Research Summary

I have been heavily involved in the field salivary gland cancer research since my postdoctoral experience during residency in the lab of Drs. David Sidransky and Joseph Califano. I joined the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology as a faculty member in 2006 and chose to focus my research efforts on salivary gland tumors, with several NIH and foundation grants awarded since 2007. My focus is on the epigenetic mechanisms of adenoid cystic carcinoma, and the pathways that might lead to its development. I have published many peer-reviewed studies on this topic and have formed many collaborations throughout the country. I recently moved to the University of California San Francisco to lead the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and will continue in my research there. As a head and neck surgeon, I bring additional clinical expertise which can offer access to tissue and patients, as well as an understanding of the relevant translational questions.

Research Funding

  • September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2016 - Integrated pathway analysis of altered driver genes in adenoid cystic carcinoma, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R01DE023227
  • July 13, 2012 - June 30, 2014 - array-based screening for the expression and regulation of tumor supressor genes, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R03DE022591
  • July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2012 - The role of promoter hypermethylation in adenoid cystic carcinoma, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: K08DE018463
  • September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2016 - Integrated pathway analysis of altered driver genes in adenoid cystic carcinoma, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R01DE023227


Harvard College, BA, 1991-95, Biology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, MD, 1995-99, Medicine
Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, Residency, 1999-2006, Otolaryngology
Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2000-2002, Molecular Genetics
Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, Advanced training, 2006, Head and Neck Surgery

Honors & Awards

  • 1999
    Elected Alpha Omega Alpha, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • 2001
    Greater Baltimore Medical Center Resident Research Forum award winner
  • 2005
    Recipient of the Henkel Chief Resident Teacher of the Year Award
  • 2005
    Recipient of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center Outstanding Resident Award 2005
  • 2006
    Tilghman Travel Fellowship recipient for training in endoscopic laser surgery
  • 2007/10
    Recipient of the Otolaryngology Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2011-15
    Voted Baltimore Magazine Top Doc in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Selected Publications

  1. Drake V, Bigelow E, Fakhry C, Windon M, Rooper LM, Ha P, Miles B, Gourin C, Mandal R, Mydlarz W, London N, Vosler PS, Yavvari S, Troy T, Waterboer T, Eisele DW, D'Souza G. Biologic and behavioral associations of estrogen receptor alpha positivity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Oncol. 2021 Jul 22; 121:105461.  View on PubMed
  2. 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. 2021 Jun 29; 1945998211024515.  View on PubMed
  3. Fakhry C, Tewari SR, Zhang L, Windon MJ, Bigelow EO, Drake VE, Rooper LM, Troy T, Ha P, Miles BA, Mydlarz WK, Eisele DW, D'Souza G. RTOG-0129 risk groups are reproducible in a prospective multicenter heterogeneously treated cohort. Cancer. 2021 Oct 01; 127(19):3523-3530.  View on PubMed
  4. Wai KC, Kang H, Ha PK. Molecular Markers that Matter in Salivary Malignancy. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2021 Jun; 54(3):613-627.  View on PubMed
  5. Brodie KD, Zebolsky AL, Ochoa E, Ha PK, Heaton CM, El-Sayed IH, Ryan WR. A prospective study of patient-reported xerostomia-related outcomes after parotidectomy. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2021 Aug; 6(4):683-689.  View on PubMed
  6. Ryan WR, Xu MJ, Ochoa E, Plonowska-Hirschfeld KA, Zebolsky AL, Ha PK, Bewley AF, Mallen-St Clair J, Joshi AS, Coffey CS, Faraji F, MacDonald BV, Houlton JJ, Gobillot TA, Curry JM, Philips R, Hackman TG, Richmon JD, Holcomb AJ, Coughlin AM, Panwar A, Smith RB, Herberg ME, Fakhry C, Cognetti DM. Oncologic outcomes of human papillomavirus-associated oropharynx carcinoma treated with surgery alone: A 12-institution study of 344 patients. Cancer. 2021 Sep 01; 127(17):3092-3106.  View on PubMed
  7. Plonowska-Hirschfeld KA, Fung M, Glastonbury C, Ha PK. Parapharyngeal tuberculoid mass: A rare complication of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy for urothelial carcinoma in situ. Clin Case Rep. 2021 Jun; 9(6):e04172.  View on PubMed
  8. Geiger JL, Ismaila N, Beadle B, Caudell JJ, Chau N, Deschler D, Glastonbury C, Kaufman M, Lamarre E, Lau HY, Licitra L, Moore MG, Rodriguez C, Roshal A, Seethala R, Swiecicki P, Ha P. Management of Salivary Gland Malignancy: ASCO Guideline. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jun 10; 39(17):1909-1941.  View on PubMed
  9. Rooper LM, Lombardo KA, Oliai BR, Ha PK, Bishop JA. MYB RNA In Situ Hybridization Facilitates Sensitive and Specific Diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Regardless of Translocation Status. Am J Surg Pathol. 2021 04 01; 45(4):488-497.  View on PubMed
  10. 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
  11. Plonowska KA, Ochoa E, Zebolsky AL, Patel N, Hoppe KR, Ha PK, Heaton CM, Ryan WR. Nasogastric tube feeding after transoral robotic surgery for oropharynx carcinoma. Am J Otolaryngol. 2021 May-Jun; 42(3):102857.  View on PubMed
  12. Drake VE, Fakhry C, Windon MJ, Stewart CM, Akst L, Hillel A, Chien W, Ha P, Miles B, Gourin CG, Mandal R, Mydlarz WK, Rooper L, Troy T, Yavvari S, Waterboer T, Brenner N, Eisele DW, D'Souza G. Timing, number, and type of sexual partners associated with risk of oropharyngeal cancer. Cancer. 2021 Apr 01; 127(7):1029-1038.  View on PubMed
  13. Humtsoe JO, Kim HS, Leonard B, Ling S, Keam B, Marchionni L, Afsari B, Considine M, Favorov AV, Fertig EJ, Kang H, Ha PK. Newly Identified Members of FGFR1 Splice Variants Engage in Cross-talk with AXL/AKT Axis in Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. Cancer Res. 2021 02 15; 81(4):1001-1013.  View on PubMed
  14. Strohl MP, Wai KC, Ha PK. De-intensification strategies in HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma-a narrative review. Ann Transl Med. 2020 Dec; 8(23):1601.  View on PubMed
  15. 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
  16. Strohl MP, Ha PK, Flavell RR, Yom SS. PET/CT in Surgical Planning for Head and Neck Cancer. Semin Nucl Med. 2021 Jan; 51(1):50-58.  View on PubMed
  17. Park S, Vora M, van Zante A, Humtsoe J, Kim HS, Yom S, Agarwal S, Ha P. Clinicopathologic implications of Myb and Beta-catenin expression in adenoid cystic carcinoma. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Jul 10; 49(1):48.  View on PubMed
  18. Windon M, Fakhry C, Rooper L, Ha P, Schoppy D, Miles B, Koch W, Vosler P, Eisele D, D'Souza G. The Role of Age and Merkel Cell Polyomavirus in Oral Cavity Cancers. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 12; 163(6):1194-1197.  View on PubMed
  19. Chang CF, Ei-Sayed IH, George JR, Heaton CM, Ryan WR, Susko MS, Yom SS, Ha PK. Modified technique of submandibular gland transfer followed by intensity modulated radiotherapy to reduce xerostomia in head and neck cancer patients. Head Neck. 2020 09; 42(9):2340-2347.  View on PubMed
  20. Susko MS, Lazar AA, Dhar S, Chan JW, Shiao SL, Chapman CH, Johnson J, Quivey JM, Ryan WR, Heaton CM, Ha PK, Yom SS. Improved Tumor Control Related to Radiotherapy Technological Development for Hypopharyngeal Cancer. Laryngoscope. 2021 02; 131(2):E452-E458.  View on PubMed

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