Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP



Dr. Saba's academic work focuses on upper aerodigestive malignancies, namely head and neck and esophageal cancer, as well as the clinical development of novel agents and therapeutic modalities.

Titles and Roles

Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Head and Neck Medical Oncology Program
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Medical Oncologist
Esophageal Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
Lung Cancer
Thyroid Cancer
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, is a Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Saba serves as Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Medical Oncology Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Dr. Saba is a recognized expert in immunotherapy for head and neck cancer. His work is focused on translational research and the study and development of novel therapeutic agents and modalities in head and neck and esophageal cancer. He leads several clinical trials and chairs national as well as investigator initiated multi-institution studies focusing on novel approaches for treating these diseases.

Dr. Saba is the elected Chair of the National Cancer Institute's task force for recurrent metastatic head and neck cancer, and chairs the Rare Tumors Task Force of the National Cancer Institute's Head and Neck Cancer Steering Committee. Prior to joining the faculty at Emory University, he was recognized for his outstanding contribution to the fellowship program at the University of Minnesotta. Dr. Saba is also an active member of the NRG Oncology Head and Neck Cancer Core Committee and serves on the American College of Radiology appropriateness criteria panel for head and neck cancer.


Dr. Saba earned his Medical Degree from the American University of Beirut Medical School. He completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and Clinical Fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at Brown University School of Medicine, and in Bone Marrow Transplant at the University of Toronto Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada. 


Dr. Saba's research is focused on clinical and translational work in head and neck, and esophageal cancer. He has been the recipient of several NIH and industry funded grant support to study these malignancies. He has recently received funding from the NIH to examine novel genomic approaches for diagnosing HPV positive oropharyngeal cancers. He conducts and leads a number of head and neck cancer clinical trials with a focus on biomarker endpoints.

Among Dr Saba's contributions is serving as a co-leader of project 4 of the Emory Head and Neck Cancer SPORE involving the application of nano-therapeutics-based therapy for treating advanced head and neck cancer and serving as an investigator on the Department of Defense, USAMRMC grant looking at "Multi-Biomarker System Using Quantum Dot Technology for Assessments of Prognosis of NSCLC". 

  • Below is a listing of current federal grants for the above principal investigator.



Dr. Saba has authored more than 100 multiple peer-reviewed articles, editorials, review papers, book chapters as well as two Uptodate chapters. He is associate editor for Head Neck and a member of the editorial board of Cancer, Oral Oncology, American Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancers of the Head and Neck. In 2017, he was recognized as an outstanding reviewer for the journal, Cancer.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Saba is a recipient of the following awards:

  • Atlanta Magazine's "Top Doctors", 2005, 2016-2018
  • Outstanding reviewer for journal, Cancer, 2017
  • Castle Connolly Top Doctors, 2011 and 2014
  • Distinguished Doctor, Expert Network, 2015
  • Recognition for outstanding contribution to the Fellowship program, University of Minnesota, Hematology Oncology and transplant section, 2003
  • Dean's Honor List, American University of Beirut, 1984-1990

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