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Photos from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
NIDCD 25th Anniversary
NIDCD celebrated 25 years of research to improve the lives of people with communication disorders.
Scanning electron microscopy image of a sensory cell of the mouse inner ear. This top-down view shows the mechanosensory hair bundle.
Stereocilia of the Inner Ear
Scanning electron microscopy image illustrates tiny extracellular links between stereocilia of an inner ear hair cell. One type of link, the tip link, connects the top of the shorter stereocilium to the side of a longer stereocilium and is crucial for hearing. The yellow dots in the inset are the immuno-gold particles that label specific proteins comprising the tip link.
The Hair Bundles' Protein Constellation
Dr. Peter Gillespie, professor of otolaryngology at Oregon Health and Science University, delivered the first Robert J. Wenthold Memorial lecture on The Hair Bundles' Protein Constellation. The seminar, part of the NIH Neuroscience Seminar Series, was in honor of Bob Wenthold who served as NIDCD's scientific director from 1998 through 2008, and was a vital force in helping build the NIDCD intramural program's research foundation in such areas as genetics, molecular and developmental biology, computational modeling and brain imaging. On the clinical side, he championed NIDCD's Otolaryngology Research Fellow Program, a program that provides research training under the mentorship of NIDCD scientists and helps move research findings on potential treatments from the laboratory into clinical practice.
A Prosthesis for Balance Disorders
Dr. Jay Rubinstein (left) and Dr. Jennifer Hsia implant a novel vestibular prosthesis in a patient at the University of Washington Medical Center. This is the first time a prosthesis for balance disorders has ever been implanted in a human. In the United States, more than 150,000 individuals are estimated to suffer from severe to profound bilateral vestibular deficiency, and a prosthesis like this potentially could benefit many of them, as well as patients with episodic disabling vestibular dysfunction such as Ménière’s disease. NIDCD funding helped support development of the device and preclinical animal testing for its use in the treatment of balance disorders.
NIDCD 20th Anniversary Symposium
Dr. Richard Axel, university professor and investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, spoke on "Internal Representations of the Olfactory World" at the NIDCD 20th Anniversary Symposium. Dr. Axel is a recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking research on the sense of smell.
NIDCD 20th Anniversary Symposium
NIDCD Director Dr. James Battey, Jr., delivered opening remarks at the Institute's anniversary symposium highlighting 20 years of research accomplishments on October 23, 2008.
It's a Noisy Planet: Protect Their Hearing
In October 2008, NIDCD launched a new campaign to protect the hearing of tweens. A new web site offers parents resources to help tweens avoid hearing loss from noise.
In February 2008, NIDCD researchers reported that they'd used functional MRI to study the brains of musicians playing improvised jazz. The images revealed that a large brain region involved in monitoring one's performance shuts down during creative improvisation, while a small region involved in organizing self-initiated thoughts and behaviors is highly activated.