Hearing Health Foundation Names Peter Barr-Gillespie Director of HRP

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HEARING HEALTH FOUNDATION
NAMES PETER BARR-GILLESPIE DIRECTOR OF

THE HEARING RESTORATION PROJECT
& ANNOUNCES “GEORGE A. GATES RESEARCH AWARD”

Non-Profit Dedicated To Curing Hearing Loss Through Innovative Research Announces New Director for Their Groundbreaking Hearing Restoration Project

New York, NY (October 24, 2012)—On October 8, 2012, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) honored George A. Gates, M.D., who, until his recent retirement from Hearing Health Foundation’s Board of Directors, served as the Medical Director for the organization.  As part of the evening, the Foundation announced the “George A. Gates Research Award,” to be presented annually, in perpetuity, to an outstanding Emerging Research awardee. Gates, who has been a key member of the HHF board since 1987, was the founder of the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a program designed to accelerate the timeline to a cure for hearing loss. Today, the Foundation is also proud to announce Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D, as the new Director of the HRP.

“We will forever be grateful to Dr. Gates for his perseverance, vision, and commitment to Hearing Health Foundation and especially the Hearing Restoration Project,” says Andrea Boidman, Executive Director of Hearing Health Foundation.  “He started us out on the right foot, and we are very excited to see Dr. Barr-Gillespie now at the helm.  I am confident that Dr. Barr-Gillespie will help our consortium work toward the goal of a biologic cure for hearing loss; we are very lucky to have him in this leadership role.”

The goal of the Hearing Restoration Project is to find a cure for hearing loss within the next ten years through innovative research surrounding inner ear hair cell regeneration. Most non-mammals spontaneously regenerate these cells, which allow them to hear, but humans do not and the Hearing Restoration Project aims to understand not only why this is the case, but how we can translate what we know about non-mammals to people. Barr-Gillespie brings a wealth of experience to the HRP, joining an already impressive team of researchers.

After undergraduate studies at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Peter G. Barr-Gillespie attended graduate school at the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1988. He spent five years as a postdoc with Jim Hudspeth, first at the University of California, San Francisco, then at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He joined the Department of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor in 1993 and rose to Associate Professor in 1998. In 1999 he joined the Oregon Hearing Research Center as an Associate Professor and the Vollum Institute as a Scientist. He was promoted to Professor in 2004 and granted tenure in 2007.

"It's extremely exciting to be part of the Hearing Restoration Project,” said Peter Barr-Gillespie. “Progress towards a successful strategy for restoring hearing has been hampered by the scattershot approach to the problem taken by individual investigators. In the Hearing Restoration Project, a consortium of outstanding scientists has chosen to work together collaboratively towards this common goal, an approach that should substantially shorten the time needed to devise a way to restore hearing in people with hearing loss. I feel privileged to lead such a distinguished group of investigators."

In his new role, Barr-Gillespie will oversee the work of the entire Consortium, made up of some of the most talented, creative, and inspired researchers in the area of cell regeneration in the ear, whose work has already contributed significantly to the field. In addition to Barr-Gillespie as Director, the Consortium consists of: Dr. John Brigande, Dr. Alain Dabdoub, Dr. Albert Edge, Dr. Andy Groves, Dr. Stefan Heller, Dr. Michael Lovett, Dr. Liz Oesterle, Dr. Tatjana Piotrowski, Dr. David Raible, Dr. Yehoash Raphael, Dr. Edwin Rubel, Dr. Neil Segil, Dr. Jennifer S. Stone, and Dr. Mark Warchol.

For more information please visit: http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/

About Hearing Health Foundation

Since 1958, Hearing Health Foundation has given over $27.8 million to hearing and balance research.  In 2011 Hearing Health Foundation launched the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists working on cell regeneration in the ear.  HRP's goal is a biologic cure for most types of acquired hearing loss within the next ten years. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.

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