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NDCD Advisory Council Adds Five New Members

NIDCD Director Dr. James F. Battey (center) with new
council members (l-r) Drs. Gerald Berke, Lauren Bakaletz,
Saumil Merchant, and Bevan Yueh. Dr. Carolyn Stern
is not pictured.

The National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Advisory Council welcomed five new members at its most recent meeting, held in September. The meeting included a presentation by NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who highlighted notable NIDCD research advances and participated in an informal Q&A session. The council advises the director of the NIDCD on matters relating to the Institute’s core mission areas of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. The term for council members is four years.

Lauren Bakaletz, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of otolaryngology, Ohio State University, and vice-president for basic science research at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Bakaletz’s work involves understanding the pathogenic mechanisms operating in otitis media, particularly the roles of bacterial adhesives and biofilm formation.

Gerald Berke, M.D., is chief of head and neck surgery in the school of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Berke’s scientific work includes voice disorders, swallowing problems, snoring, deviated or perforated septa, and parathyroid and thyroid disease and trauma.

Saumil Merchant, M.D., is the Gudrun Larsen Eliasen and Nels Kristian Eliasen chair in otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Merchant’s research interests explore pathology of the middle ear to better understand sound transmission in normal, diseased, and reconstructed tissue.

Carolyn Stern, M.D., is a family physician and partner of, a website that explains health care issues using American Sign Language and captions. She also works as an urgent care physician in the Unity Health System and is medical director at the Rochester School for the Deaf.

Bevan Yueh, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor and chair of the department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Yueh’s scientific interests include head and neck surgery, clinical epidemiology, and tumors of the head, neck, salivary gland, and thyroid.

Last Updated Date: 
October 26, 2010