Dr. Ryan Branski is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Pathology in the School of Medicine at NYU. He also has an affiliate appointment in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is a licensed speech pathologist and serves as the Associate Director of the Voice Center at NYU Langone Health. In addition to maintaining a clinical practice, Dr. Branski runs a productive research enterprise encompassing both clinical and laboratory initiatives. His NIH-funded laboratory primarily focuses on wound healing and regenerative approaches to optimized healing in the upper aerodigestive track. Dr. Branski is one of only a few investigators to be named a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and the American Laryngological Association.
This is the first of a two-part interview with Dr Ryan Branski.
In Part One, Dr. Branski points out that voice loss is the most common communication disorder while the Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders allocates only 6% of research dollars for voice disorders and 70% for hearing loss research. The impacts of voice disorders are broad and hard to characterize. Psychosocial implications also are profound.
Dr. Branski indicated that we do a ton of in-office procedures. We can put just about any therapeutic into a larynx. In our lab, we have spent a lot of time looking at steroids. We also do a fair amount of gene therapy. Unlike cholesterol studies, looking at vocal fold function in humans is not the same as looking at it in other animals, such as rabbits. We do a lot of tissue engineering. An area we are most interested in using a regenerative medicine approach to vocal fold injury. He indicated that in research, they are starting with new pre-clinical trials. They have new custom carriages and do not have to use connect. One problem is that pre-clinically, we did not know what to look at. So, we have become interested in biomechanical testing.
Dr. Julie Silver has been an integral part of developing the new Spaulding Research Institute from conception to launch. Her research and clinical work have focused on improving gaps in the delivery of healthcare services, particularly cancer rehabilitation. She has published many scientific reports and is well-known for her ground-breaking work on “impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation.” She is the co-founder and co-director of the Cancer Rehabilitation Group for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, a research-focused interdisciplinary professional society. As a healthcare leader, Dr. Silver also is committed to supporting the healthcare workforce, and she is a researcher and nationally recognized expert on inclusion, diversity and equity. She has published multiple reports on bibliometrics—educating researchers about both conventional and alternative metrics—aimed at supporting both research dissemination and faculty promotion. Her work has been featured in several major print and broadcast media throughout the United States.
In Part 2 of this presentation on the topic of “How to Lead High Impact Strategic Initiatives in Health Care,” Dr. Silver specifies that you need to tell a compelling story and every story needs a story board. She tells faculty members, here is your story and here are the parts that are missing. She recognized that medical societies had to do more to equitably support our faculties so that we could be promoted and compensated better. She was able to show that women are under-represented in recognition awards. She also looked at elections. For example, one of her studies demonstrated that for 10 medical societies, they had zero leadership positions for women in the past decade. It also is useful to look at micro inequities. Women are not showing up in medical society newsletters, which means that it is not possible to hear about their work. Progress is underway because medical societies all around the U.S. are beginning to pass gender equity resolutions.