Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) announced a grant of $972,613 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD) to Gateway Biotechnology and Project Manager Dr Jianxin Bao, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Northeast Ohio Medical University. The award, a Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR), will be used for further research and development for tinnitus prevention and treatment. 

“Millions of people in the United States live with tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss every day, so I am pleased to see this federal investment in research and development that can improve the lives of so many people,” said Ryan. “This is a great example of government providing the necessary investments needed for finding lasting solutions for hearing-impaired individuals.

“With an excellent research program in auditory science at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and a strong support from the REDIzone program associated with the university, our project supported by this grant should be successful in developing the first drug to treat tinnitus, which is a major health issue especially for our military personnel serving for this country,” said Bao, principal investigator for the grant.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says that occupational hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the United States. Approximately 22 million US workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, and an additional 9 million are exposed to drugs that can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

Source: Congressman Tim Ryan