Derek Kao

About Me
Derek Kao
Meet 2023 Award Recipient

Derek Kao

Derek came to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai from Yale University, where he majored in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry. Before attending Icahn, Derek was a four-year member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Varsity Swimming Team and spent two summers in Peru working in mobile clinics to bring healthcare to remote villages. He was admitted to Icahn through the FlexMed program and entered the MD program in 2018.

While at Icahn, Derek participated in the student-run free clinic East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP) as a Chronic Care Senior Clinician and Clinic Manager Coordinator, taught and mentored high school students in Medical Discovery of Careers (MedDOCs), and helped produce The Story Project, an annual monologue performance. Derek was admitted to the Patient-Oriented Research Training and Leadership (PORTAL) program to pursue a dual MD/MSCR degree. His research focuses on clinical outcomes in head and neck cancer and his efforts have resulted in presentations and awards at national conferences and multiple first-author articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Derek would like to thank his family, friends, and the many faculty members both at Sinai and other institutions who have supported his education thus far. He would like to especially thank Dr. Keith Sigel and Dr. Janice Gabrilove for the mentorship and training that has launched his research career.

Derek will graduate with his MD/MSCR degree and continue his residency and research training in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan.

Derek Kao is receiving the:

PORTAL Thesis Award in Clinical Research