The University of Minnesota is leading a $9.7 million, 5 year NIH grant known as the BRAIN initiative; to develop a new implantable device and surgical procedure to help restore more natural hearing to those who are deaf or hard-of hearing.

The research team is made up of an international group of engineers, scientists and surgeons as well as medical researchers from three countries that span three universities. Industry sponsors representing medical device companies are participating as well.

The research team includes experts in hearing, neuroscience, otolaryngology, neurosurgery, neurotechnology, and clinical trials from the University of Minnesota; University of Utah; The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research branch of the Northwell Health enterprise headquartered in Manhasset, New York; Hannover Medical School, a university medical center in the city of Hannover, Germany; International Neuroscience Institute in Hannover, Germany; Hannover Clinical Trial Center in Germany; Blackrock Microsystems LLC, an implantable neurotechnology device company based in Salt Lake City, Utah; and MED-EL, a worldwide manufacturer of medical devices for hearing loss headquartered in Austria.

Research/Investigators include:

Hubert Lim, Lead, University of Minnesota, associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Science and Engineering and Department of Otolaryngology in the Medical School

Others include:

co-lead Andrew Oxenham, a professor in the Department of Psychology (College of Liberal Arts) and the Department of Otolaryngology (Medical School)

Meredith Adams, an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology (Medical School)

Geoff Ghose, an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience (Medical School)

Stephen Haines, a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery (Medical School)

Luke Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology (Medical School)

Sebahattin Cureoglu, an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology (Medical School)

Source: Project Reporter NIH

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