Samir Khariwala

Department Chair


The diagnosis of a tumor in the head and neck is daunting for any patient given the possible implications for appearance, speech, and general quality of life. My goal is to establish a foundation of trust and understanding such that my patients fully understand the nature of their disease, the treatment options available, and expected outcomes. I am committed to treating my patients with a combination of well-established therapies and new technology to optimize cure of the disease and quality of life. In addition, microvascular reconstructive techniques are used when appropriate to achieve the goals of optimizing function and form.

Research Summary

I spend my clinical time treating patients with benign and malignant disease of the head neck. Given that this disease is strongly associated with tobacco use, I have become interested in the tobacco-related carcinogenesis and the risk of oral cancer. Specifically, I am driven to produce new and clinically applicable knowledge about the carcinogenic events that lead to oral carcinoma. Many of our patients have a history of smoking, but the factors that cause some smokers to develop carcinoma while others do not are poorly studied. This gap in knowledge led me to study tobacco related carcinogenesis in oral/head and neck cancer. We seek to better understand the specific carcinogens most important in the genesis of oral cancer. This research is expected to not only significantly increase understanding of tobacco-related carcinogenesis, but also aid in risk assessment for oral cancer as well as tobacco regulation efforts.