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Amal Isaiah, MBBS, DPhil

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Secondary Appointment(s):

Pediatrics, Diagnostic Radiology Nuclear Medicine


16 S. Eutaw St Ste 500, Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):




Education and Training

Medical School: St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India (MBBS)

Graduate School: University of Oxford, England (DPhil, Neuroscience)

Internship: University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 

Residency: University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD (Otorhinolaryngology)

Fellowship: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center & Children's HealthSM, Dallas, TX (Pediatric Otolaryngology)

Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology


Dr Amal Isaiah graduated from St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, India. He was elected a Rhodes Scholar in 2006, following which he completed a DPhil (PhD) in Neurophysiology at Oxford University, England, focusing on developmental plasticity associated with cochlear implantation. Dr Isaiah then completed residency training in Otolaryngology at University of Maryland, and a clinical fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/Children's Health Dallas. He is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Dr Isaiah's clinical interests include ear, nose and throat disorders in infants and children with focus on sleep disorders, airway-related problems, ear infections and hearing loss. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

sleep disordered breathing; statistical modeling; machine learning; brain development

Highlighted Publications

Isaiah A, Hamdan H, Johnson RF, Naqvi K, and Mitchell RB. Very Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children: Outcomes of Adenotonsillectomy and Risk Factors for Persistence. Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2017;157(1):128-134. doi:10.1177/0194599817700370. PMID: 28397574

Isaiah A, Kiss E, Olomu P, Koral K, and Mitchell RB. Characterization of upper airway obstruction using cine MRI in children with residual obstructive sleep apnea after adenotonsillectomy. Sleep Med. 2018;50:79-86. PMID: 30015255

Isaiah A, Daher A, Sharma PB, Naqvi K, and Mitchell RB. Predictors of sleep hypoxemia in children with cystic fibrosis. Pediatric pulmonology. 2019;54(3):273-279. PMID: 30609295

Rizzi CJ, Amin JD, Isaiah A, Valdez TA, Jeyakumar A, Smart SE, Pereira KD. Tracheostomy for severe pediatric obstructive sleep apnea: indications and outcomes. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 2017 Aug;157(2):309-13. PMID: 28417683

Isaiah A, Pereira KD, and Das G. Polysomnography and Treatment-Related Outcomes of Childhood Sleep Apnea. Pediatrics. 2019;144(4):e20191097, PMID: 31533972

Isaiah A, Bertoni D, Pereira KD, Diaz-Abad M, Mitchell RB, and Das G. Treatment-related changes in heart rate variability in children with sleep apnea. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;162(5):737-745. PMID: 32122243

Isaiah A, Shikara M, Pereira KD, and Das G. Refining screening questionnaires for prediction of sleep apnea severity in children. Sleep Breath. 2019; 27. doi: 10.1007/s11325-019-01964-7. PMID: 31776897

Ahmed S, Hasani S, Koone M, Thirumuruganathan S, Diaz-Abad M, Mitchell R, Isaiah A, and Das G. An Empirical Study of Questionnaires for the Diagnosis of Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018; 4097-4100. doi:10.1109/EMBC.2018.8513389. PMID: 30441257

Bertoni D, Sterni LM, Pereira KD, Das G, and Isaiah A*. Predicting polysomnographic severity thresholds in children using machine learning. Pediatr Res. 2020 May 9. doi: 10.1038/s41390-020-0944-0. PMID: 32386396 *featured Early Career Investigator by the journal.

Bertoni D and Isaiah A. Towards Patient-centered Diagnosis of Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea—A Review of Biomedical Engineering Strategies. Expert review of medical devices. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2019 Jul;16(7):617-629. PMID: 31159603.

Isaiah A, Wolf JS. Ultrasound Localization of Obstruction for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. US Patent # 9,883,847 (2018)

Isaiah A, Wolf JS. Automatic Ultrasound Titration of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Treatment for Sleep Apnea, US Patent Application 62/291,937 (2017)

Isaiah A, Vongpaisal T, King AJ, and Hartley DEH. Multisensory training improves auditory spatial processing following bilateral cochlear implantation. J Neurosci. 2014;34(33):11119-11130. PMID: 25122908; PMCID: PMC4131019

Hartley DE, Vongpaisal T, Xu J, Shepherd RK, King AJ, and Isaiah A. Bilateral cochlear implantation in the ferret: A novel animal model for behavioral studies. Journal of neuroscience methods. 2010 Jul 15;190(2):214-28. PMID: 20576507; PMCID: PMC2938482

Isaiah A and Hartley DE. Can training extend current guidelines for cochlear implant candidacy? Neural regeneration research. 2015 May;10(5):718. PMID: 26109944; PMCID: PMC4468761

Hartley DE, Isaiah A. Envelope enhancement increases cortical sensitivity to interaural envelope delays with acoustic and electric hearing. PloS one. 2014 Aug 5;9(8):e104097. PMID: 25093417; PMCID: PMC4122409.

Petrus E,* Isaiah A,* Jones AP, et al. Crossmodal induction of thalamocortical potentiation leads to enhanced information processing in the auditory cortex. Neuron. 2014;81(3):664-673 (*equal first). PMID: 24507197; PMCID: PMC4023256

Wess JM,* Isaiah A,* Watkins PV, and Kanold PO. Subplate neurons are the first cortical neurons to respond to sensory stimuli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(47):12602-12607. PMID: 29114043; PMCID: PMC5703299 (*equal first)




Additional Publication Citations

Technologies developed

Wolf JS, Isaiah A, inventors; Ultrasound Localization of Obstruction for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. United States patent grant 9,883,847

Wolf JS, Isaiah A, inventors;  Automatic Ultrasound Titration of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Treatment for Sleep Apnea US 62/291,937


Research Interests

My primary interest is in the application of advanced machine learning and statistical modelling tools to predict outcomes related to pediatric sleep disordered breathing. In addition, I have developed technologies for the precise localization of upper airway obstruction. In this domain, I collaborate with Professor Gautam Das at University of Texas Arlington. 

I am a member of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study Team at University of Maryland, Baltimore. The ABCD Study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. I collaborate with MPIs Dr Linda Chang and Dr Thomas Ernst in examining brain imaging, cognitive and behavioral outcomes in children using statistical and machine learning models.


Clinical Specialty Details

My interest spans the breadth of ear, nose and throat problems in infants and children, with an emphasis on management of pediatric sleep apnea.

Awards and Affiliations

Rhodes Scholarship

Duane Sewell, MD Resident Research Award 

Maryland Society of Otolaryngology Resident Research Award

Delegate, International Achievement Summit

Gerber Foundation Early Career Award

Bactroban Dermatology Prize

Cadila Health Care Prize in General Surgery

Dept of Biotechnology Award, Government of India

Grants and Contracts

2U01DA041117-06 (MPI: Chang/Ernst)                                                                                          09/30/15–3/31/27


Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) at University of Maryland Baltimore

The ABCD Study is a national study that employs 21 sites to longitudinally study brain development and child health. Almost 12,000 children ages 9-10 are enrolled in the study. Researchers will track their biological and behavioral development for the next decade. My specific role is to examine the brain imaging, cognitive and behavioral outcomes in children with oSDB using statistical and machine learning models.

Role: Co-Investigator


In the News

1. The story of Noah Schultz, an infant who underwent excision of a rare saccular cyst, a tracheostomy and laryngotracheal reconstruction with subsequent decannulation: watch the video here.

2. Our collaborative work on the relationship between sleep study parameters and sleep apnea outcomes in children: read here.

3. Seeing less helps the brain hear more: National Public Radio (NPR) Broadcast Feb 05 2014 

4. I was featured in The Why files, a University of Wisconsin publication

5. For the publication in Neuron, I received an Altmetric score of 356 (#2 in all journal submissions to Cell Press, 35 newspapers, 13 blogs, 20 tweets, 99th percentile in all research submissions worldwide in media attention compared to other articles of same age (article reported in BBC, Washington Post, NY Times, Scientific American, Nature etc.) 

Professional Activity

I am a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO).

I am a faculty member in the Program in Neuroscience (PIN) at University of Maryland.

As the Director of Resident Research in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, I oversee research efforts by residents.