Benjamin S. Bleier, M.D.

Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear


Co-Director, Center for Thyroid Eye Disease and Orbital Surgery

Director, Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

Research Summary

Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Bleier’s research focuses on the role of sinonasal mucosal barrier function in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis. Using a combination of immunohistochemical and air-liquid interface primary epithelial culture techniques, his laboratory is working to determine how transmembrane epithelial proteins, such as the ATP-binding cassette(ABC) transporter P-glycoprotein, functions to promote the elaboration of Th1 and Th2 skewed cytokines in the setting of chronic inflammatory disease states (Figure).

An additional synergistic interest is studying mucosal permeability and epithelial responses to a variety of topical therapeutics and drug eluting polymers. Using both in vitro and animal models, Dr. Bleier is working to develop methods to bypass the blood-brain barrier using advanced endoscopic surgical techniques. He also studies the ability to couple these procedures with biocompatible materials to enhance the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and local sinonasal disease.


Select Publications

Antibiotic eluting chitosan glycerophosphate implant in the setting of acute bacterial sinusitis: a rabbit model.
Bleier BS, Kofonow JM, Hashmi N, Chennupati SK, Cohen NA.
Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2010 Mar-Apr;24(2):129-32

Primary human sinonasal epithelial cell culture model for topical drug delivery in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.

Bleier BS, Mulligan RM, Schlosser RJ.
J Pharm Pharmacol. 2012 Mar;64(3):449-56. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2011.01409.x. Epub 2011 Nov 13.

P-glycoprotein functions as an immunomodulator in healthy human primary nasal epithelial cells.
Bleier BS, Nocera AL, Iqbal H, Hoang JD, Feldman RE, Han X.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2013 Mar 20. doi: 10.1002/alr.21166. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23520057

Permeabilization of the Blood-Brain Barrier via Mucosal Engrafting: Implications for Drug Delivery to the Brain.
Bleier BS, Kohman RE, Feldman RE, Ramanlal S, Han X.
PLoS One. 2013 Apr 24;8(4):e61694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061694. Print 2013.
PMID: 23637885

P-glycoprotein is a marker of tissue eosinophilia and radiographic inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps.
Feldman RE, Lam AC, Sadow PM, Bleier BS.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2013 May 15. doi: 10.1002/alr.21176. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23677641 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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2000: B.A. Biology, University of Pennsylvania
2004: M.D. University of Pennsylvania

Postgraduate Training

Internship, General Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
Residency, Otorhinolaryngology¬–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2009
Fellowship, Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina

Professional Memberships

2005 - present: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: 
2005 - 2010: Resident Member
2011 - present: Member
2011 - 2013: Member, Rhinology & Allergy Education Committee
2007 - present: American Rhinologic Society:
2007 - 2010: Resident Member
2008 - 2010: Member, Section for Residents and Fellows
2011 - present: Member
2011 - 2014: Member, Education Committee

Awards and Honors

2008: First Place in Basic Science, Philadelphia College of Physicians Resident Research Competition, Animal Model of Laser Welded Esophageal Repair
2013: Runner-up in Basic Science, American Rhinologic Society Spring Meeting, P-glycoprotein is a Marker of Tissue Eosinophilia and Radiographic Inflammation in Chronic Rhinosinusitis without Nasal Polyps


2010 - present: Mass. Eye and Ear Sinus Dissection Course, Otolaryngology Residents
2011: Introduction to Neuroengineering, Undergraduate/Graduate Students
2013 - present: Boston Sinus Dissection Course, Otolaryngology Residents