Alex Gelbard, MD

Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Robert H. Ossoff, DMD, MD Endowed Director for Translational Research in Otolaryngology
Vice Chair of Research
Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Gelbard is a board-certified Otolaryngologist and tenured professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He specializes in surgical care of adult laryngeal and tracheal disease. He completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University, medical school at Tulane School of Medicine, and internship and residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Immunology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as a clinical fellowship in Laryngeal Surgery at Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He is surgical co-director of the Vanderbilt Center for Complex Airway Reconstruction, has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, and lectures internationally on adult airway disease. 

Scientifically, Dr. Gelbard is Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and an NIH-funded principal investigator studying obstructive fibrotic diseases in the larynx and trachea (collectively termed laryngotracheal stenosis, i.e. LTS). LTS are a group of devastating disease resulting in fixed extrathoracic obstruction of the large airway.  LTS can occur without known antecedent injury (idiopathic subglottic stenosis), it also can accompany collagen vascular disease (e.g. Wegeners Granulomatosis) or follow iatrogenic injury (e.g., endotracheal intubation). Novel investigations designed to understand LTS pathogenesis are needed to innovate precision therapies to reduce the burden of these devastating diseases on affected patients. 

Dr. Gelbard’s research includes studies of genetic associations, immunology, host-pathogen interaction, clinical epidemiology, outcome measure development, and clinical trial design and conduct. This work has been supported by both the NHLBI and PCORI. To facilitate this work, he founded the North American Airway Collaborative (NoAAC), a 40-center research network that has enrolled more than 1,200 patients in studies investigating the factors underlying the pathogenesis and outcomes of voice box injury. It is composed of outstanding collaborators who pursue a unique combination of genetic, molecular, and epidemiologic based approaches to investigate the critical factors underlying the pathogenesis and outcomes of laryngotracheal stenosis.

Clinical Interests

Research Information