MERRY E. SEBELIK, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Associate Professor
Chief, Research Division in Otolaryngology
Director VAMC Head and Neck Oncology

Office: 430 910 Madison Building
Tel: (901) 448-5886
msebelik@uthsc.edu

Education

  • Other, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Head & Neck Oncologic Surgery
  • Board Cert., Medical College of Wisconsin, Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
  • M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Medicine
  • Other, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Gross Anatomy
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Biology-Zoology emphasis

Clinical Care Specialty/Interest

 Dr. Sebelik''s clinical care location is exclusively within the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.  Within the VA, she participates in the multidisciplinary care of patients with benign and malignant disease of the head and neck.  She directs the Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Service, which includes outpatient clinic visits, outpatient minor procedures including ultrasound imaging of the head and neck, major surgical procedures of the head and neck with an emphasis on surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and inpatient care of the head and neck patient.

In an effort to standardize and enhance excellent patient outcomes, she enjoys interaction with multiple clinical services at the VA, including the Hematology/Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Dental, Endocrinology, Dermatology, General Surgery, Speech and Language Pathology, Surgical Pathology, and Radiology Services.

Dr. Sebelik has been selected to lead the development of Simulation-Based Education on Out of Operating Room Airway Management (OOORAM) at the Memphis VA, part of a national initiative to use multidisciplinary airway education to improve patient safety and care outcomes.

Bio Statement

Dr. Sebelik, a native of Wisconsin, received her medical degree and Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Affiliated Hospitals as well as fellowship training in Head & Neck Surgical Oncology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.  

She has been affiliated with University of Tennessee Health Science Center since 1999 and currently directs the Head and Neck Oncology service at the VAMC-Memphis in addition to serving as Director of the Research Division with the UTHSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Research Interest/Specialty

Dr. Sebelik''s clinical practice has an emphasis on endocrine surgery of the head and neck, incorporating surgeon-performed ultrasound into the diagnostic, interventional, and surgery planning stages of clinical care.  Thus, she participates in research studies addressing expanded indications for ultrasound use in clinical care and employs ultrasound imaging in translational research.

She has a strong interest in addressing deficits in surgical care in the developing world and was recently elected Chair of the Collaborations and Partnerships Working Group and Executive Board of the World Health Organization''s Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care. 

Within the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), she chairs the Humanitarian Efforts Committee and is a member of the Endocrine Surgery Committee and International Steering Committee.  Along with key members of these and other committees she is active in establishing guidelines for ethical best practices in performance of humanitarian surgery in low-resource settings, as well as expanding opportunities for otolaryngology trainees in surgical mission work.

Dr. Sebelik is an American College of Surgeons certified Ultrasound Instructor and has conducted resident training courses in head and neck ultrasound, locally and with the ACS, as well as assisted in AAO-HNS ultrasound instruction.  She has, along with Ryan Meacham, MD (resident investigator) recently published a cadaver-based feasibility study of tongue base ultrasound. They also have completed and presented an interesting national survey of otolaryngology resident attitudes toward ultrasound education.

She enjoys other cadaver-based anatomic studies, including one that verified endoscopic access to the sphenopalatine artery can be accomplished in a less invasive manner.  In addition, Dr. Sebelik and her collaborators are completing a study of a novel drug-delivery mechanism in solid tumors, using a rodent model and high-resolution ultrasound imaging.  Her clinical research interests include patient safety initiatives for in-hospital emergency airway management, refinement of staging paradigms for head and neck malignancy subsites, context-relevant clinical practice guidelines for thyroid surgery, and expanded applications of ultrasound imaging in the head and neck.

Another avenue of interest for Dr. Sebelik is the exciting realm of theories and processes of surgical education and skills acquisition.  She is an active member of the GME-based Surgical Simulation committee and is developing quantitative means of assessing surgical skills in applicants to residency.  Dr. Sebelik serves as the Director of the Research Division in Otolaryngology at UTHSC, along with John Boughter, PhD, Herb Gould, PhD, Jerome Thompson, MD, and Rose Mary Stocks, MD.  Together, they work to optimize the Otolaryngology resident experience in research and provide opportunities for faculty development.

Clinical care specialist/interest

Ultrasound examination and guided procedures of the head and neck

Thyroid and parathyroid tumors with emphasis on minimally invasive surgical techniques

Multidisciplinary management of upper aerodigestive tract benign and malignant tumors

Skin cancer of the head and neck

Vocal rehabilitation of the laryngectomy patient

Speech and swallowing disorders

 

Area of teaching/subject

Ultrasound of the Head and Neck (American College of Surgeons Ultrasound Faculty)

Examination of the Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck

International Humanitarian Surgical Efforts

Gross Anatomy of the Head and Neck, Clinical Lab Assistant

Surgical Skills Workshop                                                                      

Examination of the Ear, Nose and Throat                                              

End-of-Life Issues and Breaking Bad News

Difficult Airway Management 

Professionalism in Medicine

Management of Oral Cavity Cancer

Management of Oropharynx Cancer

Evaluation of the Thyroid Nodule

Histopathology of Common Head & Neck Diseases 

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer of the Head and Neck           

Research keywords

thyroid cancer, parathyroid adenoma, humanitarian surgery, global burden of surgical disease, ultrasound applications in the head and neck, professionalism in surgery, minimally invasive surgery, vocal rehabilitation after laryngectomy, surgical skills training, surgical education, endemic goiter, iodine deficiency, human papilloma virus and head and neck cancer, transoral excision tumors, robotic head and neck surgery, sphenopalatine artery anatomy

Research Description

Funded Research:

Utility of High-Resolution Ultrasound versus Thermography to Measure Tumor Response to a Novel Drug Delivery Method in a Murine Model.  Adjunct to Aerogel delivery study.  Department of Pharmacology, UTHSC institutional funding (2012) Co-Investigator with Elizabeth Barker, doctoral candidate.

Ultrasound Identification of Anterior Jugular Veins Relative to the Cricothyroid Membrane:  A Cadaver Survey.  Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (November 2012) Principal investigator with Blakely Thornton, MD, resident investigator.

Horizontal versus Vertical Incision for Emergency Cricothyrotomy:  Challenging Dogma.  Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (September 2012).  Simulation-based comparative study among otolaryngology trainees.  Principal investigator with Jared Tompkins, MD, resident investigator.

Aerogel delivery of antineoplastic agent in a nude mouse glioblastoma tumor model. Department of Pharmacology, UTHSC institutional funding (2012) Co-Investigator with Elizabeth Barker, doctoral candidate.

New versus Reprocessed Coblator Wands:  Wire Degradation and Tissue Efficacy in a Porcine Tongue Model.  Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (Presented at Ed Cocke Research Symposium, 2012 **Winner of 2012 Basic Science Research Award**) Principal investigator with Shawn Allen MD, resident investigator. 

Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspirate of the Tongue Base:  A Prospective Clinical Trial.  Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (July 2011) Principal investigator with Ryan Meacham, MD, resident investigator.

Facial Nerve Regeneration in the Rat:  A Comparison of Standard Suture Technique versus a Novel Alignment Cassette.  Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (June 2011) Principal investigator with David Rodwell, MD and Ryan Meacham, MD, resident investigators.

 P16INK4a Antigen Immunoexpression in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx in the VA Population. Sam Sanders Resident Research Foundation (May 2010) Principal investigator with Chafeek Tomeh, MD, resident investigator.  Poster presentation at AHNS 2010.

 A Histopathological Comparison of Two Techniques of Lesions of the Oral Cavity/Oropharynx in Normal Rats:  Fiber-Mediated CO2 Laser vs. Electrocautery.  Omniguide, Inc.  (October 2009 to April 2011) – Principal Investigator with Courtney Shires, MD, resident investigator.  Poster presentation at AHNS 2011, published.

The Effects of Sensory or Motor Nerve Deafferentiation on Oromotor Function in Mice.  NIH/Boughter. (Podium presentation at 2010 AAO-HNS, published)  Sub-investigator with Courtney Shires, MD, resident investigator and J Boughter, PhD, et al.

Other (Unfunded) Research:

Evolution of Management of Primary Hyperparathyroidism in a VAMC Health System:  Evidence-Based Management Protocol and Future Directions.  (2012) Retrospective analysis and clinical practice recommendations, with B Thornton, resident investigator.

Complications in Emergency Resuscitation of Tracheotomy and Laryngectomy Patients:  A Single-Institution Analysis.  (2012)  Patient Safety Review with J Tompkins, resident investigator.

Simulation in Otolaryngology Training:  A Systematic Review. (2012)  Manuscript in process, with J Tompkins, resident investigator.

Calcium Management After Total/Completion Thyroidectomy:  Impact of Vitamin D Deficiency in a VA Population.  (2012)  Retrospective analysis and prospective observational study, (Presented at Ed Cocke Research Symposium, 2012 **Winner of 2012 Clinical Research Award**) with J LeSueur, J Somerville, resident investigators.

Ultrasound detection of polyurea crosslinked silica aerogels: an in vivo study.  (2012)  Study with U of Memphis as pilot/background to Facial Nerve Repair study (Presented to St. Jude Research Symposium, Oct 2012), with Sabri F, Meacham R, Challis M, Boughter J. 

Extended Transoral Laryngeal Microsurgery:  A Novel Technique for Anterior Commissure Involvement.  (2012)  Clinical case series and cadaver feasibility study (Presented at Ed Cocke Research Symposium, 2012) with Tomeh C, Hall CJ.  

Humanitarian Surgery Outcomes Reporting:  A Systematic Review.  (2011)  Work product from Quality Working Group, ASAP, manuscript in process, with Casey KM, Wells, K.  

Participation in International Humanitarian Medicine by University of Tennessee Faculty:  A Survey-Based Analysis to Determine Interest in a UT Global Health Institute.  (2011) Study endorsed by CIAO, UTHSC.  With Novick W, Pyda JS, Meacham R, Vaikunth S.  

Introduction of Quantitative Hand Motion Analysis to Surgical Skills Assessment of Otolaryngology Residency Applicants.  (2012) Funding sought, with Stocks RM, Feldbaum V.

Analysis of Practice Pattern Disparity Between the US and Humanitarian Mission Delivery of Goiter Surgery.   (2011)  Study endorsed by the Endocrine and Humanitarian Committees of the AAO-HNS (Presented to ASAP Nov 2011, and to MCW Annual Research Day July 2012), with Orloff LM, Terris D, Rohde S, Netterville J, Randolph GW.  

The current level of ultrasound training in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery training programs:  a survey-based analysis.  (Presented at 2012 AAO-HNS, manuscript in process)  Study endorsed by the Endocrine Committee of the AAO-HNS, with Meacham R Orloff L.  

Classification System for Lateral Pharyngotomy.  (Poster presentation at 2011 AAO-HNS, manuscript in process)  Cadaver dissection and literature review with Shires CB, Rodwell D, Tomeh C, Samant S.  

Sialolipoma of the parotid gland: Case report with literature review comparing major and minor salivary gland sialolipomas.  (Poster presentation at Southern Section Meeting, Naples, FL Jan 2012, )  Case report and literature survey, accepted for publication, with Qayyam S, Meacham R.  

Racial and gender disparity in perceived facelift outcomes.  (Presented to 2012 Ed Cocke Research Symposium), with Rodwell D, McDevitt A, Hodges JM. 

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Metastatic to the Skull Base:  A Case Report. (2011) Case report and literature review, with Saini A, Meacham R.  

Development of an Orthotopic, Patient-Derived Tumor Implant, Immunocompetent Animal Model:  The Hamster Cheek Pouch Revisited.  Feasibility study (2011) with Elizabeth Barker, et al.

Humanitarian Goiter Surgery:  Ethics and Best Practices in Low-Resource Settings.  Systematic review of literature and clinical guideline development.  (Miniseminar Presentation at AAO-HNS 2011)  Co-investigator with Randolph GW, Netterville JL, Orloff L, Terris D, Rohde S. 

Surgical Skills of Applicants to Residency in Otolaryngology.  Longitudinal correlative skills analysis.  (Poster presentation at 2012 AAO-HNS)  Principal investigator with Stocks RM, Lewoczko K, Challis M.  

 

Publications

  1. Sabri, F, Sebelik, ME, Meacham, R, Boughter, JD, Challis, MJ, Leventis, N. In vivo ultrasonic detection of polyurea crosslinked silica aerogel implants. PLoS One, 8 (6), e66348, 2013.
  2. Qayyum, S, Meacham, R, Sebelik, M, Zafar, N. Sialolipoma of the parotid gland: Case report with literature review comparing major and minor salivary gland sialolipomas. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol, 17 (1), 95-7, 2013.
  3. Meacham RK, Boughter JD Jr, Sebelik ME. Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of the tongue base: a cadaver feasibility study. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg (147(5)), 864-9, 2012.
  4. Shires CB, Saputra JM, King L, Thompson JW, Heck DH, Sebelik ME, Boughter JD Jr. Histopathological and Postoperative Behavioral Comparison of Rodent Oral Tongue Resection: Fiber-Enabled CO2 Laser versus Electrocautery.. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg (147(4)), 716-21, 2012.
  5. Meacham RK, LeSueur JR, Sebelik ME, Hodges JM. Pathology quiz case 1. Leishmaniasis of the tongue.. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 8 (138), 777-8, 2012.
  6. Shires, CB, Saputra, JM, Stocks, RM, Sebelik, ME, Boughter, JD. Effects of sensory or motor nerve deafferentation on oromotor function in mice. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 144 (6), 915-20, 2011.
  7. Shires, CB, Boughter, JD, Sebelik, ME. Sphenopalatine Artery Ligation: A Cadaver Anatomic Study. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2011.
  8. Shete, MM, Stocks, RM, Sebelik, ME, Schoumacher, RA. Effects of adeno-tonsillectomy on polysomnography patterns in Down syndrome children with obstructive sleep apnea: a comparative study with children without Down syndrome. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol, 74 (3), 241-4, 2010.
  9. Shires C, Stocks RM, Thompson JW, Sebelik ME, Samant S. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma of the Thyroid Gland in a Child. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology Extra, 2010.
  10. Shete MM, Sebelik ME, Salazar J. Multiplanar CT Reconstruction to Diagnose Lemierre Syndrome. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery, 143 (2), P167-P168, 2010.
  11. LeSueur J, Sebelik ME. Oral Cavity Manifestations of Visceral Leishmaniasis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery, 143 (2), P168, 2010.
  12. Sebelik ME. "I may not be a better surgeon, but I am a better doctor.": The value of surgical missions for residents.. The Bulletin (March), 2010.
  13. Hodges JM, McDevitt AS, El-Sayed Ali AI, Sebelik ME. Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma: current treatment modalities and future considerations.. Indian J Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery, 62 (3), 236-247, 2010.
  14. Donepudi S, Childers A, Baddour M, Sebelik ME. Operative vs nonoperative staging for head and neck cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery, 141 (3), P159, 2009.
  15. Allen JW, Vasireddy S, Kaufman J, Hughes JM, Sebelik ME, Salazar JE, Niell HB. Feasibility study of capecitabine (cap) and cisplatin (cis) with radiation therapy (RT) in the management of patients with locally advanced unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC). Journal of Clinical Oncology, 25 (18S), 2007.
  16. Dhawan SS, Costello TC, Costello AL, Sebelik ME, Olson B, Gaber AO. Non-cutaneous Head and Neck Cancer in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 102, S426-S458, 2007.
  17. Glickstein, J, Sebelik, ME, Lu, Q. Cutaneous angiosarcoma of the head and neck: a case presentation and review of the literature. Ear Nose Throat J, 85 (10), 672-4, 2006.
  18. Marrs, CR, Sebelik, ME, Hodges, JM. Actinomycosis presenting as a temporal mass. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 132 (1), 163-4, 2005.
  19. Sebelik ME. Chondroradionecrosis of the larynx in patients treated with organ preservation therapy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery, 131 (2), P63-P64, 2004.
  20. Staton, J, Robbins, KT, Newman, L, Samant, S, Sebelik, M, Vieira, F. Factors predictive of poor functional outcome after chemoradiation for advanced laryngeal cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 127 (1), 43-7, 2002.
  21. Snowden, RT, Osborn, FD, Wong, FS, Sebelik, ME. Superficial leiomyosarcoma of the head and neck: case report and review of the literature. Ear Nose Throat J, 80 (7), 449-53, 2001.
  22. Sebelik, ME, Shami, H, Robbins, KT. Postoperative wound infection in head and neck oncologic procedures. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg, 53 (3), 245, 2000.
  23. Sebelik, ME, Robbins, T. Management of the N0 neck. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg, 53 (3), 221, 2000.
  24. Weber RS, Sebelik ME, et al. Infectious Complications Following Craniofacial Resection. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer, 1996.
  25. Millen SJ, Sebelik ME. Management of CSF Otorhinorrhea following Retrosigmoid Removal of Cerebellopontine Angle Tumors. The Proceedings of Middle Section Meeting of The Triologic Society, 1992.