Suresh Mohan, MD, a chief resident from the Harvard Combined Residency Program in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS), was named the recipient of the Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, PhD, Research Award at the residency program’s 2022 graduation ceremony on Friday, June 17.
The award was established in 2009 by Dr. Jeffrey P. Harris, the award’s namesake who graduated from the Harvard OHNS Residency Program in 1979. Every year since its inception, the award has been presented to the chief resident with the most outstanding presentation at the annual Chief Resident Research Talks, which are held the day before graduation and serve as a forum for chief residents to present the culmination of their research efforts over the course of residency training.
Dr. Mohan won the award for his presentation on facial nerve responses to injury. The presentation, entitled, “Characterizing the Schwann Cell Response to Facial Nerve Injury With Single-Cell RNA Sequencing,” explained how researchers can better understand Schwann cells—cells that play a key role in the regeneration of nerves—by studying their response to injury. Under the mentorship of OHNS faculty members Tessa Hadlock, MD, and Nate Jowett, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Dr. Mohan presented the findings based on a mouse facial nerve injury model. He explained how, after assessing changes in gene expression before and after a nerve injury, gene regulatory network analysis revealed novel groups of genes that strongly contributed to the maintenance of Schwann cell repair states.
According to Dr. Mohan, his work was an incremental—but important—step toward identifying therapeutic targets for a gene therapy that could one day improve outcomes in peripheral nerve procedures, such as facial reanimation surgery.
The following is a complete list of award recipients from the 2022 graduation ceremony:
Clinical Fellow Teaching Award: Yohan Song, MD
Chief Resident Teaching Award: Suresh Mohan, MD
William W. Montgomery, MD, Faculty Teaching Award: David A. Shaye, MD, MPH, FACS
Harvard Otolaryngology Resident Life Award: Jordana Harrison
Residents Poster Session Awards, First Place: Phoebe K. Yu, MD, MPH
Residents Poster Session Awards, Second Place: Elliana DeVore, MD