Nussenbaum named director of head and neck surgical oncology​​ division

Brian Nussenbaum, MD, the Christy J. and Richard S. Hawes III Professor of Otolaryngology, has been named director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Nussenbaum succeeds Bruce Haughey, MD, the Joseph B. Kimbrough Professor of Otolaryngology, who has served as director of the division for the past 22 years. Haughey will continue to do research and to treat patients with challenging head and neck malignancies.
Nussenbaum earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1994 and completed a residency in otolaryngology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2000. He joined the School of Medicine in 2002 after completing a two-year fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System.
Nussenbaum serves as the vice chair for clinical affairs in the otolaryngology department and is co-director of the fellowship in the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology.

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is well known nationally and internationally for the multidisciplinary clinical management of head and neck cancer. He sees patients at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Nussenbaum also is the patient safety officer in the department and has been active locally and nationally in advocating for improvements in patients’ safety. He has lectured extensively about head and neck cancer and patient safety-quality improvement (PSQI) and serves in related leadership roles with several professional societies.

Richard Chole, MD, PhD, the Lindburg Professor of Otolaryngology and department head, said, “Dr. Nussenbaum is a key member of the department in so many ways. He is devoted to clinical excellence, improving the health of our patients and advancing our field.”

This year, Nussenbaum was elected co-chair of the Recurrent-Metastatic Disease Task Force of the Head and Neck Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health (NIH). He recently completed a four-year term as secretary-treasurer for the Middle Section of The Triological Society, and is now the second vice president-elect for the section. In 2013, he was elected to the nominating committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and was the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.
Nussenbaum was elected in 2012 as a faculty-at-large representative to the Faculty Practice Plan Board of Directors and Clinical Practice Committee.
He also is highly regarded by his colleagues for the time he devotes to educating and training the next generation of physicians. The medical school class of 2014 recognized his teaching excellence by awarding a Clinical Teacher of the Year Award to him last year.

Of his accomplishments, Nussenbaum said he is perhaps most proud of being named teacher of the year for his department in five of the 12 years he has been on staff at the School of Medicine. He also has been included among the Best Doctors in America by Best Doctors
Inc. and among America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s​ hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri, is ranked among the top cancer facilities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Comprising the cancer research, prevention and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, Siteman is also Missouri’s only member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.