Steering Committee - North America

Daniel Lee (Co-chair)
Michael Cohen (Co-chair)
David Pothier
Alicia Quesnel
Manuela Fina
Brandon Isaacson
Alejo Rivas
Justin Golub
Adrian Lewis James
Joe Walter Kutz
George Wanna
Hamed Sajjadi

Michael Cohen, M.D.

Michael Cohen, M.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Hearing Loss Clinic at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. His clinical interests include pediatric otology, with a particular focus on endoscopic ear surgery. He is the Course Director of the Harvard Endoscopic Ear Surgery International Dissection course and of the Harvard Endoscopic Ear Surgery Course for Fellows and Residents. He has also served as a faculty member for Endoscopic Ear Surgery courses in St. Louis, Boston, Toronto, and Nashville.

Dr. Cohen earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed an otolaryngology residency at Temple University Hospital and a 2-year ACGME accredited Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Duke University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and is board certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

Dr. Cohen’s research interests include endoscopic ear surgery, pediatric chronic ear disease, and pediatric hearing loss with a special interest in unilateral hearing loss. He served on the Mass General Hospital Committee for CMV testing in infants. He has presented at numerous regional, national, and international meetings and courses on the subject of endoscopic ear surgery. In 2017 he received an honorable mention for the Schwartz Center National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award.

Dr. Cohen is excited for the opportunity to serve as Co-Chair of the 3rd World Congress on Endoscopic Ear Surgery and is looking forward to bringing together surgeons from around the world to study and celebrate this rapidly growing field.

Manuela Fina, M.D.

Dr. Manuela Fina, M.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Minnesota.

She is a native of Milan, Italy where she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Milan School of Medicine. Dr. Fina completed her residency training at Washington University in St. Louis followed by an Otology/Neurotology fellowship with Dr. M. Paparella at the Minnesota Head and Neck Clinic.  Her clinical practice includes all aspects of otology with a clinical focus on surgery for cholesteatoma and chronic otitis media.

Dr. Fina is an early adopter of Endoscopic Ear Surgery and a member of the International Working Group on Endoscopic Ear Surgery. Her clinical research interest is on outcomes of endoscopic ear surgery for chronic ear disease and cholesteatoma. She has presented on the principles and techniques of Endoscopic Ear Surgery nationally at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting and internationally in Italy, France, and Scotland. In addition, Dr. Fina has been an instructor on multiple temporal bone dissection courses and endoscopic ear surgery courses. In 2013 Dr. Fina started the academic training program in Endoscopic Ear Surgery at the University of Minnesota making it one of the first U.S. academic teaching centers for resident training in Endoscopic Ear Surgery.

Dr. Fina’s clinical practice is located at Health Partners/Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. and she is the Director of the Otology division at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Brandon Isaacson, M.D.

Brandon Isaacson, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He serves as Co-Director of UT Southwestern’s Comprehensive Skull Base Program, and he chairs the Otolaryngology Resident Selection Committee. His clinical interests include all aspects of otology and neurotology, with a special focus on skull base surgery and endoscopic ear surgery. He is a Fellow of the American Neurotology Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Isaacson is board certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and neurotology.

Dr. Isaacson earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, where he served as president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed an otolaryngology residency at the University of Michigan, as well as an ACGME accredited Neurotology fellowship at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine. He also holds a B.S. in chemistry (summa cum laude) from Georgia’s Armstrong State University.

Dr. Isaacson’s research interests include endoscopic ear surgery, meningitis and cochlear implants, acoustic neuroma, petrous apex lesions, and paraganglioma. He has authored nearly 90 scientific articles, contributed to more than 30 book chapters, and has presented at numerous international, national, and regional meetings and professional courses. He also serves as a reviewer for a number of academic journals and is a member of the editorial board for Otology & Neurotology. He has been awarded the UT Southwestern Chief Resident Appreciation Award in 2008, 2012, and 2017 for excellence in resident education and advocacy. Dr. Isaacson received the Honor Award in 2010  and the Distinguished Service Award in 2012 from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Foundation. He was inducted as a full member of the Triological Society in 2018. In addition to these awards Dr. Isaacson has served on the task force for new materials and as a guest board examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Justin S. Golub, MD, MS

Justin S. Golub, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the Division of Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, NY, USA. He is a pioneer in endoscopic ear surgery, directing one of the few training courses in the United States on this new minimally invasive technique. He is also one of the first American members of the International Working Group on Endoscopic Ear Surgery.

He completed his medical training at Emory University School of Medicine, where he spent an additional year performing research at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He then pursued Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery training at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he had additional research experience on a federally funded training grant. Afterwards, he completed a fellowship in Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Finally, he obtained a masters of science in Biostatistics/Patient Oriented Research at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in otolaryngology and 30 book chapters. He has taught techniques and presented his research internationally. He has also co-edited three books, including the best-selling Pasha/Golub clinical reference guide that is now in its 5th edition.

Dr. Golub is actively involved in research to improve the health of those with hearing loss. Several areas of interest include endoscopic ear surgery, cochlear implants, and other implantable ear prostheses. Dr. Golub has also received grant funding to investigate how age-related hearing loss affects the brain. He directs an ongoing prospective study based out of Columbia University to explore how age-related hearing loss is related to dementia.

Adrien James

Adrian James, MA, DM, FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Dr. Adrian James is a Professor in paediatric otorhinolaryngology at the University of Toronto Canada. He trained at the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford in the UK before completing Fellowsip training at the University of Toronto. He works at The Hospital for Sick Children with a predominantly otologic practice, focusing particularly in chronic middle ear disease and including cochlear implantation. His practice also includes endoscopic surgery to the anterior skull base.

He has been an instructor on Temporal Bone and Endoscopic Ear Surgery Courses around the world and organises International Ear Surgery Courses in Toronto.  He received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Department of ORL-HNS at the University of Toronto in 2013.

Academic achievements include: award of Doctorate of Medicine (University of Oxford) in 2007 for work on contralateral suppression of otoacoustic emissions; Mosher Award from the Triological Society in 2010 for his thesis on translational application of contralateral suppression of OAE test to infants at risk of auditory neuropathy; inducted to American Otological Society in 2011 and Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (CORLAS) 2015. He reviews for many otolaryngology journals and is an Editor for ENT Disorders Group in the Cochrane Collaboration. He is Secretary of the International Otology Outcome Group working to deliver higher quality evidence to guide otologic practice.

Joe Walter Kutz Jr., MD, FACS

Dr. Joe Walter Kutz Jr., MD, FACS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Dr. Kutz is the Program Director of the Neurotology Fellowship and the Associate Program Director for the Otolaryngology Residency Program. He is also the Co-director of the Neurofibromatosis Type 2 program at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

He completed his medical school and otolaryngology residency ay Baylor College of Medicine and complete a neurotology fellowship at the House Clinic in Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Kutz has a busy clinical practice with a focus on Neurofibromatosis Type 2, endoscopic ear surgery, and skull base surgery. He has presented on endoscopic ear surgery both nationally and internationally, including at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting,  Dubai, and Bologna. In addition, Dr. Kutz has been an instructor at multiple courses teaching endoscopic ear surgery techniques.

Alicia Quesnel, MD

Dr. Alicia Quesnel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Otology and Neurotology Division at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, MA USA. She is fellowship-trained in complex ear and skull base surgery and board certified in otolaryngology and neurotology. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL, prior to completing her general surgery internship and residency in otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, she completed her fellowship training in neurotology and skull base surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

Her clinical practice focuses primarily on surgery for otosclerosis (stapedectomy), cochlear implant surgery, chronic ear disease (including cholesteatoma and repair of tympanic membrane perforations), and skull base surgeries, including vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma), spinal fluid leak repair, and management of intratemporal facial nerve conditions. She has been avid proponent of endoscopic ear surgical techniques, and utilizes a tailored approach ranging from totally endoscopic surgery to combination endoscopic and microscopic surgical techniques for chronic ear disease. She has been a faculty member in multiple temporal bone surgical technique courses, with roles including lecturer, surgical instructor, or live surgery demonstrations. She co-directed the inaugural Advanced Techniques in Cochlear Implantation Course for Pediatric and Neurotology Fellows at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Her research interests focus on the histopathology of the temporal bone, particularly related to otosclerosis and post-cochlear implantation pathology. She is an investigator in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Otopathology Laboratory (, which houses one of the world’s largest and most well-curated human temporal bone collections.

Dr. George Wanna, M.D., FACS

Dr. George Wanna, M.D., FACS, has been Chairman of Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery – New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai Beth Israel at The Mount Sinai Hospital since January 2017. He is Chief of The Division of Otology-Neurotology for The Mount Sinai Health System at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Wanna is a Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Professor of Neurological Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  He has an extensive research background that focuses on less invasive, safer and more accurate access to surgical sites within the skull through image-guided surgical techniques. Dr. Wanna also has vast expertise in skull base surgery, cochlear implants with hearing preservation and endoscopic ear surgery.  Prior to this appointment, Dr. Wanna was an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center and Program Co-Director of the Otology-Neurotology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dr. Wanna serves as Director at Large for the North American Skull Base Society.  He serves as Director of the Center for Hearing and Balance and Ear Institute for the Mount Sinai Health System.  He was inducted into the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum.  He is a recipient of the Harris P. Mosher Award for excellence in the study, teaching and practice of Otolaryngology from the Triological Society for his work on cochlear implants.  Dr. Wanna has published more than 100 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and is the editor of four books on tumors of the ears, glomus jugulare paraganglioma and cochlear implants. He is an internationally renowned hearing and balance surgeon and researcher.  Dr. Wanna completed his residency training in Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and he completed a two-year fellowship in Neurotology at Vanderbilt University Hospital.