Page 70 - Spring 2019
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Euiuneiats with Haaring Lane
“The NIDCD should lead the NIH i.ti etforts to recruit and in the zoology class of 1984 and indeed of all undergraduates
train deaf investigators and clinicians and to assertively in biological sciences between 1981 and 1984.
pursue fife n_ecmj"_mem and research Of individuals with One strategy deaf individuals using LS1. use is to read vora-
comniunication disorders. Too often deafness and com- dously (to mmpeusam for missed Verb 31 information)’ and
l'IiL|l11-Cat-101'i-dlSOI’dEIS have been grounds for employrnent } had subscribed to New Scientist. An issue in 1986 invited
discrimination. The -NIDCD has a special responsibility to applications to investigate momxicity mm origin of my Own
ass?” that d_-‘ESE cmzéns are _°fiem‘_i equal Oppflngmty to hearing loss as an infant) using microscopy under the direc-
be included in the national biomedical enterprise. mm of circle Hackney and David Fmmss at Keel: Unjvcp
This enabled me to realize that I could become a role model sity, Staifordshire, UK. That synergy of microscopy, ototo)o'c-
for young people with hearing loss. Meeting Henry and 17e- ity, and personal experience was electrifying and continues
ter cemented my calling. My research in the auditory system to this day. This synergy also propels other researchers with
began with models of cochlear mici-omechanics and now hearing loss to answer important questions underlying hear-
focuses on modeling the primary and secondary auditory ing loss. These answers need to make rational sense and not
cortices. I also mentored students and peers with hearing just satisfy researchers with typical hearing who take audi-
loss in STEMM. in 2015, these efforts were recognized with tory proficiency for granted. As our understanding of the
my receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, mechanisms of hearing loss grows, the more we recognize
Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from the subtler ways hearing loss impacts each of us personally or
President Obama. those we hold dear as well as society in general. Accessibility
Today, more young people who benefited from early diag- md_ EEC“-ive “?°“‘°“l“P are vim] for _in_C1usi°n and growth
nosis and intervention with hearing aids and/or cochlear durmg university and postdocmml uammg‘
implams are now emgl-mg co]_lgge_ Many want to study the 1 now experience age-rehted hearing because new hearing
auditory system to pay forward to society. The PAESMEM l9Ch’1°1°8l‘‘—5 “'5 P"5°n“uY “d°l"°d and am Cu"-"‘-“dY bl‘
spunrgd mg (0 establish, wfih Lhg cooperation of AG Bel modal, using a Cl in one ear and connected via Bluetooth to a
STEMM for smdemg with Hgarjng Loss to Engage in A“. hearing aid in the other. Each technological advance enabled
ditory Research (STEMM-HEAR; deafexirscientistsorg) na- '-he 3511“-l5iU0fl Of!‘-WW auditory Skills, Sutlh as sound direction-
tionwide. lnrecent summers, students worked at the Oregon am)’ and E11’-391' YCCOEDNOD Of additional €DVil'0Dm€l1li1 01'
Health and Science University, Portland; Stanford Univer- speech cues, Contrasting with peers with age-related hearing
5j(y_ Stanford, CA; [he University of Mjnnesom MinngaPo_ loss unable or unwilling to adopt advances in hearing technol-
115; the Unjversky of southgm Ca_[j_fomja_ Lqs Anggles; and ogy, Each advancein accessibility, mentorship, and technology
]1-[U_ STEM];/[.H_EAR exploits the fact (hag hen,-mg research accelerates the career trajectories of aided individuals. With
is at the interface of the STEMM disciplines and is a perfect ‘119 3C‘l“-l5m0fl Ofeich DEW auditory Skill, Imarvfil anew about
stepping stone to STEMM. STEMM-HEAR is now explor- 11'-‘W 5°“Dd EDHVWS ‘-113 human 'XP"i5D‘35>
ing at how otf-the-shelf speech-to-text technologies such as
Google Live Ttanscribe and Microsoft Translator can be used Brad N‘ aura"
to widen accessin STEMM (Ratnanather, 2017). MY Parents bl-581“ “sing c“ed Speed‘ "Vial “"3 f°H°Wl-“B
my diagnosis of profound sensorineural hearing loss at 14
pater 5- Bhaygar months of age. Cued Speech uses handshapes and hand
Mamculating mm the University of Mmdlesteri MmChes_ placements to provide visual contrast between sounds -that
ter, UK, in 1981 was a moment ofpersonal and academic lib- appear ‘lie  _the lips‘ Because Cued Speefh provides
eratioct Higher education settings had seemingly embraced P_h°nemlc vlsuahzauon of sp_eech'  learned Enghsl-‘_ as a mi‘
diversity, however imperfectly, based on academic merit. Fi- ‘Ne spzakcn Ammug?‘ I mcENed_bl[atefl1 cochlear "mpléms
nally, I could ask academic questions without embarrassing  a young mink‘ 1 Sun "V on v_'sua1 forms of fommumuk
teachers lacking definitive answers. Indeed, asking questions mm ‘O Suppkmem the audlmry mput from me lmplams‘
where answers are uncertain or conventional wisdom insuf- lnterested in learning more about my deafness, I studied in-
ficient led to praise from professors and the confidence to ex- ner ear development in Doris Wu's laboratory at the National
plore further, particularly via microscopyin my case. None- lnstitute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
theless, I remained a “solitaire,” the only deaf undergraduate (NIDCD), Bethesda, MD, as an intern during high school.
an 1 AI:uulI:lI:I Tbdly 1 Spring znis

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