Dr. Cunningham is a graduate of Princeton University (1977) and the Rochester University School of Medicine (1981). He completed pediatrics training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Otolaryngology training at the University of Pittsburgh. He has practiced as a pediatric otolaryngologist since 1989, previously at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and presently at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the current Otolaryngologist-in-Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement, and a Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Harvard Medical School.

His previous educational roles include Director of the Harvard Residency Program in Otolaryngology, and vice chair of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education committee responsible for overseeing otolaryngology residency and fellowship training in the United States.

He has played an active role in many professional societies, most notably as past president of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, and past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Surgery Advisory Panel.

In addition to graduate medical education, his principal clinical/research interests are congenital and neoplastic head & neck masses and pediatric sinus disease.


Selected Publications

  1. Shin JJ, Page JH, Shapiro J, Gray ST, Cunningham MJ. Validation of a clinical practice ability instrument for surgical training. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010; 142:493-499.
  2. Cunningham MJ, Lin AA. Pediatric otolaryngology: The maturation of a surgical subspecialty. (Triologic Society Candidate Thesis) Laryngoscope. 2011; 121: 194-201.
  3. Sedaghat AR, Phipatanakul W, Cunningham MJ. Atopy and the development of chronic rhinosinusitis in children with allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013; 1:689-691.e2. PMD: 24349965.
  4. Shin J, Cunningham MJ, Editors. Otolaryngology: Prep and Practice. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, San Diego, CA, 2013.
  5. Jabbour J, Doefer, KW, Robey T, Cunningham MJ. Trends in pediatric otolaryngology disparities research. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018; 159:173-177.
  6. Adil, EA, Medina G, Cunningham MJ. Pediatric tonsil cancer: A national and international perspective. J Pediatr. 2018; 197:255-261.
  7. McKeon M, Medina G, Kawai K, Cunningham MJ, Adil E. Readmissions following ambulatory pediatric endoscopic sinus surgery. Laryngoscope. 2019; 129:2681-2686.
  8. Thong G, Dombrowski ND, Kawai K, Cunningham MJ, Adil EA. Balloon sinuplasty utilization in the pediatric population: A national database perspective. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019; 161:683-687.
  9. Doody J, Adil EA, Trenor CC, Cunningham MJ. The genetic and molecular determinants of juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma: A systematic review. Annals Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2019: 128:1061-1072.
  10. Brooks JA, Cunningham MJ, Koempel JA, Kawai K, Huang JK, Weitzman RE, Osterbauer B, Hughes AL. “To drain or not to drain following a Sistrunk procedure: A dual institutional experience.” Int J Pediatr Otolaryngorhinol. 2019; 127:1-4.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Charles F. Ferguson, MD: America's first full time pediatric otolaryngologist. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Aug 05; 110863. View abstract
  2. Contemporary Management of Vascular Anomalies of the Head and Neck-Part 1: Vascular Malformations: A Review. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 02 01; 147(2):197-206. View abstract
  3. Postoperative Disposition Following Pediatric Sistrunk Procedures: A National Database Query. Laryngoscope. 2021 07; 131(7):E2352-E2355. View abstract
  4. International Pediatric Otolaryngology group (IPOG) consensus on the diagnosis and management of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Nov; 138:110276. View abstract
  5. Is Antral Choanal Polyp Best Managed by an Endoscopic or Caldwell-Luc Approach? Laryngoscope. 2021 04; 131(4):705-706. View abstract
  6. Pediatric Subperiosteal Abscess Secondary to Acute Sinusitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Laryngoscope. 2020 12; 130(12):2906-2912. View abstract
  7. Advanced practice providers and children's hospital-based pediatric otolarynology practices. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Feb; 129:109770. View abstract
  8. To drain or not to drain following a Sistrunk procedure: A dual institutional experience. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 Dec; 127:109645. View abstract
  9. Balloon Sinuplasty Utilization in the Pediatric Population: A National Database Perspective. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 10; 161(4):683-687. View abstract
  10. The Genetic and Molecular Determinants of Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma: A Systematic Review. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2019 Nov; 128(11):1061-1072. View abstract
  11. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 May; 120:93-99. View abstract
  12. Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma in prepubertal males: A diagnostic dilemma. Laryngoscope. 2019 08; 129(8):1777-1783. View abstract
  13. Pleomorphic adenoma of the head and neck in children: presentation and management. Laryngoscope. 2019 Nov; 129(11):2603-2609. View abstract
  14. Trends in Pediatric Otolaryngology Disparities Research. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 07; 159(1):173-177. View abstract
  15. Changes in Scope of Procedures Performed by Pediatric Otolaryngologists in the Past Decade. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Apr 01; 144(4):322-329. View abstract
  16. Differentiating Tonsil Cancer from Benign Tonsillar Hypertrophy. J Pediatr. 2018 06; 197:309-309.e1. View abstract
  17. Pediatric Tonsil Cancer: A National and Institutional Perspective. J Pediatr. 2018 06; 197:255-261.e1. View abstract
  18. Otolaryngologic Manifestations of Klippel-Feil Syndrome in Children. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Mar 01; 144(3):238-243. View abstract
  19. Healthcare disparities in pediatric otolaryngology: A systematic review. Laryngoscope. 2018 07; 128(7):1699-1713. View abstract
  20. Resident responses to after-hours otolaryngology patient phone calls: An overlooked aspect of residency training? Laryngoscope. 2018 05; 128(5):E163-E170. View abstract
  21. Emergency department use for acute rhinosinusitis: Insurance dependent for children and adults. Laryngoscope. 2018 02; 128(2):299-303. View abstract
  22. Posttonsillectomy Hemorrhage in the Ibuprofen Era: Not Just How Frequent but How Much. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 07 01; 143(7):649-650. View abstract
  23. A Young Boy With Progressive Dysphonia. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 03 01; 143(3):313-314. View abstract
  24. Cystic cervical teratoma: A diagnostic and management challenge. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Apr; 95:97-100. View abstract
  25. Surgical scheduling categorization system (SSCS): A novel classification system to improve coordination and scheduling of operative cases in a tertiary pediatric medical system. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Jan; 92:156-160. View abstract
  26. Nasal versus tracheobronchial biopsies to diagnose primary ciliary dyskinesia: A meta-analysis. Laryngoscope. 2017 01; 127(1):6-13. View abstract
  27. Measuring Nontechnical Aspects of Surgical Clinician Development in an Otolaryngology Residency Training Program. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 05 01; 142(5):423-8. View abstract
  28. Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation-Assisted Resection of Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma: Comparison with Traditional Endoscopic Technique. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 06; 154(6):1145-8. View abstract
  29. Letter to the Editor regarding "Tonsillectomy versus Tonsillotomy: A Study of Parental Preference". Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Oct; 79(10):1788-9. View abstract
  30. Insurance status and quality of outpatient care for uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jun; 141(6):505-11. View abstract
  31. Socioeconomic determinants of overnight and weekend emergency department use for acute rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2015 Nov; 125(11):2441-6. View abstract
  32. Emergency department presentation for uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis is associated with poor access to healthcare. Laryngoscope. 2015 Oct; 125(10):2253-8. View abstract
  33. Malignant cervical masses in children. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2015 Feb; 48(1):59-77. View abstract
  34. Disorders and tumors of the salivary glands in children. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2015 Feb; 48(1):153-73. View abstract
  35. Strategies to prevent biofilm-based tympanostomy tube infections. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Sep; 78(9):1433-8. View abstract
  36. Regional and socioeconomic disparities in emergency department use of radiographic imaging for acute pediatric sinusitis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2014 Jan-Feb; 28(1):23-8. View abstract
  37. Characterization of aeroallergen sensitivities in children with allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis. Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2014 Jan; 5(3):143-5. View abstract
  38. Prevalence of and associations with allergic rhinitis in children with chronic rhinosinusitis. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Feb; 78(2):343-7. View abstract
  39. Socioeconomic disparities in the presentation of acute bacterial sinusitis complications in children. Laryngoscope. 2014 Jul; 124(7):1700-6. View abstract
  40. Atopy and the Development of Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Children with Allergic Rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013 Nov 01; 6(1):689-691.e2. View abstract
  41. Connexin 32 and 43 mutations: do they play a role in chronic rhinosinusitis? Am J Otolaryngol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 35(1):33-6. View abstract
  42. Atopy and the development of chronic rhinosinusitis in children with allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013 Nov-Dec; 1(6):689-91.e1-2. View abstract
  43. Radiology quiz case 1. Diagnosis: congenital cervical teratoma. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Jun; 139(6):643-5. View abstract
  44. Clinical assessment is an accurate predictor of which patients will need septoplasty. Laryngoscope. 2013 Jan; 123(1):48-52. View abstract
  45. Radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction of the inferior turbinate in a sheep model. Laryngoscope. 2012 Apr; 122(4):724-9. View abstract
  46. Pathology quiz case 3. Neuroblastoma with cervical metastases. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Jan; 138(1):99-101. View abstract
  47. Does balloon catheter sinuplasty have a role in the surgical management of pediatric sinus disease? Laryngoscope. 2011 Oct; 121(10):2053-4. View abstract
  48. Otolaryngology education in family medicine and communication sciences training. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Oct; 137(10):984-8. View abstract
  49. Radiology quiz case 2. Pediatric base of tongue thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC). Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Sep; 137(9):955, 956-7. View abstract
  50. Pediatric otolaryngology: The maturation of a pediatric surgical subspecialty. Laryngoscope. 2011 Jan; 121(1):194-201. View abstract
  51. Congenital dacryocystocele: is there a familial predisposition? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Mar; 75(3):430-2. View abstract
  52. Importance of early audiologic assessment in distal renal tubular acidosis. Int Med Case Rep J. 2011; 4:7-11. View abstract
  53. Sinogenic orbital and subperiosteal abscesses: microbiology and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus incidence. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Sep; 143(3):392-6. View abstract
  54. Cystic pilomatrixoma: a diagnostic challenge. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Aug; 136(8):830-3. View abstract
  55. Dexamethasone administration and postoperative bleeding risk in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Aug; 136(8):766-72. View abstract
  56. Radiology quiz case 2. Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA), Radkowski grade Ib. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jul; 136(7):741-3. View abstract
  57. Lymphatic malformations: current cellular and clinical investigations. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jun; 142(6):789-94. View abstract
  58. Lymphatic malformations: review of current treatment. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jun; 142(6):795-803, 803.e1. View abstract
  59. Validation of a clinical practice ability instrument for surgical training. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Apr; 142(4):493-9.e1. View abstract
  60. Hypopharyngeal pharyngoplasty for the management of piriform fossa sinus. Laryngoscope. 2010 Mar; 120(3):500-3. View abstract
  61. Facial nerve hemangiomas: vascular tumors or malformations? Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jan; 142(1):108-14. View abstract
  62. Radiologic evaluation of the ear anatomy in pediatric cholesteatoma. J Craniofac Surg. 2009 May; 20(3):807-10. View abstract
  63. Ludwig's angina in the pediatric population. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Jul; 48(6):583-7. View abstract
  64. Recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring during thyroidectomy and related cervical procedures in the pediatric population. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Jan; 135(1):88-94. View abstract
  65. Connexin 26 and 30 genes mutations in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2008 Feb; 118(2):310-3. View abstract
  66. Pathology quiz case 2. Diagnosis: follicular lymphoma (FL), grade 3, pediatric type. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Oct; 133(10):1063, 1065-6. View abstract
  67. Radiology quiz case 2. Dual ectopic subhyoid and lingual thyroids. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Sep; 133(9):941-2, 943-4. View abstract
  68. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 20-2007. An 11-year-old boy with a calcified mass in the nose. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jun 28; 356(26):2721-30. View abstract
  69. Efficacy of treating children with anterior commissure and true vocal fold respiratory papilloma with the 585-nm pulsed-dye laser. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Feb; 133(2):127-30. View abstract
  70. Parapharyngeal space lymphadenopathy. Pediatr Radiol. 2007 Mar; 37(3):313-6. View abstract
  71. Endoscopic management of pediatric nasolacrimal anomalies. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2006 Oct; 39(5):1059-74, viii-ix. View abstract
  72. The 80-hour work guidelines and resident survey perceptions of quality. J Surg Res. 2006 Oct; 135(2):275-81. View abstract
  73. Validation of the Pediatric Voice-Related Quality-of-Life survey. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Jul; 132(7):717-20. View abstract
  74. Microdebrider tonsillotomy vs electrosurgical tonsillectomy: a randomized, double-blind, paired control study of postoperative pain. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Jun; 132(6):599-604. View abstract
  75. Tubal tonsil hypertrophy: a cause of recurrent symptoms after adenoidectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Feb; 132(2):153-6. View abstract
  76. Radiology quiz case 4. Intramuscular angioma (IMA). Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Nov; 131(11):1026, 1030. View abstract
  77. Atypical mycobacterial cervicofacial lymphadenitis in children: a disease as old as mankind, yet a persistent challenge. Am J Otolaryngol. 2005 Sep-Oct; 26(5):337-43. View abstract
  78. Cervical bronchogenic cysts: a consideration in the differential diagnosis of pediatric cervical cystic masses. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2004 May; 68(5):563-8. View abstract
  79. Pediatric non-orbital pseudotumor of the head and neck. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jun; 67(6):649-53. View abstract
  80. Laser therapy for refractory myringitis in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Sep; 127(3):163-8. View abstract