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2023 Council Election

The ARO Nominating Committee is pleased to share the slate for the 2023 ARO Council elections. Eligible ARO Regular members have been emailed a virtual ballot, via Election Buddy, to cast their vote by the December 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.

The virtual ballot has been sent to active ARO members by Election Buddy- please be sure to check your email spam folder as it may have gone there.

Please see each candidate listed below and review their submitted statements prior to voting. For questions, please email


Sunil Puria, Ph.D.

Mass Eye and Ear

Eaton Peabody Laboratories

Harvard Medical School

For further background on Dr. Puria please click here
Peter S Steyger, Ph.D.

Translational Hearing Center

Creighton University

For further background on Dr. Steyger please click here



Karen A. Gordon, Ph.D., CCC-A, Reg. CASLPO

Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory,

The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery,

University of Toronto

For further background on Dr. Gordon please click here 
Anna Lysakowski, Ph.D.

Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology

University of Illinois at Chicago

For further background on Dr. Lysakowski please click here


Program Chair

Brandon C. Cox, Ph.D.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIUSOM)

For further background on Dr. Cox please click here
Stephen G. Lomber, Ph.D.

Department of Physiology

McGill University

McIntyre Medical Sciences Building

For further background on Dr. Lomber please click here 


Council Member- At- Large
Fatima T. Husain, Ph.D.

Department of Speech and Hearing Science

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and

The Neuroscience Program

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

For further background on Dr. Husain please click here.


Radha Kalluri, Ph.D.

University of Southern California

For further background on Dr. Kalluri please click here

Hearing loss can significantly disrupt the ability of children to become mainstreamed in educational environments that emphasize spoken language as a primary means of communication. Similarly, adults who lose their hearing after communicating using spoken language have numerous challenges understanding speech and integrating into social situations. These challenges are particularly significant in noisy situations, where multiple sound sources often arrive at the ears from various directions. Intervention with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants (CIs) has proven to be highly successful for restoring some aspects of communication, including speech understanding and language acquisition. However, there is also typically a notable gap in outcomes relative to normal-hearing listeners. Importantly, auditory abilities operate in the context of how hearing integrates with other senses. Notably, the visual system is tightly couples to the auditory system. Vision is known to impact auditory perception and neural mechanisms in vision and audition are tightly coupled, thus, in order to understand how we hear and how CIs affect auditory perception we must consider the integrative effects across these senses.

We start with Rebecca Alexander, a compelling public speaker who has been living with Usher’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder found in tens of thousands of people, causing both deafness and blindness in humans. Ms. Alexander will be introduced by Dr. Jeffrey Holt, who studies gene therapy strategies for hearing restoration. The symposium then highlights the work of scientists working across these areas. Here we integrate psychophysics, clinical research, and biological approaches, aiming to gain a coherent understanding of how we might ultimately improve outcomes in patients. Drs. Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are new to the ARO community, and will discuss neurobiology of the visual system as it relates to visual prostheses. Dr. Jennifer Groh’s work will then discuss multi-sensory processing and how it is that vision helps us hear. Having set the stage for thinking about the role of vision in a multisensory auditory world, we will hear from experts in the area of cochlear implants. Dr. René H Gifford will discuss recent work on electric-acoustic integration in children and adults, and Dr. Sharon Cushing will discuss her work as a clinician on 3-D auditory and vestibular effects. Dr. Matthew Winn will talk about cognitive load and listening effort using pupillometry, and we will end with Dr. Rob Shepherd’s discussion of current work and future possibilities involving biological treatments and neural prostheses. Together, these presentations are designed to provide a broad and interdisciplinary view of the impact of sensory restoration in hearing, vision and balance, and the potential for future approaches for improving the lives of patients.

Kirupa Suthakar, PhD - Dr Kirupa Suthakar is a postdoctoral fellow at NIH/NIDCD, having formerly trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and doctoral student at Garvan Institute of Medical Research/UNSW Australia.  Kirupa's interest in the mind and particular fascination by how we are able to perceive the world around us led her to pursue a research career in auditory neuroscience.  To date, Kirupa's research has broadly focused on neurons within the auditory efferent circuit, which allow the brain to modulate incoming sound signals at the ear.  Kirupa is active member of the spARO community, serving as the Chair Elect for 2021.



I began studying the vestibular system during my dissertation research at the Università di Pavia with Professors Ivo Prigioni and GianCarlo Russo. I had two postdoctoral fellowships, first at the University of Rochester with Professor Christopher Holt and then at the University of Illinois at Chicago with Professors Jonathan Art and Jay Goldberg.

My research focuses on characterizing the biophysics of synaptic transmission between hair cells and primary afferents in the vestibular system. For many years an outstanding question in vestibular physiology was how the transduction current in the type I hair cell was sufficient, in the face of large conductances on at rest, to depolarize it to potentials necessary for conventional synaptic transmission with its unique afferent calyx.

In collaboration with Dr. Art, I overcame the technical challenges of simultaneously recording from type I hair cells and their enveloping calyx afferent to investigate this question. I was able to show that with depolarization of either hair cell or afferent, potassium ions accumulating in the cleft depolarize the synaptic partner. Conclusions from these studies are that due to the extended apposition between type I hair cell and its afferent, there are three modes of communication across the synapse. The slowest mode of transmission reflects the dynamic changes in potassium ion concentration in the cleft which follow the integral of the ongoing hair cell transduction current. The intermediate mode of transmission is indirectly a result of this potassium elevation which serves as the mechanism by which the hair cell potential is depolarized to levels necessary for calcium influx and the vesicle fusion typical of glutamatergic quanta. This increase in potassium concentration also depolarizes the afferent to potentials that allow the quantal EPSPs to trigger action potentials. The third and most rapid mode of transmission like the slow mode of transmission is bidirectional, and a current flowing out of either hair cell or afferent into the synaptic cleft will divide between a fraction flowing out into the bath, and a fraction flowing across the cleft into its synaptic partner.

The technical achievement of the dual electrode approach has enabled us to identify new facets of vestibular end organ synaptic physiology that in turn raise new questions and challenges for our field. I look forward with great excitement to the next chapter in my scientific story.


Charles C. Della Santina, PhD MD is a Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he directs the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Implant Center and the Johns Hopkins Vestibular NeuroEngineering Laboratory.

As a practicing neurotologic surgeon, Dr. Della Santina specializes in treatment of middle ear, inner ear and auditory/vestibular nerve disorders. His clinical interests include restoration of hearing via cochlear implantation and management of patients who suffer from vestibular disorders, with a particular focus on helping individuals disabled by chronic postural instability and unsteady vision after bilateral loss of vestibular sensation. His laboratory’s research centers on basic and applied research supporting development of vestibular implants, which are medical devices intended to partially restore inner ear sensation of head movement. In addition to that work, his >90 publications include studies characterizing inner ear physiology and anatomy; describing novel clinical tests of vestibular function; and clarifying the effects of cochlear implantation, vestibular implantation, superior canal dehiscence syndrome and intratympanic gentamicin therapy on the inner ear and central nervous system.  Dr. Della Santina is also the founder and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer of Labyrinth Devices LLC, a company dedicated to bringing novel vestibular testing and implant technology into routine clinical care.

Andrew Griffith received his MD and PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1992. He completed his general surgery internship and a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan in 1998. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Human Genetics as part of his training at the University of Michigan. In 1998, he joined the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) in the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). He served as a senior investigator, the chief of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Section, the chief of the Otolaryngology Branch, and the director of the DIR, as well as the deputy director for Intramural Clinical Research across the NIH Intramural Research Program. His research program identifies and characterizes molecular and cellular mechanisms of normal and disordered hearing and balance in humans and mouse models. Two primary interests of his program have been hearing loss associated with enlargement of the vestibular aqueduct, and the function of TMC genes and proteins. The latter work lead to the discovery that the deafness gene product TMC1 is a component of the hair cell sensory transduction channel. Since July of 2020, he has served as the Senior Associate Dean of Research and a Professor of Otolaryngology and Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Gwenaëlle S. G. Géléoc obtained a PhD in Sensory Neurobiology from the University of Sciences in Montpellier (France) in 1996. She performed part of her PhD training at the University of Sussex, UK where she characterized sensory transduction in vestibular hair cells and a performed a comparative study between vestibular and cochlear hair cells. Gwenaelle continued her training as an electrophysiologist at University College London studying outer hair cell motility and at Harvard Medical School studying modulation of mechanotransduction in vestibular hair cells. As an independent investigator at the University of Virginia, she expanded this work and characterized the developmental acquisition of sensory transduction in mouse vestibular hair cells, the developmental acquisition of voltage-sensitive conductances in vestibular hair cells and the tonotopic gradient in the acquisition of sensory transduction in the mouse cochlea. This work along with quantitative spatio-temporal studies performed on several hair cell mechanotransduction candidates lead her to TMC1 and 2 and long-term collaborations with Andrew Griffith and Jeff Holt. Dr. Géléoc is currently Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, at Boston Children’s Hospital where she continues to study molecular players involved in the development and function of hair cells of the inner ear and develops new therapies for the treatment of deafness and balance, with a particular focus on Usher syndrome.

Jeff Holt earned a doctorate from the Department of Physiology at the University of Rochester in 1995 for his studies of inward rectifier potassium channels in saccular hair cells.  He went on to a post-doctoral position in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he characterized sensory transduction and adaptation in hair cells and developed a viral vector system to transfect cultured hair cells.  Dr. Holt’s first faculty position was in the Neuroscience Department at the University of Virginia.  In 2011 the lab moved to Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Holt is currently a Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Neurology in the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center.  Dr. Holt and his team have been studying sensory transduction in auditory and vestibular hair cells over the past 20 years, with particular focus on TMC1 and TMC2 over the past 12 years.  This work lead to the discovery that TMC1 forms the hair cell transduction channel.  His work also focuses on development gene therapy strategies for genetic hearing loss.

Sunil Puria, PhD

Mass Eye and Ear

Eaton Peabody Laboratories

Harvard Medical School

Department of Otolaryngology

243 Charles Street

Boston, MA 02114


Amelia Peabody Scientist, Mass Eye and Ear

Director of Admissions, Harvard Graduate Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology

Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School


BE, City College of New York

MS, Columbia University

PhD, City University of NY

Postdoctoral Fellowship, MIT and Eaton Peabody Laboratories at Mass Eye and Ear

Prior service to ARO:

External Relations Committee Member                             2008–2011

Long Range Planning Committee Member                        2014–2017

Program Committee Member                                               2019–2022


Research Interests:

Imaging, physiology, biomechanics, and computational modeling of the cochlea and middle ear

Acoustic and implantable hearing aids


Clinical Interests:

Auditory technologies

Noninvasive diagnostics of middle-ear and cochlear pathologies

Personal interests:

Travel, reading, solving puzzles like Wordle and Spelling Bee

Statement of Goals:

In preparation for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of ARO, the Long Range Planning Committee has laid out a bold high-level strategic plan for ARO’s continued success. The major components of this plan are 1) Community – Build a Diverse and Supportive Member Community, 2) Innovation – Enhance Innovation and Cross Pollination, and 3) Outreach – Elevate the Outreach and Societal Impact of ARO. I am very much in support of this strategic plan and my goal as President will be to help empower the ARO committees to carry out the plan’s recommendations so that the mission of ARO can reach its full potential in the coming years. Critical to this success will be to increase representation by women and underrepresented minorities within ARO. I have served on the ARO Long Range Planning, External Relations, and Program committees. I also have a significant amount of experience organizing hearing-related conferences (IHCON, MEMRO, and MoH) and am excited to have an opportunity to carry those experiences forward as ARO President.


Peter S Steyger, PhD

Translational Hearing Center

Creighton University

2500 California Plaza

Omaha, NE, 68718


Director, Translational Hearing Center

Professor of Biomedical Sciences


BSc, University of Manchester, UK, 1984

PhD, University of Keele, UK, 1991

Postdoctoral fellow, Keele University, UK, 1991-92

Postdoctoral fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 1993-94

Postdoctoral fellow, Dow Neurological Sciences Institute, Portland, OR, 1995-97

Prior service to ARO:

ARO Workshop Organizer:           1997, 2001, ‘03, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘13, ‘22

Chair of Patient Advocacy Group Relations Committee:   2000-2006

Patient Advocacy Group Relations Committee:                   2006-2009

ARO Certificate of Appreciation for chairing:                                           2015
Hearing Health Foundation’s Emerging Research Grants program (2006-14)

Research Interests:


Iatrogenic etiologies of hearing loss and vestibular deficits

Drug transport across the blood-labyrinth barrier

Translational hearing research

Clinical Interests:

Ototoxicity monitoring

Prevention of ototoxicity in infants

Personal interests:

Dog walking; wild-scaping; English Premier League soccer; Tudor and 20th Century history

Statement of Goals:

If elected, I will promote strategies to increase membership and enhanced global access to ARO programming.  I will advocate for greater inclusion of trainees with diverse backgrounds, including those with sensory and communicative losses, into professional careers that advance our cumulative knowledge with their experiential insights.  I will emphasize to the wider community that increased understanding of sound, postural, motion and communication strategies further enrich our lives, be that familial, cultural or environmental.  Increasing our awareness of how these sensational and communicative abilities can be lost significantly enables translational research to preserve or restore these abilities across the entire lifespan.

Karen A. Gordon, PhD, CCC-A, Reg. CASLPO

Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory,
The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery,
University of Toronto

Title:  Senior Scientist, Professor


PhD in auditory neuroscience, University of Toronto

MA in Audiology, Northwestern University

Prior service to ARO:

2019-present; ARO program committee

Research Interests:

Developmental plasticity of the auditory and vestibular systems; bilateral and asymmetric hearing loss; binaural/spatial hearing; electrophysiological measures

Clinical Interests:

Developmental outcomes in children with hearing and balance impairments; cochlear implantation and bimodal device use in children; early identification and treatment of paediatric hearing/vestibular loss

Personal interests:

Exploring the world, spending time at home with family and friends

Statement of Goals:


I am honoured to have been nominated for the position of ARO Secretary/Treasurer.  I have been a member of ARO for 16 years and have served on the ARO program committee for the past 3 years.  I enjoy attending the ARO conference with our research team of students and staff; we get access to novel and innovative work and receive invaluable feedback on our research in a wonderfully rich, supportive, and collaborative environment. As Secretary/Treasurer, I’d like to help ARO continue to meet these high standards.

Anna Lysakowski, Ph.D.

Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology

University of Illinois at Chicago

808 S. Wood St., M/C 512

Chicago, IL  60612



Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Professor of Head and Neck Surgery – Otolaryngology



B.S., Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago

B.A., Biology, University of Chicago

Ph.D., Anatomy (Neuroanatomy), University of Illinois, Chicago


Prior service to ARO:

Program Committee

External Affairs Committee

Award of Merit Committee

Finance Committee


Relevant Service in other Professional Organizations:

American Assn of Anatomy (AAA):  Nominations Committee, Educational Affairs Committee, Educational Outreach Awards Committee and Chair, Henry Gray Distinguished Educator Award Committee and Chair, Pro­fessional Development Committee, Journal Trust Fund Committee, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, Fellows Grant Award Program, DEI Committee, AAA Board of Directors (Council)

Society for Neuroscience (Chicago chapter):  Councilor, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, President

American Hearing Research Foundation:  Editorial Board, Scientific Review Committee, Board of Directors (Council)

NIH study sections, NSF and NASA review panels

Hearing Research:  Editorial Board


Research Interests:

Vestibular periphery (hair cells and afferents), Ion Channels, Meniere’s Disease, Inner Ear Mitochondria

Personal interests:

Cycling, kayaking, hiking, film study, language study, orchids (Covid hobby!)

Statement of Goals:

The ARO Midwinter Meeting has always been my main meeting and my “scientific home”.  I have been privileged to serve our organization in a few different capacities and I would be honored to serve as Secretary-Treasurer, working on the Council and with Parthenon, to help move our organization forward on important initiatives related to the core values laid out in our Strategic Plan (Science, Diversity, Integrity, Collaboration and Education).  I hope to do this by finding means and funds to promote year-round scientific engagement and the furthering of research collaborations in hearing, balance, and related areas of science.

Brandon C. Cox, Ph.D.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIUSOM)

Springfield, IL                                                                                 



Associate Professor with Tenure, Departments of Pharmacology & Otolaryngology, SIUSOM

Director of the Pharmacology and Neuroscience Graduate Program, SIUSOM

Consultant, Turner Scientific, LLC



B.S. Biology, University of Richmond, 1999

Ph.D. Pharmacology, Georgetown University, 2008

Postdoctoral Fellowship, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 2013


Prior Service to ARO

Membership committee, 2018-2019

Long Range planning committee, 2018-2021

Nominating committee, 2020

Program committee, 2019-2022

spARO mentoring sessions: Faculty job search and independence 2017; NIH loan repayment program 2017 & 2018; Mentor-Mentee communication 2021; Tips & tricks for writing a personal statement 2022.


Research Interests

Hair cell regeneration in auditory & vestibular organs

Hair cell and supporting cell specification & maturation

Mechanisms regulating hair cell survival & repair

Age-related vestibular dysfunction


Personal Interests

Pottery, puzzles, trivia, gardening


Statement of Goals

As we have learned over the past few years, increased availability of technology has allowed for many opportunities, but  . . . there have also been negative consequences such as a lack of connection with other people. It is the human connection which brings together different ways of thinking and different perspectives on a problem, and which generates novel avenues of discovery. If elected as ARO Program Chair, I will promote improved networking, collaboration building, and brainstorming of new ideas. I would like to create an opportunity for scientists looking for collaborators to find each other and make connections for new projects/grants. I would like to create dialogue sessions where difficult questions in our field or novel methodologies can be discussed and debated, along with brainstorming for new creative ways to address the question or to use the method. I would like to create onsite interviewing opportunities for PIs or companies to meet with candidates during the meeting. While ARO is a much larger conference, I previously organized the 2019 Midwest Auditory Research Conference (MARC) which was held over 2.5 days and had over 150 attendees. I have just completed my 3 year term on the ARO Program committee, which provided valuable experience for the Chair position.

Stephen G. Lomber, PhD

Department of Physiology

McGill University

McIntyre Medical Sciences Building

3655 Promenade Sir William Osler

Montréal, Québec, Canada H3G 1Y6


Professor of Physiology, Psychology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Biomedical Engineering

Canada Research Chair in Brain Plasticity and Development


B.Sc. with Distinction, Neuroscience, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, 1988

Ph.D., Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 1994

Prior service to ARO:

Long-Range Planning Committee      2016 - 2019

Program Committee                           2019 - 2023

Scientific Program Chair                     2020 - 2023

Research Interests: Structure and function of auditory cortex, Cortical plasticity following hearing loss, Cortical plasticity following restoration of hearing with cochlear prosthetics

Clinical Interests: Translational studies between human subjects and animal models of hearing loss and hearing restoration.

Personal interests: Travel, hiking and time outdoors

Statement of Goals: I has been my pleasure to serve on the Program Committee, and as Scientific Program Chair, and work with the membership, Council, and Parthenon Management Group to conduct the best possible meetings during these challenging times.  As Program Chair I hope to increase participation, diversity, and inclusivity at the Annual MidWinter Meeting as we return to in-person meetings.  Our annual meeting should be the premier venue for basic and clinical auditory and vestibular science, networking, and training.


Fatima T. Husain, PhD

Department of Speech and Hearing Science

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and

The Neuroscience Program

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA




Senior Diversity Officer, College of Applied Health Sciences



B.E. Computer Engineering, University of Mumbai, India

M.S. Computer Science, North Dakota State University, USA

PhD Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, USA

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brain Imaging and Modeling Section, NIDCD, NIH, USA


Previous Service to ARO:

Program committee 2019-present

JARO editorial Board 2022-present

Served as mentor to student members at ARO meetings several times, diversity committee panel member 2021 ARO meeting


Research Interests:

Brain imaging of sound processing; hearing disorders such as hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia; linking behavioral and neural measures; Big Data related to hearing disorders


Outside Interests:

Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, American Tinnitus Association

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Hyperacusis Research

Member, Review Board, SoQuiet Foundation (for student-led misophonia related projects)

Core Member, BIPOC-CSD networking group


Personal interests:

Travel, gardening, obscure poets, volunteering in my community


Statement of goals:

ARO is the premier and largest organization of hearing and balance researchers around the world.

I would like ARO to play a bigger role in using technology to make basic science more accessible (e.g., remote data collection vs. in-person), and to focus on interventions that are cost-effective and translatable around the world. Apart from having a diverse and inclusive membership, such initiatives will support social justice and provide equitable solutions to address inequities in hearing and balance research.

Radha Kalluri, Ph.D.

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Title:  Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and Biomedical Engineering

Education/Training: B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

                                      M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California

                                      Ph.D. Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                                      Post-doctoral Fellowship; Eaton Peabody Laboratories and the Neurobiology Program at Harvard Medical School.

Prior service to ARO: Diversity and Minority Affairs Committee (Member); Diversity and Minority Affairs Committee (co-Chair);

Research Interests: My research aims to understand the biophysical mechanisms by which the ear encodes sensory information and how these functions degrade with damage or injury. My laboratory approaches these questions using various techniques including patch-clamp electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and biophysical modeling of mechanical and neural activity.  Our recent work has focused on understanding how functional diversity arises within the auditory and vestibular nerves.

Personal interests: I like working with my hands.  I often juggle a handful of half-done craft projects and am a sucker for ‘craft kits’.  Aside from alternating between many failed sweaters turned to scarfs, wonky clay pots, and messy paper-mache projects, I’ve also been a long-term student of different Indian classical dance forms and tennis.  I aspire to transfer my love of trying new things to my two kids.

Statement of Goals:  The ARO community and its Midwinter Meeting have been a critical component of my scientific career at all stages. My recent experiences on the Diversity and Minority Affairs Committee has opened my eyes to how important long-lasting mentoring relationships are to the success and retention of scientists from diverse backgrounds.  If elected to the council, I’d like to work with the council and the Diversity and Minority affairs committee on expanding current mentoring networks and scholarship programs to support the development of a diverse and inclusive community of scientists.