Dissection course image

Otolaryngology Research

Massachusetts Eye and Ear is home to one of the largest and most productive communities of otolaryngology researchers anywhere in the world. Our investigators are supported by more than $10 million in annual research funding from the National Institutes of Health, working alongside clinical fellows, research fellows, otolaryngology residents, doctoral students, and research staff to probe the basic biology and to develop leading-edge treatments for disorders of the ear, nose, brain, head, and neck.

Research in the Department of Otolaryngology at Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School focuses on nine main areas: acoustics and biomechanics, central auditory processingfacial plastic and reconstructive surgeryhead and neck, inner ear biology, otologysinus and nasal disordersvestibular, and voice and speech.

Contemporary otolaryngology research reflects the synthesis of three disciplines: biomedical engineering, neuroscience, and cellular biology. Our biomedical engineers are developing new neuroprosthetic stimulation strategies to replace missing sensory signals from the hearing and balance organs or recover facial mobility in individuals with motor nerve damage. Our neuroscientists are exploring the basis for debilitating auditory disorders such as presbycusis, noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. Finally, our cellular and molecular biologists are shedding light on the molecular signaling cascades that regulate the growth and differentiation of cell types ranging from cochlear hair cells to tumors of the head and neck.

Research Training


Researchers in the department are dedicated to serving as teachers and mentors to future leaders in otolaryngology. Opportunities for doctoral research in the laboratories of our investigators are available as part of the Harvard Medical School Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology.  Research fellowships are also available for post-graduates. Learn more about research training in otolaryngology.

NIDCD Temporal Bone Registry


Mass. Eye and Ear is also home to the NIDCD National Temporal Bone, Hearing and Balance Pathology Resource Registry, a non-profit organization that promotes research on hearing and balance disorders. The Temporal Bone Registry serves as a resource for the public and scientific communities about research on the pathology of the human auditory and vestibular systems.

Support Otolaryngology Research

Philanthropy enables some of our most innovative research to proceed. Please join us in our quest to find cures for diseases that affect the ears, head and neck by making a gift today.