About Eric Holbrook, MD

Dr. Eric Holbrook earned his BS from Cornell University and his MS/MD from SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse. He completed an NIH research fellowship prior to finishing his residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Holbrook then completed a fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Rhinology and Sinus Surgery.

Dr. Holbrook is the Co-director of the Sinus Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. His clinical interests include diseases of the nose and sinuses including chronic rhinosinusitis, revision sinus surgeries, frontal sinus surgery, CSF leaks/cephaloceles, skull base lesions, sinus-orbital disease, and smell/taste disorders. His research interests are in the fields of olfaction and chronic rhinosinusitis.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114 - 3002
Fax: 617-573-3914

Pappas Center for Neuro Oncology
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Medical Education

  • MD, State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • Residency, Medical College of Virginia
  • Fellowship, Medical College of Virginia
  • Fellowship, University of Nebraska Medical Center

American Board Certifications

  • Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Dr. Holbrook conducts research in the area of olfaction.  Patients with smell disorders currently have little therapeutic options.  Part of the reason is the lack of understanding of the pathophysiology behind the most common forms of smell loss.  One current projects look at the cellular composition of human olfactory epithelium in subjects suffering from loss of smell.  The immunohistochemical staining pattern in human epithelium is remarkably similar to that seen in rodents.  Several models of olfactory lesions in rodents are being compared to specimens from patients suffering from smell loss in attempt to identify areas of abnormality.  A second project looks at the ability of strengthening the survival and axonal projections of olfactory neurons with odorant exposure in a mouse model of olfactory epithelium regeneration with the hope that this may form the basis of new therapeutic techniques for those suffering from smell loss.  This work is in collaboration with Dr. James Schwob at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Additional research collaborations are taking place with Dr. Sabina Berretta at McLean Hospital identifying a protein specific to schizophrenia and found in olfactory epithelium.  Collaborations with Dr. Daniel Hamilos at MGH Immunology/Allergy work on identifying changes in innate epithelial immunity in patients suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis. 


  • Holbrook EH, Mieleszko Szumowski KE, Schwob JE. An immunochemical, ultrastructural, and developmental characterization of the horizontal basal cells of rat olfactory epithelium. J Comp Neurol 1995.
    Holbrook EH, DiNardo LJ, Costanzo RM 2001. Olfactory epithelium grafts in the cerebral cortex: an immunohistochemical analysis. Laryngoscope 2001.
    Holbrook EH, Leopold DA, Schwob JE. Abnormalities of axon growth in human olfactory mucosa. Laryngoscope 2005.