Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has announced a $15 million gift from David M. Rubenstein to establish a center focused on restoring functional hearing in people with congenital and acquired hearing loss.
The gift to the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery will create the David M. Rubenstein Hearing Center, which will include the Division of Otology and Neurotology, Division of Audiology, and Listening Center, and support clinical care and research. Among other areas, researchers will explore novel approaches aimed at protecting and repairing the inner ear and ensuring effective connectivity with the brain.
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 and 50 percent of those age 75 and older have a disabling form of hearing loss, while about 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure.
"Research is at the core of medical advancements, and this holds true for the specialty of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery," said David Eisele, the Andelot Professor of Laryngology and Otology and director of the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. "Scientific breakthroughs that can be translated to benefit those who experience hearing loss are greatly needed, and we are highly motivated to make these advances with the possibilities afforded by this generous gift."