As a clinician, I’m an otolaryngologist – head and neck surgeon with many clinical and research interests, including head oncology, swallowing disorders, salivary gland disorders and sialendoscopy, endoscopic sinus surgery, endoscopic and open skull base surgery and more. I am on the faculty of The Ohio State University’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, which I joined in 2011 as a tenured professor, and as the Director of the Comprehensive Skull Base Surgery Program and as the Co-director of the Anatomy Laboratory Toward Visuospatial Innovation in Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery (ALT-VISION), a research and education lab. I was also named to the Castle Connolly list of "America's Top Doctors" from 2014-2019.
In 2014, the OSUCCC – James received a five-year, $11 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence grant from the National Cancer Institute to study thyroid cancer. I am co-leading one of the projects being supported by the grant: a study that attempts to identify biomarkers of damage to salivary glands and find new ways of protecting them from damage they can incur during thyroid cancer treatment.
Being part of OSUCCC – James has been a highlight of my career because it represents the cutting edge of treatment and of research. New technologies help us get to tumors that used to be impossible to reach—especially ones in the skull base. They also allow our multidisciplinary teams to perform minimally invasive surgeries with much faster recovery times.
I have been a doctor for over 35 years and served in the Air Force Reserve for five as a major in the medical corps. I’ve published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, and edited, co-edited, or co-written more than a dozen medical books. I was raised in Puerto Rico and am bilingual in English and Spanish. I also have conversational skills in Portuguese and speak a little Italian and French.