Frans Hilgers

Medical and research background and activities

In 1973, I graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Utrecht. I completed my Otolaryngology-residency at the Academic Wilhelmina Hospital of the University of Amsterdam under Professor Leonard Jongkees on January 1, 1978, and my Head and Neck Fellowship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam under Professor Emiel van Slooten in 1977-78. My PhD-thesis, based on clinical and laboratory research on immunological aspects of herpes viruses in human neoplasia, was completed in September 1976 (with Professor F. Dekking, University of Amsterdam). Since May 1, 1978, I have an appointment as full-time Head and Neck surgeon at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and from 1988 on as chairman of the Department of Head and Neck Oncology and Surgery. I also held a position as consultant for Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the Academic Medical Hospital of the University of Amsterdam. In 2003, I was appointed as Professor at the University of Amsterdam (Institute of Phonetic Sciences) for `Oncology-related voice and speech disorders, especially in laryngectomized individuals'. As of September 1, 2009, I have stepped back as chairman of the department, and am focusing for the remainder of my professional career on a head and neck rehabilitation projects, PhD projects, and national and international teaching (Global Postlaryngectomy Academy, As of June 19, 2011, I am professor-emeritus. My clinical research remains focused on postlaryngectomy vocal, pulmonary, and olfactory rehabilitation, and on head and neck cancer-related dysphagia.

So far, I have published 325 papers and book chapters, 221 of which can be traced back through Pubmed, and 143 of the 325 deal with laryngectomy topics. I have supervised 16 completed Academic PhD theses. Furthermore, I have co-edited a textbook (Diseases of the Head and Neck, Nose and Throat; editors Andrew S Jones, David Phillips, and Frans JM Hilgers), which has received the George Davey Howell's Memorial Prize 1999 for `the most distinguished publication in Otolaryngology in the preceding 5 years' by the Royal College of Medicine in London, UK. My experience in postlaryngectomy rehabilitation has been condensed in the edited book `A practical guide to postlaryngectomy vocal and pulmonary rehabilitation, including the Provox system’, of which the fourth edition is published in 2003 in CD-ROM format, and in a book on olfactory rehabilitation (in Dutch), of which an English version on CD is published in 2004.
In 2015, I had the honour to deliver the Eugene N Myers International Lecture on Head and Neck Cancer at the annual meeting of the American Academy of otolaryngology-Head and neck Surgery in Dallas.

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