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Messages from the NIDCD Director

An update on the NIH BRAIN Initiative and on the NIDCD's January advisory council meeting

Posted on April 6, 2021

When it comes to the BRAIN Initiative, there is a lot to be excited about—a new director, an array of transformative advances, and the start of a new phase. In this director’s message, I describe this groundbreaking NIH program, which offers opportunities for support for the NIDCD neuroscience community. I have also provided a brief summary of topics discussed at our most recent National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting in January.

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NIDCD stands with NIH against structural racism in biomedical research

Posted on March 1, 2021

On March 1, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, launched a new initiative, UNITE, to identify actions to address structural racism at NIH, the institutions we support, and anywhere NIH research activities take place, with the overall goal of ending racial inequities across the biomedical research enterprise.

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Trans-NIH FIRST program will address faculty diversity and inclusion in biomedical research

Posted on October 29, 2020

The forthcoming trans-NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) program will propose an innovative model to address faculty diversity and inclusion in biomedical research. In late July, a Notice of Intent was published, indicating that the FIRST request for applications (RFA) would be issued in fall 2020. Advance notice was provided in order to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful plans for robust applications to this opportunity.

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Reflecting on my one-year anniversary at the NIDCD

Posted on September 29, 2020

As I reflect on my one-year anniversary as NIDCD director, I am grateful for the institute’s talented and resilient scientists and staff and for our many outstanding grantees at research institutions across the country. Although the pandemic has upended our personal and professional lives in ways we never could have imagined, the continued commitment to the NIDCD’s mission inspires me. Thank you to all for the efforts to navigate a challenging road during the past months.

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Affirming our commitment to inclusive excellence in NIDCD research

Posted on August 26, 2020

Urgent calls to confront systemic racism in our society are demanding our attention. In June, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health, called upon each of us in the NIH community to “reaffirm our common resolve … to ensure we foster a culture of inclusion, equity, and respect for one another . ...” I write now to affirm the NIDCD’s commitment to inclusive excellence, and our resolve to both embrace and enable the contributions of a diverse scientific workforce.

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Cloth face coverings and distancing pose communication challenges for many

Posted on July 10, 2020

Communication is an important and complex transaction that depends on visual and, often, auditory (hearing) cues. Factors that influence how well our spoken language is received include our eye contact and body language, whether we stand or sit while speaking, the tone of our voices and our facial expressions, and environmental lighting and background noise.

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Research drives changes to make hearing health care more accessible and affordable

Posted on May 5, 2020

Approximately 15% of U.S. adults report some degree of hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss is a huge issue for human health. It may lead to isolation, and it has been associated with serious conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, dementia, reduced mobility, and falls.

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Hearing health care is a global priority

Posted on February 27, 2020

Approximately 466 million children and adults worldwide have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Unaddressed hearing loss costs an estimated US$750 billion annually worldwide and potentially interferes greatly with an individual’s physical, behavioral, and social functioning.

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Welcome to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Posted on September 9, 2019

The NIDCD’s mission is to improve the lives of the millions of people with hearing loss and other communication disorders, spanning functions of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

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