Jill B. Firszt, PhD
“Asymmetric or unilateral hearing loss affects the brain, cognitive function, and binaural processing in ways that we do not fully understand. Knowing more about these processes will enable us to help infants, children, and adults with asymmetric hearing. It’s this kind of research that AHRF makes possible that leads to better clinical interventions and improvements in patients’ lives.”
—Jill B. Firszt, PhD
For more than 30 years, Jill B. Firszt, PhD, has been working with adults and children with cochlear implants in clinical and research studies. She brings to the AHRF Research Committee extensive learning from decades of interaction with people with severe-to-profound hearing loss in one or both ears. Currently Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Washington University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences at Washington University’s Central Institute for the Deaf, she also is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology. Firszt serves as a reviewer for numerous hearing science and otology journals, and she has published broadly. An alum of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she earned three degrees there: her PhD in Speech and Hearing Science, her MA in Educational Audiology, and her BS in Speech and Hearing Science. Firszt’s research focuses largely on the effects of asymmetric hearing and unilateral hearing loss, on brain organization, speech recognition, localization and quality of life in adults and children. She also assesses the benefits of cochlear implantation to the poor ear and changes in binaural processing when individuals use acoustic hearing in one ear and a cochlear implant in the other. Firszt has received research grants from AHRF, the Deafness Research Foundation, the McDonnell Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).