"Although I am a surgeon, I recognize that surgery is a frightening prospect for any child and their family. I enjoy working closely with families to develop a treatment plan that works well for their child. I believe that surgery should always be one of the last resorts when we consider treatment options. While I enjoy treating many aspects of pediatric otolaryngology, I am particularly passionate about children with hearing loss and hope to develop ways to prevent hearing loss."


Henry Ou is an associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington, having joined the faculty in 2006. He did his residency training at the University of Washington, followed by pediatric otolaryngology fellowship training at Seattle Children's Hospital, and is currently the director of the Seattle Children's Hospital Hearing Loss Clinic. In addition, he was appointed by the governor to the State of Washington Board of Hearing and Speech in 2014. Dr. Ou has over 15 years of experience in hearing research, with a particular emphasis on the use of the zebrafish to study drug-induced hearing loss. He is actively investigating the development of drugs to prevent hearing loss.


Undergraduate Education: Cornell University, 1989-1993

Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine, 1993-1998

Internship: University of Washington - General Surgery, 1998-1999

Residency: University of Washington - Otolaryngology-HNS, 1999-2004

Fellowship: Seattle Children's Hospital - Pediatric Otolaryngology-HNS, 2004-2006

Board Certification: Otolaryngology-HNS, 2005

Memberships: Fellow, American College of Surgeons; Member, American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology; Member, American Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS; Member, Association for Research in Otolaryngology; Member, Northwest Academy of Otolaryngology

Awards and honors 

2014: Advising Medical Physician, State of Washington Board of Hearing and Speech, appointed by Governor Jay Inslee
2013: Director of Hearing Loss Clinic, Seattle Children's Hospital
2013: Associate Fellowship Director, Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship - Seattle Children's Hospital/University of Washington
2008: William Potsic Basic Science Research Award, 1st Prize, American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (Mentor of Resident: Lynn Chiu)
2007: University of Washington School of Medicine, Marian E. Smith Junior Faculty Research Award

Academic interests 


Dr. Ou's clinical interests include most aspects of pediatric otolaryngology (e.g. tonsils/adenoids management, neck masses, pediatric airway), with a subspecialty focus on pediatric hearing loss, chronic ear disease, cholesteatoma and other middle ear surgery, and cochlear implantation.



Dr. Ou's research focuses on the use of the zebrafish lateral line to study mechanisms of drug-induced hearing loss. He also works on the identification and development of drugs to prevent hearing loss.

Recent Publications

Loy KA, Lam AS, Franz AM, Martin LD, Manning SC, Ou HC, Perkins JA, Parikh SR, Low DK, Dahl JP. Impact of Eliminating Local Anesthesia on Immediate Postoperative Analgesia in Pediatric Ambulatory Adenotonsillectomy., Pediatr Qual Saf ; 6(3):e405

Noble AR, Christianson E, Norton SJ, Ou HC, Phillips GS, Khalatbari H, Friedman SD, Horn DL. Reliability of Measuring Insertion Depth in Cochlear Implanted Infants and Children Using Cochlear View Radiography., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 Oct; 163(4):822-828

Pattisapu P, Evans SS, Noble AR, Norton SJ, Ou HC, Sie KCY, Horn DL. Defining Essential Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 07; 163(1):91-93

Parikh SR, Bly RA, Bonilla-Velez J, Dahl JP, Evans SS, Horn DL, Johnson KE, Manning SC, Ou HC, Pattisapu P, Perkins JA, Sie KCY. Pediatric Otolaryngology Divisional and Institutional Preparatory Response at Seattle Children's Hospital after COVID-19 Regional Exposure., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 06; 162(6):800-803

Purcell PL, Edwards TC, Wisneski M, Chan DK, Ou H, Horn DL, Skirko JR, Sie KCY. Unilateral Hearing Loss in Youth: Development of Candidate Items for a Condition-Specific Validated Instrument., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2018 Aug194599818797092


Ou Lab

The Ou lab uses the zebrafish lateral line to screen for drugs that cause and prevent hair cell injury. Lateral line hair cells are structurally and physiologically similar to inner ear hair cells and thus can be used to efficiently study mechanisms of inner ear damage. The zebrafish allows us to perform rapid, live imaging of hair cell death. We are particularly interested in anti-cancer drug-induced hearing loss and are investigating how drugs interact to damage hearing.

Lab location 

Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center
Seattle, WA 98195