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Comments of Dr. Wright

From: C.G. Wright
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 12:28 PM
To: Julie Gulya
Subject: Temp. Bone Lab Funding/Training, etc.

Dr. Gulya:

This note comes in response to your request for input from temporal bone lab directors regarding temporal bone research programs and funding. Unfortunately, I have very little to offer in terms of useful suggestions. Our work in conventional temporal bone histopathology is funded entirely from within our Department by cost shifting from various sources. We have no NIH support for that work. I feel that one glimmer of hope regarding renewed interest in human temporal bone research is in relation to cochlear implant work. As you know, there is now considerable interest in the possibility of implanting patients with residual hearing. The implant companies are therefore quite interested in developing electrodes that are as atraumatic as possible and we have received some industrial funding for work aimed at developing suitable human temporal bone models for evaluation of electrode trauma in the cochlea. Also, of course, in relation to implanting individuals with residual hearing, there is renewed interest in using conventional temporal bone sectioning to better understand the specific patterns of sensorineural degeneration present in various disease conditions. I would think that young investigators might be enticed into temporal bone work with an eye toward making research contributions to the very active and important field of cochlear implantation and that the current climate is such that those studies may find funding support. I am hopeful that the upcoming temporal bone workshop will be successful in relation to encouragement and support of temporal bone research. Sorry I don't really have new ideas to offer, but thank you for contacting me.

Charles Wright

C.G. Wright, Ph.D.
Department of Otolaryngology
Southwestern Medical Center

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