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We are a basic and translational human temporal bone pathology laboratory with a mission to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disorders causing hearing loss, balance dysfunction and facial paralysis.

Since the human inner ear cannot be biopsied or removed during life, the study of human temporal bones serves several critical purposes, including:

  • The investigation of the pathophysiology of hearing and balance disorders in humans
  • A critical link for the translation of findings in the biology of hearing and vestibular disorders from animal models to better understand diagnostic and treatment options for patients
  • Investigating the effects of surgical interventions (e.g. cochlear implantation)

As one of the only laboratories of its kind, the Otopathology Laboratory at Mass Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School is dedicated to advancing methodologies for the processing and study of human temporal bones. In doing so, the laboratory helps facilitate the sharing of tissues and technologies among institutions and promotes the recruitment and training of new investigators in the field of human otopathology.

Our staff, which includes specially trained researchers, investigators and post-doctoral research fellows, works to understand the pathology of the inner ear in order to find new treatments and cures for problems associated with hearing and balance.

Technical Resources

Find information on temporal bone removal and processing as well as access to the National Temporal Bone and the Mouse Cochlea Gene databases.

Educational Resources

Discover helpful resources from downloadable 3-D models and simulators to webcasts and publications.

Image Libraries

Gain access to libraries containing sections from normal human temporal bones and others with more than 1,500 images from pathologic specimens.