Umamaheswar Duvvuri, MD, PhD, a renowned researcher and innovator in advanced, minimally invasive robotic surgery of the head and neck, has been named the Mendik Foundation Professor of Otolaryngology and the new chair of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, effective July 1. He joins the institution from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he served as a professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Cell Biology, director of robotic surgery in the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, and co-leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Program. He is also a staff physician in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
Dr. Duvvuri has made significant innovations in the field of head and neck surgery, advancing robotic surgery to perform complex and precise procedures that simultaneously minimize patient impact. His translational research seeks to better understand the mechanisms of treatment resistance in cancer cells. He has served as principal investigator for several investigator-initiated and cooperative group clinical trials. He holds funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I am thrilled to be joining NYU Langone Health, where I look forward to ensuring we continue to provide the best outcomes for our patients with exceptional care and continued innovation, which will include growing the field of head and neck surgery with a focus on integrating the most advanced robotic surgical techniques,” said Dr. Duvvuri.
Dr. Duvvuri holds a patent on a novel tactile feedback system for robotic surgery. He completed his undergraduate education, as well as his medical degree and doctorate, at the University of Pennsylvania. His internship and residency were both at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he completed a fellowship in head and neck surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
“An innovator in the field of head and neck surgery, Dr. Duvvuri has significantly advanced robotic surgery to perform complex and precise procedures that maximize patient outcomes while lessening detrimental side effects,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “His combination of cutting-edge skills, research acumen, and empowering mentorship will propel the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery to new heights of exceptionalism.”
Dr. Duvvuri is also a passionate educator, having served as the program director for the advanced training fellowship programs in both head and neck oncology surgery and head and neck oncology and director of academic affairs for the Division of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
J. Thomas Roland Jr., MD, a renowned surgeon and neurotologist who has chaired the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery for the past 13 years, will continue his practice in neurotology, skull base surgery, and hearing restoration, including cochlear implants and auditory brain stem implants. Under his leadership, the department increased the research and clinical faculty fourfold, increased NIH and research funding by more than 800 percent, and grew clinical case volume from 950 surgeries per year to more than 6,000. With his guidance, the department launched several new best-in-class multidisciplinary teams, including those for facial paralysis reanimation, neurofibromatosis, voice and swallowing disorders, and vestibular rehabilitation for adults and children.