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Important Events in NIDCD History

  • October 28, 1988—Public Law 100-553 authorized the formation of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
  • June 26, 1989—The NIDCD Advisory Board held its first meeting.
  • September 18, 1989—The Advisory Council of NIDCD convened for the first time.
  • February 11, 1990—James B. Snow, Jr., M.D., was appointed as the first Director of NIDCD.
  • September 21, 1990—The NIDCD established the Office of Administrative Branch, Financial Management Branch, Personnel Management Branch, and Program and Health Reports Branch.
  • December 5, 1990—The Division of Intramural Research established labs and branches within the division.
  • December 6, 1990—The Information Systems Branch was created.
  • April 4, 1991—The Board of Scientific Counselors of NIDCD held its first meeting.
  • November 19, 1991—The Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Interagency Coordinating Committee met for the first time.
  • December 29, 1991—David J. Lim, M.D., was appointed as Scientific Director.
  • May 8, 1992—NIDCD/American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery sponsored a live interactive satellite conference, "Warning! The Impact of Pollution on the Upper Alimentary and Respiratory Tracts," to inform scientists, physicians, and the public about health problems associated with pollution and identify areas of needed research.
  • August 21, 1992—NIDCD/Department of Veterans Affairs directors signed a Memorandum of Understanding that established a collaboration to expand and intensify hearing aid research and development.
  • October 23, 1992—NIDCD/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established a formal scientific collaboration to enhance basic knowledge and understanding of vestibular function in both clinical and normal states and provide investigators access to NASA's unique ground-based research facilities and to space flight.
  • March 1-3, 1993—Consensus Development Conference, "Early Identification of Hearing Impairment in Infants and Young Children," evaluated current research and provided recommendations regarding hearing assessment from birth through 5 years of age.
  • October 25, 1993—NIDCD commemorated its fifth anniversary, "A Celebration of Research in Human Communication."
  • January 18, 1994—The Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders established the Hearing and Balance/Vestibular Sciences Branch and the Voice, Speech, Language, Smell, and Taste Branch.
  • May 1994—The NIDCD Advisory Board held its final meeting.
  • August 5, 1994—The Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders was changed to the Division of Human Communication.
  • February 14, 1995—"The Partnership Program" began, designed to maximize opportunities for underrepresented students to participate in fundamental and clinical research in the NIDCD research areas, with 4 academic centers: Morehouse School of Medicine; University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine; University of Alaska System, Fairbanks; and Gallaudet University.
  • March 1, 1995—James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., was appointed as Director of the Division of Intramural Research.
  • May 15-17, 1995—Consensus Development Conference, "Cochlear Implants in Adults and Children," summarized current knowledge about the range of benefits and limitations of cochlear implantation.
  • September 11-13, 1995—First biennial conference, "Advancing Human Communication: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Hearing Aid Research and Development," was held.
  • September 4-5, 1997—The NIDCD Working Group on Early Identification of Hearing Impairment held its first workshop and made recommendations on acceptable protocols for use in state-wide Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programs.
  • September 13, 1997—James B. Snow, Jr., M.D., retired as the first Director of NIDCD. James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., became Acting Director of NIDCD.
  • September 22-24, 1997—The second biennial hearing aid research and development conference took place.
  • February 10, 1998—James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., was appointed as the new Director of NIDCD.
  • March 13, 1998—The NIDCD Working Group on Early Identification of Hearing Impairment's second workshop identified research opportunities offered by neonatal hearing screening programs, specifically in diagnostic strategies for characterizing hearing impairment and in the intervention strategies for remediating hearing impairment.
  • August 13-14, 1998—The Working Group on Single and Multiple Project Grants held its first meeting.
  • December 8, 1998—The NIDCD Working Group for Developing and Implementing Genetic Diagnostic Tests for Hereditary Hearing Impairment and Other Communication Disorders met and made recommendations for an organization of a consortium of investigators studying genes in communication disorders to permit the rapid pooling of information; support for laboratories, protocols, and carefully designed studies to address the issues of inclusion of individuals with hearing impairments and individuals who are deaf as well as related organizations representing the spectrum of involved communities of deaf or hearing-impaired people in the formulation and establishment of guidelines and future recommendations regarding genetic testing.
  • December 20, 1998—Robert J. Wenthold, Ph.D., was appointed as Scientific Director.
  • January - February 1999—The NIDCD convened a group of distinguished scientists and members of the public to provide recommendations for a Strategic Plan.
  • May 25, 1999—The NIDCD Working Group on Communicating Informed Consent to Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing met to clarify issues of informed consent, develop guidelines for use by scientists, and propose new, needed materials for improving communication about informed consent.
  • June 21-22, 1999—The NIDCD and the Life Sciences Division of NASA co-sponsored a planning workshop "Role of Transgenic and Knockout Studies in Understanding Sensory-Motor Performance in Altered Gravitational Environments." Participants explored the viability of studying the effects of altered gravitational exposure on sensory-motor function in genetically altered experimental model systems.
  • September 19, 2000—The third workshop of the NIDCD Working Group on Early Identification of Hearing Impairment identified critical research needs in the area of early identification of hearing impairment. The workshop was designed to provide advice to the NIDCD for identifying research to be supported through the Federal government grant and contract processes.
  • November 29-30, 2000—NIDCD sponsored a workshop titled "Otitis Media: New Approaches for Analysis, Treatment, and Prevention" to report on the state of the art of otitis media research and to make recommendations regarding potential new approaches for analysis, intervention, and prevention of otitis media.
  • December 11, 2000—NIDCD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing, University of Maryland, College Park, to establish a program for training graduate students in the hearing sciences.
  • March 22-23, 2001—The Division of Intramural Research, NIDCD, held its first retreat at St. Michael's, Md.
  • May 24, 2001—Dr. Battey unveiled the Institute's new logo at the Advisory Council meeting.
  • July 23, 2001—"Communicating the Need for Follow-up to Improve Outcomes of Newborn Hearing Screenings: The third workshop of the NIDCD Working Group on Early Identification of Hearing Impairment" convened to examine and develop recommendations for health care professionals on communicating follow-up of infants who do not return for a re-examination after an initial assessment of hearing impairment has been made.
  • August 1, 2001—NIDCD Auditory/Stem Cell Workshop was held to discuss and identify potential areas of the auditory and vestibular systems that might be good candidates for applications being used in other reparative medicine systems, one being the potential use of stem cell biology.
  • March 19-20, 2002—NIDCD Workshop on Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection (CMV) and Hearing Loss convened to present the current research in related fields of congenital CMV infection and hearing loss; to better determine the degree to which congenital CMV infection contributes to hearing loss in children; and to facilitate a discussion among experts in order to develop a set of recommendations for future research in the area of congenital CMV infection and hearing loss.
  • May 13, 2002—The NIDCD workshop, "The Role of Neuroimaging in the Study of Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation: Research Needs and Opportunities" was held to identify research opportunities for the application of neuroimaging methods to the study of aphasia recovery and rehabilitation; to identify and address particular methodological challenges of imaging research focusing on the issue of aphasia recovery and rehabilitation; and to develop strategies to encourage collaborative efforts among researchers with expertise in functional neuroimaging, language processing and aphasia rehabilitation.
  • August 22, 2002—Auditory/Vestibular Cell Lineage and Development Workshop met to discuss the present and future state of cell lineage and development research in the auditory and vestibular systems.
  • September 2002—Dr. Battey was appointed as Chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force by NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. In March 2007, Dr. Battey began serving as Vice Chair.
  • October 21, 2002—NIDCD hosted the first NIH lecture on health literacy, "Babel Babble: What Is the Doctor Saying? What Is the Patient Understanding?" for health communication professionals who develop health materials and communication strategies for a range of diverse audiences.
  • June 12, 2003—Dr. Battey opened the First NIH Symposium on Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Bethesda, Md.
  • September 12, 2003—NIDCD convened the "Human Temporal Bone Research Workshop: Laboratory and Training Support" to identify the funding issues and requirements involved in sustaining human temporal bone research laboratories and the training of qualified researchers in the United States; and to develop recommendations for action(s) NIDCD might take to address the identified issues and requirements.
  • December 2003—NIDCD's WISE EARS!® national campaign to prevent noise-induced hearing loss turned 5 years old. The campaign is a coordinated effort among NIDCD, the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and a coalition of organizations who care about hearing.
  • April 27-28, 2004—NIDCD sponsored the workshop "Translational Research (TR) in Hearing and Balance" to discuss translational research as related to hearing and balance, identify barriers to and opportunities in translational research, and articulate activities that could be initiated by the NIDCD in order to increase the translation of scientific accomplishments from the laboratory to the research clinic and beyond to impact clinical practice and public health.
  • April 30-May 2, 2004—NIDCD and the NIH Office of Rare Diseases co-sponsored a workshop on "Universal Reporting Parameters for the Speech of Individuals with Cleft Palate" to further develop and refine the common approach in describing and reporting clinical speech outcomes of individuals born with cleft palate, regardless of the language spoken by the individual.
  • October 2004—NIDCD-funded investigator Dr. Linda Buck won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • March 29-30, 2005—The Epidemiology of Communication Disorders Workshop was held to review current epidemiologic knowledge in the field of communication disorders and to suggest ways to encourage more epidemiologic research.
  • May 21-23, 2005—NIDCD held "State of the Science Conference: Developmental Stuttering" conference to enable the cross-disciplinary discussion that will help to focus NIDCD initiatives for stuttering research and treatment.
  • June 23-24, 2005—NIDCD co-sponsored the first Workshop on Spasmodic Dysphonia Research to develop a roadmap for SD research.
  • September 7, 2005—NIDCD held a workshop "Report of the Molecular Therapies for Auditory/Vestibular Disease" to discuss the current and future state of molecular therapy development in auditory and vestibular disease. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss and identify research opportunities that will advance/translate targeted molecular approaches into clinical treatments.
  • December 5-6, 2005—The NIDCD Tinnitus Research Workshop was held to bring together key people currently doing clinical and basic research in central mechanisms and treatments in tinnitus and others who are outside the field of tinnitus research, but who do work that might be relevant to the field.
  • May 26-27, 2006—NIDCD and the NIH Office of Rare Diseases sponsored a workshop to evaluate the potential for brain-computer interfaces (BCI) to provide a means for speech synthesis and control of other forms of assistive technology that support communication in patients who are locked-in.
  • October 19-20, 2006—NIDCD co-sponsored a workshop, titled "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Children at Work and Play," in Covington, Ky. The workshop convened researchers, hearing health professionals, teachers, and advocacy groups and focused on the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.
  • December 12-13, 2006—NIDCD/NIH sponsored a workshop on "Outcomes Research in Children with Hearing Loss" to determine and prioritize research needs and discuss design considerations unique to outcomes research in children with hearing loss.
  • May 9-10, 2007—NIDCD sponsored a workshop "Clinical Research/Clinical Trials in Otology: Setting the Research Agenda for Development of an Intervention" to bring together leaders in otology and clinical trials to focus on what it would take to develop interventions in otology. The goal was to encourage cross and multidisciplinary science towards the development or establishment of evidence-based treatments for otologic conditions/disorders, and to determine, on the basis of available data regarding epidemiology and stage of science, a prioritization of otologic conditions for which intervention-oriented research may be ready.
  • May 6, 2008—Dr. Battey provided closing remarks at the NIH stem cell symposium, "Challenges & Promises of Cell-Based Therapies."
  • July 22-23, 2008—NIDCD Workshop on Immune Mediated Ear Disease/Hearing Loss met to obtain updates on the current status of immune mediated ear disease research; to identify research gaps; and to get expert recommendations regarding research needs that will aid our understanding of this complex form of hearing loss and ultimately lead to diagnostics and therapies that preserve natural hearing.
  • September 23, 2008—The NIDCD Workshop on Exploring International Collaborative Research in Deafness & Other Communication Disorders met to explore international collaborative research and to stress the need to educate researchers and reviewers about the opportunities for scientific discovery through international collaborative research.
  • October 2008—NIDCD launched a new health education campaign called It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing. The Noisy Planet campaign is designed to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 ("tweens") about the causes and prevention of NIHL. View Image.
  • October 23, 2008—NIDCD celebrated two decades of research accomplishments with a one day symposium. The symposium included three scientific sessions representing NIDCD's primary areas of research: hearing and balance; smell and taste; and voice, speech, and language. View Image.
  • August 13-14, 2009—NIDCD Workshop on Tinnitus met to evaluate central nervous system mechanisms of tinnitus in civilian, military and veteran populations and to stimulate new neural prosthetic and other treatments for chronic severe tinnitus.
  • April 1, 2009—Andrew Griffith, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed as the Director of the Division of Intramural Research.
  • August 25-27, 2009—NIDCD sponsored a working group on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss to develop a research agenda to increase accessibility and affordability of hearing health care for adults, including accessible and low cost hearing aids.

NIDCD Legislative Chronology

  • October 28, 1988—Public Law 100-553 authorized the formation of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
  • February 15, 1989—Section 406 of the Public Health Service Act, Public Law 92-463, NDCD Advisory Council was established to advise the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the NIH Director; and the Director of NIDCD on matters relating to the conduct and support of research and research training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to disorders of hearing and other communication processes.
  • January 25, 1991—Section 402(b)(6) of the Public Health Service Act, Public Law 92-463, NIDCD Board of Scientific Counselors advises the Director, Division of Intramural Research, NIDCD, on the quality of the intramural research programs and the research of tenured and tenure-tracked scientists of the Division, through periodic reviews.
  • March 1, 1991—Public Law 100-553 Section 464(b), The NIDCD Information Clearinghouse was established to facilitate and enhance, through the effective dissemination of information, knowledge and understanding of disorders of hearing and other communication processes.

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