Department of Otolaryngology Timeline


A group of civic leaders founded the Eye and Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh. A charter was granted by the city for the “purpose of establishing and maintaining a hospital, by voluntary contributions, for the medical and surgical treatment of all diseases of the eyes and ears.”


All individuals appointed to otolaryngology staff were required to be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology (established in 1934).


The American Board of Otolaryngology bestowed full accreditation on the residency training program in otolaryngology under the leadership of Dr. Thomas McCullough, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology.


Dr. Kenneth Day served as head of the Department of Otology from 1956-1968. Severely deaf, he is credited with founding the first acoustical laboratory in a U.S. medical center.


Dr. Raymond Jordan, a prominent otologic surgeon who practiced with Dr. Kenneth Day Sr. and Dr. Kenneth Day Jr., became Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology after Dr. McCullough’s retirement.


Dr. Jordan resigned to become Executive Director of the American Council of Otolaryngology. During this time, Dr. Donald Medearis, who had recently become Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, insisted that all clinical departments in the School of Medicine be directed by a full-time academic chairman. The Department of Otolaryngology was the only department without a full-time chairman.

Dr. Eugene N. Myers was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology. He was the first full-time academic faculty member in the department. He served as Chair for 33 years, building an internationally recognized department.


Dr. Charles Bluestone and Dr. Sylvan Stool established Pediatric Otolaryngology as a subspecialty.


Dr. Charles Bluestone founded the National Institutes of Health-funded Pittsburgh Otitis Media Research Center at CHP and Pitt.


Dr. Carol Congedo was the first female resident in Otolaryngology at UPMC.


Dr. Donald Kamerer performed the first cochlear implant in PA.


Drs. Bluestone and Stool published the first comprehensive textbook on Pediatric Otolaryngology.


The Eye & Ear Institute was founded in Oakland.


Dr. Neal Beckford was the first Black resident in Otolaryngology at UPMC.


Based on the collaboration of Dr. Victor Schramm and Dr. Ivo Janecka in Otolaryngology with Dr. Laligam Sekhar in Neurosurgery, the UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery was created, the first comprehensive academic center in North America dedicated to skull base surgery.


The UPMC Center for Balance Disorders was created to provide comprehensive care for people of all ages with balance problems.


The Voice Center was created to provide care for people with every type of voice disorder.



Charles D. Bluestone became the School of Medicine’s first Eberly Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology.

Dr. Eugene Myers was president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and served as the first Coordinator of International Affairs of the newly created AAO-HSNF International Affairs Program from 1996-2002.


Dr. Jonas Johnson was president of AAOHNS.


Dr. Jonas Johnson was president of the American Head and Neck Society.

Dr. Charles Bluestone stepped down as Director of the Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology.


Dr. Jonas Johnson became Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology.


Dr. Eugene Myers was named Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Chair.


The University of Pittsburgh Department of Otolaryngology established an Auditory Research Group, which established the University of Pittsburgh as a leader in auditory neuroscience.


Dr. Eugene Myers and the Department of Otolaryngology published Operative Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery.


Dr. Charles Bluestone was named Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology.


The Sleep Center was created to provide comprehensive care for people with every type of sleep disorder.


Dr. Jonas Johnson and the Department of Otolaryngology published Bailey’s Head and Neck Surgery: Otolaryngology.


Dr. Jonas Johnson was president of the American Triologic Society.


The 30th anniversary of the Eye & Ear Foundation.


The Pittsburgh Hearing Research Center (PHRC) was established as a continuation of the Auditory Research Group, but with a larger network of researchers and clinicians working in auditory science and clinical care.


The Department also founded Pittsburgh CREATES (Collaborative Research, Education and Technology Advancement in Surgery), a collaboration between medical industry, bioengineers, and surgeons to develop new surgical technology and train the next generation of surgeons in the use of advanced surgical technologies. The major focus is on minimally invasive surgical techniques; in particular, robotic surgery under the leadership of Dr. Uma Duvvuri.

July 2022

José Zevallos, MD, MPH, FACS, became Chair of Otolaryngology and the Eugene N. Myers, MD Chair.

October 2022

The Department participated in the Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh event for the first time.


Ten faculty joined the Department, including eight surgeons and two PhD researchers. Two longtime faculty members retired: Drs. Barry Hirsch and Barry Schaitkin.

January 2023

Eric Wang, MD, was named Executive Vice Chair of the Department.

September 2023

Christina Yver, MD, joined the Department as an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology within the division of Facial Plastic Surgery and Director of the Facial Nerve Disorders clinic at UPMC Shadyside.

October 2023
Headshot of Dr. Spector

Matt Spector, MD, FACS, joined the Department as Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology & Microvascular Reconstruction Fellowship; Chief, Division of Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery; and Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

February 2024

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD and collaborators Amantha Thathiah, PhD, and Chris Cunningham, PhD, discovered a molecular mechanism of noise-induced hearing loss and showed that it could be mitigated with medication.

April 2024

A study published in Clinical Cancer Research by Dr. Zevallos found that lymphatic fluid from surgical drains could offer important insights to guide treatment for certain patients with head and neck cancer.