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Laboratory research in the Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery focuses on discovering the anatomical correlates and physiological mechanisms underlying significant clinical problems, such as hearing loss, voice dysfunction, tissue viability following reconstructive cancer surgery, swallowing impairments, and age-related changes in critical head and neck functions. This work has led to the development of new experimental surgical devices and procedures, such as an automated device to remove blood from congested tissues.

The laryngeal physiology program is geared toward the use of novel biomaterials and medialization techniques to improve vocal fold vibratory characteristics, and to halt or reverse the detrimental effects of aging on voice and swallowing.

As a member of the NIDCD National Temporal Bone Resource Registry we have use of the vast temporal bone collection housed by the Theodore Bast Temporal Bone Collections at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Researchers have also examined critical aspects of the development of the human auditory system.

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Wisconsin is recognized for its excellence in caring for patients with ear, nose, throat, head and neck afflictions. Such excellence is rooted in research. Research is the catalyst that keeps us striving for better understanding of disease; that urges us to seek better delivery of care and improved patient outcomes. It is the challenge of research-and education-that has attracted the superb clinicians and teachers that comprise our facility.

Research at UW takes several forms. Basic scientific studies are key to understanding the structure and function of the body. Clinical studies address ways of controlling diseases and assessing the impact of treatment on the lives of our patients. Translational research helps us bridge gaps between our basic scientific observations and key clinical initiatives. Often our most intriguing discoveries come from interactions between clinical and basic science faculty and from ideas germinating from bright young residents-in-training, medical students and other graduate students. The skill of our health care team-honed through advanced training and clinical experience in every aspect of the specialty-and the constant introduction of creative inquiry make our enterprise unique. The evolving UW Medical School HealthStar project will provide additional opportunities to collaborate with our basic science colleagues in the neurosciences and greater access to relevant scientific laboratories. Research, education and clinical care are interdependent. Among our current research initiatives are efforts to restore voice, hearing, breathing, and swallowing to patients afflicted by diseases and injuries by applying the latest technology to basic and clinical questions.

Excellence in research must be nurtured. Individual donors are a vital part of the process. Consider contributing to one of our specific research funds or a more generic gift to support research through the UW Foundation.

Please view our Roots of Excellence brochure.

Research Labs

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