Faculty Educator of the Month: January 2008

Dr. Erich M. Sturgis

Dr. Erich M. Sturgis, Associate Professor in the departments of Head and Neck Surgery and Epidemiology, has been named the January 2008 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Since 2001, Dr. Sturgis has been the Program Director for the Wednesday Morning Core Curriculum Lecture Series in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. In these lectures, trainees in the department who are enrolled in graduate medical education programs can learn about a wide array of topics related to cancers of the head and neck. Also, faculty members can receive updates of new knowledge in these lectures. The lectures are presented by faculty members in the department, including Dr. Sturgis himself, as he has given numerous lectures in this forum over the years, including most recently as part of the Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Research Conference in December 2007.

Dr. Sturgis has also overseen the didactic lecture program in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. In this program, didactic conferences are held every Tuesday evening, providing an additional source of information on a wide range of subjects of interest to trainees and faculty in the department.

In addition, since 2004, Dr. Sturgis has been the Editor of PROfiles in Head and Neck Surgery, a semiannual Head and Neck Surgery newsletter. Also during this time span, he has served as Director of the Departmental Visiting Professor Program of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. He also was the Program Director for the department's International Observer/Visitor Program from 2001 to 2004.

Dr. Sturgis's educational contributions even extend to the operating room, as he has been described by fellows as the best technical instructor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Sturgis has been well honored for his educational work, as he received the department's Faculty Teaching Award from the Head and Neck Surgery fellows in 2006-2007 and 2004-2005. He also has served on the dissertation committees for four master's students at The University of Texas School of Public Health; he was the thesis advisor in three of these committees.

Dr. Sturgis received his M.D. degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1990. After graduation from medical school, Dr. Sturgis went to Tulane University Medical Center, where he completed an internship in the Department of Surgery in 1991. That year, he moved on to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he completed a research fellowship in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery in 1992. Dr. Sturgis then returned to Tulane University Medical Center, where he was a resident in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery from 1992 to 1996 and a Clinical Instructor in the department from 1996 to 1997.

After completing his residency, Dr. Sturgis moved across the Atlantic to Vrije University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he completed a fellowship in head and neck oncologic surgery. When he returned to the United States in 1997, he came to MD Anderson, completing a research fellowship in molecular epidemiology of head and neck cancer in 1999 and a clinical fellowship in head and neck oncologic surgery in 2000.

Dr. Sturgis was named Assistant Professor in the departments of Head and Neck Surgery and Epidemiology in 2000. He was promoted to his current position of Associate Professor with tenure in both departments and named Adjunct Assistant Professor in The Bobby R. Alford Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in 2005. Additionally, he received a Master of Public Health degree from The University of Texas School of Public Health in 2004.

Over the past 7 years, Dr. Sturgis has been the Principal Investigator or a Co-Investigator for numerous funded research projects, including studies of the role of HPV-16 DNA in head and neck cancer. In addition, he was a grant reviewer for Cancer Research U.K. in 2004 and the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund in 2007, and he is a consultant-advisor for the HPV Clinical Study Team of Merck & Co., Inc.

Currently, Dr. Sturgis is a member of the editorial boards for the journals ENToday and The Laryngoscope and of the expert panel for Cochrane Systematic Reviews on Oral Cancer. He serves on the scientific advisory board of the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, the executive committee of the American Radium Society, and as a guest examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology. Since 1994, Dr. Sturgis has authored nearly 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 14 invited reviews, and 16 book chapters. He has also given numerous oral and poster presentations and invited lectures throughout the world.