Our investigators are leaders in the field of hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and balance disorders, and using gene therapy, we are investigating ways to restore hearing in animals.
Statistics: There is a growing need to address the problem of hearing loss, which becomes almost inevitable as people age. About 10 percent of the work force has some degree of impaired hearing, resulting in billions of dollars of lost productivity. A closely related problem, equilibrium disorders, is believed to be a major reason for falls in the elderly. These problems will become more severe with the aging of the baby boomer generation.
Treatments: Currently, the only approach to hearing loss is prosthetic devices, however, hearing aids do not address the cause and in many cases prove unsatisfactory. Cochlear implants are becoming increasingly effective, but the quality of hearing restoration is far from ideal. No devices are available to restore balance function resulting from damage to the inner ear.
IND Research: The IND is supporting new and ongoing research programs within the Division of Hearing and Equilibrium Disorders through recruitments and core resources.
We anticipate recruiting two senior and two junior faculty members, including a clinician scientist specializing in clinical trials of new treatments for hearing and balance disorders and basic scientists specializing in gene therapy and molecular mechanisms of neuronal development and survival.
We also anticipate expanding the current animal behavioral testing facilities to allow testing of hearing and balance disorders.
Mark Chertoff, Hearing & Speech Ed.
Nandini Deshpande, SAH Physical Therapy Rehab
Dianne Durham, Otolaryngology
John Ferraro, Hearing & Speech Ed.
Doug Girod, Otolaryngology
Peter Gochee, Otolaryngology HS
Thomas Imig, Molecular Integrative Physiology
Hinrich Staecker, Otolaryngology
Terry Tsue, Otolaryngology