P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Paul Kwak, 2006

Laryngologist and Laryngeal Surgeon, NYU Voice Center

Paul Kwak is the child of immigrants from South Korea

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD in Medicine at Case Western Reserve University

Paul E. Kwak is a laryngologist and laryngeal surgeon at the NYU Voice Center, and Assistant Professor in the NYU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, specializing in care of the professional voice and phonomicrosurgical resection of benign vocal fold lesions. He treats patients with vocal cord cancer, vocal cord paralysis, and laryngeal papilloma, and is experienced in surgical techniques for laryngeal microsurgery and use of the KTP laser. Dr. Kwak completed his clinical fellowship in laryngeal surgery with Dr. Steven Zeitels at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is also a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he earned a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano with Margo Garrett, studying vocal accompanying and opera coaching.

In 2003, Kwak graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he studied the history of medicine and medical ethics and wrote an honors thesis on the history of trust in the physician-patient relationship. Kwak spent a year abroad at Oxford University, on fellowship from Harvard, where he earned a master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy, writing an honors dissertation on patients’ rights legislation in the United States and in the United Kingdom. In February 2006, Kwak was awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, and in May 2006, the Helen Fay Prize for Outstanding Pianist at Juilliard. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he was named the 2010 Outstanding Graduating Medical Student.

Dr. Kwak’s clinical and research interests center on the care of the professional voice, and his most recent publications examine physiologic and acoustic effects of opera performance, in ongoing collaborations with The Juilliard School, The Metropolitan Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. Additionally, his work focuses on phonomicrosurgical approaches to benign subepithelial vocal fold pathology, paralytic dysphonia, and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

  • MD Medicine | Case Western Reserve University 2010
  • MM Collaborative Piano | The Juilliard School 2006
  • MSc Comparative Social Policy | University of Oxford 2004
  • BA History and Science | Harvard University 2003
Work History
  • NYU Voice Center, Laryngologist and Laryngeal Surgeon
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