Skip to content Skip to navigation

Peter L. Santa Maria, MD, PhD

Peter L. Santa Maria, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the Stanford University Medical Center
Board Certification: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Otolaryngology (2012)
Residency: Royal Australian College of Surgeons (2011) Australia
Fellowship: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2012) WA Australia
Instructorship, Stanford University, Otology, Neurotology, Skull Base Surgery (2015)
Fellowship, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Otology, Neurotology, Skull Base Surgery (2012)
Residency: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2005) WA Australia
Internship: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2002) WA Australia
Residency / FRACS, The Royal Australian College of Surgeons, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (2011)
Medical Education: University of Western Australia (2002) WA Australia
MBBS, The University of Western Australia, Medicine / Surgery (2001)
PhD, The University of Western Australia (2012)
Associate Director Stanford SPARK

Dr Peter Santa Maria is a surgeon scientist born and raised in Perth, Australia with a subspecialty interest in Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery. He attended medical school at The University of Western Australia before undertaking his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He was the Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery fellow at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2012), Western Australia before undertaking a three year instructorship at Stanford University in Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery (2015). He joined Stanford faculty in 2017.

Clinically, Dr Santa Maria specializes in adult and pediatric surgery for hearing, balance and facial nerve disorders. He has a special interest in the management of cholesteatoma, chronic otitis media, ear drum perforations and hearing reconstruction, otosclerosis and stapes surgery, eustachian tube surgery, tumors of the ear and skull base including acoustic neuroma, schwannoma, meningioma, glomus tumors, cholesterol granuloma and squamous cell cancer of the ear as well as hearing implants, including cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing aids. Dr Santa Maria has authored book chapters and published papers and continues his clinical research in these areas, particularly with a focus on hearing preservation in cochlear implant surgery and outcomes of vestibular schwannoma management.

Scientifically, Dr Santa Maria completed his PhD in the molecular biology of wound healing of the tympanic membrane at The University of Western Australia (2012). His research includes a novel treatment for chronic ear drum perforations was accelerated through the SPARK program at Stanford, winning the "Excellence in Stanford SPARK 2014" award, and then taken into a pharmaceutical start-up, Auration Biotech, aimed at bringing treatments for hearing loss into the clinic. Auration Biotech partnered with a large pharmaceutical company, Astellas, to bring the non-surgical treatment for ear drum repair into human clinical trials in 2020. He research has now expanded to include novel treatments for biofilms in chronic suppurative otitis media and growth factor therapy for oral wound healing. He now is Associate Director of Stanford SPARK, assisting academic discoveries through translation to the clinic.

Dr Santa Maria also co-invented a medical device which won the "Robert Howard Next Step Award in Medical Technology Innovation 2014", as part of Stanford's Biodesign program, that could keep patients warm during surgery. His team built and tested the first prototype before he led, as the Principal Investigator, the first in human clinical study where the device showed a three-fold benefit over the existing standard of care for preventing perioperative hypothermia. The device is now being further developed in another start-up, Flotherm, where he is working to bring the device to patients.