship, residency training, and fellowship training in advanced head and neck surgical oncology and microvascular reconstruction at the University of Washington. He was the first to perform robotic surgery for head and neck cancer in the state of Washington and is a national speaker on robotic surgery and the genetics of head and neck cancer.


Undergraduate Education: Princeton University

Medical School: University of Maryland, School of Medicine

Internship: University of Washington, School of Medicine

Residency: University of Washington, School of Medicine

Fellowship: University of Washington, School of Medicine

Other Training: Masters in Epidemiology, University of Washington, School of Public Health

Board Certification: Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, 2006

Awards and honors 

2013: The Trachy Award for Research Mentoring, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Washington
2013: American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award
2008: Howard Hughes Physician-Scientist Award 
Keynote speaker for Grand Rounds at Emory University, Rutgers University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Yale University and University of Maryland.

Academic interests 


Eduardo Méndez, MD, MS, FACS is an expert in the surgical treatment of head and neck and thyroid cancers, including minimally invasive robotic surgery and transoral laser microsurgery of tumor of the upper for tumors of the tongue and throat, and microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck.



Dr. Méndez research focuses on markers of disease progression in head and neck cancer. He published the first study that identified a "genetic signature" for poor survival rates in head and neck cancer. His group is also discovering novel, less toxic gene targets based on patients' own mutations.


Recent Publications

Harbison RA, Kubik M, Konnick EQ, Zhang Q, Lee SG, Park H, Zhang J, Carlson CS, Chen C, Schwartz SM, Rodriguez CP, Duvvuri U, Méndez E. The mutational landscape of recurrent versus nonrecurrent human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancer., JCI Insight 2018 Jul; 3(14):

Xu C, Nikolova O, Basom RS, Mitchell RM, Shaw R, Moser RD, Park H, Gurley KE, Kao MC, Green CL, Schaub FX, Diaz RL, Swan HA, Jang IS, Guinney J, Gadi VK, Margolin AA, Grandori C, Kemp CJ, Méndez E. Functional Precision Medicine Identifies Novel Druggable Targets and Therapeutic Options in Head and Neck Cancer., Clin. Cancer Res. 2018 Jun; 24(12):2828-2843

Eadie T, Faust L, Bolt S, Kapsner-Smith M, Pompon RH, Baylor C, Futran N, Méndez E. Role of Psychosocial Factors on Communicative Participation among Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2018 Aug; 159(2):266-273

Méndez E, Rodriguez CP, Kao MC, Raju S, Diab A, Harbison RA, Konnick EQ, Mugundu GM, Santana-Davila R, Martins R, Futran ND, Chow LQM. A Phase I Clinical Trial of AZD1775 in Combination with Neoadjuvant Weekly Docetaxel and Cisplatin before Definitive Therapy in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma., Clin. Cancer Res. 2018 Jun; 24(12):2740-2748

Garcia LF, Rodrigues Siqueira AC, Lobón GS, Marcuzzo JS, Pessela BC, Mendez E, Garcia TA, de Souza Gil E. Bio-electro oxidation of indigo carmine by using microporous activated carbon fiber felt as anode and bioreactor support., Chemosphere 2017 Nov; 186519-526

Latest news 

Dr. Mendez' patient was the subject of a story and video on Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's website. Click the link below to view the video.
Lydia's Story
Who knew that getting cancer could be a path leading to Carnegie Hall? When Lydia Miner discovered a lump in her throat, she faced a blistering regime of radiation ...


Mendez Lab

Despite advances in surgery and chemotherapy, survival rates for oral cancer have not improved in the past two decades. Once the disease spreads in the body, survival rates drop. Dr Méndez lab focuses on the genomics of head and neck cancer. In particular, he is interested in discovering gene mutations and structural DNA aberrations that lead to metastatic disease and treatment resistance. In addition, Dr. Méndez is trying to determine which of these candidate genes have the highest association.

To learn more visit the Mendez Lab website

Lab contact info
(206) 667-1927

Lab location 

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave North, D5-390
Seattle, WA 98109