The Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery had much to celebrate in FY23, once again earning the No. 11 spot in the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research rankings; being named the No. 5 otolaryngology residency program in the nation by Doximity Residency Navigator; and being named among the top ENT programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. I’m grateful for these outstanding achievements and am excited to share these highlights with you.

Research and innovation

For the last six years, our team has worked to improve our research funding portfolio and become a national leader in the advancement of otolaryngology. I’m so pleased that our NIH funding stayed steady at $5.3 million for FY23, helping us maintain the No. 11 spot among all ear, nose and throat programs in the 2022 Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research rankings. Our consistent placement was due in part to R01 and R13 grants earned by Kai Zhao, PhDR01 and P01 grants earned by Ruili Xie, PhD; and a K Award earned by Yin Ren, MD, PhD

Clinical practice

Clinical growth across our department continues to skyrocket. To meet additional access demands in 2023, we proudly welcomed Desi Schoo, MD, to our Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery. Dr. Schoo will focus on vestibular clinical care and research and hopes to greatly improve results for that patient population. 

We also saw exponential growth within the Division of Laryngology, not only in terms of patient volumes, but also with the addition of prominent researcher Emily Plowman, PhD. Together with Apoorva Ramaswamy, MD, the two plan to create a world-class dysphagia center that will advance clinical care models and patient outcomes.


Our residency program continues to grow in size and reputation, now in its sixth year of five residents per year. The outcomes of this expansion have been tremendous, helping us maintain our No. 5 ranking in the Doximity Residency Navigator survey results for 2023. I thank program director Brad deSilva, MD, for his unwavering guidance of these efforts, as well as his work to make our residency program one of the largest and most comprehensive in the nation.  

I’m also very pleased by the addition of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to our fellowship program lineup. Boasting seven very strong, very specialized programs, I’m pleased that our department offers so many young ENT physicians the opportunity to work with world-renowned colleagues and hone the surgical skills they need to succeed.

Leadership and recognition

In addition to their clinical and academic responsibilities, our faculty members remain committed to embracing leadership opportunities. I’m proud that so many of my colleagues have been named leaders within professional organizations this year, and I’m delighted to see so many familiar names listed among Castle Connolly Top Doctors. Highlights of my team’s individual achievements can be found on page 32 of the annual report.

Philanthropy and capital improvements

As research funding has waned from governmental sources, community engagement to create a cancer-free world is incredibly important. That’s why philanthropic efforts continue to lead many of Ohio State’s clinical and medical advancements, which include enhanced cancer treatment and therapy, prevention and early diagnosis. I’m particularly grateful to our very own Team Head and Neck, which has participated in the Pelotonia bike ride since it began in 2009 and raised more than $1.3 million. We’re starting to see cancer breakthroughs and cures that we’ve never seen before, and I’m thankful for my team’s dedication to the cause – both inside and outside the operating room. 

To say that 2023 was a success is an understatement and I hope that 2024 will be another productive year for us all. On behalf of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, please enjoy reading our annual report.


James Rocco, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
The Mary E. and John W. Alford Research Chair in Head and Neck Cancer
Director, Head and Neck Disease-Specific Research Group
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute