Visit to auditory scientists at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

My latest trip to universities to visit researchers was to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Elisabeth Glowatzki, Ph.D., a previous NOHR Young Investigator Awardee and now Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine- Dept. of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, set up appointments to visit Soroush Sadeghi, Ph.D., Isabelle Roux,Ph.D.; Angelika Doetzlhofer, Ph.D., and Amanda Lauer, Ph.D. We also visited Paul Fuchs, Ph.D., John E. Bordley Professor and Vice Chair-Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery; Professor of Biomedical Engineering; & Co-director-the Center for Sensory Biology and Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Over the next weeks, NOHR will post on its Blog descriptions by the Johns Hopkins researchers we visited to show how a NOHR grant helped their careers. —Gerry Fox

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Reasons We Lose Our Hearing

“What Causes Hearing Loss”

In The New York Times (March 25, 2013), Jane Brody warns us that we are surrounded by noise and threatened by hearing loss.

Read the article:

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Campaign to educate about possible hearing loss -exciting and welcome news

“Hooray for New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg!”

Read the article:

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Sensitive new memoir examines impact of adult deafness

In the Book Review section of ”The New York Times” on Sunday, March 3, 2013, auditory neuroscientist Seth S. Horowitz reviewed “Shouting Won’t Help,” editor Katherine Bouton’s memoir about losing her hearing during adulthood. “She masterfully depicts its effects on her personal and profession life,” he comments.

Read the book review here:

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TV’s “Switched at Birth” features acclaimed deaf actress Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin, who lost most of her hearing as a toddler, appears in ABC Family’s award-winning series “Switched at Birth.”

Read an article where she talks about the show here:

An episode that was entirely in American Sign Language, a television first, aired on Monday, March 4, 2013.

Read an article in TV Guide Magazine about it here:

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NOHR helps sponsor groundbreaking inner ear study related to regeneration

The article”Researchers identify forefunners of inner-ear cells than enable hearing” in R & D Magazine (2/26/2013) describes work by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Two of the researchers, Alan Cheng, M.D. and Stefan Heller, Ph.D., received a grant from NOHR as part of our 2012 Inner Each Hair Cell Regeneration Research Initiative.

“Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Studying these progenitor cells could someday lead to discoveries that help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.” Read the entire article:

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2013 NOHR News

Here it is – February—one month into 2013 and the National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation (NOHR) already has exciting news to begin the year!

NOHR, a 501 (c)(3) public charity, has announced a Request for Applications for Research Grants (to be funded in June 2013) on its website ( This announcement will appear also on the website of major auditory research organizations.

NOHR is excited and proud that we can offer young scientists in the otology fields a method by which to express their best ideas to help the hearing impaired and deaf. The caliber of the 510 grants that NOHR has funded since its founding 25 years ago is astounding and has pushed the field of auditory research to new heights.

We are also grateful to our senior researchers (Medical Advisors, Scientific Review Committee and former Awardees) for nominating and thoughtfully selecting the winner of NOHR’s 2013 Burt Evans Young Investigator Award. He is Patrick O. Kanold, an outstanding scientist who received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins Universityand did his postdoctoral work at Harvard Universityi n Neurobiology. Dr. Kanold is currently teaching at the University of Maryland.

Eric D. Young, PhD (Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins) nominated Dr. Kanold and presented the award at the Annual MidWinter Meeting of the Association for Researchers of Otolaryngology in Baltimoreon February 15th.

Dr. Kanold is the 16th recipient of this award. Each of the previous recipients has gone on to contribute greatly to NOHR’s mission of finding the preventions, causes, treatments and cures of hearing loss and deafness. These young researchers are the new leaders of the future.

These achievements would never have happened without your committed belief in the work that NOHR does. We are constantly humbled, challenged and grateful for your support, and you have our profound thanks.

P.S. NOHR began the New Year with a “bang” by hearing from Amanda Lauer, PhD, Johns Hopkins, that her first paper resulting from her NOHR grant has been accepted for publication by “Hearing Research.”

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Advance in hereditary deafness research

“Nature Medicine” recently published an article on a study in a mouse model related to treating congenital deafness and vestibular dysfunction. Researcher Michelle Hastings, Ph.D., a 2012 NOHR grantee, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the Chicago (IL) Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University
Dr. Hastings’ NOHR-sponsored project involved development of a potential genetic treatment for hearing loss from degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons after loss of cochlear “hair cells.” Spiral ganglion neurons are critical for the preservation of hearing. She tested synthesized molecular compounds designed to alter a protein gene-splicing defect in ways beneficial to spiral ganglion neurons. The goal is development of a method for systematically delivering therapeutic molecules to the ear to prevent spiral ganglion neuron loss after “hair” cell loss.

Read the abstract of the article:

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Impact of deafness on mentality

In The New York Times today, there’s an important article in the Science Section, 2/12/13, page D7. It is is”Hearing Loss and Dementia,” by Katherine Bouton.

Read the article:

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Informative article about hearing-loss screening in January 2013 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch

“Should you be screened for a hearing problem?”

When to get tested so you don’t miss out on the sounds around you


How often do you have to ask this one-word question during conversations? If the answer is often, you could have a hearing problem.

Nearly one-third of adults ages 65 to 74 and almost 50% of those age 75 or older have at least some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. First to go are the high-frequency sounds—the “s” and “th” sounds in words. Later, lower-frequency sounds become muffled, too,

Hearing loss is an inevitable part of getting older, says Dr. David Vernick, assistant clinical professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School. With hearing aids and other treatments available, you don’t have to settle for silence—yet many of us do. We’re willing to sacrifice conversations, concerts and phone calls rather than wear a hearing aid. According to one survey, just 14% of adults who need hearing aids actually wear them.

When to get screened

The time to get screened is when you—or someone close to you—notices a problem with your hearing. “People usually go for screening if they often have to say ‘what?’ and their partner or colleagues say they need to get their hearing checked,” Dr. Vernick says.

You might have a hearing problem if you

  • have trouble following conversations or picking up voices in noisy rooms
  • have to turn your TV or radio up loud to hear it
  • need to read lips or strain to hear
  • hearing a ringing, hissing, or roaring sound in your ear (these are signs of tinnitus, which can be a symptom of hearing loss)

Treating Hearing Loss

If any of these issues has been bothering you, visit your primary care provider.

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