Sinus and Nasal Disorders

Harvard Medical School Department of Otolaryngology


Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School seek to better understand sinus and nasal disorders and to develop new therapies and techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Ongoing research in this area covers a broad range of basic science, translational, and clinical research. Investigators focus on common conditions such as chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyp disease, taste and smell loss, tumors of the nose and sinuses and obstructive sleep apnea.

Select research projects include:

  • Causes of chronic rhinosinusitis, including the role of mucosal immunity and defects
  • Development of implantable drug delivery devices for topical nasal medication
  • Incidence of patients with nasal polyp disease who respond poorly to steroids
  • Determining safety and outcomes for patients undergoing sinus surgery (including endoscopic sinus surgery) and how these treatments impact long-term sinonasal quality of life
  • Determining the efficacy of antibiotics in the postoperative period after endoscopic sinus surgery
  • The ability of the olfactory epithelium to regenerate after injury
  • The role of nasal surgery in the management of sleep-disordered breathing
  • The role of nasal anatomy on obstructive sleep apnea and snoring
  • Quantitative outcomes in functional rhinoplasty
  • Developing a nasal grading system with good intrarater reliability to correlate nasal anatomy scores with nasal specific quality of life
  • Developing an electronic database of patients with sinus and nasal disorders to facilitate future outcomes research

Many clinical projects are performed as collaborative efforts with many investigators.

The above image is a section through human olfactory mucosa. The green-stained cells are horizontal basal cells that help with regeneration of the cells within the mucosa. The red cells are the actual olfactory nerve cells that detect odors.