Amber Luong, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, has been named vice chair for academic affairs. In her new role, she will advise and support faculty, residents, and fellows in their academic pursuits and, as an extension of her former position as vice chair for research, she will continue to expand the department’s research footprint to solidify its reputation as a leader in academic otorhinolaryngology.
“In this role, I want to focus on faculty development. The faculty is the heart of the department, and in order to grow the department, the faculty must grow and get stronger,” says Dr. Luong, who wants to create a more formal infrastructure for the promotions process and for mentoring of faculty. “The department’s academic success and reputation is highly dependent on the success of our faculty.”
Similar to her success in expanding research efforts, Dr. Luong aims to recapitulate the expansion and success of academic endeavors. “Over the last seven years, we have grown beyond our initial translational science program focused on my interests in the pathophysiology of chronic sinus disease to a larger clinical research program with industry-sponsored and faculty-initiated clinical trials,” she says. “Our goal is to continue to extend our research focus to other areas of otorhinolaryngology based on our department’s large and rich clinical practice.”
“In addition to supporting our faculty, mentoring junior faculty in their academic and research pursuits, and recruiting basic scientists, she will deepen and widen the department’s academic outreach,” says Martin J. Citardi, MD, professor and chair of the department and Memorial Hermann Endowed Chair.
Dr. Luong joined the department in 2009 and in less than a decade as director of research built a translational otorhinolaryngology research program from the ground up. She has received numerous awards, including the Women in Otolaryngology Helen F. Krause, MD Memorial Trailblazer Award; the 2017 Women Faculty Forum Excellence Award; the American Rhinologic Society Presidential Citation; and the Triological Society’s Edmund Prince Fowler Award. She is a founding member of McGovern Medical School’s Women Faculty Forum and has been actively involved in promoting opportunities for professional development for women at the medical school. She was promoted to full professor with tenure in 2020.