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Wendell G. Yarbrough, MD, MMHC, FACS

Thomas J. Dark Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

Specialty: 

Head and neck surgery, cancer cell biology.

Contact Information:

  • Appointment Scheduler: (984) 974-0000
  • Surgery Scheduler: Patricia Longest (919) 966-7491
  • Executive Assistant: Dawn Wilson (919) 843-7091

Education:

  • MD: University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 1985-1989
  • Internship: Department of General Surgery, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1989-1990
  • Residency: Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1990-1994
  • Fellowship: Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1994-1996
  • MMHC: Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, 2009-2010
  • A. Privatim, Honorary Master of Arts, Yale University, 2017

Professional Experience:

  • Chair, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, 2018-present
  • Thomas J. Dark Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, 2018-present
  • Professor: Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, 2018-present
  • Professor: Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, 2013-2018
  • Section Chief: Section of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, 2012-2018
  • Professor, Otolaryngology: Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, 2012-2018
  • Director: Head and Neck Disease Center, Smilow Cancer Hospital, 2012-2018
  • Co-Director: Virus and Other Infection-associated Cancers (VOIC) Program, Yale Cancer Center, 2012-2018
  • Professor with Tenure: Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, 2012-2012
  • Barry and Amy Baker Chair in Laryngeal, Head and Neck Research, Vanderbilt University, 2012-2012
  • Co-leader, Thoracic and Head & Neck Program, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, 2009-2012
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Surgery, Meharry Medical College, 2008-2012
  • Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, 2006-2012
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, 2003-2012
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, 2003-2012
  • Director, Barry Baker Laboratory of Head and Neck Oncology, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, 2003-2012
  • Chief Otolaryngology, VA Medical Center, 2003-2004
  • Co-director, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Resident Curriculum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002-2003
  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2001
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2003
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2003
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2003
  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000-2001
  • Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996-2001

Honors:

  • 2016-2018 “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” Executive List, Castle Connolly
  • 2009-2018 “America’s Top Doctors,” Editions 8-14, Castle Connolly
  • 2005-2018 “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” Editions, Castle Connolly
  • 2015 “Top Doctors for Cancer,” Newsweek Magazine
  • 2014 Presidential Citation, AHNS, American Head and Neck Society
  • 2014 “America’s Top Doctors – New York Metro Area,” Edition 17, Castle Connolly
  • 2011 5-star Patient Satisfaction Awards for Overall Quality of Doctor Care
  • Given for achieving overall quality of care in the 90th-99th percentile
  • Professional Research Consultants (PRC) in Omaha, NE
  • 2010 “America’s Top Physicians”, Consumers’ Research Council of America & SLD Industries, Inc.
  • 2004 Distinguished Service Award in Scientific Programs, Exhibits, Continuing Education Courses and Instructional Course, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation
  • 2002 Harris P. Mosher Award, Recognizing excellence in clinical research, The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society
  • 2000 Jefferson Pilot Fellowship, Recognizing the outstanding Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine
  • 1994 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc., Resident Research Award, 1st prize
  • 1994 Nathan A. Womack Scholar, Recognizing the outstanding surgical resident
  • 1991- 1992 Newton D. Fischer Society Temporal Bone Dissection Award
  • 1989 Michiko Kuno Award for Best Presentation of John B. Graham, Student Research Society
  • 1989 Graduated with Honors and Distinction, University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • 1989 Deborah C. Leary Award, For the outstanding medical student research paper
  • 1988 Alpha Omega Alpha
  • 1986-1989 Academic Honors, Medical School
  • 1985 Phi Lambda Upsilon (Honorary Chemical Society)
  • 1985 Student Research & Recognition Foundation Award, Recognition for outstanding Senior Student Majoring in Chemistry
  • 1985 Graduated with Honors in Chemistry
  • 1981-1985 John Motley Morehead Scholarship
  • 1984 Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1982 Phi Eta Sigma (Freshman Honor Society)

Recent Publications:

For a complete list of recent publications, please visit Dr. Yarbrough’s PubMed page.

Completed Grants:

Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center – Cancer Center Support Grant Supplement: Molecular and Immunologic Profile of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancers Among HIV-Infected Individuals. 8/1/2016 – 8/31/2018;
PI: Wendell Yarbrough, Brinda Emu
Direct costs per year: $59,701 Effort: 5%

NIH/NCI – 5P30 CA016359-37: Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center:
8/1/2007 – 7/31/2017
PI: Schulman
Total costs for project period: $1,561,565 Effort: 5%
Plexxikon, Inc.: Role of TRKC in Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma:
10/01/2014-03/31/2015
PI: Wendell Yarbrough
Total costs for project period: $66,464 Effort: 1%

NIH/NIDCR – R21DE022641: Role of TrkC in Neurotropic Salivary Cancers:
09/01/2013-08/31/2015
P.I.: Sergey Ivanov, PhD. / (Co-Investigator) Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $125,000 Percent effort: 3%
NCI/NIH – CCSG – P30CA016359: Head & Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Biospecimen and Clinical Data Acquisition: 09/01/2013-08/31/2014
PI: Wendell Yarbrough
Direct costs per year: $60,059 Effort: 1%

Yale Cancer Center – T-Tare: Divide and Conquer: Advancing Therapy for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma:  07/01/2013-06/30/2014
P.I.: Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $125,000 Percent effort: 10%, no salary

Yale Cancer Center – Pilot Project: GABA-regulated SOX10 Signaling as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Adenoid Cystic and Breast Basal-like Carcinomas:
06/01/2013-05/31/2014
P.I.: Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $ 50,000 Percent effort: 2%, no salary

ACCRF Grant – Role of TrkC in Neurotropic Salivary Cancers The goal of the proposal is to explore the molecular mechanisms of TrkC and NT-3 involvement in ACC to assess efficacy of Trk inhibitors as a potential therapeutic strategy:
02/16/2013-02/15/2014
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $14,318 Percent effort: 1%

NIH/NIDCR – R21DE023228: Validated Modeling and Culture of Salivary Cancers the goal of this project is to create mouse xenograft models of human salivary cancers of multiple histologies:
12/01/2012-11/30/2014
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $137,500 Percent effort: 5%

NIH/NIDCR – R01DE013173:Tumor suppressor qualities and mechanisms of LZAP activity Determine LZAP tumor suppressor qualities and describe interactions with the p53-induced phosphatase, Wip1: 12/01/2012-11/30/2016
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $250,000   Percent effort:  16%

NIH/NIDCR Funded Extension, (CCSG) Cancer Center Support Grant- P30CA016359:The goal of this project is to support research and education to better facilitate the prevention, treatment and care of cancer related patients:
08/09/2007-07/31/2013
Role: Co-leader of Molecular Virology Program
P.I.:  Thomas Lynch, MD
Direct costs per year:  $2,900,000 Percent effort: 5%

NIH/NIDCR -R21DE018244: Cortactin in HNSCC Tumor Progression:
8/01/2007-7/31/2010
P.I.:  Alissa Weaver, PhD. – Principal Investigator, Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Co-Investigator
Total costs for project period:  $300,000.00
Percent effort: 5%

NCI – Comprehensive Minority Institution /Cancer Center Partnership (U54, PI, Harold   Moses) – U54CA163072: Pre-Pilot Project. Identification of serum biomarkers in HNSCC;
9/1/2006-8/31/2007
P.I.:  Wendell G. Yarbrough, M.D. and Sabina Francis M.D., Co-Principal Investigators
Total costs for project period:  $25,000
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation Award: Biomarkers for HNSCC and Targets for Novel Therapies; 9/1/2006-8/31/2007
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $300,000
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

AAO-HNSF – Percy Memorial Research Award – American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation: Effect of PI3K inhibition in HPV-associated HNSCC
07/01/2006-06/30/2007
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Project period:  $25,000.
Percent effort: 2%, no salary

THANC – Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, Senior Investigator Award-Head and Neck Cancer Research: Serum biomarkers for head & neck cancer;
7/1/2005 renewable yearly through 6/30/2009
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $50,000
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

NIH/NIDCR – R01DE013173: Novel protein regulator of tumor suppressor ARF & NF-kB;
5/1/2005-4/31/2010
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $1,250,000
Percent effort: 5%

Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation Award: Proteome Profiling of Human Serum
Project period:  7/1/2005-6/30/2006
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $50,000
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

ACOSOG – American College of Surgeons Oncology Group: A trial of lymphatic mapping and sentinel node lymphadenectomy for patients with T1 or T2 clinically N0 oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma
Project period:  1/1/2004 – 5/31/2006
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Vanderbilt University. Institutional Principal
Percent effort: 3%, no salary

NIH/NCI-R21CA102161: Gene Expression as a Predictor of Metastasis in HNSCC
Project period:  7/01/2003-6/30/2005
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $200,000
Percent effort: 5%

ACOSOG – American College of Surgeons Oncology Group: A trial of lymphatic mapping and sentinel node lymphadenectomy for patients with T1 or T2 clinically N0 oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma
Project period:  2/1/2002 – 4/30/2003
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

Medical Alumni Endowment Research Grant:  Pre-clinical Studies of Tumor Suppressor ARF in Organotypic Raft Modeled Head and Neck Cancer
Project period: 6/1/2001-5/31/2002
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Mentor. Adam M. Zanation
Total costs for project period:  $2,000
Percent effort: 2%, no salary

Alpha Omega Alpha Research Fellowship- Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society:  ARF armed oncolytic viral therapy for head and neck cancer:  preclinical studies
Project period:  4/1/2001-4/1/2002
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Adam M. Zanation, Recipient
Total costs for project period:  $3,500
Percent effort: 2%, no salary

Scott Neil Schwirck Fellowship – UNC School of Medicine:  Preclinical studies of ARF tumor suppressor therapy for head and neck cancer
Project period:  1/1/2001–1/01/2002
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $2,500
Percent effort: 2%, no salary

University Research Council – University of North Carolina: Development of a Smoking Prevention Video targeting middle school age children
Project period:  1/2000-12/2001
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD, Carol G. Shores, M.D., Ph.D
Total costs for project period:  $10,000
Percent effort: 3%, no salary

University Research Council – University of North Carolina – Cancer Prevention Program:  A Controlled Study of the Effectiveness of a Smoking and Alcohol Prevention Video and Presentation Relating to Head and Neck Cancer in Middle School Students
Project period:  1/2000-12/2001
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD, Adam M. Zanation, Carol G. Shores, M.D., Ph.D
Total costs for project period:  $4,000
Percent effort: 3%, no salary

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research-R01DE013173:ARF as a therapeutic agent in oral malignancies.
Project period:  4/1/2000-3/31/2004
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period:  $998,320
Percent effort: 2%

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc AAO-HNS Foundation Resident Research Grant: Cytokeratins as Molecular Markers for Head and Neck Cancer
Project period:  7/1/2000-6/30/2001
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Mentor.  Marta K. Taylor, Recipient
Total costs for project period: $10,000
Percent effort: 2%, no salary

 

Active Clinical Trials:  

Fox Chase Cancer Center-1407014279: Phase II trial of carboplatin/paclitaxel and cetuximab, followed by
carboplatin/paclitaxel/cetuximab and erlotinib, with correlative studies in patients with
metastatic or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
P.I:   Barbara Burtness, MD
Direct costs per year: N/A
Project period: March 16, 2011-Current
Effort: 2%, no salary

Yale University Investigator Initiated Trial – 1404013771: Window study to assess the activity of demethylation therapy in patients with HPV positive compared with HPV negative HNSCC.
P.I: Wendell Yarbrough, MD & Hari Deshpande, MD
Direct costs per year: N/A
Project period: June 30, 1994-Current
Effort: 5%, no salary

Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-1403013536: ECOG 3311: Phase II Randomized Trial of Transoral Surgical Resection Followed by Low-dose or Standard-dose IMRT in Resectable p16+ Locally Advanced Oropharynx Cancer
P.I:   Benjamin Judson, MD
Role on project: Co-Investigator
Total costs for project period: N/A
Project period:  August 1, 2013-February 28, 2023
Percent effort: 1%, no salary

Completed Clinical Trials:

AbbVie (Abbott Pharmaceuticals) – Investigator initiated Pre-Clinical Study: PARP inhibition as a molecular therapeutic strategy to treat a subset of HNSCC:
P.I.: Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Direct costs per year:  $30,000
Project Period: : 08/01/2013-02/01/2014
Effort: 5%, no salary

NIH – Clinical Trial, Lead Site at University of Pittsburgh – Related to RC1 Grant: Comparison of biomarker modulation by inhibition of EGFR and/or src Family kinases using Erlotinib and Dasatinib in head and neck and lung cancers:
P.I.:  Jennifer Grandis, MD
Role on Project:  Institutional Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University
Project Period-03/01/2010 to 03/01/2013
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

Onyx Pharmaceuticals: An open label, single arm study of intratumoral ONYX-015 plus
Intravenous cisplatin/5-FU inpatients with squamous cell carcinoma of the
head and neck (SCCHN) refractory to cisplatin/5 FU
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period: N/A
Project period:  10/1/2002 – 2/28/2003
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship: ONYX 015 intratumoral phase III clinical trial and preclinical studies of ARF armed oncolytic viral therapy for head and neck cancer
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD – Mentor. Adam M. Zanation
Total costs for project period:  $25,000
Project period:  6/1/2001- 5/30/2002
Percent effort: 5%, no salary

Pfizer/ONYX Pharmaceuticals:  A randomized phase 3 trial of intratumoral injection of CI-1042 (ONYX015) plus intravenous cisplatin/5-fluorouracil versus intravenous cisplatin/5-fluorouracil alone in patients with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (protocol 1042-001)
P.I.:  Wendell Yarbrough, MD
Total costs for project period: N/A
Project period:  11/1/2000 – 2/28/2003
Percent effort: 5%, no salary