Fellowship: Head & Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction


The program is designed to provide advanced clinical training in extirpative surgery, complicated salivary/endocrine surgery, microvascular reconstruction, skull base surgery, and transoral robotic/transoral laser endoscopic approaches.  The program also offers intensive research mentoring with the intent to support the development of clinician researchers who are planning an academic career.


The head and neck fellowship is divided into major areas, including surgical oncology and microvascular reconstruction, TORS, skull base surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.  The fellow will be exposed to surgical pathology, maxillofacial prosthetics, and speech rehabilitation. 

Duties and Responsibilities of Trainees

During clinical rotations, the fellow will work directly with faculty members in the care of each patient.  The fellow will be responsible for overseeing the initial evaluation and work-up of tumor patients, coordination of multidisciplinary care, and inpatient and outpatient follow-up.  The fellow will function as either operating surgeon or first assistant under the supervision of the appropriate attending physician.  One of the goals of the fellowship is to foster the growth of surgical teaching skills by having the fellow first assist the residents in basic head and neck procedures.  The fellow plays a major teaching role in taking residents through many of the standard procedures (parotidectomy, thyroidectomy, neck dissections and the like) as well as intense surgical experience in advanced cases.  Participation in microvascular reconstruction is a major component of the clinical experience. 

The fellow has attending and admitting privileges. He/she will have one half-day independent clinic per week focusing on general otolaryngology and basic head and neck oncology.  Surgical cases derived from this clinic will be performed independently by the fellow.  The fellow will also oversee the head and neck service, participate in the weekly head and neck multidisciplinary tumor board, and take part in the attending on call rotation.

Research Opportunities

This training program is intended to foster the fellow’s evolution as a clinician investigator.  As such, clinical research for this year is a major focus.  There is an extensive array of potential research mentors in both basic science and health services research.  The fellow may seek a mentor in any appropriate department at the University.  After identifying a mentor, the fellow is expected to present a formal research plan to the Head and Neck faculty and Department Research Committee.  The Research Committee will continue to critique and monitor the progress of the fellow’s research project. The fellow can take advantage of the Otolaryngology Research Group to help mentor his/her research. In addition, for fellows interested in staying for an additional 1-2 years of laboratory-based research, the Solid Tumor Translational Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is the umbrella organization which brings together investigators from University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in the area of translational solid tumor research. The Head and Neck Translational Research Group currently has approximately 5 Principal Investigators and research laboratories which conduct applied research in the area of head and neck cancer. Fellows interested in basic/translational research should commit 1-2 years of dedicated research time. 


The combined hospitals at the University of Washington comprise approximately 1,200 beds and 500 head and neck cancer admissions per year.  The fellowship is based at UW Medical Center where the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery performs 400+  major head and neck resections per year, including 100 microvascular reconstructions, skull base surgery (both endoscopic and open), and transoral robotic/laser extirpations.  The fellow is an integral part of the Head & Neck surgical team. 

In addition, the Department of Radiation Oncology treats 575 new cancer patients per year and provides exposure to advanced techniques in radiotherapy: IMRT photon, proton, electron, gamma knife, and neutron therapy.  UWMC is home to the only neutron therapy capability in the United States.  This generates a substantial number of referrals for advanced salivary gland cancers.  Coupled with faculty interest in sialoendoscopy, extracapsular dissection, and other advance salivary techniques (salivary gland transfer, etc.), the fellowship will include a robust salivary surgery experience.

In conjunction with Medical Oncology, the fellow will be exposed to a variety of chemo-radiation protocols and accruing clinical trials.  With the formation of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (University of Washington Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center), the UW Head & Neck Oncology program is continuing to grow at both a regional and at a national level.


Jeffrey Houlton, MD
Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery
1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356515
Seattle, WA 98195
Fax: 206-543-5152

Head and Neck Director/Chair: Neal D. Futran, M.D.

Director of Research: Jennifer Stone, Ph.D.

Other Parallel Fellowships: Laryngology, Facial Plastic Surgery

Total Number of Positions Available per Year: One (1-year) position.

Faculty Involved with the Fellowship:

Neal D. Futran, M.D.
Brittany Barber, M.D.
Amit Bhrany, M.D.
Laura Chow, M.D.
Marc D. Coltrera, M.D.
Roberta Dalley, M.D.
Keith Eaton, M.D.
Eric Failor, M.D.
Manuel Ferreira, M.D.
Bernardo Goulart, M.D.
Jeffrey Houlton, M.D.
Jay Liao, M.D.
George Larramore, M.D.
Renato Martins, M.D.
Kris Moe, M.D.
Michael Mulligan, M.D.
Upendra Parvathenini, M.D.
Anoop Patel, M.D.
Christina Rodriguez, M.D.
Mara Roth, M.D.
Jeffrey Rubenstein, D.D.S.
Daniel Silbergeld, M.D.
Lawrence True, M.D.
Douglas Wood, M.D.
Eugene Zeiler, M.D.


Our Fellows