Overview

Research Training

We provide mentorship, resources, and the environment for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, including surgical residents, to develop independent and sustainable academic careers in basic, clinical, and/or translational research.

We provide mentored training in research and scholarship to individuals during several phases of their educational and professional training. Trainees include undergraduate and graduate students, medical students, post-doctoral fellows, and surgical residents and fellows in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Research training is supported by several NIH training grants. In particular, one long-standing training grant from the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders at the NIH supports each resident to conduct mentored research full-time, for a total of 1.3 or 2.3 years, depending upon the research track they choose. Resident trainees select and conduct research projects based on their interests. Projects can reside within established areas of research in the Department, described above, or they can address new avenues of inquiry via collaborations with mentors outside of the Department. Trainees learn how to design and execute hypothesis-driven research. They learn how to effectively present their findings to the public, in oral and written form, and how to write applications for research funding. Our goal is to provide trainees with the skills they need to develop an independent and sustainable research program in areas relevant to Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Many clinical research trainees earn a certificate or masters degree in clinical research methods and collaborative approaches to address a wide variety of research problems.

Facility

The Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center and the Health Sciences Building at UW house several laboratories conducting basic science and translational research. Within these sites, there are a state-of-the-art imaging center, surgical suites, tissue culture facilities, histology and microtomy suites, and equipment for genetic and molecular analyses, electrophysiological measurements in vivo and in vitro, large-scale drug screening, and detailed auditory and vestibular functional testing.

The Otolaryngology Outcomes Research Group performs clinical research and is based in the UW Comparative Effectiveness, Cost & Outcomes Research Center, an interdisciplinary, multi-school clinical research “laboratory.” These Centers are closely affiliated with the UW School of Public Health and UW Institute of Translational Health.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center houses laboratories for basic science and translational research, focusing on head and neck cancer, epithelial tumor biology, and viral biology as it relates to carcinogenesis, immunotherapy, and population studies.

There are innumerable other research facilities where departmental and trainee research is performed. For example, Seattle Children’s Hospital houses research programs on vascular anomalies, pediatric communications disorders, and others. The Department of Electrical Engineering at UW houses an engineering research laboratory studying robotic surgical techniques. The Seattle VA Medical Center houses the Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence and other research programs, and Harborview Medical Center houses the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center and many other research programs.