Daniel J. Cates, M.D.

Assistant Professor

To see if Daniel J. Cates is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).






Locations and Contact

Glassrock Building

Otolaryngology Speech Audio Clinic
2521 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Disorders of swallowing, voice, and breathing can have a big impact on my patients and reduce their quality of life. I strive to identify these problems and use a team-based approach to improve my patients’ well-being.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Cates is a laryngologist who’s clinical interests span the breadth of voice, swallowing, and upper aerodigestive tract disorders. He completed a fellowship in Care of the Professional Voice and has a special interest in treating singers, teachers, speakers, and other professional voice users. He also provides care for our nation's veterans at the Northern California Health Care System VA Medical Center.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Cates' academic interests are focused on assessing and optimizing voice and swallowing outcomes in patients with head and neck cancer, novel therapies for airway stenosis, and treatment outcomes for age-related voice disorders.


Head and Neck Surgery

Undergraduate School

B.S., UC San Diego, La Jolla CA 2007

Medical School

M.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign IL 2012


Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2012-2013


Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2013-2017


Laryngology, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2017-2018


Laryngology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh PA 2017-2018

American Laryngological Association Poster Presentation, 2nd place, 2019

Resident Teaching Award, 2017

American Broncho-Esophagological Association Poster Presentation, 1st place, 2015

UC Davis Resident Research Day Presentation, 1st place, 2015

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, 2010

Randall DR, Cates DJ, Strong EB, Belafsky PC. Three-dimensional analysis of the human pharyngoesophageal sphincter. Laryngoscope. 2020 Dec;130(12):2773-2778. doi:10.1002/lary.28450. Epub 2019 Dec 14. PMID:31837160.

Cates DJ, Rosen CA, Yassin MH, Smith LJ. Primary Laryngeal Blastomycosis: Diagnostic Challenges and Advances in a Rare Cause of Laryngitis. Laryngoscope. 2019 Nov;129(11):2531-2533. doi:10.1002/lary.27593. Epub 2019 May 23. PMID:31120608.

Cates DJ, Magnetta MJ, Smith LJ, Rosen CA. Novel, anatomically appropriate balloon dilation technique of the glottis to treat posterior glottic stenosis in a 3D-printed model. Laryngoscope. 2019 Oct;129(10):2239-2243. doi:10.1002/lary.27524. Epub 2019 Feb 18. PMID:30776098.

Rosen CA, Wang H, Cates DJ, Smith LJ. The glottis is not round: Teardrop-shaped glottic dilation for early posterior glottic stenosis. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jun;129(6):1428-1432. doi:10.1002/lary.27594. Epub 2018 Dec 27. PMID:30588628.

Randall DR, Nativ N, Cates DJ, Tinling SP, Belafsky PC. Decreased Intramuscular Calcium Hydroxyapatite Implant Resorption in a Murine Model of Osteoporosis. Laryngoscope. 2018 Nov;128(11):2576-2580. doi:10.1002/lary.27348. Epub 2018 Sep 8. PMID:30194683.

Strong EB, Randall DR, Cates DJ, Belafsky PC. Analysis of Reported Balloon Malfunctions and Proposed Rescue Strategy for Malfunction during Airway Dilation. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Feb;158(2):331-336. doi:10.1177/0194599817742356. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID:29232174.

Johnson CM, Venkatesan NN, Siddiqui MT, Cates DJ, Kuhn MA, Postma GM, Belafsky PC. Outcomes of laryngohyoid suspension techniques in an ovine model of profound oropharyngeal dysphagia. Laryngoscope. 2017 Dec;127(12):E422-E427. doi:10.1002/lary.26754. Epub 2017 Jul 12. PMID:28699193.

Cates DJ, Venkatesan NN, Strong B, Kuhn MA, Belafsky PC. Effect of Vocal Fold Medialization on Dysphagia in Patients with Unilateral Vocal Fold Immobility. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Sep;155(3):454-7. doi:10.1177/0194599816645765. Epub 2016 May 10. PMID:27165683.

Plowman EK, Bijangi-Vishehsaraei K, Halum S, Cates D, Hanenberg H, Domer AS, Nolta JA, Belafsky PC. Autologous myoblasts attenuate atrophy and improve tongue force in a denervated tongue model: a pilot study. Laryngoscope. 2014 Feb;124(2):E20-6. doi:10.1002/lary.24352. Epub 2013 Oct 1. PMID:23929623.

Belafsky PC, Plowman EK, Mehdizadeh O, Cates D, Domer A, Yen K. The upper esophageal sphincter is not round: a pilot study evaluating a novel, physiology-based approach to upper esophageal sphincter dilation. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2013 Apr;122(4):217-21. doi:10.1177/000348941312200401. PMID:23697317.