Cleland Taylor Program Final

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Rodney J. Taylor, MD, MSPH is Professor and Chair

of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head &

Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of Maryland

School of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 2001 as a

surgeon-scientist. His clinical practice is dedicated

primarily to the comprehensive care of head and neck

cancer (HNC) patients, performing complex surgical

procedures for diverse conditions of the head and neck.

He has been routinely recognized both nationally and

regionally as a top physician, and under his leadership,

the OHNS department has frequently been recognized

among the nation’s top Otolaryngology programs.

Prior to arriving at the University of Maryland, Dr.

Taylor graduated from Harvard College in 1991 with

honors where he was also Senior Class President, Varsity Football player, served in student

government, served on the Harvard Foundation for Diversity and Multicultural affairs, and

received the Francis H. Burr Scholarship given to the Harvard College senior who best

possesses character, leadership, and athletic ability. He attended Harvard Medical School and

received his medical degree in 1995. He then completed his residency at the University of

Michigan in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery. While at the University of Michigan, he

also received a master’s degree from the School of Public Health in Clinical Research Design

and Statistical Analysis.

In addition to his demanding clinical practice, Dr. Taylor runs an active research program that

has included understanding head and neck cancer disparities in underrepresented and

disadvantaged cancer patients. His basic science and translational interests, in partnership with

Dr. Michal Zalzman, include studying a pioneer gene system (ZSCAN4) that confers and

maintains cancer cell immortality in HNC. Additionally, their research explores ZSCAN4’s

effect on adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) harvested from tonsillar tissue with the goal

of developing clinical applications for regenerative medicine.

Throughout his career, Dr. Taylor has had a strong commitment to service locally, nationally,

and internationally. He has partnered with former World Bank President, Dr. Jim Kim, and the

late, global medicine pioneer Paul Farmer, to form a team of ENT surgeons who have traveled

to Haiti at regular intervals to provide advanced surgical care for patients and training for

physicians in their central plateau. He later co-founded a non-profit organization, MENTA,

with Dr. Jeffrey Wolf and his peers that has provided care for underserved populations in

Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. He has also served on the advisory board of the CURE

Scholars Mentoring Program that seeks to empower middle school and high school students in

West Baltimore for competitive and rewarding research, health care, and STEM-related career


In addition to his clinical and research pursuits, Dr. Taylor is a key leader in the UMSOM

promoting Diversity and Inclusion and providing Unconscious Bias training for its faculty and

staff, while also serving on the UMSOM Diversity Committee. On a national level, he is chair

of the AAOHNS Head and Neck Surgery & Oncology committee and serves on the AAOHNS

Diversity Committee. Keenly aware of the many individuals who have contributed to his

success, Dr. Taylor is passionate and active on a local and national level in providing his

mentorship to increase underrepresented individuals in healthcare and research fields.

Dr. Taylor is grateful for and inspired by his family, which includes his wife Dr. Casey

Taylor; his sons Myles and Max; his late mother Evelyn and his father Richard, Sr.; his

brother Richard, Jr.; and the many other family, friends, and colleagues that daily support and

enrich him.


Mary Pooton

Associate Dean for Development

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Kevin J. Cullen, MD

The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished

Professor of Oncology

Director, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum

Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Maryland School of Medicine


E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore

John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and

Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine


E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA


Isobel Cleland and Samantha Cleland Manekin

Donor Family

Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer

University of Maryland Medical System

The Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Professor of Radiation Oncology

University of Maryland School of Medicine


Bert O’Malley, MD

President and CEO

University of Maryland Medical Center

Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Jeffrey S. Wolf, MD

Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Scott E. Strome, MD

The Robert Kaplan Executive Dean and Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

College of Medicine


E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA


Rodney J. Taylor, MD, MSPH

The Bruce and Isobel Cleland Chair of Otorhinolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery


Kevin J. Cullen, MD


he first endowed professorships were established more than

500 years ago with the creation of the Lady Margaret chairs

in divinity at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The

original endowed chairs were sponsored by Lady Margaret,

countess of Richmond, and grandmother of Henry VIII in 1502.

Subsequently, private individuals began making financial contributions

to establish other endowed professorships and chairs such as the

Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, which Sir Isaac Newton held beginning

in 1669. Professor Stephen Hawking, the internationally renowned

physicist and recipient of the 2010 US Medal of Freedom, was another

prominent holder of this endowed chair.

The honor associated with appointment to an endowed position has

remained unchanged for the last 500 years and is recognized as one of

the highest tributes that an academic institution can bestow upon its

most distinguished faculty. These endowed professorships and chairs

continue to reward exceptional scholars uninterrupted to the present


The Office of Development is charged with securing private gifts to

ensure the School’s tradition of excellence is sustained through robust

research, clinical, and educational programs and initiatives. The

University of Maryland School of Medicine is fortunate to have nearly

85 endowed chairs & professorships in various stages of completion

and held by esteemed faculty members.



The Bruce and Isobel Cleland Chair of the

Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and

Neck Surgery Endowment for the University of

Maryland School of Medicine was established by

the generous support of Bruce and Isobel Cleland

and The Orokawa Foundation. Bruce and Isobel

funded the chair position to honor Dr. Rodney

Taylor in recognition of his outstanding clinical

care of the late Bruce Cleland, who was his

patient from 2007-2021.

Bruce and Isobel, from New Zealand and

England respectively, moved from New York to

Baltimore with their four children, Samantha,

James, Georgia, and Mark, in 1993. While Bruce’s appointment as CEO of Towson-based

hedge fund Campbell and Company first brought the family to Baltimore, they have

become an integral part of Baltimore’s philanthropic landscape over the past 30 years.

In 2005, Bruce and Isobel funded their family foundation, The Orokawa Foundation, with a

mission to support human and community services in Maryland and beyond, specifically

funding initiatives in education, poverty, addiction, the preservation of the environment,

and medical needs-particularly those targeting cancer and diseases impacting children. The

Orokawa Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of the University of Maryland Medical

System since 2006, when Bruce was first diagnosed with Head and Neck cancer.

The Cleland’s philanthropic commitments started well before The Orokawa Foundation’s

establishment in 2005. In 1986, Georgia Cleland was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic

leukemia at the age of two. Determined to raise much-needed funds for leukemia research,

Bruce and Isobel started the first ever “run for a cause” effort, known as Team in Training

in 1988. To date, Georgia has been in remission for 36 years, and Team In Training has

raised over $1.5 billion dollars for leukemia and lymphoma research.

With the establishment of The Orokawa Foundation, the Cleland Family has made an

indelible impact on thousands of lives through their strategic partnerships, both locally and

globally. Locally, The Orokawa Foundation has made transformative commitments to The

Y of Central Maryland, Living Classrooms, and Paul’s Place, among others. More broadly,

The Orokawa Foundation has supported The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Habitat for

Humanity, as well as several global disaster relief efforts.

Isobel Cleland currently presides over The Orokawa Foundation, alongside the family’s

private family office. Samantha (Cleland) Manekin, Executive Director of The Orokawa

Foundation, resides in Ruxton with her husband Jon and their three children. James Cleland,

President and CEO of Cloudbreak Energy Partners, lives in Boulder, CO with his wife Cory

and their two children. Georgia Cleland lives and works in Mt. Airy, MD. Mark Cleland,

student at Harvard Law School, lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife Kylie.

The Cleland Family members are all profoundly grateful for the care of their beloved

husband and father, Bruce, under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Mohan Suntha,

alongside Dr. Rodney Taylor, Dr. Kevin Cullen, and their clinical support staff.

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