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Howard Francis, M.D.

Howard Wayne Francis, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Howard Francis, M.D.

Vice Director, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery


Expertise: Acoustic Neuromas, Cholesteatoma, Cochlear Implantation, Diseases of the Ear, Ear infections, Ear Surgery, Hearing Disorders, Hearing Restoration, Implantable Hearing Devices, Neuro-Otology, Otolaryngology, Otology, Pediatric Ear Disease, Pediatric Hearing Loss, Skull Base Tumors more

Research Interests: Study of cochlear implant outcomes in older adults and the development of rehabilitation strategies that produce the best results.; Studying and improving functional and quality of life outcomes in patients with acoustic neuromas, and other skull base tumors; Identifying and evaluating new and improved approaches to the training of surgical skills.; Study of cochlear disease mechanisms and their effects on the hearing experience, with the goal of developing new therapies for acquired deafness; Identifying determinants of language and educational benefits of cochlear implants in children, with the goal of optimizing outcomes more

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467

601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-1640
Fax: 410-614-9444

Johns Hopkins Medicine - Green Spring Station
Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467

10751 Falls Road
Falls Concourse Suite 408
Lutherville, MD 21093 map


Dr. Howard Francis has special expertise and research interests in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear and skull base. Dr. Howard is the director of the cochlear implant team of the Johns Hopkins Listening Center and vice director of the department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery with a focus on education and faculty development. Dr. Francis completed his undergraduate education at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and his medical degree at the Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT division of Health, Science and Technology. He completed his residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and fellowship training in Neurotology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Francis is an internationally recognized ear and skull base surgeon committed to advancing these fields through clinical innovation, research and education. Since joining the faculty in 1997, Dr. Francis and his colleagues have made significant contributions to the understanding of functional and quality-of-life outcomes following cochlear implantation and acoustic neuroma surgery. These and on-going research efforts are central to his philosophy of multi-disciplinary and evidence-based patient care. This philosophy has evolved over many years of leadership at Johns Hopkins and in national organizations. more


  • Vice Director, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Director, The Johns Hopkins Listening Center
  • Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School (1990)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (1995)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Otology & Neurotology (1997)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Otolaryngology / Otolaryngology (1996)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Francis HW, Masood H, Chaudhry KN, Laeeq K, Carey JP, Della Santina CC, Limb CJ, Niparko JK, Bhatti NI. Objective assessment of mastoidectomy skills in the operating room. Otol Neurotol. 31(5):752-758, 2010.

Francis HW, Masood H, Laeeq K, Bhatti NI. Defining milestones towards competency in mastoidectomy using a skills assessment paradigm. Laryngoscope 120(7):1417-1421, 2010.

Marlowe AL, Chinnici JE, Rivas A, Niparko JK, Francis HW. Revision cochlear implant surgery in children: The Johns Hopkins experience. Otol Neurotol 31(1):74-82, 2010.

Agrawal Y, Clark HJ, Limb CJ, Niparko JK, Francis HW. Predictors of vestibular schwannoma growth and clinical implications. Otol Neurotol. 31(5):807-812, 2010.

Stewart CM, Masood H, Pandian V, Laeeq K, Akst L, Francis HW, Bhatti NI. Development and pilot testing of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) on hoarseness. Laryngoscope 120(11):2177-82, 2010.

Carpenter RM, Limb CJ, Francis HW, Gottschalk B, Niparko JK. Programmatic challenges in obtaining and confirming the pneumococcal vaccination status of cochlear implant recipients. Otol Neurotol 31(8):1334-1346, 2010.

Yew M, Tong O, Dubbs B, Nager GT, Niparko JK, Tatlapinar A, Francis HW. Arachnoid granulations of the temporal bone: A histological study of dural and osseous penetration. Otol Neurotol 32(4):602-609, 2011.

Rivas A, Boahene KD, Bravo HC, Tan M, Tamargo RJ, Francis HW. A model for early prediction of facial nerve recovery after vestibular schwannoma surgery. Otol Neurotol 32(5):826-833, 2011

Francis HW, Makary C, Halpin C, Susac JO, Crane B, Niparko J, Merchant SN. Temporal bone findings in a case of Susacs Syndrome. Otol Neurotol 32:1198-2011, 2011

Starmer HM, Best S, Agrawal Y, Chien W. Hillel A, Francis H, Akst LM. Prevalence, Characteristics, and Management of Swallowing Disorders following Cerebellopontine Angle Surgery. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 146(3):419-425, 2011

Francis HW, Malik MU, Diaz Vos Varella DA, Barffour MA, Chien WW, Niparko JK, Bhatti NI. Technical Skills Improve after Practice on Virtual Reality Temporal Bone Simulator. Laryngoscope 122(6):1385-1391, 2012

Arora A, Khemani S, Tolley N, Singh A, Budge J, Diaz D, Francis HW, Darzi A, Bhatti N. Face and content validation of a virtual reality temporal bone simulator. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 146(3):497-503, 2012

Ward BK, Gourin CG, Francis HW. Vestibular schwannoma surgical volume and short-term outcomes in Maryland. Arch Otol Head Neck Surg 138(6):577-583, 2012.

Clark JH, Wang NY, Riley AW, Carson CM, Meserole RL, Lin FR, Eisenberg LS, Tobey EA, Quittner AL, Francis HW; CDaCI Investigative Team, Niparko JK. Timing of cochlear implantation and parents' global ratings of children's health and development. Otol Neurotol33(4):545-52, 2012

Lauer AM, Fuchs PA, Ryugo DK, Francis HW. Efferent synapses return to inner hair cells in the aging cochlea. Neurobiology of Aging 33(12):2892-2902, 2012.

Best SR, Starmer HM, Agrawal Y, Ward BK, Hillel AT, Chien WW, Francis HW, Tamargo RJ, Akst LM. Risk factors for vagal palsy following cerebellopontine angle surgery. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery 147(2):364-368, 2012.

Laeeq K, Francis H, Diaz Coss Varela DA, Malik MU, Cummings CW, Bhatti NI. The timely completion of objective assessment tools for evaluation of technical skills. Laryngoscope 122(11):2418-21, 2012.

Clark JH, Yeagle J, Arbaje AI, Lin FR, Niparko JK, Francis HW. Cochlear implant rehabilitation in older adults: Literature review and proposal of a conceptual framework. Journal American Geriatric Society 60(10):1936-1945, 2012.

Malik MU, Pandian V, Masood H, Diaz Voss Varela DA, Davalos-Balderas AJ, Seo P, Francis HW. Spectrum of immune mediated inner ear disease and association with cochlear implant results. Laryngoscope 122(11):2557-2562, 2012.

Harun A, Agrawal Y, Tan M, Niparko JK, Francis HW. Gender and age association with vestibular schwannoma size and presenting symptoms. Otol Neurotol 33(9):1604-1610, 2012

Malik MU, Diaz Voss Varela DA, Stewart CM, Laeeq K, Gayane L, Francis HW, Bhatti NI. Barriers to implementing the ACGME outcome project: A systematic review of program director surveys. Journal of Graduate Medical Education (in press).

Muniak MA, Rivas A, Montey KL, May BJ, Francis HW, Ryugo DK. A 3-dimensional model of frequency representation in the cochlear nucleus of CBA/J Mouse. Journal of Comparative Neurology (in press)

Ceh KM, Bervinchak DM, Francis HW. Early literacy gains in children with cochlear implants. Otol Neurotol (in press)

Malik MU, Varela DA, Park E, Masood H, Laeeq K, Bhatti K, Francis HW. Determinants of Resident Competence in Mastoidectomy: Role of Interest and Deliberate Practice. The Laryngoscope (in press)

Activities & Honors


  • Neurostereology of Aging Award and Keynote Presentation: Application of Stereology to Ultrastructural Studies of Cochlear Innervation, Stereology Resource Center, Washington DC, 2002
  • George T. Nager, M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dept. Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD , 2002
  • Honorary Mention Thesis Award, The Triological Society, 2014


  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • American Neurotological Society
  • American Otological Society
  • Caribbean Association of Otolaryngology
  • Maryland Society of Otolaryngologists
  • American Medical Association
  • Society of University Otolaryngologists
  • The Triological Society

Videos & Media

Pediatric Cochlear Implant, Sarah's Story

Introduction to Cochlear Implantation Questions & Answers

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