Pioneers in Cochlear Implants
A pioneer in cochlear implantation, IU School of Medicine faculty otologists have helped thousands of children and adults with profound deafness since 1978. Devices provide hearing for those who do not derive benefit from hearing aids. Cochlear implants are available to preserve residual low-frequency hearing in addition to improving word discrimination. As hearing is significant to neurocognitive functioning, more than 1,800 people with implant devices are monitored by the cochlear implant team. The long history of implant surgery and post-surgery analysis at IU School of Medicine has resulted with impactful research and leader in the field. The DeVault Otologic Research Lab provides groundbreaking knowledge on speech perception and language development in children with cochlear implants and have led to a better understanding of children’s adaptive behavior development and executive function.
Leaders in Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks
Surgeons in the Division of Otology repair spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks, the highest volume in Indiana. Through academic research, faculty discovered a significant link between spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks and obesity. With the rise in obesity, otologists anticipate an increased number of patients with spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Ongoing studies within the division examine causes of this condition, including obstructive sleep apnea.
3D Stem Cell Biology Research Group
Research teams in the 3D Stem Cell Biology Research Group, led by two faculty scientists in the department, investigate the restoration of hearing and promotion of hair cell regeneration by studying how specific chemical compounds can trigger hair cell regeneration after damage to these sensory receptor cells. By developing human dish-grown, three-dimensional (3D) inner ear tissues called “human inner ear organoids,” which mimic the structure and function of native human inner ear tissues, investigators are working to generate cochlear tissues containing sound-sensing receptors and neurons that transmit hearing sensation to the brain.