| | House Ear Institute Receives Over $10M in Research Grants
HOUSE EAR INSTITUTE RECEIVES OVER $10M IN RESEARCH GRANTS
LOS ANGELES - April 15, 2001 - Scientists and physicians at the House Ear Institute (HEI) were awarded nine different research grants totaling more than $10 Million in the first quarter of 2001. All grants will fund scientific research in studies that contribute to advancements in hearing health.
The largest grant awarded came from the U.S. Army for the study of Neurofibromatosis Type II (NF2), a genetic disease which causes the development of multiple tumors on both auditory nerves. HEI's study will assess how NF2 affects the hearing, balance, sensation and movement systems, and the patient's quality of life. HEI seeks to define the growth rates and clinical course of tumors associated with NF2, leading to a better understanding of the disease and its treatment.
"Our study will benefit the entire NF2 community by allowing better recommendations for treatment options and the efficacy of future medical or surgical therapies," said primary investigator, William H. Slattery III, M.D.
Six of HEI's nine grants came from the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) for hearing health studies ranging from cell and molecular biology to post-treatment patient training. Xi Lin, Ph.D., received funding for his multidisciplinary study of the molecular mechanisms of cochlear efferent functions, which will improve our understanding of the development of normal cochlear functions and our knowledge of cochlear physiology.
Xiaoyan Cindy Li, M.D., Ph.D., received NIH funding to map and clone genes responsible for hereditary hearing loss. This study is important for improving our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of auditory development and function. Approximately one in every 2,000 children is born with severe to profound hearing loss due to a genetic cause. Therefore, identifying and characterizing deafness genes is crucial in providing the foundation for early diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Li also received funding from the American Otologic Society (AOS) for her Molecular Genetic Study on Otosclerosis. This study seeks to identify and characterize the disease genes that cause otosclerosis, using data collected from large multigenerational families with the disease.
NIH awarded grants to several other HEI researchers to support studies in different areas. These studies include perceptual experience and spoken word (Edward Auer, Ph.D.), effects of training on adult cochlear implant users (Qian-Jie Fu, Ph.D.), a novel method for targeted gene disruption in the ear (Andrew Groves, Ph.D.) and time intensity patterns in electrical stimulation (Bob Shannon, Ph.D.).
The National Organization for Hearing Research (NOHR) awarded two separate grants to HEI scientists this year. Neil Segil, Ph.D. and Andrew Groves, Ph.D., received funding for their study titled, Sensory Hair Cell Progenitors in the Mammalian Inner Ear: Isolation, Molecular Characterization and Therapeutic Manipulation. Paul Webster, Ph.D., received a grant for his project on Cellular Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Persistence in Recurrent Otitis Media. All HEI research projects are funded for a period of one to five years.
About the House Ear Institute (HEI)
House Ear Institute (HEI) was established in 1946 by Howard P. House, M.D., as a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people who have hearing loss or related disorders, through ongoing research and education. HEI has been engaged in an exploration of the auditory system from the ear canal through the inner ear and into the cortex of the brain for more than 50 years.
The Institute has achieved an international reputation as a leader in
its field, recently expanding its exploration of the auditory system
to the cell and molecular level. HEI scientists continue to improve
and develop hearing aids, auditory implants, innovative treatments and intervention methods. For more information on the House Ear Institute, please call (213) 483-4431 or visit the Web site at [url="http://www.hei.org."]www.hei.org.[/url]