Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Professor Janet Wilson

Prof of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surg



I have held the substantive Chair in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery – one of very few in the UK – since 1995. I was only the second female to be appointed to a UK chair in a surgical discipline. I have a subspecialist clinical practice in throat symptoms, benign laryngeal surgery and persistent physical (unexplained) symptoms. i have developed a new local service for local anaesthetic vocal cord medialisation

 Roles and Responsibilities

I chair the Local Comprehensive Research Network ENT Specialty Group. I am regional ENT Trainee Research Director. I sit on the RCSEd Specialty Group in ENT. I established and continue to run UK Evidence Based Medicine review days in Otolaryngology and contribute to National research Priority setting in the specialty.


BSc (Med Sci), Edinburgh l976
MB ChB, Edinburgh l979
FRCSEd, Otolaryngology l983
FRCSEng, Otolaryngology l984
MD, Edinburgh l989 - The Upper Oesophageal Sphincter 

Previous Positions

Consultant Otolaryngologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer
Royal Infirmary, Glasgow 1992-1995

Honours and Awards

1.      Elected one of 10 UK Members of the International CORLAS group 1995

2.      Otorhinolaryngological Research Society President 2002-04

3.      NHS Clinical Excellence Gold award 2005

4.      Kleinsasser Lecturer, European Laryngological Society Nottingham 2006

5.      North of England Surgical Society President 2006-07

6.      American Academy of Otolaryngology HNS  Honor Award 2006

7.      British Association of Otolaryngologists Hon Sec 2007-10

8.      RSM ENT Sections President 2008-09

9.      Hon FRCSLT 2009

10.    BMA's Jobson Horne Prize 2011

11.    Times 'Top Doctors' 2010; 'Top Surgeons' list 2011

12.    Harveian Society, Edinburgh, President 2014

13.    Wilde Discourser, IOS, 2014 



Research Interests

My research interest lie within the head and neck, particularly the throat. They include:

Extra-oesophageal manifestations of gastro-oesophageal reflux

The aetiology and treatment of persistent throat symptoms including tonsillitis in adulthood,  cervical dysphagia, globus sensation, hoarseness and socially disruptive snoring

Patient involvement in head and neck cancer decision making

Innate immunity in chronic rhinosinusitis

Autonomic function in the genesis and perpetuation of persistent physical symptoms 

Research Roles

I chair the Local Comprehensive Research Network ENT Specialty Group, hence represent our group on the national committee. I am PI on a number of clinical studies. I act as regional ENT Trainee Research Director, with particular responsibility for two current Academic Clinical Fellows in otolaryngology, and in 2012-13 three Academic foundation Year doctors 

Postgraduate supervision

I share supervision of 2 PhD students and two Masters projects. Prior Higher Degrees Supervised = 5 MD – (Drs Reda, Nair, Siou, Mehrotra, Ali); 6 PhD – ( Drs Hirst, Webb, Leslie, Bell, Patterson, Deary); 3 MPhil – (Drs Cathcart, Karkos Ball)

Esteem Indicators

  1. Sir Ernest Finch Visiting Professor public lecture - Sheffield, 1996

  2. Elected one of 10 UK Members of the International CORLAS group 1995

  3. Otorhinolaryngological Research Society President 2002-04

  4. Over 40 invited international or eponymous lectures

  5. American Academy of Otolaryngology HNS  Honor Award 2006

  6. Hon FRCSLT 2009

  7. BMA's Jobson Horne Prize 2011

  8. Recent international / eponymous lectures:

  The dangerous edge

Presidential Address, RSM Laryngology and Rhinology Section November 2008

Soor plooms: does laryngopharyngeal reflux leave a bad taste?

Scottish Otolaryngological Society Centenary Meeting. Guthrie Lecture, November 2011

Cost effectiveness of childhood tonsillectomy  

CORLAS Budapest August  2010

   Fatigue and dysphonia

    Panelist: Inducible laryngeal obstructions

European Laryngological Society Vienna September 2010

   Otolaryngology Update lecture series

King Faisal Specialist Hospital Riyadh December 2010

  Towards better assessment of LPR

CORLAS Bruges August  2011

Extra-oesophageal reflux: myths and risks

Toronto General Hospital Grand Round, Sept 2011

 Invited Keynote lecturer – 5 lectures

2nd International Head and Neck Cancer symposium, Kuwait April 2013

Current Consensus and Controversies in Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease

(Moderator and speaker)

Evaluation of dysphagia (chair)

A Patient Centred Approach to Vocal Rehabilitation: Prioritising the Merits of Physical Voice Therapy, Psychological Therapy and Surgery.-CORLAS symposium

IFOS, Seoul, June 2013

Current Funding

HTA Trials  -two full proposals under review, one as CI. One further CI outline full proposal requested

NIHR PhD Training Fellowship : decision making in  Head and Neck cancer               £278,928

 Wellcome Trust Translational Medicine Clinical Research Fellow: : Innate Immune Signalling between Epithelial and Fibroblastic Cells as a Driver of Chronic Sinonasal Disease                c £250,000



Undergraduate Teaching

SSC Student supervisor

MBBS Lecturer (5 lectures per annum)

Invited speaker Academic Medicine Society

Contribute to essential rotations modules: Chronic Illness; Child Life and Health; Foundations of Clinical Practice. 

  Postgraduate Teaching

2013 voted University Taught Spervisor of the Year in the Teaching Excellence  Awards

I have co-organised 35 national Medical Postgraduate courses. Contributor to the regional training programmes in Manchester, Leeds, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow and I have given invited contributions to 16 further courses, several recurring. Numerous eponymous and international lectures.


I contribute to Public engagement via the Mini Medical School initiative, occasional public lectures and secondary school motivational lectures for aspiring medical school entrants, most recently Feb 2013.