Each year, otorhinolaryngology residents of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth have the opportunity to name the faculty member who has made the greatest impact on their learning experience. This year, the ORL residents recognized Amber U. Luong, MD, PhD, an associate professor and research director in the Department. A practicing rhinologist who cares for many patients with diseases and disorders of the nose and sinuses, Dr. Luong leads the department’s translational science program focused on the role of innate immunity and environmental triggers on the pathophysiology of chronic sinus disease. She also serves as a co-director of the McGovern Medical School’s Rhinology and Skull Base Fellowship with Martin J. Citardi, MD, professor and chair of the Department, and William C. Yao, MD, an assistant professor and winner of last year’s Faculty Member of the Year Award.
Dr. Luong considers it a great honor to be recognized by residents. “Teaching is an act of discovery that offers us the opportunity to gain new insights into our practice,” she says. “Questions from residents can generate new ideas that lead to medical advances. The results of their quality improvement projects help us improve the care we provide. Ultimately we learn as much or more from our residents as they learn from us.”
Dr. Luong received her MD/PhD through the National Institutes of Health-funded Medical Scientist Training Program. She has received multiple grants from the NIH, The Triological Society, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and the American Rhinologic Society. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in various journals, including American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Science and the International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology.
In addition to her basic science research, she is actively engaged in a number of industry-funded translational studies that directly stem from her interest in the relationship of chronic inflammation between the sinuses and lungs and in the role of innovation in management of chronic sinus disease. Both her basic science and translational research complement her clinical interest in the medical and surgical management of chronic sinus disease. In 2017, she was recognized with the Helen F. Krause, MD Memorial Trailblazer Award by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Clinical Excellence Award by the Women Faculty Forum at McGovern Medical School.