Prof Martin Birchall

Prof Martin BirchallTel: 0203 456 5197
Fax: 020 7833 9480

Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital

Ear, nose and throat services (ENT)

Professional background

I am UCL's Professor of Laryngology and a Consultant in ENT Surgery at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital. I am one the leading academic Otolaryngologists in the world as measured by the impact of my papers. A specialist in disorders of voice, swallowing and breathing, I have pioneered the use stem cells and tissue engineering in surgery.

Clinically, I have a particular interest in voice, swallowing and pharyngeal pouches, airway disorders such as stenosis, cough and neck lumps. I am part of multidisciplinary voice and airway teams and established with Mr. Guri Sandhu, Mr Khalid Ghuffoor and respiratory, thoracic surgery, anaesthetic and other colleagues a national referral team for complex airway disorders. I treat patients with vocal cord weakness ('palsy'),  and am trialling a new means of restoring function for them using the drive from unaffected nerves. In a monthly intervention clinic, run with top speech and language therapists, I use the latest technology, such as transnasal oesophagoscopy and transcutaneous vocal cord injection, to treat voice and swallowing problems.

I have a large research group concentrating on the use of innovative technology to manage disorders of the airways, especially the use of tissue engineering, stem cells and information technology. In 2008, I co-led the team which performed the world's first stem cell based organ transplant, and with Prof Elliott at Great Ormond St, co-led the team which performed the same feat in a child in 2010. In 2010 I was also part of the team which performed the world's second (and first functionally reinnervated) laryngeal transplant at UC Davis, California. I was Morgan Stanley Briton of the Year (Science and Technology), 2008, and am a frequent guest speaker at major international conferences. I have published in the Lancet, Nature and the BMJ. With Guri Sandhu and David howard, I founded the British Laryngological Association in 2011, and run a successful annual conference 'Cutting Edge Laryngology'.


  1. Prasad S, Cody V, Saucier-Sawyer JK, Saltzman WM, Sasaki CT, Edelson RL, Birchall MA, Hanlon DJ. 2011.  Polymer nanoparticles containing tumor lysates as antigen delivery vehicles for dendritic cell-based antitumor immunotherapy. Nanomedicine 2011 Feb;7:1-10
  2. Hughes OR, Stone N, Kraft M, Arens C, Birchall MA.  Optical and molecular techniques to identify tumor margins within the larynx.  Head Neck. 2010 Nov;32(11):1544-53. Review.
  3. Vats A, Birchall M. Stem cells and regenerative medicine: potentials and realities for rhinology.  Rhinology. 2010 Sep;48(3):259-64
  4. Asnaghi MA, Jungebluth P, Raimondi MT, Dickinson SC, Rees LE, Go T, Cogan TA, Dodson A, Parnigotto PP, Hollander AP, Birchall MA, Conconi MT, Macchiarini P, Mantero S. A double-chamber rotating bioreactor for the development of tissue-engineered hollow organs: from concept to clinical trial. Biomaterials. 2009 Oct;30(29):5260-9.
  5. Banwell EF, Abelardo ES, Adams DJ, Birchall MA, Corrigan A, Donald AM, Kirkland M, Serpell LC, Butler MF, Woolfson DN. Rational design and application of responsive alpha-helical peptide hydrogels. Nature Materials. 2009 Jul;8(7):596-600.
  6. Grant DG, Bradley PT, Pothier DD, Bailey D, Caldera S, Baldwin DL, Birchall MA. Complications following gastrostomy tube insertion in patients with head and neck cancer: a prospective multi-institution study, systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Otolaryngol. 2009 Apr;34(2):103-12.
  7. MacKenzie K, Savage SA, Birchall MA. Processes and outcomes of head and neck cancer patients from geographically disparate regions of the UK. A comparison of Scottish and English cohorts. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Oct;35(10):1113-8.
  8. Birchall MA, Bailey M, Gutowska-Owsiak D, Johnston N, Inman CF, Stokes CR, Postma G, Pazmany L, Koufman JA, Phillips A, Rees LE. Immunologic response of the laryngeal mucosa to extraesophageal reflux. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2008 Dec;117(12):891-5.
  9. Thibeault SL, Rees L, Pazmany L, Birchall MA. At the crossroads: mucosal immunology of the larynx. Nature Mucosal Immunol. 2009; Mar 2(2):122-8.
  10. Macchiarini P, Jungebluthe P, Go T, Asnaghi A,  Rees LEN, Cogan T, Dodson A, Martorell J, Bellini S, Dickinson S, Hollander A, Mantero S, Conconi MT, Birchall MA. The first clinical application of a tissue-engineered airway transplant. The Lancet. 2008; Dec 13;372(9655):2023-30 (IF=24.2).

GMC/GDC number: 3014279