School of Medicine

Department of Otolaryngology

Our Research


Developing and conducting clinical research studies is an essential part in the lives of our faculty, residents, medical students and staff. As our department encompasses a spectrum of clinical fields and surgical specialties associated with head and neck anatomy, our research studies reflect this diversity. Our department has a strong body of research in the areas of both adult and pediatric head and neck cancer, voice and swallowing outcomes, facial plastic and reconstruction, hearing and balance disorders and other oropharyngeal, otic, and skull base diseases. Our faculty and residents are eager and engaged to integrate research activities into their robust and intricate surgical practices.

The research studies produced by the department are shepherded by our Otolaryngology Research Committee. The committee is comprised of esteemed faculty and associated staff whose primary goal is to support and guide our physician investigators through the process of research study development, implementation and scholarly output. All faculty and residents are encouraged to engage in research studies and collaborative efforts with institutions locally, nationally and internationally. Specifically for our resident physicians, the department hosts an annual Resident Research and Alumni Day at the culmination of each academic year to allow Residents and Fellows to present their studies to other physicians and associated alumni in the field. The Otolaryngology Department at LSUHSC-NO is a group of devoted mentors who are as passionate about their research activities as they are about the patients for which they are called to serve.



LentzLacey Adkins, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Adkins is a native of South Florida. She received her medical education at the Medical College of Georgia and her Otolaryngology residency training at Georgetown University Hospital. She completed a fellowship in Laryngeal Surgery at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital under the instruction of Dr. Steven Zeitels and Dr. James Burns.

Dr. Adkins is a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and a board member for the Opera Louisiane. She has publications and presentations on laryngeal surgery simulation, benign laryngeal masses and airway stenosis.

Dr. Adkins sees patients with voice, swallowing or airway disorders, with a special interest in care of the professional voice. She has received extensive training in phonomicrosurgery as well as laser treatment for early glottic cancers and papilloma. She performs many in-office procedures including those addressing vocal cord paralysis, papilloma, dysplasia, spasmodic dysphonia, subglottic stenosis, and neurogenic cough.



LentzLeslie Son, PhD

Director of Academic Research

Leslie Son earned her Ph.D. with a specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics from the University of Texas-Houston Health Sciences Center in 2006. During her doctoral education, Leslie published several peer-reviewed manuscripts and medical school textbook chapters related to genetic instabilities and their association with neurological diseases. Dr. Son was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the NIH and carried out her work at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in 2006 studying the mechanism of action of various pharmaceuticals on molecules in the insulin pathway related to Type 2 Diabetes. From 2006-2012 Leslie was also an adjunct professor at Our Lady of the Lake College teaching Genetics and Microbiology. She has over 14 years of research experience through her dissertation, post-doctoral work and her current director position and 15 years of scientific laboratory experience.

In 2008, Dr. Son transitioned her career to assist the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory as a Forensic DNA Analyst. During the seven years that she worked for the state, she developed several protocols and headed up a variety of the lab's validations implementing the techniques and instrumentation some of which are still used today.

Leslie joined Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center with an adjunct appointment at LSUHSC Department of Otolaryngology in August 2015 as the Academic Research Director. She currently serves the departments of Otolaryngology and General Surgery for LSUHSC-New Orleans where she provides oversight for resident-related research endeavors, acts as a liaison between the Institutional Review Board and physicians, and promotes and develops projects related to the advancement of both the department and Graduate Medical Education. She also offers guidance as a member of the research committees for Otolaryngology and Surgery.

Research is a key component of our Residency Program. We emphasize the principles of research that are important for clinical practice, including focus, strategy, planning, scientific reasoning, problem-solving, critique, documentation and presentation skills.

Learn More About Our Resident Presearch

At facilities throughout Louisiana, our faculty members lead cutting edge research focusing on head and neck cancers, voice and swallowing disorders and other clinically significant interests.

Learn More About Our Research Facilities

Dr. Michael Dunham and Dr. Rohan Walvekar, both from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, are the Designers-in-Residence for the Medical Innovation Design Studio, a unit aimed at assisting faculty, staff and students design healthcare related device and software innovations.

Learn More About The Medical Innovation Design Studio