Ivan El-Sayed, MD


Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, UCSF

Phone: (415) 353-2757 (appts)
Box 0342, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0342

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Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Non-aligned

Research Summary

Ivan H. El-Sayed, MD, is Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology and the Director of the Otolaryngology Minimally Invasive Skill Base Surgery program and center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. As of 2015, he has been elected to the North American Skull Base Society Directors Board, and he is recently named the Vice Chair of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Skull Base Committee. He has also been the Co-Course Director for Stryker-UCSF Resident Skull Base Approaches Course since 2009. Dr. El-Sayed completed his medical degree and internship from Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. He completed his otolaryngology residency from Boston University, followed by a head and neck surgical oncology fellowship from UCSF. He lectures nationally and internationally on various topics related to head and neck oncology.

Dr. El-Sayed’s clinical focus is skull base surgery and he has developed the minimally invasive program into a nationally recognized program along with his neurosurgical colleagues. The program and center offers a unique capability of providing both endoscopic and open approaches to tailor the approach to the lesion. He has a broad surgical experience having performed over 500 surgical procedures on tumors of the nasal cavity/paranasal sinuses, infratemporal fossa, skull base and pituitary glands in over a decade of experience. He is also interested in the outcomes of research and clinical innovations through novel approach development. His research program goal is to develop 1) novel endoscopic surgical approaches and 2) nanotechnologies as multifunctional theranostic devices for the detection, destruction, and monitoring of oral cancer.


Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, Sc. B, 1992, Neuroscience
Boston University Medical School, Boston, MA, M.D., 1992-1996, Medicine
Boston University Medical Ctr, Boston, MA, 1996-2001, Otolaryngology-HNS
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral, 2002-2003, Head and Neck Oncology-Fellowship

Professional Experience

  • 1996-1997
    Intern, Boston University Medical Center, Worcester, MA
  • 1997-2001
    Resident in Otolaryngology, Boston Univeristy Medical Center, Worcester, MA
  • 2001-2002
    Staff Physician, Fallon Clinic Department of Otolaryngology
  • 2002-2003
    Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2002-2003
    Clinical Instructor, Department of Otolaryngology, UCSF
  • 2004-2009
    Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, UCSF
  • 2009-present
    Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1995
    Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
  • 1998
    First Place: Ethics of Cochlear Implantation in Young Children, New England Otolaryngology Society
  • 2002
    U.S. Patent: Spectroscopic Diagnostics for Bacteria in Biologic Samples. Ivan El-Sayed, MD and Mostafa El-Sayed, PhD
  • 2002-2012
    Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology
  • 2003
    THANKS Star Award, UCSF Medical Center
  • 2005
    "Quality Award" UCSF Medical Center Quality Improvement Office. For: Altered Airway PI Project. Member of the committee which developed this form.
  • 2007
    U.S. Patent: GTRC 3424 U.S.S.N. 11/913,915 "Shape Tunable Plasmonic Nanoparticles" Mostafa A. El-Sayed and Ivan Homer El-Sayed (Provisional Patent Filed 2005)
  • 2007
    "Hot Paper", American Chemical Society Publications, first author. [As defined by the ACS: "Hot Papers are articles published within the last two years receiving the most citations over the most recent two-month period. In a typical two-month period, Essential Science Indicators recognizes more than 200 total Hot Papers in chemistry.] For Article: Surface Plasmon Resonance Scattering and Absorption of anti-EGFR Antibody Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles in Cancer Diagnostics: Applications in Oral Cancer. Nano Lett. 2005.
  • 2007
    Outstanding Productive Physician and Surgeon, Certificate of Accomplishment, Department of Otolaryngology, UCSF
  • 2007
    "Most Accessed Article" for the 3rd quarter of 2007, American Chemical Society Publications. For article: "Gold Nanorods for Nuclear Targeting. BioconjugChemistry 2007.
  • 2008
    "Most Accessed Article" for first quarter 2008, American Chemical Society Publications: For article: Calculated Absorption and Scattering Properties of Gold Nanoparticles of Different Size, Shape, and Composition: Applications in Biological Imaging and Biomedicine. J. Phys. Chem. B.; (Article); 2006
  • 2008
    "Editor Selected Papers in Imaging"- Bioconjugate Chemistry- For Article: Peptide-Conjugated Gold Nanorods for Nuclear Targeting. Bioconjug Chem. 2007 Sep-Oct;18(5):1490-7. Epub 2007 Jul 13.
  • 2008
    #1 ranked article in citations in the field of Chemistry for 2007. Described by ScienceWatch. For article: 14. Huang X, El-Sayed IH, Qian W, El-Sayed MA. Cancer Cell Imaging and Photothermal Therapy in the Near-Infrared Region by Using Gold Nanorods. J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Feb 15;128(6):2115-2120.
  • 2008
    "Hot Paper", American Chemical Society Publications. For article: Cancer cell imaging and photothermal therapy in the near-infrared region by using gold nanorods, J Am Chem Soc 2006.
  • 2008
    "Most Cited Author"- First author- recognized as one of the top 20 cited papers in Cancer Letters toward the calculation of the 2007 impact factor. Cancer Letters. 2006 Jul 28;239(1):129-35.

Selected Publications

  • Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopic Comparison of Human Fibroblast and Fibrosarcoma Cells. Yang D, Castro DJ, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA, Saxton RE, Zhang NY. SPIE Vol 2389, 1995, p542
  • A Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopic Comparison of Cultured Human Fibroblast and Fibrosarcoma Cells: A New Method for Detection of Malignancies. Yang D, Castro DJ, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA, Saxton RE, Zhang NY. Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery, Vol 13, No 2 1995, pp55-59.
  • Presentation and Treatment of Post-traumatic Pseudomeningocele of the Superior Orbit. Smith DK, Pafundi E, El-Sayed IH, Dolan RW. American Journal of Otolaryngology. Vol 21 No3 May 2000, p219-21.
  • Otologic Manifestations of Amyloidosis. El-Sayed I, Busaba NY., Faquin WC. Otology and Neurotology 23(2):158-159, March 2002.
  • El-Sayed IH, Huang X, El-Sayed MA. Surface plasmon resonance scattering and absorption of anti-EGFR antibody conjugated gold nanoparticles in cancer diagnostics: applications in oral cancer. Nano Lett. 2005 May;5(5):829-34.
  • Huang X, Jain PK, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA. Determination of the Minimum Temperature Required for Selective Photothermal Destruction of Cancer Cells Using Immunotargeted Gold Nanoparticles. Photochem Photobiol. 2006 Mar-Apr;82(2):412-7. ISI Impact Factor: 2.172
  • Daly ME, Chen AM, Bucci MK, El-Sayed I, Xia P, Kaplan MJ, Eisele DW. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy for malignancies of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Jan 1;67(1):151-7. Impact Factor: 4.290
  • Huang X, Qian W, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA. The potential use of the enhanced nonlinear properties of gold nanospheres in photothermal cancer therapy. Lasers Surg Med. 2007 Oct;39(9):747-53.
  • Huang X, Jain PK, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA. Plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) using gold nanoparticles. Lasers Med Sci. 2008 Jul;23(3):217-28. Epub ahead of print 2007 Aug 3. ISI Impact Factor: 1.186
  • Huang X, El-Sayed IH, Qian W, El-Sayed MA. Cancer cells assemble and align gold nanorods conjugated to antibodies to produce highly enhanced, sharp, and polarized surface Raman spectra: a potential cancer diagnostic marker. Nano Lett. 2007 Jun;7(6):1591-7. Epub 2007 May 3. ISI Impact Factor: 9.627
  • Oyelere AK, Chen PC, Huang X, El-Sayed IH, El-Sayed MA. Peptide-Conjugated Gold Nanorods for Nuclear Targeting. Bioconjug Chem. 2007 Sep-Oct;18(5):1490-7. Epub 2007 Jul 13. ISI Impact Factor: 4.384
  • Saito DM, Glastonbury CM, El-Sayed IH, Eisele DW. Parapharyngeal space schwannomas: preoperative imaging determination of the nerve of origin. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Jul;133(7):662-7. ISI Impact Factor: 1.4
  • Chen AM, Daly ME, El-Sayed I, Garcia J, Lee NY, Bucci MK, Kaplan MJ. Patterns of failure after combined-modality approaches incorporating radiotherapy for sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma of the head and neck. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Feb 1;70(2):338-43. Impact Factor: 4.290
  • Chen AM, Daly ME, Bucci MK, Xia P, Akazawa C, Quivey JM, Weinberg V, Garcia J, Lee NY, Kaplan MJ, El-Sayed I, Eisele DW, Fu KK, Phillips TL. Carcinomas of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity treated with radiotherapy at a single institution over five decades: are we making improvement? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Sep 1;69(1):141-7. Epub 2007 Apr 24. Impact Factor: 4.290
  • El-Sayed IH, Macharet F, Huang X, Humstoe JO, Kramer R, El-Sayed MA. Effect of plasmonic gold nanoparticles on benign and malignant cellular autofluorescence: A novel probe for fluorescence based detection of cancer. Technology in Cancer Treatment and Research. October 2007: 6(5):403-412.
  • Antonia Kolokythas A, Eisele DW, El-Sayed I, Schmidt BL. Mandibular Osteotomies for Access to Parapharyngeal Space Neoplasms. Head and Neck. (Accepted June 2008) ISI Impact Factor 2.007
  • EB Dickerson, EC Dreaden, X Huang, IH El-Sayed, H Chub S Pushpanketh, JF McDonald, MA El-Sayed. Gold nanorod assisted near-infrared plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) of squamous cell carcinoma in mice. epub Cancer Letters May 2008. ISI Impact Factor: 3.398
  • El-Sayed IH Roediger FC, Goldberg AN, Parsa AT, McDermott MW. Endoscopic Reconstruction of Skull Base Defects with the Nasal Septal Flap. Skull Base 2008; 18: 385-394. Impact Factor: 0.5
  • Kolokythas A, Eisele DW, El-Sayed I, Schmidt BL. Mandibular osteotomies for access to select parapharyngeal space neoplasms. Head Neck. 2008 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]