The focus of my laboratory has been on sinonasal epithelial function in the context of innate defense mechanisms, specifically mucociliary clearance and alterations in respiratory cilia function in response to microbial interaction and mucosal biofilm formation. Over the past 4 years we have described a novel arm of upper airway innate immunity mediated via taste receptors and demonstrated that common taste receptor polymorphisms regulate this component of innate defense, manifesting in a specific form of sinonasal infection. We continue to investigate the contribution of the family of taste receptors and their common functional polymorphisms in “shaping” the human sinonasalmicrobiome and contributing to upper respiratory infections. The overall goal of our work, in both the clinical and research realms, focuses on understanding and treating disorders of the nose and paranasal sinuses. It is through this balance of clinical expertise and biological investigation that I hope to advance the care of rhinologic patients.
Dr. Cohen’s Official Research Website