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This page is dedicated to those who have been touched by Hearing Health Foundation whether through funding or sincere appreciation for our efforts.

James F. Battey, Jr., PhD

James BatteyDirector, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH

The Deafness Research Foundation plays a seminal role in launching the independent research careers of many research scientists in hearing research. The grant awarded by the DRF provides the "seed" support needed to obtain preliminary data that enables a grantee to apply for and get a larger grant award to expand their research resources and efforts.


Douglas A. Cotanche, PhD

Associate Professor
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Hearing Research
Department of Otolaryngology
Boston University School of Medicine

It is a great pleasure and an honor for me to write a very strong letter of appreciation to the Deafness Research Foundation for all they have done over the last 22 years to advance my research and to make a huge difference to a great number of young (both in age and at heart) scientists and clinicians in the field of hearing research. So many of us owe our starts to the seed grants that launched us on our way to success. click here to read full letter

Gordon Hughes, MD

Program Officer, Clinical Trials
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

My Presidency of the Centurions of the Deafness Research Foundation was a highlight of my career. The close working relationship with the only national ear research foundation at that time, helped create and maintain a long-term love for academic medicine. In fact, after 28 years of patient care at the Cleveland Clinic, in July 2008 I will begin a second career helping clinical trials at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The DRF got me started!


Jennifer Stone, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
University of Washington

I am very grateful to the Deafness Research Foundation for increasing my opportunities to pursue new areas of interest as a young investigator! We often find that federal or institutional resources are not available to support pilot studies, yet we cannot move forward without completing such studies. Foundations like the DRF serve a critical function in the development of academic careers by providing funding for these early formative investigations with different types of training and interests.The result is that a diverse group of young investigators is given a leg-up into academics and many new and diverse areas of research are spawned each year.

Donald E. Coling, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor
Communicative Disorders and Sciences
University of Buffalo The State University of New York

DRF has indeed been a positive influence in my research career. My research career has been marked by several postdoctoral fellowships owing to coordinating with my wife's clinical training, to my desire to develop new approaches, and to relocations of the laboratories where I've worked. Though I greatly admire fellow postdocs who've stayed put and focused on developing their laboratories, I have no regrets of our rather nomadic odyssey . It's been a privilege to be able to help the directors of several labs to pursue their interests and, at the same time, develop my own. Two foundations, DRF and NOHR, have been extremely supportive along the way. Funds from DRF have allowed me to pursue independent research interests and come to a point where I can put things together in my own program. I'm truly grateful for their support.


Paul Webster, Ph.D.

Scientist II and HeadAhmanson Advanced ElectronMicroscopy and Imaging Center
House Ear Institute (HEI)

I would like to thank you for funding my research in the role bacterial biofilms may play in otitis media. At the time you funded me, the research was very preliminary and had little new information to use for preparing a government grant. As such it would have been considered not fundable. By awarding a grant to my research you made it possible for it to continue both by providing essential resources and by giving it an official stamp of approval. Although the funding period has ended, we collected enough data to publish two research papers with four more in the pipeline. The collected data has also made it possible for us to write grants to federal agencies and thus continue the work. Thank you for making it possible to open the new area of research.


Ruediger (Ruedi) Thalmann, M.D.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Otolaryngology
Washington University School of Medicine

I have witnessed the unequaled success story of the progression of DRF from an idea to the most important, nongovernmental funding resource for otologic research, aimed at younger investigators. Over the years I have met numerous young scientists whose careers had been launched by seed money from DRF. I am particularly impressed by the good judgment of the leadership of the Foundation in recognizing promising new ideas, which frequently are risky and therefore have little chance for support by government agencies. My admiration goes to the dedication of so many of my otologic colleagues, who provided and continue to provide the financial resources and devote much effort and talent for the operation of the Foundation.

Chris Turner, Ph.D.

Chris TurnerProfessor
University of Iowa

In 1984, I began my appointment as an Assistant Professor of Audiology at Syracuse University. Prior to that, I had worked a great deal as a clinical audiologist, trying to solve the hearing problems of many hearing-impaired individuals. The comment from these patients that came over and over was "I can hear you but I can't understand you"; this stuck in my mind. My research career was probably more determined by this comment from the patients than by any other event. In order to start my first experiments on the "I can hear you, but can't understand you" topic; I wanted to study the audibility of speech signals, and what happened when speech was audible, but not understandable. In 1985, the Deafness Research Foundation supported my research with a 3-year grant, enough money to buy some expendable supplies and to support a graduate student to help in the lab. This grant was the beginning of a 25-year career investigating the same original topic. In later years, the National Institutes of Health supported my work, and the sums awarded were much larger than the original DRF grant. This work has developed into the introduction and testing of speech processing schemes as well as new applications for cochlear implants for patients who were saying "I can hear you but I can't understand you". I am so very grateful for that first helping hand from the Deafness Research Foundation. I am also very happy to see that the DRF is still providing that first helping hand for many hearing researchers.


Geng-Lin Li, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Oregon Health & Science University
Vollum Institute

July 2nd may sound like a usual day for everyone else, but I will certainly remember it for the rest of my life. On that day, I received the official notice that my K99/R00 application will be funded by NIH/NIDCD. For those who are not familiar with K99/R00, it is THE BEST career development award that anyone can get from NIH. It provides $90,000 per year for two more years of training (K99), and then up to $250,000 per year (the same amount as a R01 for established investigators) for a three-year independent phase (R00).

In 50 years since it was established, DRF has helped hundreds and hundreds of young investigators in hearing research. I feel extremely lucky and honored to be one of them. I will always be deeply grateful that DRF supported my career when I was still establishing myself as an independent investigator in hearing research. click here to read full letter

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