Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) is deeply saddened to report that Council of Scientific Trustees (CST) member and Senior Scientific Trustee Robert Dobie, M.D. (Bob), passed away on September 4, 2019. He spent his career committed to excellence and innovation in otolaryngology research and clinical practice.
Dobie was a highly respected member of our CST, the body that governs the grantmaking process for the Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program. His duty as a CST member was to ensure that only the most promising hearing and balance research was funded, and as Senior Scientific Trustee, he facilitated correspondence with the press and others outside of HHF. Dobie was also an ERG alumnus who received awards in 1986, 1987, and 1988 for his research on tinnitus at University of California, Davis.
Beyond his service to HHF, Dobie was a Clinical Professor and Chairman in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He previously served as the Director of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health and was a founder and initial Director of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington.
Dobie authored more than 200 publications, including Medical-Legal Evaluation of Hearing Loss. He performed particularly impactful research on the effects of noise exposure on age-related hearing loss that provided insights to regulatory agencies like the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the International Standards Organization, and the World Health Organization.
HHF will fondly remember Dobie for his compassion and his influence on our understanding of hearing loss and tinnitus. Board of Directors member Judy Dubno, Ph.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina remarks, “Dobie has a remarkable legacy with limitless impact on science and health. Many of us have learned from reading his books and journal articles and hearing his presentations. In all these ways and many more, Bob touched so many lives and made each one better for knowing him.”