The American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, recently awarded eight (8) grants totaling $201,000 for FY16, its 60th anniversary.
Originally founded in 1956 as the Mid West Hearing Foundation by George E. Shambaugh, Jr., MD, in Chicago, IL, a renowned otolaryngologist. Dr. Shambaugh – who was joined by his colleague, friend and mentee Eugene L. Derlacki, MD, a fellow otolaryngologist, in cofounding the organization – was an expert in diseases of and defects in the inner ear, and a pioneer in surgical and chemical treatments for deafness. He took part in developing and performing some of the first successful surgical techniques to restore hearing loss. After operating as the Mid American Hearing Research Foundation, the Foundation took its current name in 1975.
The Foundation serves two vital roles: to fund significant research in hearing and balance disorders, and to help educate the public about hearing loss and balance disorders related to the inner ear. AHRF funds five to 10 research projects per year, with an average grant being $20,000 or $40,000, and these projects cover a wide range of research areas and are conducted in the hope that the medical community may better understand how individuals lose hearing and balance functions, how they regain them, and, most importantly, how to preserve the hearing function individuals still have. Additionally, the Foundation also awards smaller grants to residents.
Research grant submissions are accepted throughout the spring and summer followed by a thorough review by the Foundation’s Research Committee in early fall. Subsequently, the Board of Directors meets and approves funding for grants for the following year. Since 2010, the Foundation has funded over $1.1 million in research grants.
The 2016 grant recipients, academic institutions, and research grant projects, are:
|Samira Anderson, AuD, PhD||University of Maryland||Effects of Aging, Hearing Loss, and Hearing Aid Compression Settings on Midbrain Processing of Temporal Speech Contrasts|
|Justin Aronoff, PhD||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||The Importance of Coordination for Binaural Cochlear Implant Processors|
|John P. Carey, MD||Johns Hopkins University||Investigation of Salivary Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) in Vestibular Migraine|
|Lina A.J. Reiss, PhD||Oregon Health & Science University||Role of Lateral Wall Changes in Hearing Loss After Cochlear Implantation|
|Sarah E. Ross, PhD||University of Pittsburgh||Molecular Genetic Approaches to Understand the Ontogeny of the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus|
|Erika Skoe, PhD||University of Connecticut||Neurophysiological Indices of Hidden Hearing Loss in Musicians|
|Virginia Smith-Bronstein, MD||Northwestern University||Protective Benefits of Fluvastatin on Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Guinea Pigs and Mice|
|Jing Zheng, PhD||Northwestern University||The Impact of Outer Hair Cells on Efferent Synaptogenesis|
“The Foundation is proud to celebrate our anniversary and our considerable investment into research related to hearing loss and balance disorders for over the last 60 years,” says Richard G. Muench, longtime Chairman of the Board of Directors. “While scientists know that prevention is clearly the best treatment for hearing loss that isn’t always possible, so the Foundation will continue to fund research projects and support scientists across the country who are capitalizing on technological advances in search of cures and different treatment methods. Our work is far from finished.”
The Foundation is planning a celebratory gathering for late 2016 and will release details as they become available.