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Sam Augustine Kandathil
Sam Augustine Kandathil, M.D.

Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology (Division of Anatomy), Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Division of General Otorhinolaryngology)
Position: Doctor-in-training

ORCID: 0000-0003-4139-7940
T +43 1 40160-37758


Anatomic Variation; Anatomy; Autophagy; Chemoradiotherapy; Chemotherapy resistance; Free Tissue Flaps; Head and Neck Neoplasms; Mandibular Reconstruction; Microscopy, Electron, Scanning; Microscopy, Electron, Transmission; Microsurgery; Neck Dissection; Oncology; Organoids; Primary Cell Culture; Receptors, Interleukin-6; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Spheroids, Cellular; Translational Medical Research

Research group(s)

  • Basic Oncology Research in Head and Neck Cancer
  • Hirtler Lab
    Head: Lena Hirtler
    Research Area: The members of this research group address a wide range of anatomical and clinical-morphological questions. Starting from classical anatomical and histological evaluations to clinical applications, e.g. minimally invasive surgery and imaging procedures, research questions are processed by the use of state-of-the-art techniques. Apart from stand-alone projects, the group is characterized by collaborations with a variety of partners to tackle currently relevant issues in clinical practice.

Research interests

  • Translational research
  • patient-derived head and neck sqamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) culture (cultivating and engineering HNSCC-organoids and spheroids)
  • patient-derived xenografts (PDX)
  • organoid-derived grafts (ODX)
  • 4-NQO mouse model
  • Tumor microenvironment (TME)
  • influence of TME on cancer chemo- and radioresistance
  • Autophagy
  • role of autophagy in cancer development and response to chemo- and radiotherapy
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM)
  • creating scaffolds and hydrogels derived from animals and humans for in vitro applications
  • influence of ECM on HNSCC tumor progression and invasion
  • Thin section histology
  • Methylmethacrylat-based histology to analyse implant-tissue-interactions

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Thin-section histology (Division of Anatomy)
  • Endoscopic surgery (Division of Anatomy)
  • Microscopic surgery (Surgical microscope at Division of Anatomy)
  • Cell Culture (Biosafety 2 Lab, Department of Otorhinolaryngology)


  • Targeting autophagy and evaluation of its effect in head and neck cancer spheroids (2023)
    Source of Funding: Margarethe Hehberger Stiftung, Malignant Diseases
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Varatanovic, S. et al. (2023) ‘In vitro effects of gamma-secretase inhibition in HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma’, Investigational New Drugs, 41(2), pp. 193–201. Available at: Available at:
  2. Bauer, S.A., Kandathil, S.A. and Hirtler, L. (2023) ‘Peroneus tertius revisited: The morphological variability of the bifurcated peroneus tertius insertion – An anatomical study’, Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger, 250, p. 152164. Available at: Available at: