Pittsburgh Hearing Research Center | Tinnitus

S+S, Spring 2024, p. 2

During the Campaign, the Department of Otolaryngology recruited four PhD level scientists who have established labs at the University of Pittsburgh, all studying different areas of the brain and the ear as they relate to understanding, preventing, and improving hearing loss (Chris Cunningham, Michelle Insanally, Melissa McGovern, and Ross Williamson).

Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD, continues to work on strategies to understand and target tinnitus in the brain, and is doing exciting work to develop pharmaceutical products that will, eventually, provide a solution. He recently announced a breakthrough study that uncovered a biologic reason for noise-induced hearing loss. The end goal will be a pill that could be taken preventatively or soon after exposure to mitigate damage.

Research in other parts of the ear and brain is also developing to target genetic causes of hearing loss, and toward more translational goals of creating an adaptive, improved new generation of cochlear implants.

The growth in hearing science research, according to outside scientific advisors, makes the University of Pittsburgh one of the strongest groups focused on hearing loss in the country.