Elmhurst, Illinois – January 20, 2022 – The American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) announced today that it has awarded ten grants to investigators who are exploring hearing and balance disorders of the inner ear. AHRF awarded nearly $320,000 in grant monies in 2022. Headquartered in the Chicago western suburb of Elmhurst, AHRF has a 66-year history of supporting hearing research at U.S. institutions.
“For those who struggle with hearing loss, research progress can translate to many improvements with daily life – how we learn in the classroom, perform on the job, engage with loved ones, and even walk confidently down the street,” notes Donna Whitlon, AHRF Board member and Research Committee Chair. “I’m very excited about the studies AHRF is funding this year. They’re both innovative and practical.”
About the Grants
AHRF awarded its Birtman Grant, a single grant of up to $75,000, to Northwestern University researcher Jasleen Singh, PhD. Singh’s study will explore patient attitudes about hearing loss and hearing aids when hearing aids are purchased in an over-the-counter setting compared to purchase through a provider-driven model (for example, an audiologist). Singh’s work is timely, with over-the-counter hearing aids expected to be soon available. Providers would like to understand how to expand hearing aid use and improve people’s experience.
AHRF also awarded five Discovery Grants of up to $50,000 each. One study will address how different types of inner ear cells are permanently damaged by age and loud noise (causing irreversible hearing loss) in humans, another will explore triggers that cause these cells to regenerate in birds. Other studies look at ways to improve cochlear implants, and how to prevent hearing loss associated with chemotherapy.
In 2022, four otolaryngology residents received Bernard & Lottie Drazin Resident Grants of $1,000 each to conduct basic science or clinical research projects. AHRF offers this grant program to encourage individuals who might 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, PhD: 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 stimulation of the cochlear nerve: Foundation for a next-generation cochlear implant
- Nesrine Benkafadar, PharmD, PhD, Stanford University; Key triggers of hair cell regeneration
- Ignacio Garcia Gomez, PhD, Jaime Garcia-Añoveros,PhD, Northwestern University; Differential hair cell death susceptibility to age and noise
- Xin Luo, PhD, Arizona State University; Neural Health and Pitch Perception with Cochlear Implants
- Xiaodong Tan, PhD, Northwestern University; Ototoxic Effects of Bound and Unbound Cisplatin
Bernard & 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 Novel Imaging Technology to Investigate Meniere’s Disease and Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Emma E. Martin, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago; Contributions of vocal tract length to cochlear implant users’ perception of vocal pitch
- Christine Mei, MD, University of Miami; Hearing Preservation Effects of Therapeutic Hypothermia in a ‘Double-Insult’ Model of Cochlear Implantation in Noise-Exposed Cochleae
- Amit Walia, MD, Washington University in St. Louis; Using electrocochleography to build a prediction model for speech-perception performance in noise after cochlear implantation
AHRF is a nonprofit organization that has been making new discoveries possible for more than 60 years by funding novel research to better understand and overcome hearing and balance disorders of the inner ear. Since 2010, the organization has funded 105 projects with over $2.6 million in research grants.