Brendan Stack, M.D., Honored With Endowed UAMS Chair

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Brendan C. Stack Jr., M.D., who joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) faculty in 2005, was presented today with the James Y. Suen, M.D., Chair in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.


Known for his innovative surgical techniques, Stack was recruited from Penn State University to be vice chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at UAMS’ Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute. He is also director of the divisions of Head and Neck Oncology and Clinical Research.


The James Y. Suen, M.D., Chair in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery was established in 1996 with $1.2 million from friends, colleagues and patients of Suen, who is professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and executive director of UAMS’ Arkansas Cancer Research Center.


The major benefactor was John A. Phillips of Rogers. Other major donors included Jerome H. Atchley, Jay L. Heflin, John L. Heflin, Murphy Oil Corp., Robert J. Sweeney, Terminix Inc. and William P. Weinberg.


An endowed chair is the highest academic honor that can be bestowed by a university on its faculty. The first named chair was established in England in 1502, when Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, established the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity at Oxford. An endowed chair at UAMS is supported with designated gifts of $1 million or more. A donor may name a chair in memory of a loved one or to honor a person’s accomplishments.


Stack was born in New Orleans and raised in McLean, Va. He attended Brigham Young University on a Dean’s Scholarship and was accepted to medical school without a bachelor’s degree. Before attending medical school, he served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina.


He graduated with honors from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., and was trained in surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. He distinguished himself with the most peer-reviewed publications – 18 – by a resident in the history of the training program. He received the Best Scientific Paper Award in 1993 and 1994 from the Southern Medical Association and the First Place Award for resident research from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in 1995.


Stack completed a fellowship in head and neck oncology and reconstruction in 1997 at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and served as an instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was named Professor of the Year in 1999 as assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Saint Louis University in Missouri.


From 1999-2005, Stack was director of Head and Neck Oncology/Research at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa., where he was promoted to full professor with tenure.


Stack and his wife, Cynthia, have seven children.


Suen received his medical degree and served his residency at UAMS and completed advanced senior fellowship training in head and neck surgery at M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston. He was elevated to a faculty position there after seven months, then returned to UAMS to become chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at age 34.  


Suen has received many awards, including Distinguished Faculty awards from UAMS and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He has been elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America® from 1992 to 2006. He has served as president of the American Society for Head and Neck Surgeons and was President Clinton’s otolaryngologist.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with almost 9,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.