Research Summary

Dr. Jonathan R. George is a surgeon specializing in head and neck cancer care. His primary areas of focus are thyroid cancer and head and neck melanoma surgery. More broadly, he offers surgery for thyroid/parathyroid diseases, and cutaneous & aerodigestive tract malignancies of the head & neck. For endocrine patients, his practice offers comprehensive management of thyroid nodules, multinodular goiters, recurrent and locally advanced thyroid cancers, and parathyroid diseases. For melanoma patients, his care includes melanoma excision, sentinel lymph node biopsy, neck dissection, and expedited aesthetic closure by UCSF facial plastic surgeons. His practice encompasses surgical treatment of all head and neck cancers, including upper aerodigestive tract malignancies such as throat/larynx cancers and oral cavity cancers.

George obtained his M.D. degree from Duke University School of Medicine and his B.A. from Amherst College, both with honors. He received an M.P.H. in head and neck cancer epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. He then completed a two-year clinical and translational research fellowship in head and neck cancer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed residency training at UCSF Medical Center in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, followed by a fellowship in advanced head and neck surgical oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. George is a member of the American Head and Neck Society and the American Thyroid Association, and is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.

He is a surgeon member of UCSF's multidisciplinary Head & Neck Oncology and Cutaneous Oncology programs. His academic research focuses on prospective clinical trials to advance targeted treatment of thyroid and head and neck cancers. He is also a member of UCSF's National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

George is committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate care with a focus on disease cure and excellent outcomes while maintaining a directly accessible relationship with each patient. He provides expedited consultations for all patients. To request an evaluation, please email him directly at [email protected] or call his clinic at (415) 514-4890 or (415) 885-7528, fax (415) 885-7711.

Head & Neck Surgical Oncology
Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery
Head & Neck Melanoma Surgery

Advanced thyroid cancer, ultrasonography, head & neck melanoma surgery, head & neck cancer surgery

Professional Interests:
Surgical management of advanced thyroid cancers; simple and complex thyroid & parathyroid diseases; surgical and management of head and neck melanoma and other advanced skin cancers; surgical care of upper aerodigestive tract cancers (oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx), salivary gland tumors

Education and Training:
• Fellowship: MD Anderson Cancer Center - Head & Neck Surgical Oncology
• Residency: UCSF Medical Center - Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
• Internship: UCSF Medical Center - General Surgery
• Clinical Research Fellowship: UNC - Chapel Hill
• Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine
• Undergraduate: Amherst College


  • Fellowship, 2014 - Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, Head & Neck Endocrine Surgery, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Residency, 2013 - Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, UCSF Medical Center
  • Internship, 2009 - General Surgery, UCSF Medical Center
  • M.D., 2008 - School of Medicine, Duke University
  • M.P.H. - Epidemiology, 2008 - School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill

Honors & Awards

  • Triological Society Combined Sections Best Poster Award, Trio, 2014
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Leadership Travel Grant, AAOHNSF, 2012-2013
  • Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head & Neck Surgeons Travel Grant, SUO, 2012-2013
  • AHNS Allando J. Ballantyne Resident Research Pilot Grant, UCSF, 2011
  • UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Grant, UCSF, 2010
  • Duke University Alpha Omega Alpha Symposium Best Presentation Awared, Duke University, 2008
  • Duke University School of Medicine Research Honors, Duke University, 2008
  • Duke University School of Medicine Senior Scholarship Award, Duke University, 2007
  • NIH Kirchstein National Research Training Award (T32), UNC-Chapel Hill, 2006
  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Award, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2005

Selected Publications

  1. Lee RH, Evans C, Laus J, Sanchez C, Wai KC, Knott PD, Seth R, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Ryan WR, Heaton CM, Park AM, Ha PK. Patterns of Postoperative Trismus Following Mandibulectomy and Fibula Free Flap Reconstruction. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 16; 15(2).  View on PubMed
  2. Stanford-Moore GB, Sola AM, Chan J, El-Sayed I, George J, Ha P, Ryan WR, Heaton CM. Adjuvant therapy improves survival in pT4aN0 oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma with bone invasion. Am J Otolaryngol. 2022 Mar-Apr; 43(2):103303.  View on PubMed
  3. Ahmad TR, Vasudevan HN, Lazar AA, Chan JW, George JR, Alvarado MD, Yu SS, Daud A, Yom SS. Should Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Status Guide Adjuvant Radiation Therapy in Patients With Merkel Cell Carcinoma? Adv Radiat Oncol. 2021 Nov-Dec; 6(6):100764.  View on PubMed
  4. Lee RH, Salesky M, Benjamin T, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Ha PK, Ryan WR, Heaton CM. Impact of Smoking and Primary Tumor Subsite on Recurrence in HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 04; 166(4):704-711.  View on PubMed
  5. Larson AR, Han M, Webb KL, Ochoa E, Stanford-Moore G, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Ha PK, Heaton CM, Ryan WR. Patient-Reported Outcomes of Split-Thickness Skin Grafts for Floor of Mouth Cancer Reconstruction. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2021; 83(3):151-158.  View on PubMed
  6. Wai KC, Xu MJ, Lee RH, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Heaton CM, Knott PD, Park AM, Ryan WR, Seth R, Ha PK. Head and neck surgery during the coronavirus-19 pandemic: The University of California San Francisco experience. Head Neck. 2021 02; 43(2):622-629.  View on PubMed
  7. Ochoa E, Larson AR, Han M, Webb KL, Stanford-Moore GB, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Ha PK, Heaton CM, Ryan WR. Patient-Reported Quality of Life After Resection With Primary Closure for Oral Tongue Carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2021 02; 131(2):312-318.  View on PubMed
  8. Formeister EJ, Baum R, Knott PD, Seth R, Ha P, Ryan W, El-Sayed I, George J, Larson A, Plonowska K, Heaton C. Machine Learning for Predicting Complications in Head and Neck Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer. Laryngoscope. 2020 12; 130(12):E843-E849.  View on PubMed
  9. Larson AR, Kemmer J, Formeister E, El-Sayed I, Ha P, George J, Ryan W, Chan E, Heaton C. Beyond Depth of Invasion: Adverse Pathologic Tumor Features in Early Oral Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2020 07; 130(7):1715-1720.  View on PubMed
  10. Plonowska KA, Strohl MP, Wang SJ, Ha PK, George JR, Heaton CM, El-Sayed IH, Mallen-St Clair J, Ryan WR. Human Papillomavirus-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer: Patterns of Nodal Disease. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 03; 160(3):502-509.  View on PubMed
  11. Formeister EJ, Sean Alemi A, El-Sayed I, George JR, Ha P, Daniel Knott P, Ryan WR, Seth R, Tamplen ML, Heaton CM. Shorter interval between radiation therapy and salvage laryngopharyngeal surgery increases complication rates following microvascular free tissue transfer. Am J Otolaryngol. 2018 Sep - Oct; 39(5):548-552.  View on PubMed
  12. Xu MJ, Lazar AA, Garsa AA, Arron ST, Ryan WR, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Algazi AP, Heaton CM, Ha PK, Yom SS. Major prognostic factors for recurrence and survival independent of the American Joint Committee on Cancer eighth edition staging system in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma treated with multimodality therapy. Head Neck. 2018 07; 40(7):1406-1414.  View on PubMed
  13. Tamplen ML, Tamplen J, Shuman E, Heaton CM, George JR, Wang SJ, Ryan WR. Comparison of Output Volume Thresholds for Drain Removal After Selective Lateral Neck Dissection: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 12 01; 143(12):1195-1199.  View on PubMed
  14. Heaton CM, Yu K, Calkins S, George JR, Ryan WR, Wang SJ. Clinicopathologic characteristics and outcomes of recurrent oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Am J Otolaryngol. 2016 Nov - Dec; 37(6):513-516.  View on PubMed
  15. Shugard E, Chen J, Quivey JM, Glastonbury CM, Khanafshar E, Garsa AA, George JR, Yom SS. Does radiation dose matter in thyroid cancer?: Patterns of local-regional failure in recurrent and metastatic well-differentiated thyroid cancers treated with dose-painted intensity-modulated radiation therapy. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2016 Aug; 60(4):560-7.  View on PubMed
  16. George JR, Henderson YC, Williams MD, Roberts DB, Hei H, Lai SY, Clayman GL. Association of TERT Promoter Mutation, But Not BRAF Mutation, With Increased Mortality in PTC. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Dec; 100(12):E1550-9.  View on PubMed
  17. George JR, Yom SS, Wang SJ. Improved outcomes in adjuvant radiotherapy for oral cavity carcinoma at an academic center: a matched-pair analysis. Laryngoscope. 2014 Jul; 124(7):1603-8.  View on PubMed
  18. George JR, Yom SS, Wang SJ. Combined modality treatment outcomes for head and neck cancer: comparison of postoperative radiation therapy at academic vs nonacademic medical centers. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Nov; 139(11):1118-26.  View on PubMed
  19. Clark AJ, Jahangiri A, Garcia RM, George JR, Sughrue ME, McDermott MW, El-Sayed IH, Aghi MK. Endoscopic surgery for tuberculum sellae meningiomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurosurg Rev. 2013 Jul; 36(3):349-59.  View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI