Our Team


Principal Investigators

Noam Cohen

Noam Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Cohen completed his medical degree and doctor of philosophy in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in 1998 before pursuing his residency in Otolaryngology here at the University of Pennsylvania. He stayed at Penn to complete a Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery fellowship in 2004 after which he joined the faculty and established the Rhinology Translational research effort. Current surgical interests include advancement of techniques for minimally invasive anterior and middle fossa cranial base surgery, and revision endoscopic sinus surgery. His current research interests include molecular modulation of mucociliary clearance focusing on cilia function in the healthy and disease state and therapeutic interventions to restore normal mucociliary clearance in inflammatory respiratory diseases states such as Chronic Rhinosinusitis.   Additionally, he is focused on developing both cell culture models for studying the molecular processes implicated in Chronic Rhinosinusitis and animal models to screen topical therapeutics.

James Palmer

James Palmer, M.D. Dr. Palmer completed his medical degree at Ohio State University in 1995. He then completed his Otolaryngology residency at Northwestern University School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship at the Georgie Nasal and Sinus Institute. Current surgical interests include frontal sinus and skull base surgery. Research interests include biofilm disease of the sinuses and mucosal healing.

David Kennedy

David Kennedy, M.D. Dr. David Kennedy completed his medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1972 and trained in Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University. He is former Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Deparment of Otolaryngology and Vice Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He is currently the President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Kennedy is credited with pioneering, developing, and introducing endoscopic sinus surgery. He's research interests include the contribution of osteitis of the paranasal sinuses in the progression of chronic rhinosinusitis and outcomes of functional endoscopic sinus surgery.

Lab Members

laurel Laurel Doghramji, R.N., Laurie obtained her AS in nursing from Hahnemann Medical College and her BSN in nursing from from Northeastern University. She initially worked as a cardio-thoracic surgical nurse and then transitioned to the Emergency room. After six years she left clinical medicine and worked as a medical consultant for IBM and then Siemens. Fifteen years later, she took the position of clinical coordinator and medical office administrator for The Center for Sleep Disorders in Pottstown Pennsylvania. In 2006 she obtained her Certificate in Clinical Research from Immaculata University and joined our division as our clinical research coordinator.

Edwin Tamashiro, M.D. Edwin Tamashiro is an otorhinolaryngologist research fellow from Brazil who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto - University of Sao Paulo. Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate in Brazil, and his research interest is focused on in vivo and in vitro models of biofilms, chronic sinusitis and second hand smoke exposure. He will be completing his research fellowship at Penn in spring 2008, and will return to Brazil while continuing international collaborations with us.


Bei Chen, M.D. Dr. Chen completed both medical school and an Otolaryngology residency at Shandong University in China. She has also successfully completed research fellowships at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, where she studied head and neck cancer, and at McGill University in Canada, where she studied the immunology of allergic diseases and asthma. Here at Penn her research interests include the physiology and immunology of chronic sinusitis.


Benjamin Bleier, M.D. Ben is a fourth year resident in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.He completed his undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently applying for fellowship in Rhinology and Anterior Skull Base Surgery. Ben's research projects include Laser Tissue Welding for anterior skull base and CSF leak repair (supported by the 2007 ARS Resident Research Grant) as well as cyclodextrin based biodegradable matrices for drug elution in the Rabbit Paranasal Sinus.

[coming soon] Jennifer Kofonow, M.S. [coming soon]
[coming soon] Marcelo Antunes, M.D. [coming soon]
[coming soon] Caroline Banks [coming soon]
[coming soon] Michael Cohen Michael Cohen graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Biology and is now between his 3rd and 4th year at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He is researching biofilm involvement in chronic rhinosinusitis and methods of inhibiting biofilm formation on a research fellowship grant from the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders.  He plans to enter Otolaryngology residency in 2009.
[coming soon] David Gudis David Gudis is a fourth year medical student at Penn Med who plans to begin an Otolaryngology residency in 2008. He is studying biofilm eradication in a model for sinusitis and develops and maintains the lab website.

Former Lab Members

Alex Chiu

Alex Chiu, M.D. Dr. Chiu completed his medical degree at Albany Medical College and trained in Otolaryngology at Georgetown University Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in Sinonasal and skull base surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. Current surgical interests include frontal sinus surgery, revision endoscopic sinus surgery, endoscopic repair of CSF leaks and endoscopic sinonasal tumor surgery.  His research interests center around translational studies of novel topical medications for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis recalcitrant to conventional medical and surgical therapies.  He has helped pioneer an animal model for the study of topical medications and holds several industry and foundation research grants on the study of antimicrobial peptides and sinusitis.


Sri Kiran Chennupati, M.D. Kiran is currently in the 4th year of Otolaryngology residency training at the University of Pennsylvania.  Before coming to Philadelphia, graduated with a B.S. with highest honors in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.  Then, he earned his M.D. with highest honors from Baylor College of Medicine.  He will be spending six months in the Rhinology Lab during his research block investigating the in vitro and in vivo effect of various antimicrobial peptides on biofilm formation and sinonasal pathogens.

[coming soon]

Brad Woodworth, M.D. Brad completed his Otolaryngology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina before completing his Rhinology fellowship here at Penn. In January 2008 he began his Assistant Professorship at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Division of Otolaryngology.

[coming soon] Adrianna Hekiert, M.D. [coming soon]
[coming soon] Joel Guss, M.D. [coming soon]
[coming soon]

Geeta Bhagrave [coming soon]

[coming soon] Anthony Prince [coming soon]
[coming soon] Dr. Satish Govindaraj Dr. Govindaraj completed his Otolaryngology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He then came to Penn to complete a fellowship under Dr. Kennedy in Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery.