Deafness Research Foundation (DRF), New York, has awarded 17 grants of up to $25,000 and one Centurion Clinical Research Award of $50,000 to outstanding young scientists in the field of hearing and balance research, according to a statement released by the organization.

DRF awards research grants annually to young investigators who are exploring new avenues of hearing and balance science. The funds will support research in the following areas research:

  • Fundamental Auditory Research: development, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, anatomy, and regeneration biology
  • Hearing and Balance Restoration: infants, children, and adults
  • Cochlear implants/surgical therapy for otosclerosis, hair cell regeneration, hearing aids, and medical therapy
  • Hearing loss: aging, noise-induced, otosclerosis, viral infection (sudden deafness), ototoxicity, temporal bone pathology, otitis media, cholesteatoma, and tumors
  • Vestibular and balance disorders (dizziness and vertigo, Meniere’s disease)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hyperacusis (decreased tolerance of sound)

DRF’s council of scientific trustees reviewed applications from scientists at renowned research institutions nationwide, says the statement. The selected research projects received detailed peer review for scientific merit and program relevance. A complete list of the 2009 to 2010 grants recipients is found below, including recipients whose research is funded in whole or part by the Centurion Clinical Research Award, the CHEAR endowment award, and The Burch-Safford Foundation Inc:

First-Year Hearing and Balance Research Grant Recipients:
Edward L. Bartlett, PhD, Purdue University
Cellular mechanisms contributing to in vivo neuronal responses in auditory thalamic neurons

Martin Basch, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
Live imaging of the developing cochlea

Adrian Rodriguez-Contreras, PhD, The City College of New York
Defining the role of olivo-cochlear feedback in the development of the auditory brainstem

Alain Dabdoub, PhD, University of California, San Diego
Canonical wnt signaling in the developing organ of corti

Michelle Hastings, PhD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Therapeutic correction of USH1C splicing in a mouse model of Usher syndrome

Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, University of Maryland
A new protocol for selective and efficient sorting of the auditory sensory epithelium

Christina Kaiser, PhD, Boston University School of Medicine
An active role for the supporting cell cytoskeleton in controlling hair cell death and regeneration

Khaleel A. Razak, PhD, University of California, Riverside
Impact of age-related hearing loss on cortical processing of frequency modulated sweeps

Olga Stakhovskaya, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Estimating optimum insertion depth for the hifocus electrode array in individual human cochleae based on high resolution ct images

Arminda Suli, PhD, University of Washington
Assessing functional recovery after mechanosensory hair cell regeneration in the zebrafish lateral line

Patricia A. White, PhD, House Ear Institute
Forkhead box o transcription factors and mammalian cochlear regeneration

Ruili Xie, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Synaptic transmission in the principal cells of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus during age-related hearing loss

Eunyoung Yi, PhD, The John Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dopaminergic modulation of inner hair cell afferent synaptic transmission

Second-Year Hearing and Balance Research Grant Recipients
Christian N. Paxton, PhD, University of Utah
The role of fgf4 in otic placode induction

Kathleen T. Yee, PhD, Tufts University School of Medicine
A role for pax6 in cochlear nucleus development

DRF Centurion Clinical Research Award Recipient
Mark Eckert, MD, Medical University of South Carolina
Neural changes underlying speech-perception training in the aging brain
This research award is funded by the Centurions of the Deafness Research Foundation. DRF has partnered with CORE Grants Program of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) to offer a 1-year Centurion Clinical Research Award (CCRA) for clinical research in hearing and balance science.

DRF CHEAR Endowment Grant Recipient
Chin-Tuan Tan, PhD, New York University, School of Medicine
Second-year DRF grant recipient
Nonlinearly distorted music and speech as perceived by hearing-impaired people
(Children Hearing Education and Research) endowment was created to support an annual Sensory-Neural Deafness Research Grant. CHEAR was absorbed into DRF in 1991.

The Burch-Safford Foundation Inc Recipient

Adam Markaryan, PhD, The University of Chicago
First-year DRF grant recipient
Mitochondrial DNA deletions and cochlear element degeneration in presbycusis
This research award is funded by The Burch-Safford Foundation Inc.

Deafness Research Foundation was founded in 1958 by Collette Ramsey Baker, who for almost 40 years experienced hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, says the statement. DRF has awarded nearly $24 million through more than 2,200 research grants to researchers who are dedicated to exploring new avenues of hearing science, which has led to innovations that increase options for those living with hearing loss and protecting those at risk, says the statement.

[Source: DRF]