Abraham Jacob, MD

Director, University of Arizona Ear Institute
Associate Professor with Tenure and Vice Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-3553
(520) 626-1632
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Abraham Jacob is an Otologist/Neurotologist who specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of complex ear and lateral skull base diseases.   He is double board-certified in Otolaryngology as well as Otology, Neurotology, and Cranial Base Surgery.  Dr. Jacob obtained his medical degree at the University of Michigan Medical School, completed internship and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and was a fellow in Otology, Neurotology, and Cranial Base Surgery at The Ohio State University.  He is an Associate Professor with Tenure at UA, Vice Chair of Otolaryngology, and the Director of the UA Ear Institute – the most comprehensive ear program in the Southwest. 

Dr. Jacob is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology.  He has a strong track record in drug development that includes designing and performing all the necessary in vitro and animal studies required for the small molecule HDAC inhibitor, AR42, to receive Orphan Drug status from the FDA and European Agency in 2012.  This drug is now registered on clinicaltrials.gov for a multicenter human trial in neurofibromatosis type 2 patients. His lab has also recently developed, validated, and published a novel high throughput zebrafish behavioral assay that can be used as a platform for drug discovery targeting hearing loss.  He has key collaborations in the field of drug development, including collaborations with Cochlear Corporation and Sanofi-Aventis.  Through these collaborations, he brings his experience in clinical and translational research and drug development into alignment with the knowledge and insight of some of the world’s best laboratories, where they are working to deliver pharmacological tools for hypothesis development, validation and, therapeutics development.

In addition to running a fully functioning molecular biology laboratory focused on preclinical drug development for skull base schwannomas/meningiomas as well as sensorineural hearing loss, Dr. Jacob has partnered with several implantable hearing device manufacturers for device related clinical trials, including Cochlear Corporation (Expanded Indications Study), and Envoy Medical (Post-Market 0205 Study).  He also serves as PI on a third study, Advanced Bionics (Cochlear Implants and Cognitive Function Study), focusing on how hearing loss influences the health and functioning of older adults, and the role that cochlear implants might have in ameliorating cognitive decline resulting from auditory deprivation.

Finally, as the only university based, academic Neurotologist in Arizona, Dr. Jacob's program at UA Ear Institute is optimally positioned for the development and implementation of research and clinical trials for skull base schwannomas/meningiomas as well as studies on hearing loss.


Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 

Diagnosis and treatment of complex otology, neurotology, and lateral cranial base surgery:

  • Cochlear implants, Baha, and surgically implantable hearing aids
  • Resection of vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuromas) and other NF2-associated tumors
  • Primary and revision middle ear/mastoid surgery
  • Disorders of facial nerve
Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Hearing Loss

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Member Status: 
Research Member
Summary of Research Activity: 

Dr. Jacob's research interests include the pathobiology of NF2-associated tumors such as vestibular schwannomas and meningiomas and in small molecule target identification and development for these diseases.  His experience includes executing in vitro and in vivo studies for the small molecule HDAC inhibitor, AR42, which received Orphan Drug status from the FDA and European Agency in 2012.  Dr. Jacob’s research  is also focused on the prevention, detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of chemotherapy-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). 

Selected Publications: 
  1. Bush ML, Oblinger J, Brendel V, Santarelli G, Huang J, Akhmametyeva EM, Burns SS, Wheeler J, Davis J, Chaudhury AR, Kulp S, Chen C-S, Yates CW, Chang L-S, Welling DB and Jacob A.  AR42, A Novel Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, as a Potential Therapy For Vestibular Schwannomas and Meningiomas. Neuro Oncol 2011 Sept; 13(9): 983-999.
  2. Blakeley JO, Evans DG, Adler J, Brackmann D, Chen R, Ferner RE, Hanemann CO, Harris G, Huson SM, Jacob A, Kalamarides M, Karajannis MA, Korf BR, Mautner VF, McClatchey AI, Miao H, Plotkin SR, Slattery W 3rd, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Welling DB, Wen PY, Widemann B, Hunter-Schaedle K and Giovannini M.  Consensus Recommendations for Current Treatments and Accelerating Clinical Trials for Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 2.  Am J Med Genet A.  2012 Jan; 158A(1): 24-41.
  3. Jacob A, Oblinger J, Bush ML, Brendel V, Chang LS, Welling DB, Santarelli G, Chaudhury AR, Kulp S, La Perle KMD and Chen CS.  Preclinical Validation of AR42, a Novel Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, as Treatment for Vestibular Schwannomas. Laryngoscope, 2012 Jan; 122(1): 174-189.
  4. Bush ML, Oblinger J, Davletova S, Chang L-S, Welling DB and Jacob A.  Treatment of Vestibular Schwannoma Cells with ErbB Inhibitors. Received Neurotology Fellow Award. Otol Neurotol, 2012 Feb; 33(2): 244-257.
  5. Miller C, Igarashi S and Jacob A.  Molecular Pathogenesis of Vestibular Schwannomas: Insights for the Development of Novel Medical Therapies. Otolaryngol Pol, 2012 Mar-Apr; 66(2): 84-95.
  6. Burns, S.S., Akhmametyeva, E.M., Oblinger, J.L., Bush, M.L., Huang, J., Senner, V., Chen, C-S., Jacob, A., Welling, D.B., and Chang, L-S.  Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor AR-42 Differentially Affects Cell Cycle Transit in Meningeal and Meningioma Cells, Potently Inhibiting NF2-Deficient Meningioma Growth. Cancer Res, 2013 Jan; 73(2): 792-803.
  7. Miller C, Sudhoff H, Jacob A.  Vestibular Schwannoma Drug Development:  Current State-of-the Art. Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports (Volume 2). Andrew P. Lane M.D., Editor-in-Chief.  Section Editors: David Moffat and David Haynes. 2014.
  8. Miller C, Erman A, Gernon TJ, Jacob A.  The Submental Island Flap Reconstruction for Temporal Bone Defects.  Otol Neurotol. 2014.
  9. Miller G, Miller C, Marrone N, Howe C, Fain M, Jacob A. The Impact of Cochlear Implantation on Cognition in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of Clinical Evidence. BMC Geriatrics. 
  10. Niihori M, Platto T, Igarashi S, Hurbon A, Dunn AM, Tran P, tran H, Mudery JA, Slepian MJ, and Jacob A. Zebrafish Swimming Behavior as a Biomarker for Ototoxicity-Induced Hair Cell Damage: A High Throughput Drug Development Platform Targeting Hearing Loss. Translational Research. 2015 Nov;166(5):440-50.

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2011 Politzer Prize Recipient: Best Science Submission
2011 Accepted Thesis/Induction to The Triological Society as Active Member
2010 George L. Adams Young Faculty Award Middle Section; Triological Society
2008 The Triological Society Career Development Award
2007 Nicholas Torok Award, American Neurotology Society
2007 Columbus Business First’s Forty under 40
2004 Washington University Otolaryngology Medical Student Teaching Award
1996 Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society in Medicine
1994 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
1994 Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
1994 James B. Angell Scholar
1994 Golden Key National Honor Society
1989 Rotary Club Scholar
1989 National Merit Scholarship Finalist
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
2011-present: Fellow, Triological Society (Thesis accepted 2011)
2009-present: American College of Surgeons
2007-present: Politzer Society
2007-present: American Neurotology Society
2006-2011: Associate member, Triological Society
2004-2007: Ohio State Medical Association
1999-present: American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
1999-2007: American Medical Association
1999-2001: Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Board Certifications: 
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 2005
Neurotology and Cranial Base Surgery, 2010
1997-2006: Missouri State Board of Medical Examiners License #112997
2004-Present: Ohio State Board of Medical Examiners License #35.084212
6/1/2005 – 6/30/2015: Board Certification in Otolaryngology
6/1/2010-6/30/2020: Board Certification in Neurotology & Cranial Base Surgery: NPI #1376592576
2011 - Present: Arizona State Medical License #44630

Academic Information

Otology, Neurotology, and Cranial Base Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Medical School: 
University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
Undergraduate School: 
8/90 - 6/94: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI