Area of interest
My current research interests can be segregated into two categories. The first is aimed at outcomes research relating to head and cancer survival, post-operative care improvement and survivorship. Specifically, I’m involved with recruiting patients for a number of clinical trials at UNC for head and neck cancer treatment. In addition, our division is looking at improving our post-operative pain outcomes after major and minor head and neck procedures and developing an ERAS pathway for laryngectomy and advanced oral cavity cancer patients. I’m also investigating the possibility of using acute phase reactants, like platelets, to help predict and prevent post-operative wound complications.
The second aim of my research interests revolves around optimizing and advancing reconstruction of our patient’s undergoing extensive ablative surgery for head and neck cancers. At UNC, we predominately use the scapula to reconstruct bony defects of the mandible and maxilla, and we are actively reviewing our functional results at the recipient and donor sites to identify areas of improvement. I am also in the planning stages of collaborating with the speech and language pathology department to investigate optimal pharynx reconstruction post-laryngectomy to optimize alaryngeal speech and formally study a novel and cost-effective trismus treatment developed by Brian Kanapkey.