University of Rochester Names Otolaryngology Chair

December 04, 2007

"We are very fortunate at the University of Rochester Medical Center to have recruited someone with the capabilities and academic stature of Dr. Shawn Newlands."

A national search has led to the appointment of Shawn D. Newlands, M.D., Ph.D., as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, effective January 1, 2008.

An expert in head and neck oncologic surgery and an accomplished neuroscientist, Newlands will succeed Arthur S. Hengerer, M.D., who has led Otolaryngology at the University of Rochester since 1981, through a period of tremendous growth.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Newlands to Rochester to lead the Department of Otolaryngology,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “He combines a national reputation in the clinical practice of head and neck surgery, a record of substantial NIH funding and scientific contributions to our understanding of vestibular function and spatial orientation, and extensive administrative experience as a chair of otolaryngology. He will bring tremendous experience to our educational programs in otolaryngology, link well with the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, and establish immediate collaborations with our faculty in neurobiology. We couldn’t ask for a better fit, and we look forward to welcoming Shawn and his family to our community.”

Newlands comes to Rochester from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, where he has served as Harry Carothers Wiess Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology since 2003.

“We are very fortunate at the University of Rochester Medical Center to have recruited someone with the capabilities and academic stature of Dr. Shawn Newlands,” said Search Committee Chair Steven E. Feldon, M.D., chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the University of Rochester Eye Institute.  “He comes to us with a unique combination of research acumen, highly valued surgical and clinical skills, as well as outstanding administrative experience. His capabilities meld perfectly with the multidisciplinary focus of our clinical and research programs.”

With his focus on head and neck cancer care, Newlands anticipates the otolaryngology department’s presence in the new Wilmot Cancer Center when it opens in 2008. He also looks forward to expanding collaboration between otolaryngology and the neurosciences at the University.

Newlands earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California in Santa Barbara and was among the first graduates of the combined M.D.-Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Medical Branch, earning a Ph.D. in neuroscience along with his medical degree. He completed an internship in general surgery at Virginia-Mason Medical Center in Seattle, followed by a residency in otolaryngology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Newlands also earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas in Austin in 2002.

Following a year at the University of Washington, Newlands served on the faculty of the Division of Otolaryngology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for three years. He joined the University of Texas in 1999.

“I am eager to contribute to medical knowledge at the University of Rochester while building research, patient care and education all to a level that allows the department to stand among the best in the country,” Newlands said. “I welcome this opportunity to build to national prominence a department that suits this institution’s strength and stature.”

After 27 years, Hengerer will step down as chair but will continue his practice specializing in pediatric otolaryngology. During his tenure at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the department grew from a division in the Department of Surgery with a handful of faculty members, to a full department with fellowship-trained faculty in all otolaryngology subspecialties. These include otology and neurotology (focusing on hearing, balance disorders, facial nerve, skull base and brainstem), head and neck surgery, laryngology (throat and voice care), nasal and sinus care, facial trauma including plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) care.

Hengerer was instrumental in the expansion of University Otolaryngology Associates to a new clinical facility, which opened in 2004 to accommodate the department’s growth and better serve its patients.

“We have built a strong clinical ENT department with a very capable research unit which, at present, is the 20th best funded otolaryngology research program in the country,” said Hengerer.

“Dr. Newlands is a renowned researcher who can build on this foundation and take it to the next level, adding research faculty and new dimensions to the hearing research we have done here at the bench. His vestibular function research will add immensely to what has been in Rochester, and his experience in head and neck surgery adds new dimension that will help the university continue to recruit the best faculty and grow in national prominence in otolaryngology,” Hengerer added.

For Media Inquiries:
Lori Barrette
(585) 275-1310
Email Lori Barrette