D. Bradley Welling, M.D., Ph.D., FACS

Harvard Medical School

Walter Augustus LeCompte Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Chief of Otolaryngology
Senior Scientist

Massachusetts General Hospital

Chief of Otolaryngology

Research Summary

Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Welling’s clinical and research interests focus primarily on NF2-associated vestibular schwannomas and the hearing loss, disequilibrium and facial paralysis that may result from the disease. In 1996, Dr. Welling and his collaborators published the promoter of the NF2 gene and documented genotype-phenotype correlations. This work was awarded the Edmund Prince Fowler Award from The Triological Society for the best basic science thesis. Later work using cDNA microarray analysis to identify involved pathways in tumor formation was awarded the Nicholas Torok Award from the American Neurotologic Society. In conjunction with these studies, Dr. Welling leads five targeted clinical trials for NF2-related tumors based upon his in vitro work and the work of many others.  

Additional research interests for Dr. Welling include the use of regenerative growth factors for the promotion of healing of tympanic membrane (TM) perforations, as well as the use of virtual simulation in otologic surgery training. The utility of regenerative growth factors in healing TM perforations has been shown in vivo. If found to be successful, the approach could offer an alternative to surgical repair (and greatly reduce associated cost and surgical morbidity). Dr. Welling’s work in the area of otologic surgery training has led to a validated model for temporal bone dissection.

Select Publications

Acoustic neuroma: a cost-effective approach. Welling DB,  Glasscock ME, Woods CI, Jackson CG. Otolaryngol HNSurg 1990:103(3):364-370. 

Mutational spectrum in the neurofibromatosis type 2 gene in sporadic and familial schwannomas. Welling DB, Guida M, Goll F, Pearl DK, Glasscock ME, Pappas DG, Linthicum FH, Rogers D, Prior TW. Hum Genet 1996:98(2): 189-93. 

Clinical manifestions of mutations in the neurofibromatosis type 2 gene in vestibular schwannomas. Welling DB. Laryngoscope 1998: 108(2):178-89.

Analysis of the human neurofibromatosis type 2 gene promoter and its expression. Welling DB, Akhmametyeva EM, Daniels RL, Zhu L, Miles-Markley BA, Chang L-S. Otolaryngol HN Surg 2000; 123:  413-418. 

cDNA microarray analysis of vestibular schwannomas. Welling DB, Lasak JM, Akhmametyeva EM, Gaheri B, Chang L-S. Otol Neurotol 2002;23(5): 736-748.

Cochlear implantation in the neurofibromatosis type 2 patient: long-term follow-up. Neff BA, Wiet RM, Lasak JM, Ramsden R, Cohen N, Welling DB. Laryngoscope 2007;117:1069-1072.

AR42, A Novel Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, as a Potential Therapy for Vestibular Schwannomas and Meningiomas. Bush ML, Oblinger J, Brendel, V, Santarelli G, Huang J,  Akhmametyeva EM,  Burns SS,  Wheeler J, Davis J,  Chaudhury AR, Kulp S, Chen C-S, Yates C, Chang L-S, Welling DB,  Jacob A. Neuro-Oncol 2011; 13:983-989, 2011. PMID: 21778190. 

Preclinical Validation of AR42, a Novel Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, as Treatment for Vestibular Schwannomas. Jacob A, Oblinger J, Bush ML, Brendel V, Santarelli G, Chaudhury AR, Kulp S, La Perle K, Chen C-S, Chang L-S, Welling DB. Laryngoscope 2012;122(1):174-189.

Virtual temporal bone dissection system: OSU virtual temporal bone system:  development and testing. Wiet GJ, Stredney D, Kerwin T, Hittle B, Fernandez SA, Abdel-Rasoul M, Welling DB. Laryngoscope 2012; Mar; 122, suppl 1:S1-12.  Epub 2012, January 31. 

Histone deacetylase inhibitor AR-42 differentially affects cell-cycle transit in meningeal and meningioma cells, potently inhibiting NF2-deficient meningioma growth. Burns SS, Akhmametyeva EM, Oblinger JL, Bush ML, Huang J, Senner V, Chen CS, Jacob A, Welling DB, Chang LS. Cancer Res 2013 Jan 15;73(2):792-803.

View a complete list of publications on pubmed.gov »



1979: B.A. Chemistry, University of Utah
1983: M.D. University of Utah
2003: Ph.D. Pathobiology, The Ohio State University

Postgraduate Training

1983 - 1984: Internship: General Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
1984 - 1988: Residency: Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
1988 - 1989: Fellowship: Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, The Ear Foundation, Vanderbilt University

Professional Memberships (select)

1983 - present: American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
1989 - present: American Neurotology Society (2002-2007–Chairman, Membership Committee, 2006-2009–Council Member, 2007-2008–President)
1989 - present: Association for Research in Otolaryngology
1989 - present: Columbus Ophthalmological and Otolaryngological Society (1996–Secretary-Treasurer, 1997–President)
1995 - present: American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
1997 - present: The Triological Society (2006-2011–Council Member)
1998 - present: The Politzer Society
1998 - present: American Otological Society (2008–Trustee of the Research Advisory Board, 2009–Council Member, 2009–Board of Directors, 2013–President-Elect)
2005 - 2006: Combined Middle/Western Section of Triological Society (Scientific Program Chair)
2006 - present: Middle Section of the Triological Society (2006–Secretary-Treasurer, 2010–Vice President)
2006 - present: Collegium Oto-rhino-laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (Secretary)

Honors (select)

1997: Edmund Prince Fowler Award, The Triological Society
2001: Nicholas Torok Award, American Neurotology Society
2002: Daiichi Clinical Scholar, American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
2003: Honor Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
1994-1998, 2004, 2006-2012: Award, Best Doctors in America
2005, 2007: Award, Who's Who in Executives and Professionals
2006: Vice Presidential Citation, Middle Section of the Triological Society
2007: Award, America's Top Physicians
2009: Presidential Citation, American Otological Society
2012: Michael E. Glasscock, M.D. Leadership Award, Glasscock Fellows Alumni Association
2012: Top Doctor Award, Castle Connolly
2013: William F. House Lecturer, American Neurotology Society
2013: Vice Presidential Citation, Southern Section of the Triological Society

Editorial Roles (select)

1989 - 2011: Editorial Board, Otology & Neurotology
1999 - present: Editorial Review Panel Member, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
2003 - 2009: Secretary-Treasurer, Otology & Neurotology
2010: President, Otology & Neurotology
2011 - present: Associate Editor, Laryngoscope

Other Professional Roles/Advisory Boards (select)

2009 - present: Board of Directors, American Board of Otolaryngology
2009 - present: Board of Directors, American Otological Society
2007 - 2008: President, Board of Directors, Otology & Neurotology, Inc.