Yuri Agrawal, MD, MPH, an accomplished clinician with a substantial research portfolio and a demonstrated commitment to education, has been named chair of the Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, effective August 1, 2023.
Agrawal is professor of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an attending physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Agrawal, and I am confident that her expertise will contribute to the ongoing successes of our school of medicine,” said Dean John J. Reilly Jr., MD. “Our school and our clinical partners support her vision to build on the department’s successes in ways that will elevate its standing in rankings, funding, training, and patient visits.”
“I am excited by this opportunity to expand a strong program and to work with the talented faculty at the University of Colorado,” Agrawal said. “The school and its hospital partners have shown a strong commitment to providing the best care, education, and research for the benefit of the entire community, and I look forward to leading teams contributing to those outcomes.”
Agrawal is principal investigator on multiple major National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants that focus on the vestibular system in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The vestibular sensory system housed in the inner ear is critical for the sense of balance, yet the impact of aging on how that important system functions is poorly understood.
Among her currently funded projects, her lab uses state-of-the-art computational image analysis techniques to determine age-related changes in central vestibular structures. In another study, she aims to help people with Alzheimer’s disease, for whom falls are a major cause of injury. One of Agrawal’s projects aims to design studies that could improve vestibular function and prevent falls in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Agrawal is widely recognized for her research work, publishing more than 100 manuscripts, lecturing at major national and international scientific conferences, and serving as a member and chair of the NIH Sensorimotor Neuroscience Study section.
As an educator, Agrawal has been active in all phases of training. In her lab, she has mentored more than 30 pre- and postdoctoral fellows, residents, and students from Hopkins and other institutions. She also mentors junior faculty through an NIH grant. For her department, she serves as vice chair of academic affairs overseeing committees related to mentorship, promotions, wellness, professionalism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
She has also been a leader among peers in the otolaryngology community. She currently serves as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology and has served on the American Board of Otolaryngology as an oral board examiner and is a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She also serves as education director of the American Neurotology Society, responsible for medical education activities.
In clinical practice, Agrawal is an accomplished ear and skull base surgeon. Additionally, she oversees the largest otolaryngology clinical practice site in her department. During the past four years, that practice doubled the number of patients receiving care, and developed new multidisciplinary service lines for treating head and neck oncology patients and those with facial nerve and skull base tumors.
Agrawal earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University and her MD from the Yale University School of Medicine. She then completed her internship, residency, and fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also earned a master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
At the CU Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Agrawal succeeds Herman Jenkins, MD, who stepped down in February 2022 after 21 years as the department’s chair, and Todd Kingdom, MD, who has served as interim chair.