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NIDCD-Funded Scientist D. Bradley Welling Recipient of Edmund P. Fowler Award
A 1997 Edmund P. Fowler Award was recently bestowed upon NIDCD-funded scientist D. Bradley Welling, M.D., for his research on the clinical manifestations of mutations in the neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) gene in vestibular schwannomas, which are noncancerous tumors of the covering of the balance nerve. The award was presented in May 1997 to Dr. Welling in Scottsdale, Arizona, during the annual meeting of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc. (Triological Society).
The Fowler Award was established in 1971 to honor Edmund Prince Fowler, M.D., a prominent American research otolaryngologist (physician who specializes in ear, nose and throat disorders) who is credited with the development of the clinical audiometer, the instrument used to measure hearing ability. Dr. Fowler also identified the phenomena of recruitment which is an individual's extreme sensitivity to small increases in the loudness of sound that may accompany some types of hearing impairment and devised the alternate loudness balance test which is still used today for the assessment of recruitment. The Fowler Award was developed by the Triological Society to "bestow upon a worthy recipient the responsibility of furthering the highest standards of perfection in the study, teaching and practice of otolaryngology."
Dr. Welling's current research at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, involves identifying new mutations of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene which has been associated with vestibular schwannoma formation. Dr. Welling's research team has thus far identified 33 unique mutations. In addition to identifying these new mutations, Dr. Welling and his colleagues are determining how these mutations relate to the various clinical features of the disorder. This knowledge should ultimately improve the diagnosis and treatment of vestibular schwannomas.