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John B. Sunwoo

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Stanford Cancer Center 875 Blake Wilbur Dr CC-2223 MC 5820 Stanford, CA 94305
    Tel Work (650) 498-6000 Fax (650) 724-7091
  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Tel (650) 725-6500
    Alternate Contact
    Lucy Warren Administrative Assistant Tel Work 650-725-5968
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use

Professional Overview

Clinical Focus

  • Cancer> Cutaneous (Dermatologic) Oncology
  • Cancer> Head and Neck Cancer
  • Thyroid Neoplasms
  • Melanoma
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms
  • Tongue Neoplasms
View All 11clinical focus of John Sunwoo

Administrative Appointments

  • Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Dept. of Otolaryngology (2013 - present)
  • Co-Director, Thyroid and Parathyroid Tumor Board, Stanford University School of Medicine (2011 - present)
  • Member, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program, Stanford University School of Medicine (2011 - present)
  • Member, Metastatic and Recurrent Head and Neck Disease Task Force, Head and Neck Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute, NIH (2011 - present)
  • Member, Research Committee, American Head and Neck Society (2010 - 2013)
  • Member, CORE Grants Study Section, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (2009 - present)
View All 7administrative appointments of John Sunwoo

Honors and Awards

  • Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors, Inc. (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2013, 2014)
  • Faculty Teacher of the Year, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Stanford University (2012)
  • K08 Award, National Institutes of Health (2004)
  • Chief Resident Teaching Award, Washington University (2003)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Washington University (2003)
View All 10honors and awards of John Sunwoo

Professional Education

Residency: Washington University School Of Medicine MO (2003)
Medical Education: Washington University School Of Medicine MO (1993)
Board Certification: Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology (2004)
Fellowship: National Institutes of Health MD (2000)
Internship: UC Davis Health System CA (1994)
M.D.: Washington University, Medicine (1993)
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Postdoctoral Advisees

Uriel Moreno Nieves

Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations

Scientific Focus

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My laboratory is focused on two primary areas of research: (1) the immune response to head and neck cancer and to a tumorigenic population of cells within these malignancies called cancer stem cells; (2) the developmental programs of a special lymphocyte population involved in innate immunity called natural killer (NK) cells.

The overarching goal of my laboratory is to understand how NK cells, in the broader context of the host immune system, protect against developing and metastasizing tumor cells, especially a rare population of tumor-initiating cells called cancer stem cells. These tumorigenic cells have been isolated from a number of solid tumor malignancies, including human head and neck cancer. Heterogeneity of immune potency between individuals with these malignancies is well accepted but poorly understood. The work in my laboratory will address the questions of how and why the immune system can respond to and control malignant cells in some contexts but not in others. Clarity of the underlying basis for these differences would potentially explain why certain individuals are more susceptible to cancer, lead to better screening strategies, and ultimately provide much needed insight into how the host immune system can be manipulated to control cancer.

Despite the well-documented importance of NK cells in innate immunity, the development of this lymphocyte population is still poorly understood. In many patients afflicted with cancer, the NK cells from those individuals do not respond to typical NK cell stimuli. A more complete understanding of NK cell development may ultimately reveal potential ways by which malignancies render NK cells dysfunctional. My laboratory is particularly interested in understanding the transcriptional regulation of NK cell development and differentiation from stem and progenitor cells.


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Publication Topics

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