February 2024


From the “Sub-Sterile”

A message from the Chair: Bill Collins

We are currently in the midst of resident interview season, and so glad to be back in person for these events. Many of you may remember that time of your life well, with vivid memories and perhaps even a few friendships that you maintain even today. For me, it is always a refreshing experience to see and meet the future of our specialty. Based on the applications we are seeing year after year, it is reassuring to know that the future is in good hands! And I am equally thankful that I am not applying myself this year, because I fear that I would not match up!

In addition to showcasing the work of our fabulous faculty (see below for Team Rhinology), one of my favorite topics of conversation during these interviews is to talk about you- our alumni! After all, that is the end game that everyone is aiming for: to graduate residency and go out into the world as a successful and competent surgeon. It is always wonderful to hear from each and every one of you. We consider a Match commitment with a candidate to be a lifelong commitment; not just between them and our program, but between our program and them. Maintaining these life long relationships is an important priority for our department.  Sometimes this is as simple as catching up over an adult beverage at national meetings. At other times it may be an informal mentoring relationship between a current and a past resident providing career advice, job search recommendations, or negotiation suggestions.  So please, don’t be strangers!  Let us know how you are doing, and your successes in life, both professional and personal. You are always part of UF ENT!

Team Sinus Research Highlights for 2023

In a year marked by outstanding achievements, Team Sinus, under the leadership of Jeb Justice, MD (Division Chief for Rhinology) and Jennifer Mulligan, PhD (Vice Chair for Research), has excelled in advancing rhinology research here at UF and nationally. Notable accomplishments include Lindsey’s impressive oral presentation at the Tampa NASBS meeting, the acceptance of Lindsey and Dr. Lobo’s manuscript on olfaction for publication, and the initiation of a 6th-month follow-up study on olfactory perception after surgery. The team welcomed two new Rhinology research fellows, celebrated the success of the first UF rhinology research fellow (Andrew Hess), and achieved significant milestones in clinical trials, research funding, and awards. Collaborations with organizations like Regeneron, MUSC, 3D Matrix, and Diag-Nose have expanded the team’s research scope, including ventures into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Dr. Justice’s recognition as the first HHT Center of Excellence in Florida, breakthroughs in spatial genomics for CRS studies, and the discovery of a snot collection device after a decade-long search highlight the team’s commitment to innovation. As the year concludes, Team Sinus anticipates continued success and groundbreaking contributions to the field of rhinology.

Jennifer Mulligan, PhD joined our Department full time in March of 2023 as an Associate Professor.  With her arrival she also assumed the newly created role of Vice Chair for Research as well as becoming our new Director of Resident Research Education.  Dr. Mulligan earned her PhD in 2009 the Medical University of South Carolina with a focus on tumor immunology, including head and cancer.  As postdoctoral fellow her interest shifted to chronic rhinosinusitis which remains a major focus of her research.   In 2012, she was appointed to the rank of Assistant Professor in the Rhinology Division at MUSC, where she also transitioned to Associate Professor in 2020.  

Dr. Mulligan is engaged in multiple facets of peer review including serving as a member of the editorial boards for the International Forum of Rhinology & Allergy, Journal of Clinical Medicine and an Associate editor for Frontiers in Immunology.  She also serves as a Program Advisory Committee Member for the International Vitamin D Workshop.  Lastly, she is extremely active in the NIH grant review process and currently serves as the Chair of the NIH’s Small Business, Innovative Immunology Study Section.  

Dr. Mulligan has a history of continuous funding from foundation, industry and the NIH and currently serves as the principle investigator of two NIH R01’s (Role of Vitamin D Metabolism in CRS  and Epithelial cell Complement Production in the Pathogenesis of CRS).  Drs. Justice and Lobo serve as her co-investigators for both of these studies. She is also involved in a numerous collaboration examining the use of nasal mucus biomarkers to predict responses to biologics and to understand the role of the immune system in driving olfactory dysfunction.  In 2023, she was awarded funding by 3-D Matrix Medical Technologies to investigate the role of PuraGel® in promoting improved post-operative wound healing.  While this research is currently focused on endoscopic sinus surgery-based procedures, the long-term goal is to expand these findings to other ENT-subspecialties.

Jeb M. Justice, MD – Dr Justice has been with UF Otolaryngology since 2012.  He is now the Co-Director, along with Director Dr. Ali Ataya, of the first HHT (Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectias – previously known as Osler-Weber-Rendu) Center of Excellence in the state of Florida. He cares for over 160 HHT patients so far, while trying and researching new surgical and medical therapies (including PuraGel) for these patients.  He is now offering sclerotherapy for nasal telangiectasias and AVMs in the head and neck for appropriate patients.  Dr Justice has a recorded CME lecture on the CureHHT.org website that can be accessed to hear updates on treatment strategies for HHT related epistaxis.  Dr Justice gave 4 lectures at the National HHT Conference in Seattle, WA and will be giving another at the HHT Meeting outside of Philadelphia in April 2024.  The UF HHT Center of Excellence has also submitted several abstracts to the International HHT Meeting in Southern France in October 2024.

Dr Justice continues to see patients in the Clinic for Smell Disorders.  He also lectured in November 2023 at the Towards Universal Chemosensory Testing meeting regarding smell and taste disorders in Philadelphia, PA.  The Clinic for Smell Disorders sees patients with smell loss from all etiologies and hopes to begin trialing innovative treatments in the future.

Dr Justice has also been the Principal Investigator (PI) on 3 industry sponsored clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of “biologics” or monoclonal antibody therapies for patients with Nasal polyps.  Enrollment has closed but we are currently following multiple patients in these exciting trials to will impact Rhinologic care for decades to come. Learn more about these trials by clicking the link to clinicaltrials.gov NCT05274750NCT04157335, NCT04959448 

Brian C. Lobo, MD – Dr. Lobo has been with UF since 2017, where he has worked beside Dr. Justice to grow and expand the division of Advanced Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery.  Since 2017, in collaboration with Dr. Steve Roper from Neurosurgery, he has transitioned the UF Microscopic Pituitary Surgery Program completely to Endoscopic Surgery, advancing the techniques for accessing tumor of the pituitary gland.  In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Jason Blatt with Neurosurgery, he co-founded the UF Health Comprehensive Skull Base Surgery Center, bringing together specialists from Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Endocrinology, and Neuro-Ophthalmology to provide comprehensive care of tumors of the central and lateral skull base.  As this collaboration has grown, Dr. Si Chen from the Neuro-Otology division has provided expertise in lateral skull base surgical access for neurosurgery, and we have expanded the neurosurgeons involved in endoscopic skull base surgery to Drs. Matt Koch and Lance Governale.  Importantly, as the draw of this multidisciplinary center has grown, it has allowed for growth of our division, and Dr. Lobo was excited to hire Dr. Nikita Chapurin, who will be expanding patient access for complicated sinonasal tumors, which require a specialized skillset to achieve optimal results.  Collaborating with Dr. Mulligan’s lab, he and one of UF’s first year medical students were able to discover a previously undemonstrated discordance between preoperative patient smell assessment and objective measurement, and are currently conducting a follow up study to see how these disparities persist in the post operative timeframe

Outside of the clinical care realm, Dr. Lobo also works as one of the Associate Chief Medical Informatics Officers for UF Health on an enterprise scale, helping physicians and providers navigate the nuances of digital health, artificial intelligence, and cutting edge technologies for patient care.

He has been fortunate to be awarded two UF College of Medicine Level award for excellence – the  UF Medicine Rising Star Award – for excellence both in and out of clinical care; and the 2023 Exemplary Teacher Award – for excellence in medical student, resident, fellow, and collegial teaching.

Nikita Chapurin. MD – joined the Department in September 2023, and is the newest member of the UF Rhinology group. He completed his medical education at Duke University and finished with an M.D. and a master’s (M.H.S.) in clinical research. During his time at Duke University, he was also an NIH/CTSA funded pre-doctoral scholar. He went to complete his Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery residency training at Vanderbilt University, followed by Rhinology & Anterior Skull Base Surgery Fellowship at MUSC.

Dr. Chapurin is an active member of the American Rhinologic Society and the North American Skull Base Society. His research interests include improvement in medical and surgical management of chronic rhinosinusitis, innovation in skull base surgery and nasal cavity and skull base tumors. He has authored over 38 peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters. He is excited to join the team and to serve as a co-director of the UF Rhinology Research Fellowship.

UF Rhinology Research Fellowship Update – While 2022 saw the inaugural year of the Rhinology Division’s Research Fellowship, in 2023 we watched our first research fellow, Andrew Hess MD, match into residency in the Otolaryngology Department at Dartmouth University.  The fellowship’s goal is to offer robust translational and clinical research training, grow foundational knowledge, and provide career development and mentorship to assist the fellow during the Otolaryngology Residency Match[MK1] .  While the first year for UF, Dr. Mulligan has been mentoring research fellows since 2012.   Beginning in 2024 the fellowship will be Co-Directed by her and Dr. Chapurin.

A major goal for the Rhinology Division is that this position be a paid fellowship, available to any eligible candidate, regardless of income.  We are very grateful to the Gyllstrom Family Fund for Smell and Taste Research for supporting Dr. Hess.  We are also grateful to the Wendell Jarrad Foundation for supporting our 2023-2024 Research Fellowship. 

More information about the UF Rhinology Research Fellowship can be found here

More information on supporting the UF Rhinology Research Fellowship can found at https://ent.ufl.edu/donate/   or contracting Development Associate, Ben Valentine valebe@shands.ufl.edu.

Grateful Alumnus Supports Resident Research Work:

Rufus “Dick” Holloway, MD (UF ENT residency class of 1967) built himself a very successful career in medicine, as well as with his groundbreaking work in water conservation and tree farming in Central Florida. Since his retirement from the practice of medicine, Dr. Holloway has been far from idle! He remains very active in education and conservation through “The Holloway Foundation” in Leesburg, Florida, using that venue as a host site for many educational activities about the history and natural ecosystems of Florida for local school children and residents. Dr. Holloway fondly recalls his residency here at UF under the tutelage of department legends such as Dr. George Singleton. One of his fondest memories was his ability to attend national ENT professional meetings as a resident, and getting to meet and network with other Otolaryngologists around the country. Very graciously, Dr. Holloway has donated back to the UF Foundation and the UF Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The Holloway Resident Travel Fund will provide funding every year to allow residents to travel to national meetings such as the annual American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery meeting and the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings. By traveling to these meetings every year, our residents are able to experience the privilege of being part of our talented specialty, as well as providing the ability to present their academic research and network with others in their search for a position post-residency. Thank you to Dr. Holloway for making this possible for our residents!


As graduates of our program, we hope that your time here at UF Otolaryngology was as pivotal and important time in your careers, which has served to propel each of you to great success. Please consider voting for us in this year’s Doximity US News & World Report hospital rankings at Doximity.com. You can search us by any of the following institutional names:

UF Health
UF Health Shands
UF Health Shands Hospital/Children’s Hospital
University of Florida
University of Florida Health
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital/Children’s Hospital

Let us know what is new in your life!

We would love to know what is new in your life: job promotions, leadership positions, new children or grandchildren, or any other exciting life updates.  Please send these updates to william.collins@ent.ufl.edu or nichole.haring@ent.ufl.edu and we can include them in future newsletters.

If you are interested in learning more about giving back to the department, please click the link here.