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A Message from the NIDCD Director

Welcome to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Dr. Judith Cooper

Debara L. Tucci, M.D., M.S., M.B.A.

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. Over the past 30 years, researchers supported by the NIDCD have made seminal advances in understanding the basic biology of sensory systems and disease mechanisms, leading to increasingly effective, evidence-based treatments for diseases and disorders that affect an ever growing segment of the population.

The NIDCD research portfolio spans a diverse set of methodologies from molecular and systems biology, to translational science, clinical trials, and public health—on a national and global level. To help ensure that we can address tomorrow’s increased health care needs and leverage research opportunities, the NIDCD supports scientific training and career development to build a new cadre of scientists in our mission areas. Development of an inclusive and diverse workforce is a priority of the institute.

I am proud to be part of the NIDCD’s 30-year heritage, and to lead an outstanding group of scientists and administrators who are passionate about improving health in our mission areas. Over the coming months, and with the guidance of NIDCD staff and our advisory committees—the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council and the Board of Scientific Counselors—we will examine our current portfolio and priorities, opportunities for growth and partnership, and the needs of our targeted populations and constituencies to craft a strategic plan for the future.

Our vision is that all those with disorders of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, or language benefit from scientific discovery that informs effective and accessible treatments and improves quality of life. I look forward to working with all within the NIDCD—in partnership with those affected by deafness and other communication disorders and with our scientific community—to achieve these goals. 


About Debara L. Tucci

Debara L. Tucci, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., became director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, on September 3, 2019. Dr. Tucci has been recognized as a pioneer in her work to understand the causes and impact of hearing loss and to develop treatments to restore hearing. Prior to joining the NIDCD, she was on the faculty of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, for more than 25 years, where she co-founded the Duke Hearing Center and directed the medical center’s cochlear implant program.

Last Updated Date: 
September 3, 2019