Wake Forest Regenerative Medicine
Several faculty have active research activities with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). The resources available at WFIRM are world class, and groundbreaking discoveries made there frequently make national headlines.
In collaboration with resources available at WFIRM, our faculty are currently investigating:
- Cochlear hair cell regeneration
- Tracheal transplantation
- Cartilage engineering
- Salivary regeneration
Head and Neck Cancer Research
We are involved in head and neck cancer research in the areas of tumor biology and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning of head and neck tumors, management of swallowing disorders, and regenerating salivary gland function.
We are studying the impact of using lower radiation intensity during robotic surgery to treat cancers of the tongue.
Head and neck cancer surgeon Christopher A. Sullivan, MD has developed a minimally invasive procedure, called transgastric retrograde esophagoscopy with anterograde dilatation (TREAD), to restore swallowing function in head and neck cancer patients with hypopharyngeal and esophageal luminal stricture.
Restoring Salivary Gland Function
Head and neck cancer researchers at Wake Forest Baptist are exploring new methods to restore salivary gland function, which is often damaged during radiation therapy and chemotherapy. They are using stem cell regenerative therapy to restore salivary function in preclinical models of head and neck cancer treatment.
Treating Esophageal Stricture
Our head and neck cancer researchers have developed a drug-polymer stent technology that is designed to treat esophageal stricture, or narrowing of the esophagus that makes swallowing difficult. The stents prevent scar tissue formation, reducing the chance of esophageal problems.