Division Activity and Information


Dr. Ralph Gilbert, Chair


Members: Drs. Ralph Gilbert (Chair), Dale Brown, Douglas Chepeha, Jean Davidson, John de Almeida, Danny Enepekides, Jeremy Freeman, Patrick Gullane, David Goldstein, Kevin Higgins, Jonathan Irish, Allan Vescan and Ian Witterick

The Division of Head and Neck Oncology at the University of Toronto continues to have an extremely productive clinical and academic program. The clinical and academic programs are located at three sites: The Princess Margaret/UHN site with surgical services at the Toronto General Hospital; the Princess Margaret/Sinai Health System site with surgical services at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Sunnybrook/Odette site.

The division directs an American Head and Neck Society Advanced Training Fellowship under the leadership of Dr. Jeremy Freeman. This highly sought after fellowship program with six clinical rotations and one research position, draws applicants from around the world and develops and trains the future leaders of our subspecialty.

The PMH/UHN site provides tertiary/quaternary services in Head and Neck Oncology within the largest regional program in Canada. The PMH/UHN site provides a complete spectrum of head and neck services including Endocrine, Microvascular surgery and minimally invasive approaches including Robotics.

The departments at UHN and Mt. Sinai are pleased to welcome Douglas Chepeha to our group. Doug has been recruited from the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan where he served with the rank of tenured Full Professor and directed their Reconstructive Microsurgery Program. Doug will provide leadership in translational research at the Princess Margaret Site and will further advance our reconstructive program.

The PMH/UHN program has a strong multidisciplinary translational program, with four core labs focused on different aspects of Head and Neck Oncology. This program has been strongly supported by the PMH Foundation with key donations from the Joe Findlay and Wharton endowments.

The PMH/Mt. Sinai site continues to offer tertiary/quaternary Head and Neck Services with an internationally acclaimed program in endocrine oncology. Drs. Witterick, Vescan and de Almeida in collaboration with the UHN neurosurgery group provide a world-class program in MIS skull base surgery at Sinai Health System and the Toronto Western Hospital. The Mount Sinai Hospital site has an active and extremely productive molecular oncology program in endocrine and oral cancer.

The Sunnybrook/Odette Site offers tertiary/quaternary Head and Neck Oncology Services including Endocrine and Microvascular Surgery. The group at Sunnybrook also has a major  presence in the Odette multidisciplinary Skin Malignancy Site Group. Dr. Kevin Higgins is the site chair for Head and Neck at Sunnybrook. The Group continues to collaborate with the UHN group and has an active research program in molecular imaging and outcomes research. Dr. Danny Enepekides is the Head of Surgical Oncology at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook, one of the leading departments in the country.

The University of Toronto Head and Neck Division had a very productive academic year. Our collaboration with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York and the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston in presenting the annual Current Concepts Meeting continues and involves a broad spectrum of our faculty. Our division was invited by the International Academy of Oral Oncology to present a panel Innovation in Head and Neck Reconstruction at this year’s meeting in Rhodes and were represented by Drs. Witterick,
Gullane, Gilbert, Chepeha and de Almeida.

The division’s staff continue to be highly sought after speakers with presentations in the past year at a number of high profile Head and Neck meetings including; IFOS, IFHNOS, Italian Otolaryngology Society, Royal Society of Medicine, IAOO, BAOMS and the North American Skull Base Meeting. Dr. Irish will be the Chair of the International Head and Neck Meeting put on by the American Head and Neck Society in July of 2016, and will also serve as Vice-President of the AHNS. Dr. Gilbert has been elected President-Elect of the International Academy of Oral Oncology and will serve as President in 2017. Dr. Witterick is Vice-President of the North American Skull Base Society and will be President in 2018.

The division continues to thrive providing world class clinical programs to the region and the province. The division through its academic programs continues to have a national and international presence providing leadership in Advanced Head and Neck training and improving the care and survival for patients afflicted with Head and Neck Malignancies.

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