Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Messages from the NIDCD Director

FDA’s new category of hearing aids advances hearing health care

Image
An older woman and man are sitting together on a sofa looking at a laptop computer screen. The woman is holding a credit card.
Posted on: August 16, 2022

The United States marks a significant milestone in advancing hearing health care, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final rule establishing guidelines for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. This landmark rule, released on August 16, 2022, is part of a broader effort to expand access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. OTC hearing aids are intended to address perceived mild to moderate hearing loss in people 18 or older. Now, millions of adults who have trouble hearing will be able to buy less expensive hearing aids without a medical exam, prescription, or fitting by an audiologist.

Continue Reading

Building a diverse scientific workforce, a new NIH data sharing policy, and an update on the NIDCD’s May advisory council meeting

Image
A group of scientists conversing in a lab.
Posted on: June 24, 2022

NIH has had a longstanding commitment to recruiting talent from diverse groups and to removing barriers to professional advancement for underrepresented minorities. In keeping with this goal, I have made expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the NIDCD intramural and extramural workforces one of my chief aims since taking on the directorship of the institute in 2019. In this message, I update you on our ongoing efforts in this area. I also share details regarding an important new NIH policy: Effective in early 2023, grant applicants will be required to include a data management plan in their applications, and in most cases to make their data publicly available. Finally, I provide a brief summary of topics discussed at our latest National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting in May.

Continue Reading

Scientific partnerships with the National Institute on Aging and an update on the NIDCD’s January advisory council meeting

Image
A group of business people talking around a table.
Posted on: February 23, 2022

Collaboration between NIH institutes is a valuable way to integrate knowledge bases, expertise, methodologies, and infrastructures and apply them toward shared goals. These partnerships bring multidisciplinary approaches to important scientific questions and lead to innovative strategies for preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of health conditions. In this director’s message, I share some of our collaborations with the NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA), illustrating the value of cooperation in advancing science in new directions. I also provide a brief summary of topics discussed at our most recent National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting in January.

Continue Reading

New clinician-scientist training programs and an update on the NIDCD’s September advisory council meeting

Image
Group of five laboratory scientists in lab coats, masks and gloves, working at lab with test tubes, microscope, flasks, and laptop.
Posted on: September 30, 2021

Building on our commitment to growing the biomedical research workforce in the NIDCD’s research areas, the institute has launched new programs aimed at fostering the development of research skills among clinicians. In this director’s message, I describe these new initiatives, and provide a brief summary of topics discussed at our most recent National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting in September.

Continue Reading

NIDCD publishes workshop report on otitis media and holds May advisory council meeting

Image
Doctor checking child's ear with otoscope.
Posted on: June 30, 2021

The quest to better understand otitis media (OM) has made great strides in recent years. Researchers—many supported by the NIDCD—have identified potential vaccine candidates, uncovered the role of bacterial biofilms in treatment resistance, developed OM animal models, and characterized the host immune response to the condition, among many other advances. To accelerate the translation of this strong foundational knowledge to clinical strategies for preventing and treating OM, last autumn the NIDCD convened a group of scientific experts online for the NIDCD Workshop on Otitis Media in Early Childhood. This message will give you a sense of the topics the participants discussed and the knowledge gaps they identified. I’ve also included highlights from the May meeting of the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting.

Continue Reading

The Sound of Spoken Language

Image
Oscar Statue
Posted on: April 30, 2021

The award-winning film “Sound of Metal” portrays a musician in recovery from substance use disorder who is confronted with sudden, complete hearing loss. The experience shatters his life. Lauded by some with hearing loss for its realistic depiction of this experience—the fear, the frustration, the uncertainty—the film’s creative use of sound earned it an Academy Award. Credit: "Academy Award Winner" by Dave B. is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Continue Reading

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

Image
scientific rendering of the brain
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.

Continue Reading

NIDCD stands with NIH against structural racism in biomedical research

Image
A stylized rainbow above the words Ending Structural Racism, the NIH logo, and this URL: nih.gov/ending-structural-racism.
Posted on: March 1, 2021

On March 1, 2021, 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.

Continue Reading

Reflecting on my one-year anniversary at the NIDCD

Image
NIDCD Logo.
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.

Continue Reading

Affirming our commitment to inclusive excellence in NIDCD research

Image
NIDCD Logo.
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.

Continue Reading

Cloth face coverings and distancing pose communication challenges for many

Image
Dr. Debara Tucci wearing a clear face mask.
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.

Continue Reading

Hearing health care is a global priority

Image
World Hearing Day is March 3. A daughter whispering into her father's ear.
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.

Continue Reading
Last Updated Date: