John B. Sunwoo

Thyroid and parathyroid surgeon, Cutaneous oncology specialist, Head and neck surgical oncologist, Head and neck surgeon, Endocrine surgeon, Surgical oncologist, Dermato-oncology specialist

Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine and Professor, by courtesy, of Dermatology

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Dr. Sunwoo was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed his training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University. Dr. Sunwoo has been at Stanford University since 2008, and his clinical focus is on the surgical management of head and neck cancer, specifically focusing on melanoma and neoplasms of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. He is a member of the Pigmented Lesions and Melanoma Clinic and the Melanoma Working Group at Stanford. He is also the co-founder of the Stanford Thyroid and Parathyroid Tumor Board.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Sunwoo is the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research at Stanford University and the principal investigator of an NIH-funded laboratory in the Stanford Cancer Institute. His research is focused on three primary areas: (1) the immune response to cancer, particularly a tumorigenic population of cells within malignancies called cancer stem cells; (2) the biology and developmental programs of a special lymphocyte population involved in innate immunity called natural killer (NK) cells; and (3) intra-tumor and inter-tumor heterogeneity in head and neck cancer.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Residency: Washington University School Of Medicine Registrar (2003) MO
  • Medical Education: Washington University School Of Medicine Registrar (1993) MO
  • Postdoc Research Fellowship, Washington University, Immunology (2008)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology (2004)
  • Fellowship: National Institutes of Health (2000) MD
  • M.D., Washington University, Medicine (1993)
  • Sc.B., Brown University, Biochemistry (1989)

Honors & Awards
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Washington University (2003)
  • Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors, Inc. (2009-present)
  • Chief Resident Teaching Award, Washington University (2003)
  • Faculty Teacher of the Year, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Stanford University (2012)
  • K08 Award, National Institutes of Health (2004)
  • Louis and Dorothy Kovitz Prize in Surgery, Washington University (1993)
  • R35 Outstanding Investigator Award, NIH (2020)
  • Resident Research Award, Washington University (1997, 1999, 2000)
  • Sigma Xi, Brown University (1989)
  • Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2013 - present)
  • Young Investigator Award, American Head and Neck Society (2000)

Administrative Appointments
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (UTL), Stanford University School of Medicine (2019 - Present)
  • Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Dept. of Otolaryngology (2013 - Present)
  • Leader, Head and Neck Cancer Service Line (CCP), Stanford Cancer Institute (2017 - Present)


Practice Locations

Stanford Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program at Stanford Cancer Center Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

900 Blake Wilbur Drive, 3rd Floor

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

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Head and Neck Cancer Program in Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

900 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Patient Ratings

(42 Ratings)

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The Patients Ratings and comments are gathered from our Patient Satisfaction Survey and displayed in their entirety.

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Patient Reviews

(55 reviews)

you guys are the best!
my health concerns met with optimum provisions
Dr. Sunwoo is always caring & concerned.
Dr. Sunwoo is a wonderful, thoughtful, caring doctor. I feel very fortunate to have him for my doctor.
The "go to" provider.
Dr. Sunwoo is gentle, has a very calming effect - that's a good thing. Answers all my questions, so I can understand.
Dr. Sunwoo has an outstanding bedside manner, very inclusive, valued my input, provided options he was genuine, caring, empathetic, & compassionate about his work, I felt very confident about his work to care for me & treatment.
I can't say enough about the thoughtful, intelligent and warm care I received!
Great doctor. Good experience.
Great professional, eminence offered much love & tranquil spirit.
Dr. Sunwoo & staff are excellent!
Good experience. Dr. very good.
Dr. Sunwoo is an excellent doctor who had great patience and is very meticulous and thorough.
Before having referred to Stanford for thyroid cancer, I had many tests & providers in my local area. At Stanford I saw true competence & professionalism for the first time. Wish I lived closer so I could have all my medical needs taken care of there.
Good experience.
I have been most satisfied with Dr. John Sunwoo. He is very thorough and explains procedures very well. He is a true asset to Stanford Health Care.
Dr. Sunwoo has been my follow up physician since Dr. Fe retired. I have complete confidence in him.
The doctor (Dr. Sunwoo) was very clear in explaining what will happen & what will be done to the patient.
I do recommend. May God bless the dr.
Everyone - From arrival to MD - Terrific!
Explained what was going to happen and I could understand what was being said.
I recommend Stanford to anyone I know regularly.
The medical staff was the most informed and, all around, professional I have ever met.
Dr. explain the problem clearly.
Dr. Sunwoo is very caring genuine physician.
Very inspiring and hopeful thank you.
Dr. Sunwoo made a very scary experience easy. He is the best!
All who cared for me were excellent.
Doctor Sunwood went out of his way to see me and accommodate my schedule in treatment.
Dr. Sunwoo & staff are outstanding.
Dr. John Sunwoo is very friendly, his explanation about my problem were easy to understand. I have complete confidence in Dr. Sunwoo. I would recommend him to others. Zoya Benjamin, PA, also does a great job.
If this staff is any example of the rest of the hospital we wish we lived closer to have the best of our needs cared for.
A great doctor.
Thanks to Dr. Sunwood John Bing, great skills and professional, and nice like an angel!
I recommend it because they took very good care of me.
Dr. Sunwoo and my whole team are wonderful!! Love them!
As always, Dr. Sunwood and staff were great!!
I have given Dr. Sunwoo 5's in every area. He is beyond "very good"; he is outstanding as a care provider.
Wish that doctor himself had come to see me and answer my questions before I was discharged from the hospital.
Dr. Sunwoo never seems to be in a hurry. He is a great dr. and does beautiful work.
Could not ask for more.
I'm very pleased.
My care under Dr. Sunwoo has been excellent.
Very concerned about follow-on care.
Dr. Sunwoo is an all around FABULOUS dr.!
The PA took so much time with us and spoke so well of the doctor. PA also shared some info and encouragement that the doctor eventually shared.
Dr. Sunwoo was kind & positive about a scary medical condition one of the best drs. I've ever been to.
Care provided was excellent! Thank you.
I was very impressed with Dr. Sunwoo. He was so clear in his explanation of my health care & problem.
Long drive and limited available scheduling.

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