Robert D. Cullen, MD

Otology & Neurotology
Board-Certified Otologist
Robert D. Cullen, MD

Professional Biography

Dr. Cullen has been serving the Greater Kansas City Area in the field of otology and neurotology since 2007. After completing fellowship training at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, CA, he joined the Otologic Center in Kansas City.Dr. Cullen joined Ascentist Healthcare with the merger of Otologic Center and Ascentist ENT in 2020.

As a board-certified subspecialist in otology/neurotology, Dr. Cullen has been able to provide the most advanced medical and surgical treatment solutions for adult and pediatric patients with hearing loss, balance problems, and other ear related disorders.He also serves as the Medical Director of the region’s oldest and largest cochlear implant program at the Midwest Ear Institute.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Cullen and his wife stay busy with their 4 children and enjoy outdoor activities, discovering our national parks, and travel of all kinds.

EDUCATION

Medical Degree

College of Medicine

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Little Rock, Arkansas

August 1996 – May 2000

Internship

Department of General Surgery

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

June 2000- June 2001


Residency

Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

June 2001 – June 2005


Fellowship

House Ear Clinic

Los Angeles, California

July 2005 – June 2007


Honors:

  • Kansas City Top Doctor – 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor

Awards:

  • Hilary Grinker Musser Grant in Auditory Science. National Organization of Hearing Research, 2006
  • House Officer Excellence Award, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 2005
  • Resident Travel Award. Triological Society: COSM, 2003
  • Resident Travel Award. Triological Society: Southern Section, 2003
  • The G. Slaughter Fitz-Hugh Resident Research Award. Phase locking in the auditory nerve of the Dutch-Belted rabbit. The Triological Society, Southern Section Meeting, Naples, FL, January 9, 2003
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2002 Resident Research Award. Neuronal responses to bilateral cochlear implants.
  • Newton D. Fischer Society Temporal Bone Dissection Award, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Roberts Key. Awarded to graduating student with highest cumulative GPA. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 2000
  • Alpha Omega Alpha. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 1999
  • Frank Williams Scholarship. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 1999
  • Barton Scholarship. Awarded to medical students with 4.00 GPA. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 1997-1999
  • Letter of Commendation in Medical Ethics. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 1997
  • Southern Medical Association Scholarship. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 1996
  • Magna Cum Laude. Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. University of Arkansas, 1996
  • Phi Beta Kappa.  University of Arkansas, 1996
  • Phi Kappa Phi. National honors and service society, 1995
  • Chancellor’s Scholarship. University of Arkansas, 1993-1996

Memberships/Affiliations

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, 2019-present
  • Board of Directors, Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, 2015-2018
  • President, Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology - 2018
  • Board of Directors, American Cochlear Implant Alliance, 2013-15
  • Board of Directors, Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO, 2007-present
  • Implantable Hearing Devices Committee, AAOHNS, 2013-2016
  • Medical Executive Committee, St Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute, Kansas City, MO, 2011-2020
  • Medical Executive Committee, Overland Park Surgery Center, Overland Park, KS, 2014-2017
  • Advisory Board, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf-Kansas City, Lenexa, KS, 2007-2011
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons, 2010-present
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 2001-present
  • American Neurotology Society, 2008-present
  • Otosclerosis Study Group, 2017-present
  • Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, 2007-present


Grants

  • Hilary Grinker Musser Grant in Auditory Science for “CMV Related Hearing Loss.” National Organization for Hearing Research. $20,000. 2006
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2002 Resident Research Award. Neuronal responses to bilateral cochlear implants. $10,000. 2002

Publications

  • Alvi SA, Flynn JP, Gener M, Cullen R.  Burkitt lymphoma of the temporal bone.  Otology & Neurotology. 39(5):e410-e412. 2018
  • Firszt, JB, Reeder RM, Holden LK, Dwyer NY, the Asymmetric Hearing Study Team. Results in adult cochlear implant recipients with varied asymmetric hearing: a prospective longitudinal study of speech recognition, localization, and participant report.  Ear and Hearing. 39(5):845-862. 2018. (member of Asymmetric Hearing Study Team).
  • Luetje CM, Brown SA, Cullen RD. Vibrant soundbridge implantable hearing device:  review and single-surgeon short-and long-term results.  Ear Nose Throat J.  89(9):E9-E14. 2010
  • Cullen RD, Fayad JN, Luxford WM, Buchman CA.  Revision cochlear implant surgery in children.  Otology & Neurotology. 29(2):214-20. 2008.
  • Friedman RA, Cullen RD, Ulis J, Brackmann DE.  Management of CSF leak following acoustic neuroma removal. Neurosurgery. 61(3 Suppl):35-9.  2007.
  • Cullen RD, House JW, Brackmann DE, Luxford WM, Fisher LM.  Evaluation of facial function with a questionnaire: reliability and validity.  Otology & Neurotology. 28(5):719-122. 2007.
  • Brackmann DE, Cullen RD, Fisher LM. Facial nerve function after translabyrinthine vestibular schwannoma surgery. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 136(5):773-7. 2007.
  • Cullen RD, Zdanski CJ, Roush P, Brown C, Teagle H, Pillsbury HC, Buchman C.  Cochlear implants in Waardenburg syndrome.  Laryngoscope.  116(7):1273-1275. 2006.
  • Cullen RD, Slattery WH.  Facial neuroma.  ENT Journal. 85(6):358. 2006.
  • Cullen RD, Zdanski CJ. Delivery of cidofovir to respiratory papillomas of the distal trachea. Laryngoscope. 115(3):552-4. 2005.
  • Cullen RD, Higgins CA, Buss E, Clark MS, Pillsbury HC, Buchman CA. Cochlear Implantation in Patients with Substantial Residual Hearing.  Laryngoscope. 114(12):2218-23. 2004.
  • Cullen RD, Buchman CA, Brown CJ, Copeland BJ, Zdanski C, Pillsbury HC, Shores CG.  Cochlear Implantation for Children with GJB2-Related Deafness.  Laryngoscope. 114(8):1415-1419.2004.
  • Buchman CA, Higgins CA, Cullen RD, Pillsbury HC. Revision cochlear implant surgery in adult patients with suspected device malfunction. Otology & Neurotology. 25(4):504-510. 2004.
  • McQueen CT, Cullen RD. Endoscopic ablation of distal tracheal lesions using Nd:YAG contact laser. International Journal of Pediatric Otolaryngology. 67(2):181-3. 2003.
  • Cullen RD, Hanna EY. Intranasal glomangioma. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 21(6):402-4. 2000.

Presentations

  • Danner C, Cullen RD, Hanna EY, Munshi N. Inducible protein 10 in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma.  The Triological Society, Southern Section Meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL, January 14, 1999.
  • Platt L, Cullen RD, Brown H, Westfall CT, Vaphiades MS. Giant cell arteritis: A ten-year perspective. Little Rock, AR, May, 1999.
  • Cullen RD and Senior, BA. Frontal Sinus and Facial Trauma Approaches. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Grand Rounds. Chapel Hill, NC, July 12, 2001. 
  • Pillsbury HC and Cullen RD. The Itchy Red Eye. Triangle East Physician Extender Society Annual Conference, Wrightsville Beach, NC, June 2002.
  • Cullen RD, Buchman CA, Brown CJ, Copeland BJ, Pillsbury HC, Shores CG. Performance outcomes in cochlear implant patients with Connexin 26 mutations. North Carolina/South Carolina Meeting, Asheville, NC, July, 2002.
  • Cullen RD and Dorfman BE. AIDS presenting as an atypical nasal infection. Poster Presentation. American Rhinologic Society Meeting, San Diego, CA, September 21, 2002.
  • Cullen RD, Skaggs JD, Fitzpatrick DC. Phase locking in the auditory nerve of the Dutch-Belted rabbit. The Triological Society, Southern Section Meeting, Naples, FL, January 9, 2003.
  • Fitzpatrick DC, Cullen RD, Crocker WD, Skaggs JD, Falk SE, Marshall AF, Hardy SM. Phase-locking to low frequency sounds in the auditory nerve of the rabbit. ARO Midwinter Meeting, Daytona Beach, FL, February 23-27, 2003.
  • Cullen RD. Pressure Equalization Tubes. ENT Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam, March 2003.
  • Cullen RD, Buchman CA, Brown CJ, Pillsbury HC, Shores CG.  Cochlear implantation in children with GJB2 mutations.  The 9th Symposium of Cochlear Implants in Children.  Washington, DC, April 2003.
  • Buchman CA, Higgins CA, Cullen RD, Pillsbury HC. Revision cochlear implantation. Annual Meeting of the American Neurotology Society, Nashville, TN, May 2003.
  • Cullen RD. Vestibular Schwannomas. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Grand Rounds. Chapel Hill, NC, August 6, 2003.
  • Cullen RD, Fitzpatrick DC , Finley CC, Marshall AF, Falk S, Zdanski CJ, Buchman CA, Pillsbury HC.  Stimulation of the Binaural Auditory System with Cochlear Implantation.  American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, September 2003.
  • Cullen RD, Higgins CA, Buss E, Clark MS, Pillsbury HC, Buchman CA. Cochlear Implantation in Patients with Substantial Residual Hearing. The Triological Society, Southern Section Meeting, Marco Island, FL, January 9, 2004. 
  • Cullen RD, Brown CJ, Teagle H, Pillsbury HC, Buchman CA. Cochlear Implantation in Pediatric Patients with Waardenburg Syndrome. Poster Presentation. The Triological Society, Southern Section Meeting, Miami, FL, January 12-15, 2005.
  • Buchman CA, Cullen RD, Teagle H, Brown C, Pillsbury HC.  Revision Cochlear Implant Surgey in Children.  10th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children, Dallas, TX, March 17, 2005.
  • Cullen RD. Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: Diagnosis and Management. House Ear Clinic Grand Rounds. Los Angeles, CA, October 7, 2005.
  • Cullen RD. Neoplasms of the Temporal Bone. House Ear Clinic Grand Rounds. Los Angeles, CA.  March 3, 2006
  • Cullen RD, Buchman CA, Pillsbury HC, Teagle H, Brown CJ, Fayad JN, Luxford WM, Eisenberg L, Gillinger M.  Revision Cochlear Implant Surgery in Children.  9th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences. Vienna, Austria.  June 15, 2006.
  • Pillsbury HC, Pillsbury C, Buss E, Clark M, Cullen RD, Buchman CA.  Cochlear Implantation in Patients with Significant Residual Hearing. 9th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences. Vienna, Austria.  June 16, 2006.
  • Cullen RD. Targets of Stimulation of the Auditory System.  House Ear Clinic Grand Rounds. Los Angeles, CA  January 6, 2006. 
  • Cullen, RD, Brackmann DE, Fisher LF. Facial Nerve Function after Translabyrinthine Vestibular Schwannoma Surgery.  2006 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Toronto, Canada, September 17-2006.
  • Cullen RD, Fayad JN, Luxford WM, Buchman CA.  Revision Cochlear Implant Surgery in Children.  American Neurotology Society 42nd  Annual Spring Meeting, San Diego, CA, May 2007.
  • Cullen RD, House JW, Brackmann DE, Luxford WM, Fisher LM.  Evaluation of facial function with a questionnaire: reliability and validity. American Neurotology Society 42nd Annual Spring Meeting, San Diego, CA, May 2007.
  • Cullen RD.  History of Cochlear Implantation.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Cochlear Implantation: Current Indications and Outcomes.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Hybrid Cochlear Implantation.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Bone Anchored Hearing Devices.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Implantable Hearing Devices.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Future of Cochlear Implants.  Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Meeting, Osage Beach, MO, April 2010.
  • Cullen RD.  Implantable Hearing Devices.  Missouri Academy of Audiology Scope of Practice Meeting. St. Louis, MO, September 2010.
  • Cullen RD and Lewis KL. Auditory Implants: Improving Patient Satisfaction with Cutting-Edge Technology. Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association, October, 2010.
  • Cullen RD, Roland JT. Evaluation of the Nucleus Hybrid L24 Cochlear Implant System: Clinical Trial Results. 12th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies, Baltimore, MD, May 2012.
  • Cullen RD.  Cochlear Implants: Not Just for the Deaf. Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology Annual Clinical Conference. January 30, 2015
  • Cullen RD. Hearing Loss, Dementia and Cochlear Implantation. St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Department of Medicine Grand Rounds. Kansas City, MO.  January 20, 2017


Book Chapters

  • Cullen RD, Buchman CA. “Cochlear Implantation: Reliability and Reimplantation.” Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Hearing Devices. Ed. Ruckenstein MJ. San Diego: Plural Publishing, 2012
  • Luxford WM, Cullen RD.  “Surgery for Cochlear Implantation.” Otologic Surgery, 3rd Edition. Eds. Brackmann DE, Shelton C, Arriaga MA. Philadelphia: Saunders-Elsevier, 2010
  • House JW, Lin J, Friedman RA, Cullen RD. “ Translabyrinthine Approach.” Otologic Surgery, 3rd Edition. Eds. Brackmann DE, Shelton C, Arriaga MA. Philadelphia: Saunders-Elsevier, 2010.


Research

  • Investigator Initiated Research

The Effect of Cochlear Implant Use on Balance Function.  Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

  • Study Site Principal Investigator

Implantation of the HiRes 90K™ Advantage Cochlear Implant with HiFocus™ Mid-Scala and Development of a Combined Electric and Acoustic Stimulation Technology in Adults with Partial Deafness, Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

Nucleus® Hybrid™ L24 Implant System: New Enrollment Study, Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

Clinical Evaluation of the Cochlear Nucleus® CI532 Cochlear Implant in Adults. Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

Revised indications for cochlear implant candidacy for the adult CMS population. Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

  • Study Site Subinvestigator

Cochlear Implantation in Adults with Asymmetric Hearing Loss Clinical Trial. Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.

Safety and Efficacy of the Cochlear Nucleus CI422 Cochlear Implant in Adults. Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute, Kansas City, MO.