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NIDCD History and Milestones

NIDCD Supports Discoveries in Research on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Photo of Larry Brown, Geraldine Fox, and Congressman Claude Pepper. Ms. Fox sits, speaking into the microphone in front of her, at a conference table in a Congressional hearing room.

Since its establishment in 1988, the NIDCD has supported research that has led to striking discoveries in hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. The institute brings national attention to disorders of human communication, and contributes to biomedical and behavioral research advances that improve the lives of millions of people with communication disorders.

Advocacy in Action: How an Idea Becomes an Institute

Profiles of Pioneers Who Led the Way for the NIDCD

Many individuals and organizations worked together to establish the NIDCD. The dedication of three individuals—an individual with hearing loss, a scientist, and a congressional staffer—highlight the cross-cutting collaboration critical to turning an idea into an institute and creating the NIDCD.

Headshot of Geraldine Dietz Fox.

Geraldine Dietz Fox

Patient advocate

“You need a good pair of walking shoes”

Headshot of Robert J. Ruben, M.D.

Robert J. Ruben, M.D.

Hearing researcher

"An explosion of knowledge"

Headshot of Peter Reinecke

Peter Reinecke

Congressional staffer

"I want you to draft a bill"


NIDCD's 30th anniversary graphic.

Celebrating 30 years (1988-2018) of support for research on deafness and other communication disorders.

Scientific image showing sensory hair cells (green), nerve fibers (red) & spiral ganglion cells (yellow).

Highlighting important events in NIDCD history.

Noisy Planet logo.

Launched in 2008 to teach parents about preventing noise-induced hearing loss in preteens.

Chronology of NIDCD Directors

Headshot of Dr. JDebara Tucci.
September 2019–present
Headshot of Dr. Judith Cooper.
June 2018–August 2019
Headshot of Dr. James Battey.
February 1998–May 2018
Headshot of Dr. James B. Snow, Jr.
February 1990–February 1998
Headshot of Dr. Jay Moskowitz.
October 1988– February 1990
Last Updated Date: 
October 1, 2019