Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Surgery Fellowship Program Faculty

Eric M. Genden, MD, MHCA
Eric M. Genden, MD, MHCA is the Isidore Friesner Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of the Head and Neck Institute at the Mount Sinai Health System. Dr. Genden is internationally recognized as a leader and innovator in tracheal transplantation and the management of oropharyngeal cancers and microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck. His clinical expertise also encompasses thyroid and parathyroid surgery. In addition to his clinical endeavors, Dr. Genden oversees a funded basic science laboratory that studies the transplantation immune biology of the trachea and larynx. He is also co-investigator on more than a dozen clinical trials. A thought leader in his field, Dr. Genden is a prolific author of original peer-reviewed reports including over 250 peer- reviewed manuscripts and six textbooks.  He is an editor and reviewer for numerous journals, lecturing nationally and internationally on his work.  Dr. Genden is a founding fellow of the International Academy of Oral Oncology, and past president of the New York Head and Neck Society. 

Richard Bakst, MD
Richard Bakst, MD is Professor of Radiation Oncology and Otolaryngology. His primary area of focus is treatment of head and neck cancer, and he is a leading expert in HPV-related head and neck cancers. His clinical work includes treating patients at Mount Sinai’s state-of-the-art proton beam center As a head and neck oncologist, he specializes in the management of cancers that invade and spread along the nerves (perineural invasion/PNI) and has received substantial extramural funding to identify novel treatment approaches for these patients.

Michael H. Berger, MD
Michael H. Berger, MD completed his medical education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He then completed residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California Irvine, where he twice earned the Irving Rappaport Award, bestowed upon the resident demonstrating expertise in head and neck surgery. Dr. Berger further honed his skills through the prestigious fellowship in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital. He joined the Head and Neck Surgery faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai after fellowship.

Dr. Berger’s expertise spans the gamut of benign and malignant head and neck conditions, with extensive training in complex benign and oncologic surgical procedures, minimally invasive surgical techniques, microvascular reconstruction, transoral robotic surgery (TORS), and skull base surgery, as well as routine and complex thyroid and parathyroid surgery.

Raymond Chai, MD, FACS
Raymond Chai, MD, FACS is a board certified head and neck surgical oncologist. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he completed his residency in Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. An Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Chai serves as the Director of Head and Neck Robotic Surgery and the Co-Director of the Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program. He has particular expertise in transoral robotic surgery for oropharynx cancer, recurrent/advanced thyroid cancer, and surgical management of parathyroid disorders.

Nazir Khan, MD
Nazir Khan, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Mount Sinai. He received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and completed his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine. Subsequently he completed fellowship training in Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction at the University of Toronto.  He performs a high volume of head and neck reconstruction, as well as endocrine, salivary gland, complex head and neck oncology, and robotic surgery. His clinical interest and expertise include the medical and surgical management of benign head and neck tumors, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, salivary gland disorders, head and neck cancers, and reconstructive surgery.  Dr. Khan’s research interest encompass function and long-term survival outcomes of patients with advanced head and neck cancers undergoing varying treatment modalities.

Scott A. Roof, MD
Scott A. Roof, MD is a Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Head and Neck Institute, part of Mount Sinai's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Roof’s clinical expertise is in the surgical treatment of benign and malignant head and neck tumors and complex reconstructive surgery of the head and neck. He cares for patients with benign head and neck tumors, cancers of the mouth, tongue, throat, voice box, trachea, face, and scalp, and disorders involving the salivary, thyroid, and parathyroid glands. Further, he treats patients with tracheal stenosis and upper airway obstruction, providing complex airway management. Dr. Roof is skilled in the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as transoral robotic surgery and transoral laser microsurgery. He also specializes in complex reconstructive surgery, including microvascular free flaps, to restore form and function after cancer treatment.

Marita Teng, MD
Marita Teng, MD received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed residency training at Mount Sinai. She then completed advanced fellowship training in Head and Neck Cancer & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has expertise in head and neck surgical oncology and free tissue reconstruction, as well as a particular focus in minimally invasive salivary disease treatment, including sialendoscopy. Dr. Teng is the Otolaryngology Residency Program Director at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and has a vested interest in the training of future physicians in the field. She is active in national organizations focused on maximizing the quality of surgical education.

Mark Urken, MD
Mark Urken, MD is the former Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, 1995 to 2004, and initiated a fellowship in head and neck surgery in 1993. The Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship Program is one of the most coveted advanced training programs in the world. Numerous graduates of this fellowship have assumed leadership positions in head and neck surgery in major medical centers in this country and around the world. He is also the Medical Director of the newly created Functional Outcomes Research Center at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, which is the only United States medical center to be selected as a core member of the International Head and Neck Research Network. Dr. Urken has authored two books: Atlas of Regional and Free Flaps for Head and Neck Reconstruction, Raven Press, 1995 and Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Reconstruction: A Defect-Oriented Approach, Lippincott, 2009. He has also authored more than 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 20 chapters. Considered one of the pioneers in head and neck microvascular surgery, Dr. Urken has also been responsible for numerous innovations in head and neck and thyroid surgery. He has lectured in more than 20 different countries on topics related to head and neck cancer, head and neck reconstruction, and thyroid and parathyroid diseases. Dr. Urken is the Program Director of an annual course on head and neck surgery and thyroid and parathyroid surgery – a program that is now in its 18th year.

Marshall Posner, MD
Marshall Posner, MD is a Professor of Medicine, Medical Director of the Head and Neck Oncology Center, and Associate Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics at the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Associate Director for Cancer Clinical Research Infrastructure for the Tisch Cancer Institute. Dr. Posner has been an advocate for clinical research and multidisciplinary care in head and neck cancer. He participates in international symposia and on planning committees devoted to advancing clinical care and directing clinical research in head and neck cancer. He is a current or past member of the editorial boards of many journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, Oral Oncology, The Oncologist, and Head and Neck, and he serves as an ad hoc reviewer for, among others, The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Posner has been a member of the National Institutes of Health Review Committees for the NIH Inter-Institute Program and the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence in Human Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, and of the National Cancer Institute's Special Emphasis Panel for phase II Contracts. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed basic laboratory and clinical studies, as well as multiple reviews and abstracts. He is a Section Editor for UpToDate and the Oncologist. Dr. Posner has a long laboratory and translational research history in viral diseases and immunology and is currently leading research in the biology, immunology and therapy of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers. Dr. Posner also holds patents in human monoclonal antibodies for treatment of human viral and bacterial related diseases.

Bruce Culliney, MD
Bruce Culliney, MD is a Medical Oncologist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Culliney has a clinical focus in the management of head and neck cancers including thyroid cancers and salivary cancers. He is dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary approach in the care of these patients. He is a Co-Chair of the Mount Sinai Health System Head and Neck Disease Focus Group. He has been an investigator for various head and neck cancer clinical trials. He has been involved in several initiatives to evaluate patient satisfaction and quality of life issues as well as survivorship. Dr. Culliney is a member of the New York Head and Neck Society and currently serving as President of the Society.

Jerry Liu, MD
Jerry Liu, MD is a board certified radiation oncologist with a clinical focus on personalized treatment of head and neck, hepatobiliary, gastrointestinal and lung malignancies, as well as metastatic disease. Working closely with his colleagues across various disciplines, Dr. Liu develops an individualized plan for each patient to deliver the most effective treatment, while minimizing toxicities by using innovative techniques such as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).  Additionally, his patients have access to Proton Therapy via Mount Sinai Health System's partnership with The New York Proton Center (NYPC). Dr. Liu received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he served as Chief Resident and received the Roentgen Resident Research Award. His cancer research has resulted in publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national and international scientific meetings. His primary research focus is identifying key predictors for outcomes and toxicities after treatment of head and neck cancer as well as other malignancies. He is primary and co-investigator of various head and neck cancer clinical trials. He is also investigating the use of SBRT in the treatment of liver and thoracic malignancies, as well as oligometastatic disease.

William H. Westra, MD
William H. Westra, MD is a Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. He received his Doctor of Medicine from The University of Florida. After completing his medical degree, Dr. Westra obtained his residency training in Anatomic Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by a Fellowship in Surgical Oncologic Pathology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Before taking the Vice Chair position at Mount Sinai, he was Professor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he helped establish the highly successful head and neck cancer clinical and research teams. As a diagnostic pathologist, he has built one of the largest head and neck pathology consultation services in the county, reviewing over 2,000 cases annually sent from all over the world. The research team has been responsible for many of the fundamental advances made in our understanding of head and neck cancer over the last decade including the work that has established human papillomavirus (HPV) as an important cause of a subset of head and neck cancers. He has authored over 400 papers on cancers of the lung, thyroid, and head and neck, and he has authored chapters in standard textbooks on head & neck cancer pathology including the World Health Organization’s Classification of Tumors of the Head and Neck.  He is a world authority on HPV-related head and neck cancer, and his work is focused on the detection of HPV in clinical samples.  He serves as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health on head and neck cancer research.  Among his current roles in the Department of Pathology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Westra serves as Team Leader in the transition of a glass slide surgical pathology service to a digital pathology service.    

Margaret Brandwein-Weber, MD
Margaret Brandwein-Weber, MD is Site Chief of Pathology at Mount Sinai West and Director of Head and Neck Pathology fellowship. Among her many honorifics, Dr. Brandwein-Weber served as President of the North American Society of Head and Neck Pathology (2006-2008), and took part in the consensus committees for the World Health Organization, Classification of Head and Neck Tumors, 3rd Edition, (2003) and 4rth Edition, (2015) International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.  She was on the Head and Neck Expert Panel for the 8th edition American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging System. Dr. Brandwein-Weber has published over 140 manuscripts and over 50 book chapters, and three single author. She is an investigator in an NIH funded RO1: “A Quantitative Risk Model for Predicting Outcome and Identifying Structural Biomarkers of Treatment Targets in Oral cancer on a Large Multi-Center Patient Cohort.” 1 R01 DE028741-01A1.

Maaike van Gerwen, MD, PhD
Maaike van Gerwen, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, Scientific Director of the Program of Personalized Management of Thyroid Disease, and member of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology, Tisch Cancer Institute, and the Institute for Exposomic Research. She is leading the Thyroid Research Program to improve care and outcomes of thyroid cancer patients combining basic, clinical and epidemiological research. The research program focusses on environmental exposures contributing to thyroid cancer risk. Additionally, she is the Principal Investigator on multiple federally funded research projects, including a project investigating the development of thyroid cancer aggressiveness in Agent Orange-exposed Veterans through the Department of Defense and two projects exploring thyroid cancer in World Trade Center dust exposed populations through CDC/NIOSH. She has published multiple papers on the association between environmental exposures and thyroid health.

Ya-Wen Chen, PhD
Ya-Wen Chen, PhD is an Isidore Friesner Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Department of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, and Department of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-based Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She serves as the Scientific Director of the Institute for Airway Sciences, the Co-Scientific Director of the Center for Epithelial and Airway Biology and Regeneration, and the Director of Basic Science Research for the Department of Otolaryngology. Additionally, Ya-Wen is a member of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Black Family Stem Cell Institute at Mount Sinai. She pioneered the work in lung organoid development and directed differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells to respiratory epithelial cells. Ya-Wen received her PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She completed her postdoctoral work at the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology and the Columbia Center for Human Development at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She was a Parker B. Francis Fellow, Baxter Faculty Fellow, the Catalyst Awardee, and Isidore Friesner Scholar.

Ya-Wen is an active advocator for gender equality and LGBTQ rights. Visit https://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/yawen-chen-lab/  to learn about her research!

Alison May, PhD
Alison May, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology and Otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a member of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute and the Institute of Airway Sciences. Her research investigates exocrine organ development and stem cell-mediated regeneration of multiple epithelial tissues including the respiratory gland and salivary gland systems. She obtained her PhD at King's College London where she characterized the morphogenesis and temporal localization of the nasal and tracheal submucosal glands and identified gene regulators of their development. During her postdoctoral research training at the University of California, San Francisco she defined regulatory mechanisms of multiple independent cell populations in both embyronic and adult salivary glands, and defined nerve-epithelial interactions required for gland progenitor cell maintenance, specification and organ repair. Her current work aims to define causative mechanisms of upper airway disease, including Cystic Fibrosis and chronic rhinosinusitis, through defining alterations in the structure and function of epithelial tissues.