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John I. Song, MD

Associate Professor, Director Head and Neck Surgery, Practice Director of Otolaryngology - University of Colorado Hospital

John I. Song
Clinical Office:

1635 N. Aurora Court, 6th Floor
Aurora, CO 80045

Appointments:  720-848-2820

Academic Office:

12631 E. 17th Avenue, B205
Aurora, CO 80045

Phone: 303-724-1950
Fax: 303-724-1961

Hospital Affiliations:

University of Colorado Hospital
Rocky Mountian Regional Veteran's Administration Medical Center

Denver Health Hospital

Children's Hospital Colorado

Clinical Interests:

Head and neck oncology, swallowing

Subspecialty Training: Head & neck oncology


Medical School

(1987-1991) MD, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY


(1991-1993) General Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

(1993-1997) Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

(1998) Board Certified: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


(1997-1998) Research Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

(1998-1999) Fellow and Instructor, Advanced Head & Neck Oncologic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

(1999-2000) Fellow, Cranial base surgery, University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Newsweek Top Cancer Doctor 2015-2017
  • Castle Connolly Top Doctors 2005-2018
  • Honor Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (2008)
  • Marquis Who’s Who in America (2007-2018)
  • The Best Doctors in America (2006-2018)
  • K.K. Mamel Outstanding Professor of the Year, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado SOM (2004, 2006)
  • Fellow Travel Award; Triological Society-Eastern Sectional Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA (2000)
  • Citation of Merit: Young Investigator Travel Award for Scientific; Excellence- American Association for Cancer Research; 5th Research Workshop on the Biology, Prevention and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer, McLean, VA (1998)
  • Chief Resident of the Year; Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (1996-1997)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha; New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY (1991)
  • Magna cum laude with Honors in Biology; Brown University, Providence, RI (1986)

Rusthoven KE, Feigenberg SJ, Raben D, Kane M, Song JI, Nicolaou N, Mehra R, Burtness B, Ridge J, Swing R, Lango M, Cohen R, Jimeno A, Chen C. Initial results of a Phase I dose-escalation trial of concurrent and maintenance erlotinib and reirradiation for recurrent and new primary head-and-neck cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 78(4):1020-5. 2010

Minor J, Wang X, Zhang F, Song J, Jimeno A, Wang XJ, Lu X, Gross N, Kulesz-Martin, , Wang D, Lu SL. Methylation of microRNA-9 is a specific and sensitive biomarker for oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas. Oral Oncol. 48(1):73-8, 2012

Keysar SB, Le PN, Anderson RT, Morton JJ, Bowles DW, Paylor JJ, Vogler BW, Thorburn J, Fernandez P, Glogowska MJ, Takimoto SM, Sehrt DB, Gan GN, Eagles-Soukup J, Serracino H, Hirsch FR, Lucia MS, Thorburn A, Song JI, Wang XJ, Jimeno A. Hedgehog signaling alters reliance on EGF receptor signaling and mediates anti-EGFR therapeutic resistance in head and neck cancer. Cancer Res. 2013 Apr 10.

Keysar SB, Astling DP, Anderson RT, Vogler BW, Bowles DW, Morton JJ, Paylor JJ, Glogowska MJ, Le PN, Eagles-Soukup JR, Kako SL, Takimoto SM, Sehrt DB, Umpierrez A, Pittman MA, Macfadden SM, Helber RM, Peterson S, Hausman DF, Said S, Leem TH, Goddard JA, Arcaroli JJ, Messersmith WA, Robinson WA, Hirsch FR, Varella-Garcia M, Raben D, Wang XJ, Song JI, Tan AC, Jimeno A. A patient tumor transplant model of squamous cell cancer identifies PI3K inhibitors as candidate therapeutics in defined molecular bins. Mol Oncol. 2013 April 4. 

White RA, Neiman JM, Reddi A, Han G, Birlea S, Mitra D, Dionne L, Fernandez P, Murao K, Bian L, Keysar SB, Goldstein NB, Song N, Bornstein S, Han Z, Lu X, Wisell J, Li F, Song J, Lu SL, Jimeno A, Roop DR, Wang XJ. Epithelial stem cell mutations that promote squamous cell carcinoma metastasis. J Clin Invest. 2013 Oct 1;123(10):4390-404.

Xu T, Greer R, Lee J, Lee D, Lu SL, Song JI, Lambert P, Pyeon D. Deregulation of chemokine CXCL14 by human papillomavirus-induced DNA hypermethylation. Virology 2014 March (ahead of print).

Deleyiannis FW, Badeau AM, Leem TH, Song JI. Supercharging and augmenting venous drainage of an anterolateral thigh free flap: options and indications. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2014 May 7;2(4) 2014 Apr. PMID:25289328.

Morton JJ, Bird G, Keysar SB, Astling DP, Lyons TR, Anderson RT, Glogowska MJ, Estes P, Eagles JR, Le PN, Gan G, McGettigan B, Fernandez P, Padilla-Just N, Varella-Garcia M, Song JI, Bowles DW, Schedin P, Tan AC, Roop DR, Wang XJ, Refaeli Y, Jimeno A.  XactMice: humanizing mouse bone marrow enables microenvironment reconstitution in a patient-derived xenograft model of head and neck cancer. Oncogene. 2016 Jan 21;35(3):290-300. Epub 2015 Apr 20.

Cicchini L, Westrich JA, Xu T, Vermeer DW, Berger JN, Clambey ET, Lee D, Song JI, Lambert PF, Greer RO, Lee JH, Pyeon D. Suppression of Antitumor Immune Responses by Human Papillomavirus through Epigenetic Downregulation of CXCL14. MBio. 2016 May 3;7(3). PMID: 27143385.

Rau AS, Harry BL, Leem TH, Song JIDeleyiannis FW. Evidence for extending the duration of chemoprophylaxis following free flap harvest from the lower extremity: Prospective screening for deep venous thrombosis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Aug;138(2):500-8. PMID: 27064230

Bauman JE, Duvvuri U, Gooding WE, Rath TJ, Gross ND, Song J, Jimeno A, Yarbrough WG, Johnson FM, Wang L, Chiosea S, Sen M, Kass J, Johnson JT, Ferris RL, Kim S, Hirsch FR, Ellison K, Flaherty JT, Mills GB, Grandis JR. Randomized, placebo-controlled window trial of EGFR, Src, or combined blockade in head and neck cancer. JCI Insight. 2017 Mar 23;2(6) PMID: 28352657.

Thomas CM, Mattingly JK, Hendriske A, Song JI. Case Report of a Massive Retropharyngeal Goiter Resulting in Laryngeal Compression. AA Case Rep. 2017 Sep 15;9 (6): 178-181. PMID: 28542048.

Ludt C, Leppert M, Jones A, Song J, Kuwayama D, Pastula DM, Poisson S. Multiple strokes associated with elongation of the hyoid bone. Neurohospitalist. 2018 Jan;8(1):35-37. doi: 10.1177/1941874417706220. Epub 2017 Apr 28. PMID:29276562.

Rusthoven KE, Raben D, Ballonof A, Kane M, Song JI, Chen C. Effect of radiation techniques in treatment of oropharynx cancer. Laryngoscope. 118(4): 635-9. 2008. Pub Med ID: 18176348

Ballonoff A, Raben D, Rusthoven KE, Bassetti M, Kane M, Song JI, Chen C. Outcomes of patients with N3 neck nodes treated with chemoradiation. Laryngoscope. 2008 Jun; 118(6): 995-8. Pub Med ID: 18364595

Willey CD, Murphy BA, Netterville JL, Burkey BB, Shyr Y, Shakhtour B, Raben D, Kish D, Song JI, Kane MA, Cmelak AJ. A Phase II Multi-Institutional Trial of Chemoradiation Using Weekly Docetaxel and Erythropoietin for High-Risk Postoperative Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Bio Phys. 67 (5), 1323-1331, 2007. Pub Med ID: 17289289

Jones NF, Jarrahy R, Song JI, Kaufman MR, Markowitz B. Postoperative medical complications-not microsurgical complications-negatively influence the morbidity, mortality, and true costs after microsurgical reconstruction for head and neck cancer. Plast Reconstr Surg. 119(7):2053-60, 2007. Pub Med ID: 17519700

Chen C, Kane M, Song J, Campana J, Raben A, Hu K, Harrison L, Quon H, Dancey J, Baron A, Said S, Eckhardt SG, Raben D. Phase I trial of gefitnib in combination with radiation or chemoradiation for patients with locally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer. J Clin Oncol. 25(31):4880-6, 2007. Pub Med ID: 17971583

Song J. Chen C. Raben D. Emerging role of EGFR-targeted therapies and radiation in head and neck cancer. Oncology (Huntington). 18(14):1757-67; discussion 1767, 1771-2, 1777, 2004 Dec. Pub Med ID: 15700625

Lango M, Wentzel AL, Song JI, Xi S, Johnson DE, Lamph WW, Miller L, Grandis JR. Responsiveness to the retinoic acid receptor-selective retinoid LGD1550 correlates with abrogation of transforming growth factor alpha/epidermal growth factor receptor autocrine signaling in head and neck squamous carcinoma cells. Clin Cancer Res. Sep 15;9 (11):4205-13, 2003. Pub Med ID: 14519647

Thomas SM, Coppelli FM, Wells A,Gooding WE, Song J, Kassis J, Drenning SD, Grandis JR. Epidermal growth factor receptor-stimulated activation of phospholipase Cgamma-1 promotes invasion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Res. 2003 Sep 1;63(17):5629-35, 2003. Pub Med ID: 14500405

Song JI, Lango MN, Hwang JD, Drenning SD, Zeng Q, Lamph WW, Grandis JR (eds). Abrogation of Transforming Growth Factor α/Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Autocrine Signaling by an RXR-selective Retinoid (LGD1069: Targretin) in Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines. Cancer Research 61: 5919-25, 2001. Pub Med ID: 11479234

Song JI, Grandis JR. An overview of head and neck cancer. Coping Magazine, March 1999.

Song JI, Grandis JR. STAT signaling in head and neck cancer. Oncogene 19(21): 2489-95, 2000. Pub Med ID: 10851047

Sanes DH, Siverls V, Song J. Development and specificity of inhibitory terminal arborizations in the central nervous system. Journal of Neurobiology, 22(8): 837-54, 1993. Pub Med ID: 1663990

Sanes DH, Song J, Tyson J. Refinement of dendritic arbors along tonotopic axis of the gerbil lateral superior olive. Developmental Brain Research, 67(1): 47-55, 1992. Pub Med ID: 1638742

Song, JI. Salivary Gland Tumors. In: McIntyre RC, Stiegmann GV, Eiseman B (eds) Surgical Decision Making. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.

Song JI, Myers EN. Role of free flaps in head and neck reconstruction. In: Pensak M (ed). Controversies in Otolaryngology. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Tumors of the Parapharyngeal Space. In: Brandao L (ed). Head and Neck Surgery: Basic Principles, Technical and Therapeutic Principles. Sao Paulo, Brazil; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Thyroidectomy. In: Pellitteri PK,  McCaffrey TV (eds). Endocrine Surgery of the Head and Neck. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Benign Sinonasal Neoplasms. In: Alper C, Eibling D, Myers EN (eds). Decision Making in Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Neoplasms of the Tongue. In: Alper C, Eibling D, Myers EN (eds). Decision Making in Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Neoplasms of the Base of Tongue. In: Alper C, Eibling D, Myers EN (eds). Decision Making in Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Cancer of the Supraglottis. In: Alper C, Eibling D, Myers EN (eds). Decision Making in Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000.

Song JI, Myers EN. Parapharyngeal Neck Masses. In: Alper C, Eibling D, Myers EN (eds). Decision Making in Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000.

Research Focus

  • HPV-induced malignancies of the head and neck
  • Targeted therapeutics in head and neck cancer
  • Xenograft models of head and neck cancer
  • EGFR-targeted nanoparticles in squamous cell carcinoma

  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • American Head and Neck Society
  • Institute for Hospital Quality, Safety, and Efficiency (IHQSE) Certificate Program