Understanding the causes of nasal obstruction

The mission of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center is to study the interplay between nasal airflow, nasal obstruction, loss of smell and nasal sinus disease. Since the main physiological function of the nose is the passage of airflow, conditioning that airflow and sensing the odor within the flow (smell), it is important to understand one major question – how does the nose recognize and meet these functions? By exploring the answer to this question, our aim is to better understand what causes nasal obstruction, leading to a better understanding of the nature of nasal sinus disease and ultimately optimizing treatments or surgical options for nasal sinus disease.


Current Research Projects

We are recruiting participants for our current research project. To participate, you must be between ages 18 and 40.

Are you interested in a research study about nasal congestion and smell loss?

  • Noninvasive research study evaluating complaints of chronic nasal obstruction and the complaints of smell loss
  • If you are a healthy individual, click here
  • If you are experiencing chronic nasal obstruction with or without smell loss, click here
  • If you are interested in participating in the study, but do not live in the Columbus, Ohio area, please call 614-366-1794 or email: Bhakthi.Deshpande@osumc.edu or Kai.Zhao@osumc.edu for additional study opportunity

Can you ever get your sense of smell back?

  • We are currently enrolling for a noninvasive research study to evaluate the efficacy of olfactory training
  • If you are a healthy individual, click here
  • If you have complaints of smell loss, click here

Grants and Funding

Title: “Objective evaluation of conductive olfactory losses & nasal obstruction symptoms,”
Agency: NIH-NIDCD, R01 DC013626
PI: Kai Zhao
Funding Period: 12/01/2014 - 11/31/2018


Bradley A. Otto, MD

Upadhyay S, Buohliqah L, Vieira Junior G, Otto BA, Prevedello DM, Carrau RL. First olfactory fiber as an anatomical landmark for frontal sinus surgery. Laryngoscope. 2016 May;126(5):1039-45. PubMed PMID 26490546

Kai Zhao, PhD

Craig J., Zhao K., Doan N., Khalili S., John LYK, Adappa ND and Palmer J. Cadaveric validation study of computational fluid dynamics model of sinus irrigations before and after sinus surgery. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2016 Apr;6(4):423-8. PubMed PMID: 26880742

Zhao K., Craig J., Cohen NA., Adappa ND, Khalili S. and Palmer J. Sinus irrigations before and after surgery – visualization through computational fluid dynamics simulations. Laryngoscope. 2016 Mar;126(3):E90-6. PubMed PMID: 26467934

Our Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Research Team

Nasal group pic