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NIDCD Student Scientist Receives ‘Best Poster’ Award at AAA Meeting

Kelly King  with her mentor Carmen C. Brewer Kelly King (l) with her mentor Carmen C. Brewer, Ph.D., Chief of Audiology, NIDCD’s Otolaryngology branch.

NIDCD research assistant Kelly King was one of two students to receive the James Jerger Award for Excellence in Student Research for “best poster presentation” at the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Audiology in Minneapolis. Her poster topic was “Auditory Phenotype and Karyotype of Turner Syndrome.”

Exclusively a disorder of females, Turner syndrome (TS) occurs in about one out of every 2500 female births. It is caused by either a total or partial deletion of one of the X chromosomes, resulting in short stature and infertility due to the lack of normal ovarian development. Hearing loss can also occur, but prior to this work, its relationship to the specifics of the chromosomal abnormality had not been rigorously explored. In her poster presentation, Ms. King and her mentors analyzed the karyotype, or chromosomal make-up, of 200 females with TS, and found that the cause of hearing loss in these individuals can be narrowed down to the short arm of the X chromosome. She also found progressive hearing loss in almost half of these women, suggesting that individuals with TS should receive hearing evaluations throughout the course of their lives.

The James Jerger Award for Excellence in Student Research is judged on significance, approach, innovation, and overall quality of posters in which a student is the first author. Sixty-three posters were considered for the award, as judged by a panel of eminent researchers in the field of audiology.

Ms. King is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland and works in the NIDCD’s Otolaryngology branch.