Otolaryngologist Named First Joseph E Robert Jr Professor

Dr. Diego Preciado was installed as the first Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Professor of Otlaryngology in a special ceremony on Feb. 20. Dr. Preciado received the first of three professorships established by the bequest of Joseph E. Robert, Jr., a philanthropist whose vision for children transformed Children's National into a world leader in surgical care and research. Dr. Preciado, an otolaryngologist, surgeon, and systems biologist, has been with Children’s National for more than eight years. His clinical practice focuses on airway reconstruction and childhood hearing loss, and he is the lead surgeon and director of one of our differentiating programs in pediatric cochlear implants -- helping children with extreme hearing loss to hear. He has received prestigious funding from the NIH for his work exploring the pathophysiology and treatment of middle ear infections. In accepting the professorship, Dr. Preciado said, "As a husband and father, and the son (and grandson) of otolaryngologists, it is deeply rewarding to work at Children’s National. There are few places in the world that offer the opportunity to advance pediatric medicine from the research bench to a child’s bedside so quickly and to work within such a supportive, integrated, and collaborative environment. "I am humbled to be entrusted with Joe Robert’s extraordinary legacy through this professorship. I am committed to always carrying forward his vision and passion in my clinical and research work at Children’s National." Middle ear infection are the leading cause of pediatric office visits in the United States each year. About 20 percent of these children have chronic infections that lead to surgery, hearing loss, delayed speech, developmental delays, or permanent damage. "Incredibly," Dr. Preciado said, "other than time or surgery, there is no medical treatment to relieve middle ear fluid. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to see a child in pain, and, unfortunately, these infections are far too common. This professorship will advance our team’s work to find a treatment to relieve chronic middle ear fluid and eliminate the need for the world’s most common surgery for children through innovative, non-surgical solutions." The professorship is named for philanthropist and business leader Joseph E. Robert, Jr., whose generosity and vision helped transform Children’s National to a medical and research system with international reach. His philanthropic support helped create the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Center for Surgical Care, and he was instrumental in building support to establish the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. See more photos.

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