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Otolaryngology–head and neck surgery resident Roy Xiao, MD, MS awarded CORE grant

Roy Xiao, MD, MS, a PGY-3 resident in the Harvard Combined Residency Program, was recently awarded a Centralized Otolaryngology Research Effort (CORE) grant by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). Dr. Xiao formally received the AAO-HNSF Resident Research Award, which is one of several grants awarded through the AAO-HNSF CORE Grants Program.

The grant will fund Dr. Xiao’s research on a common procedure used to treat patients with peripheral motor nerve deficits, including facial palsy. The procedure, called motor end-to-side neurorrhaphy (ETSN), helps restore facial movement by connecting the end of a donor nerve to the side of a recipient nerve. While the procedure is often employed to restore facial expression, doctors are still trying to understand exactly how the donor nerve contributes to muscle contraction. Dr. Xiao will perform his research alongside his mentor Nate Jowett, MD, FRCSC, who is director of the Berthiaume Family Surgical Photonics and Engineering Laboratory at Mass Eye and Ear. Dr. Xiao believes his research could lead to substantial changes in microsurgical nerve repair.

“Part of our duty is to train the next generation of surgeon-scientists on how to write grants to obtain funds needed to conduct research,” said Dr. Jowett, who also serves as an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Roy did an excellent job in writing his grant. I’m excited to visualize how these nerves connect.”

Dr. Xiao is the sixteenth resident from the Harvard Combined Residency Program to receive a CORE grant since 2011. Last year, residents Shekhar Gadkaree, MD and Alan Workman, MD were both named recipients.

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