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Dianne Durham, PhD

Dianne Durham portrait
Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Senior Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs and Development, SOM-Kansas City

Scientific Director, Imaging and Histology Core

Professional Background

Dr Durham is an auditory neuroscientist who received her undergraduate training at Purdue University (BS 1976) and graduate training at Washington University in St Louis (PhD 1982). Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia she held a research faculty position at the University of Washington until 1991. Dr Durham then joined KUMC as an Associate professor and research director in the Department of Otolaryngology. She joined the SoM dean's office as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development (FAD) in 2013, becoming Senior Associate FAD Dean in January 2020. FAD oversees mentorship programs within departments and orchestrates faculty development programs for specific topics. Dr Durham currently directs one of the required undergraduate medical student foundational science courses, Brain, Mind and Behavior.

Education and Training
  • BS, Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • PhD, Neural Sciences, Washington University, St Louis, MO
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Neuroscience, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA
Professional Affiliations
  • Association of American Medical Colleges, Member, 2013 - Present
  • Group on Faculty Affairs (AAMC), Member, 2013 - Present
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Travel Award Committee, Member, 2011 - 2014
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Physician Research and Training Committee, Member, 2003 - 2007
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology, ARO Executive Council, Member, 1996 - 1997
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Member, 1982 - Present
  • Society for Neuroscience, Member, 1976 - Present



Normal sensory input is essential for functional development of CNS sensory pathways. Dr Durham has investigated the role of sensory input on both somatosensory systems as well as central auditory pathways. More recent work examines tinnitus, the perception of sound when no corresponding environmental sound is present. This disorder affects millions of Americans and is the number one service related disability for warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Exposure to intense sound can precipitate tinnitus, which may or may not be accompanied by hearing loss. We developed a rat model of tinnitus using short-term noise exposure and are evaluating the functional and anatomical changes in central auditory pathways in animals with behavioral evidence of tinnitus. Higher level auditory regions exhibit increased spontaneous activity following noise damage that produces scattered sensory cell loss in the periphery. Finally, in my role as Senior Associate Faculty Affairs dean I have examined academic policies related to faculty development, including post tenure review and gender differences in promotion among graduates of US medical schools.

  • Green, M., C, Durham, D, Mayer, T., C, Hoppe, P., C. 1977. Evidence from chimaeras for the pattern of proliferation of epidermis in the mouse.. Genetical research, 29 (3), 279-84
  • Durham, D, Rubel, E., W. 1985. Afferent influences on brain stem auditory nuclei of the chicken: changes in succinate dehydrogenase activity following cochlea removal.. The Journal of comparative neurology, 231 (4), 446-56
  • Hyde, G., E, Durham, D. 1990. Cytochrome oxidase response to cochlea removal in chicken auditory brainstem neurons.. The Journal of comparative neurology, 297 (3), 329-39
  • Durham, D, Woolsey, T., A. 1978. Acute whisker removal reduces neuronal activity in barrels of mouse SmL cortex.. The Journal of comparative neurology, 178 (4), 629-44
  • Hyde, G., E, Durham, D. 1994. Increased deafferentation-induced cell death in chick brainstem auditory neurons following blockade of mitochondrial protein synthesis with chloramphenicol.. The Journal of neuroscience , 14 (1), 291-300
  • Park, D., L, Girod, D., A, Durham, D. 1998. Evidence for loss and recovery of chick brainstem auditory neurons during gentamicin-induced cochlear damage and regeneration.. Hearing research, 126 (1-2), 84-98
  • Paolo, A., M, Bonaminio, G., A, Durham, D, Stites, S., W. 2004. Comparison and cross-validation of simple and multiple logistic regression models to predict USMLE step 1 performance.. Teaching and learning in medicine, 16 (1), 69-73
  • Freemyer, A, Neal, C, Nelson-Brantley, J, Staecker, H, Durham, D. 2019. Early Onset Region and Cell Specific Alterations of Doublecortin Expression in the CNS of Animals with Sound Damage Induced Hearing Loss.. IBRO reports, 7, 129-140
  • Bunton, S., A, Walling, A, Durham, D. 2016. Post-tenure Review at U.S. Medical Schools.. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 91 (12), 1691-1695
  • Richter, K., P, Clark, L, Wick, J., A, Cruvinel, E, Durham, D, Shaw, P, Shih, G., H, Befort, C., A, Simari, R., D. 2020. Women Physicians and Promotion in Academic Medicine.. The New England journal of medicine, 383 (22), 2148-2157