| August 19, 2003
Bert W. O'Malley, Jr., MD, Selected
to Chair Designate Department of Otorhinolaryngology at
Penn School of Medicine
(Philadelphia, PA) - Bert W. O'Malley
Jr., MD, an expert surgeon and innovative researcher,
has joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine as Chair Designate of Penn's
Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery.
O'Malley is an accomplished surgeon, specializing in
sinus surgery, removal of head and neck tumors, and
skull base surgery. His current research examines the
use of a gene transfer technique to make cancer cells
more susceptible to chemotherapy and radiation.
"Bert O'Malley exemplifies the physician-scientist
spirit for which Penn is known," said Dr. Arthur H.
Rubenstein, Executive Vice President of the University
of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the
School of Medicine. "By its nature, otorhinolaryngology
is a multidisciplinary field, and the department will
benefit from the leadership of someone with O'Malley's
experience and abilities."
Penn's Department of Otorhinolaryngology is responsible
for treatment of a wide variety of ailments affecting
the ear, nose, and throat, including cancer and thyroid
surgery, sinus disease, hearing loss, and voice and
swallowing disorders. As designate chair, O'Malley will
seek to enhance the department's capabilities and to
further its reputation for excellence in patient care.
"The department embodies Penn's great strengths in
collaborative medicine," said O'Malley. "I look forward
to working with my new colleagues among the Otorhinolaryngology
Prior to coming to Penn, O'Malley was a professor of
surgery and head of the Division of Otolaryngology,
Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland
School of Medicine.
O'Malley studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate at
the University of Texas and earned his medical degree
from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
in Dallas. After finishing residencies in Otolaryngology
at Baylor College of Medicine, he completed a fellowship
in head and neck oncology and cranial base surgery at
the University of Pittsburgh. O'Malley also served as
Associate Professor and Director of Gene and Molecular
Therapy in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head &
Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He
is board certified in head and neck surgery by the American
Academy of Otolaryngology.
Biomedical research has been a large part of O'Malley's
career, and he has a particular interest in therapeutic
application of the science of cellular biology. With
the intent of speeding recovery following injury or
surgery, he has studied the involvement of cellular
growth factors in the repair and regeneration of muscle
and nervous tissue. He has also worked under a NASA
grant to study means of regenerating bone and muscle
lost during periods of weightlessness associated with
space travel. Currently, O'Malley also conducts research
in gene and molecular therapy, investigating therapies
for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the
head and neck - a cancer that has been notoriously to
"In animal models, we've had great success in delivering
genes that make tumors more sensitive to chemotherapy
and radiation therapy," said O'Malley. "By inserting
a gene that help halts tumor cell replication and primes
the cells for death, it is easier for chemotherapy or
radiation to destroy cancer."
O'Malley is a member of numerous professional societies,
including the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head
and Neck Surgery, American Society for Gravitational
and Space Biology, and the Maryland Society of Otolaryngology.
He is a founding member of the Cell Transplant Society
and a fellow in the International College of Surgeons,
American College of Surgeons, and the American Head
and Neck Society.
O'Malley also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of an international
journal, the Jounal for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. He has
numerous peer-reviewed publications, book chapters,
national and international presentations, and is the
editor of a textbook entitled "Atlas of Skull Base Surgery".
O'Malley has a long history of both NIH and corporate
funding for his research program. He strongly believes
that his new position at Penn will accelerate the translational
potential of his research leading to a positive impact
for the treatment of head and neck cancer.
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PENN Medicine is a $2.2 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education,
biomedical research, and high-quality patient care.
PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's
first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania
Health System (created in 1993 as the nation's first
integrated academic health system). Penn's School of
Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH
research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S.
News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented
medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and
700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide
for its superior education and training of the next
generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic
Penn Health System consists of four
hospitals (including its flagship Hospital of the University
of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation's
"Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report),
a faculty practice plan, a primary-care provider network,
three multispecialty satellite facilities, and home
health care and hospice.