In the Bleier Lab, we are focused on developing a wide array of novel sinonasal related diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. In addition to our work at Mass. Eye and Ear, the Bleier Lab maintains several active collaborations with Harvard Medical School, MIT, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital. If you wish to contribute to Dr. Benjamin Bleier’s research, please contact Irene Hammer-Mclaughlin.
Proteomic Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Rhinosinusitis
The Bleier Lab has discovered the presence of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) upregulation in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). This overexpression directly leads to the selective epithelial hypersecretion of Th2 polarizing cytokines which are characteristic of CRSwNP. Dr. Bleier recently completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial demonstrating that inhibition of P-gp is effective in controlling both subjective and objective symptoms of nasal polyps. His lab has further shown that both P-gp and other proteins are released into nasal mucus via exosomes. These mucus derived exosomes or “rhinosomes” be non-invasively detected to generate a novel quantitative biosignature of CRS using a proteomic array. This biosignature can then be used to classify patients by disease endotype and guide therapy by predicting the specific inflammatory pathways which may be up or downregulated.
Endoscopic Orbital Surgery
Along with collaborators from the division of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Bleier, Co-Director of the Center for Thyroid Eye Disease and Orbital Surgery, is developing an array of minimally invasive surgical approaches to the orbit including new methods for orbital decompression and dacryocystorhinostomy. His team has pioneered an endoscopic method to remove orbital tumors entirely through the nose while avoiding any external incisions.
Trans-Nasal Drug Delivery to the Central Nervous System
The Bleier Lab has developed the first and only method to permanently bypass the blood-brain barrier using nasal mucosal grafts. Dr. Bleier and his collaborators have used this method to deliver high molecular weight proteins and nucleic acids to the brain which would otherwise be restricted by the blood-brain barrier. This approach has been recognized by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Boston Magazine, Harvard Medicine Magazine, and Scientist Magazine. Current projects are directed at using this delivery pathway to develop new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease.