Jeffrey N. Myers, MD, PhD

Jeffrey N. Myers, MD, PhD

Chair, Department of Head and Neck Surgery Alando J. Ballantyne Distinguished Chair of Head and Neck Surgery UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Jeffrey N. Myers is Professor and Chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he also holds the Alando J. Ballantyne Distinguished Chair of Head and Neck Surgery. He was the President of the American Head and Neck Society in July 2016 and served through 2017. Dr. Myers received his medical (MD) and doctoral (PhD) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and he then completed his residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He subsequently completed fellowship training in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997, where he has been on the faculty ever since. Dr. Myers, has been at the forefront in the comprehensive genomic characterization of oral cancers and has made seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms of p53 gain of function mutations in oral cancer progression and metastasis. His continuous and progressive discoveries are fundamental building blocks in the understanding of human cancer. He first reported the comprehensive genomic characterization of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and developed an algorithm, termed evolutionary action (EAp53), to identify gain of function p53 mutations that has both prognostic and predictive value. Dr. Myers research revealed previously unappreciated alterations in Notch, cell cycle and p53 pathways in HNSCC, which provided important biological insights that are helping to define new clinical strategies to treat this disease. Through continued pre-clinical study of Notch and p53 mutant HNSCC, he and his team identified therapeutic vulnerabilities to PI-3 kinase inhibition and DNA damage repair protein inhibition. These strategies show promise as single agents and are likely to have more efficacy in combination with conventional treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy. Dr. Myers and his team are currently working on translating these preclinical observations to look at the safety and efficacy of these targeted treatments in clinical trials.