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NIDCD Welcomes Six New Advisory Council Members

The National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council recently welcomed six new members. The term for NDCD Advisory Council members is four years. The council advises the director of the NIDCD on matters relating to the institute’s core mission areas of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

Front, left to right: Dr. Kinnamon, Dr. Blackstone. Back, left to right: Dr. Battey, Dr. Liberman, Dr. Wilson. Missing from the photo: Dr. Schreiner, Ms. Themann.

Front, left to right: Dr. Kinnamon, Dr. Blackstone. Back, left to right: Dr. Battey, Dr. Liberman, Dr. Wilson. Missing from the photo: Dr. Schreiner, Ms. Themann.

Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Augmentative Communications, Inc., and partner emeritus at Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC), where she coordinated the Patient-Provider Communication group. She received her doctoral degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh and has a clinical certification in speech-language pathology. Her professional interests include examining the communication process, and she is well known for her work on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and patient-provider communication. She has authored multiple texts in the field of AAC, as well as Augmentative Communication News, a newsletter that provides an informed synopsis of the work of AAC experts around the world. Dr. Blackstone worked at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore and in a private practice that served children and adults with complex communication needs. She has received numerous awards and served in many leadership roles, including on the board of directors for The Bridge School.

Sue Kinnamon, Ph.D., is professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, holding a joint appointment with the department of cell and developmental biology and the department of physiology and biophysics. Dr. Kinnamon received her doctoral degree in neuroscience from Kansas State University. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms used by the taste receptor cells to detect the sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami in the foods we eat. Dr. Kinnamon has had editorial/reviewer responsibilities for several journals and has served as a peer reviewer for NIH and the National Science Foundation. She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Society for Neuroscience, and has held many prominent roles on Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) committees over the past 20 years. Dr. Kinnamon is frequently invited to present at national and international meetings, has published extensively, and has received many honors and awards, such as the AChemS Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Charles Liberman, Ph.D., is the Harold F. Schuknecht Professor of otology and laryngology and the vice chair of research in the department of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. In addition to his primary appointment, he is the director of the Eaton Peabody Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Liberman received his doctoral degree in physiology from Harvard University. His research interests include neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the peripheral auditory system, efferent feedback pathways to the auditory periphery, stimulus coding in the auditory nerve in normal and pathological ears, and acoustic trauma and other ototraumatic agents. Dr. Liberman’s work has shown that efferent feedback helps us discriminate sounds in a noisy environment and protects the inner ear from damage following overexposure to loud sounds. Dr. Liberman is widely published and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Bekesy Medal from the Acoustical Society of America. He has served on the NIDCD Communication Disorders Review Committee and Board of Scientific Counselors as both a member and chair.

Christoph Schreiner, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor and vice Chairman in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his doctoral degree in physics. He received his medical degree from Georgia-Augusta-Universität and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany. Dr. Schreiner’s research focuses on understanding of the functional organization of central auditory stations of the mammalian brain. He is a member of many professional organizations such as the Association for Research in Otolaryngology and the Society for Neuroscience. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and has also contributed multiple book chapters.

Donald Wilson, Ph.D., is senior research scientist and deputy director at the Emotional Brain Institute at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, and professor at the New York University Langone School of Medicine. He received a doctoral degree in physiological psychology from McMaster University. His research interests involve understanding how the mammalian brain processes and remembers information. Dr. Wilson focuses on perceptual learning, sensory gating, object coding, and hedonic coding in the mammalian olfactory system. He is particularly interested in how experience can shape sensory coding, resulting in change in perceptual activity as well as associating emotional meaning to sensory objects. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), and received the AChemS Max Mozell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Chemical Senses. Dr. Wilson has made many presentations at national and international meetings, is widely published, and has received significant research funding from NIH, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations. He has served on many editorial boards and provided significant professional service as a peer reviewer.

Christa Themann, M.A., CCC-A, has joined the NDCD Advisory Council as its newest Ex Officio member, representing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ms. Themann received her master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Cincinnati. She has a certification in clinical competence in Audiology and is pursuing a doctoral degree in Epidemiology. Ms. Themann is currently a Research Audiologist on the Hearing Loss Prevention Team of the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch in the Division of Applied Research and Technology with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the CDC. Her research interests include epidemiology of noise exposure and hearing loss, public health outreach programs for hearing loss prevention and utilization of social media and special needs of workers with hearing loss and the definition of hearing critical jobs. Ms. Themann’s professional activities include membership with organizations such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Hearing Conservation Association. She has received many awards from various organizations such as Bullard-Sherwood Award for Research to Practice (Technology Category) in 2013. Ms. Themann has an array of publications in several professional journals, some co-authored with NIDCD scientists.


Last Updated Date: 
July 12, 2016