Professor Hisham Mehanna PhD, BMedSc, MBChB, FRCS, FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Professor Hisham Mehanna

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (interdisciplinary research)
Director, Institute for Global Innovation and Institute for Advanced Studies
Director, Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (InHANSE)

Contact details

Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Robert Aitken Building
Vincent Drive
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Professor Hisham Mehanna is the chair of head and neck surgery. He has a keen interest in clinical and translational research, heading a research team of 20 researchers, and holding over £15million in research grants. His research has changed clinical practice across the world. Hisham is the Chair of Head and Neck Surgery and is the Director of the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (InHANSE) at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. He is a head and neck and thyroid surgeon with clinical interests in recurrence in thyroid and parathyroid surgery. 

Hisham's experience of multi-disciplinary research in the field of cancer biology and treatment has made him a strong proponent of multi- and inter- disciplinary research, as the way to provide new insights and approaches to address intractable global challenges. 

As Deputy PVC, Hisham has responsibility for promoting interdisciplinary research across the University. Also as Director of Institute for Global Innovation (IGI) and the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Hisham strives to ensure that the Institutes inspire, support and deliver world-leading, multi- and inter-disciplinary research that seeks to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, that affect humanity at a global level.  The IGI’s research themes revolve around the factors that challenge, and sometimes threaten, the sustainability and resilience of individuals, communities, countries and the world as a whole. Themes include resilient cities, water challenges in a changing world, clean cooling, pollution solutions, antimicrobial resistance, ageing and frailty, gender inequality, artificial intelligence and 21st century transnational crime. 


  • PhD, Assessment of Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancers.  Erasmus University 2010
  • FRCS (ORL-HNS) 2002
  • FRCS Glasgow 1998
  • MBChB (Hons)  University of Glasgow 1994
  • B.Med.Sc (Hons) University of Kuwait 1990 


Hisham runs several post graduate courses and meetings, including the international biennial ‘Controversies in the management of head and neck cancer’ meeting. He also serves on the organising committee of several large international conferences, and has served on faculty of many conferences and courses. He is currently the Academic Chair for the British Academic Conference of Otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (BACO International) 2021.

Postgraduate supervision

Hisham supervises several PhD, Masters and intercalating BSc students, in topics ranging from translational research to bioinformatics to clinical research

Other activities

  • Chair, Head and Neck Cancer International Group, 2019 - present 
  • Council Member, University of Birmingham, 2015 – 2019
  • President, British Association of Head Neck Oncologists, 2017-2019
  • Secretary, Head and Neck Cancer International Group (HNCIG), 2016 - 2020
  • Chair, UK’s National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Group, 2012-2018


Recent publications


Fouad, S, Landini, G, Robinson, M, Song, M & Mehanna, H 2021, 'Human papilloma virus detection in oropharyngeal carcinomas with in situ hybridisation using hand crafted morphological features and deep central attention residual networks', Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, vol. 88, 101853.

Vreugdenhil, M, Fong, C, Sanghera, P, Hartley, A, Dunn, J & Mehanna, H 2021, 'Hypofractionated chemoradiation for head and cancer: Data from the PET NECK trial', Oral Oncology, vol. 113, 105112.

Gorphe, P, Grandbastien, B, Dietz, A, Duvvuri, U, Ferris, R, Golusinski, W, Holsinger, F, Hosal, S, Lawson, G, Mehanna, H, Paleri, V, Shaw, R, Succo, G, Rene Leemans, C & Simon, C 2021, 'Safety and feasibility of surgery for oropharyngeal cancers during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic', Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 11, 651123.

Gleneadie, HJ, Baker, AH, Batis, N, Bryant, J, Jiang, Y, Clokie, SJH, Mehanna, H, Garcia, P, Gendoo, DMA, Roberts, S, Burley, M, Molinolo, AA, Gutkind, JS, Scheven, BA, Cooper, PR, Parish, JL, Khanim, FL & Wiench, M 2021, 'The anti-tumour activity of DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine is enhanced by the common analgesic paracetamol through induction of oxidative stress', Cancer Letters, vol. 501, pp. 172-186.

Matos, LL, Forster, CHQ, Marta, GN, Castro Junior, G, Ridge, JA, Hirata, D, Miranda-Filho, A, Hosny, A, Sanabria, A, Gregoire, V, Patel, SG, Fagan, JJ, D'Cruz, AK, Licitra, L, Mehanna, H, Hao, S-P, Psyrri, A, Porceddu, S, Galloway, TJ, Golusinski, W, Lee, NY, Shiguemori, EH, Matieli, JE, Shiguemori, APAC, Diamantino, LR, Schiaveto, LF, Leão, L, Castro, AF, Carvalho, AL & Kowalski, LP 2021, 'The hidden curve behind COVID-19 outbreak: the impact of delay in treatment initiation in cancer patients and how to mitigate the additional risk of dying-the head and neck cancer model', Cancer Causes & Control.

Whalley, C, Payne, K, Domingo, E, Blake, A, Richman, S, Brooks, J, Batis, N, Spruce, R, Consortium, SC, Mehanna, H, Nankivell, P & Beggs, A 2021, 'Ultra-low DNA Input into whole genome methylation assays and detection of oncogenic methylation and copy number variants in circulating tumour DNA', Epigenomes, vol. 5, no. 1, 6.

Mehanna, H & Kong, A 2021, 'WEE1 inhibitor: clinical development', Current oncology reports.

Wang, Z, Li, F, Rufo, J, Chen, C, Yang, S, Li, L, Zhang, J, Cheng, J, Kim, Y, Wu, M, Abemayor, E, Tu, M, Chia, D, Spruce, R, Mehanna, H, Wong, DTW & Huang, TJ 2020, 'Acoustofluidic salivary exosome isolation: a liquid biopsy compatible approach for human papillomavirus–associated oropharyngeal cancer detection', Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 50-59.

the Head and Neck International Group (HNCIG) & Mehanna, H 2020, 'Adapting head and neck cancer management in the time of COVID-19', International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics , vol. 107, no. 4, pp. 628-630.

Payne, K, Pugh, M, Brooks, J, Batis, N, Taylor, G, Nankivell, P & Mehanna, H 2020, 'Circulating tumour cell expression of immune-markers as prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 21, 8229, pp. 1-14.

Köhler, HF, Mehanna, H, Shah, JP, Sanabria, A, Fagan, J, Kuriakose, MA, Rene Leemans, C, O'Sullivan, B, Krishnan, S & Kowalski, LP 2020, 'Comparison of different guidelines for oral cancer', European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology.

Jones, D, Mistry, P, Dalby, M, Fulton-Lieuw, T, Kong, A, Dunn, J, Mehanna, H & Gray, A 2020, 'Concurrent cisplatin or cetuximab with radiotherapy for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer: medical resource use, costs, and quality-adjusted survival from the De-ESCALaTE HPV trial', European Journal of Cancer, vol. 124, pp. 178-185.

Jones, DA, Mistry, P, Dalby, M, Fulton-Lieuw, T, Kong, AH, Dunn, J, Mehanna, HM & Gray, AM 2020, 'Concurrent cisplatin or cetuximab with radiotherapy for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer: Medical resource use, costs, and quality-adjusted survival from the De-ESCALaTE HPV trial', European Journal of Cancer .

Mehanna, H, Rischin, D, Wong, SJ, Gregoire, V, Ferris, R, Waldron, J, Le, Q-T, Forster, M, Gillison, M, Laskar, S, Tahara, M, Psyrri, A, Vermorken, J & Porceddu, S 2020, 'De-escalation after DE-ESCALATE and RTOG 1016: a head and neck cancer InterGroup framework for future de-escalation studies', Journal of Clinical Oncology , vol. 38, no. 22, pp. 2552-2557., 1200/JCO.20.00056,

Review article

Rohde, M, Rosenberg, T, Pareek, M, Nankivell, P, Sharma, N, Mehanna, H & Godballe, C 2020, 'Definition of locally recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and proposal for the Odense–Birmingham definition', European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, vol. 277, no. 6, pp. 1593-1599.

View all publications in research portal


  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Global Development and Research