November 28, 2023

Turner named chair of Otolaryngology

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Turner Headshot 112123After a national search, Justin Turner, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Otolaryngology in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, effective May 31, 2024. In this role, Turner will support the growth of the department; identify future opportunities and needs; and provide strategic leadership for all aspects of the department, including representing the department within the UAB enterprise, creating collaboration opportunities, and building bridges across the institution.

“UAB Otolaryngology has a distinguished history and a world-class faculty,” said Turner. “It is a great honor to be trusted in this role, and I look forward to working closely with all members of the department to further develop the tripartite mission of excellence in clinical care, research, and education.”

Turner is a tenured professor, vice chair for Research, and director of the Vanderbilt Smell and Taste Center in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He leads an active NIH-supported translational research program focused on the immunology of chronic rhinosinusitis and mechanisms of olfactory loss. Turner is the principal investigator on several NIH grants including an RO1 from NIH/NIA, an R25 grant to train physician-scientists, and an R13 grant from NIH/NIDCD. He is also the principal investigator on a K24 grant from NIH/NIAID—a rarity for a surgeon.

His clinical practice is focused on management of inflammatory sinus disease and skull base neoplasms. In addition, Turner directs the Vanderbilt Sinonasal Diseases Research Lab and performs basic and translational research into chronic inflammatory airway diseases such as chronic rhinosinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma, and investigates basic mechanisms of olfactory loss in humans.

Turner earned a B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his residency at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a fellowship in Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“I am confident that Dr. Turner will be an exceptional leader as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and I look forward to supporting his vision for the future of this outstanding department,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine.