The American Hearing Research Foundation will award 10 grants totaling nearly $320,000 in 2022 to researchers exploring hearing and balance disorders. Based in Elmhurst, a suburb west of Chicago, the foundation has supported hearing research in American institutions for 66 years.
“For those struggling with hearing loss, advances in research can translate into many improvements in everyday life – how we learn in the classroom, perform on the job, interact with loved ones, and even walk the streets with confidence” , notes Donna Whitlon , member of the foundation board and chair of the search committee. “I am very excited about the studies that AHRF is funding this year. They are both innovative and practical.”
The American Hearing Research Foundation has awarded its $75,000 Birtman Fellowship to Northwestern University researcher Jasleen Singh, Pharm.D., PhD.
Singh’s study will explore patient attitudes toward hearing loss and hearing aids when hearing aids are purchased in an over-the-counter setting versus purchasing through a traditional audiologist-provider model. With over-the-counter hearing aids expected to be available soon, Singh’s work will be especially valuable. Providers would like to understand how to expand the use of hearing aids and improve people’s experience.
The American Hearing Research Foundation has also awarded five Discovery Grants of up to $50,000 each. One study will look at how different types of cells in the inner ear are permanently damaged by age and loud noise (causing irreversible hearing loss) in humans, another will explore the triggers that cause regeneration of these cells in birds. Other studies are looking at ways to improve cochlear implants and prevent chemotherapy-associated hearing loss.
In 2022, four otolaryngology residents were awarded Bernard & Lottie Drazin Resident Fellowships of $1,000 each to conduct basic or clinical science research projects. The foundation offers this grant program to encourage individuals who may pursue a career in hearing and balance research.
The 2022 grant recipients, academic institutions and research projects are:
Birtman Grant (up to $75,000)
• Jasleen Singh, Ph.D.: Northwestern University; The Influence of Patient Psychosocial Behaviors on Hearing Aid Use and Outcomes in an Over-the-Counter Delivery Model
AHRF Discovery Grants (up to $50,000)
• Ryan A. Bartholomew, MD, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; Magnetic Cochlear Nerve Stimulation: The Foundation for a Next-Generation Cochlear Implant
• Nesrine Benkafadar, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Stanford University; Main triggers of hair cell regeneration
• Ignacio Garcia Gomez, Ph.D., Jaime Garcia-Añoveros, Ph.D., Northwestern University; Differential sensitivity to hair cell death with age and noise
• Xin Luo, Ph.D., Arizona State University; Neural health and height perception with cochlear implants
• Xiaodong Tan, Ph.D., Northwestern University; Ototoxic effects of bound and unbound cisplatin
Bernard and Lottie Drazin Memorial Grants for Otolaryngology Residents ($1,000)
• David Lee, MD, Washington University in St. Louis; Optical coherence tomography of inner ear structures: using new imaging technology to study Ménière’s disease and sudden sensorineural hearing loss
• Emma E. Martin, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago; Contributions of vocal tract length to perception of voice pitch by cochlear implant users
• Christine Mei, MD, University of Miami; Hearing-preserving effects of therapeutic hypothermia in a “dual-aggression” cochlear implantation model in noise-exposed cochleas
• Amit Walia, MD, Washington University in St. Louis; Use of electrocochleography to build a prediction model of speech perception performance in noise after cochlear implantation
The foundation is a non-profit organization that has been making new discoveries possible for over 60 years by funding new research to better understand and overcome hearing and balance disorders in the inner ear. Since 2010, the organization has funded 105 projects with over $2.6 million in research grants.
For more information, visit www.American-Hearing.org. Donations for research funding can be made online.