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June 17 Beyond the Lab speaker series: The NIDCD Mouse Auditory Testing Core Facility’s role in identifying hearing loss

All NIH staff and the public are welcome to attend

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, in a virtual lecture open to all staff and the public, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) staff scientist Tracy Fitzgerald, Ph.D., CCC-A, will discuss tests in mouse models that are used to support NIDCD research on the diagnosis and monitoring of hearing loss.

Hearing is a complicated process involving the ear's ability to detect sounds in the environment and the brain's ability to interpret the sounds, including speech. Hearing loss may be caused by excessive noise, aging, disease, certain medications, or heredity. Hearing loss can affect communication, community participation, overall health, and quality of life.

This seminar is part of a series of talks led by researchers from the NIDCD, part of the National Institutes of Health, called Beyond the Lab, Understanding Communication Disorders. The speaker series is an opportunity for everyone inside and outside of the NIH—administrative staff, support staff, scientists, and the public—to learn about NIDCD research in communication disorders, conditions that significantly affect about 20 percent of U.S. adults at some point in their lives.

Dr. Fitzgerald will discuss current technology used to characterize hearing and inner ear function. She leads the NIDCD Mouse Auditory Testing Core Facility, which supports NIDCD laboratories by testing hearing sensitivity, inner ear function, and vestibular function in rodents. NIDCD research on these technologies led to the procedures used today to test newborns for hearing loss before they are discharged from the hospital.

Baby asleep while getting a hearing screening

A newborn undergoes a hearing screening.

This webcast will be captioned and available for later viewing. Individuals with disabilities who need sign language interpreting and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Lonnie Lisle (telephone: 240-464-4355) and/or the Federal Relay Service (telephone: 800-877-8399) by June 10.

About the Speaker

A headshot of Tracy Fitzgerald, Ph.D., CCC-A.

Tracy Fitzgerald, Ph.D., CCC-A, joined the NIDCD as a staff scientist in the Mouse Auditory Testing Core Facility in 2011. She received a B.A. in speech, language, and hearing from Rutgers University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in audiology from Syracuse University. She completed a clinical fellowship in audiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. After completion of her Ph.D., she was a postdoctoral scientist in Dr. Carolina Abdala’s laboratory at the Children’s Auditory Research and Evaluation (CARE) Center, part of the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the NIH in 2011, Dr. Fitzgerald was an assistant professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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