Top Menu


Prof. Jae Hoon Sim
University Hospital Zurich, Univerity of Zurich
Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery


Prof. Jae Hoon Sim

Mechanics of the Human Middle Ear: Theory and Measurements

Jae Hoon Sim is leading research on middle-ear at the Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses have been on both basic science on middle-ear mechanics and clinical research on middle-ear surgeries. He has performed measurements of the three-dimensional motion of the middle-ear ossicular chain, micro-imaging for detailed middle-ear anatomy, numerical simulation of middle-ear models for his research on middle-ear mechanics, and experimental assessments of surgical outcomes of various middle-ear implants depending on surgical parameters and anatomical variance for his clinical research.

He obtained his bachelor and master degrees at the Dept. Mechanical Design and Product Engineering, Seoul National University (Seoul, Korea), and his PhD degree at the Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University (USA). 

Gabrielle R. Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A
Director of the Translational Auditory Physiology and Perception Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital


Gabrielle R. Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A

Improving the Diagnosis of Conductive Hearing Loss in Children with Otitis Media

Gabrielle R. Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A is an audiologist and hearing scientist and the Director of the Translational Auditory Physiology and Perception Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital. She earned her B.A. from Smith College, her Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program, and her Au.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her translational hearing research focuses on auditory mechanics, auditory perception, and advancing evidence-based practice through improved clinical diagnostic tools. Her laboratory has a particular focus on pediatrics, conductive hearing loss, and wideband acoustic immittance. 

View presentation slides here.

Chris Zalewski, Ph.D.
Audiology Unit, Neurotology Branch,


Chris Zalewski, Ph.D.

Characterizing the Impact of Cochleovestibular Tumors on Vestibular Function in Neurofibromatosis Type 2

Dr. Zalewski received his undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University, his Masters degree in Audiology from The University of Maryland, and his Ph.D. in Audiology from Gallaudet University. He has served as a clinical research audiologist with the National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2002, where his primary clinical responsibilities involve the investigation of the auditory and vestibular phenotypes of rare genetic diseases and syndromes. Chris has maintained a regular adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Maryland since 2001 and has past or recurring guest appointment lectures at Georgetown University, Gallaudet University, Towson University and with Walter Reed National Medical Center. He has been a member of the American Balance Society since its founding in 2008 and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Balance Society between 2013 and 2022, including that of President in 2021Chris also served a three-year term on the Board of Director’s for the American Academy of Audiology 2016-2018. He received the Vestibular Disorders Association Vestibular Champion Award in 2018His primary research interests are in vestibular physiology and balance disorders, with an emphasis on rotational testing, otolith function, and vestibular sensitivity measures. He is primary or co-author of many articles investigating the auditory and/or vestibular function of rare diseases and book chapters, including a textbook on rotational vestibular assessment.  Finally, Dr. Zalewski also has a personal interest in the historical perspectives of medicine and, in particular, that of vestibular science.   


Kathleen Cullen, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering,
Neuroscience and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Director Johns Hopkins Center of Hearing and Balance


Kathleen Cullen, PhD

Vestibular Analyses of Head Motion: Implications for Perception and Action

Kathleen E. Cullen is a Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for Hearing and Balance, at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Whiting School of Engineering. She also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Neuroscience and Otolaryngology and heads the Neuroengineering group within the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Cullen’s research has significantly advanced our fundamental understanding of how the brain encodes and integrates self-motion information during our everyday activities. She founded and directs the Johns Hopkins’ Systems Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Laboratory (SNNL) which spans the interdisciplinary fields of neural engineering and neuroscience and uses the power of emerging computational and neurophysiological methodologies. The overarching focus of her research program is to understand how the brain creates neural representations of our self-motion to ensure the maintenance of balance and posture, as well as accurate perceptual stability during our everyday activities. 

In addition to her research activities, Dr. Cullen has made extensive contributions to the broader academic community both nationally and internationally. She currently serves as the President of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement (NCM). During her tenure as Vice President and now President of NCM, Dr. Cullen successfully achieved gender parity in conference presentations, increasing the representation of women from 10% to 50% to align with the society's current composition. Dr. Cullen has also been an active member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, which works with NASA to identify health risks in extended space flight. Dr. Cullen currently serves on the Steering Committees of the Whiting School of Engineering Senate, Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute, and National Academies' Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space 2023-2032. 

Dr. Cullen earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Chicago in 1991. To date, she has published over 160 papers in the fields of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering and is frequently invited to write reviews on the vestibular system (e.g., Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Trends in Neuroscience, Annual Reviews of Neuroscience). She has also served as a domain expert for well-known media sources (e.g. The Washington Post, Scientific American, CNN, PBS, Wall Street Journal, CTV news, National Public Radio (NPR)). In addition, Dr. Cullen has received awards for my research contributions including the Halpike-Nylen medal of the International Barany Society for "outstanding contributions to basic vestibular science", and Sarrazin Award Lectureship from the Canadian Physiological Society (CPS).  

Jay Rubinstein, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Washington

University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Childrens

Former ARO President


Jay Rubinstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Opportunity and challages in the development of vestibular implants.

Dr Rubinstein received ScB/ScM degrees in Engineering at Brown University in 1981/83.  He received an MD and PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Washington  in 1987/88.  He completed postdoctoral research training at MIT and residency in Otolaryngology in 1994 at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.  He completed a Neurotology fellowship at the University of Iowa in 1995 staying as Assistant then Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Bioengineering.  In 2003/04 he was the Boerhaave Professor at Leiden University, the Netherlands.  He is currently Virginia Merrill Bloedel Professor of Otolaryngology and Bioengineering and Director, Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington.  He has been President of the American Auditory Society and the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.  He is a member of the Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering as well as a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.  He is president-elect of the Politzer Society, an international otologic research organization.  He has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles in both clinical and basic science journals and has mentored 18 predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in basic and translational research, as well as providing clinical training to a large number of otolaryngology residents and fellows.  He maintains a busy surgical practice at both UW Medical Center and Seattle Childrens.  His NIH funded laboratory studies models of, signal processing in and perception with cochlear implants, and is collaborating in the development of a vestibular implant. 

Larry Hoffman, Ph.D.

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Research Health Scientist

Veterans Health Administration of Greater Los Angeles

Larry Hoffman, Ph.D.

Investigations of vestibular hypofunction provide insights into rehabilitation and neurocomputation.

After completing the doctorate in physiology from the University of California at Davis (John Horowitz, Tim Jones), Larry Hoffman joined the laboratory of Vicente Honrubia in the Department of Surgery/Head & Neck Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine to investigate the morphologic substrates of dynamic response heterogeneity among vestibular primary afferent neurons. Upon establishing an independent laboratory at UCLA he began collaborating with Michael Paulin (University of Otago; Dunedin, New Zealand), taking a different approach to probing head movement coding and the role of spontaneous discharge in sensory information transmission and dynamical sensory coding. The laboratory’s focus on ribbon synapses in vestibular hair cells began with a spaceflight investigation in which plasticity in synaptic ribbon densities was found after a 2-week exposure to the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. Much of the lab’s current work is focused upon the physiologic and cellular substrates of vestibular function and hypofunction, including those associated with behavioral agility and hypofunction induced by ototoxins and genetic modification. This research provides a rich platform revealing novel insights into rehabilitation and neurocomputation.

Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D.

Tomoko Makishima, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Tomoko Makishima, M.D., Ph.D.

Hearing Loss Caused by Lassa Fever

Tomoko Makishima is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, on Galveston Island, Texas. She obtained her M.D. and Ph.D. at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, studying the molecular mechanism of apoptosis. She then completed residency training in Otolaryngology in Japan before coming to the NIDCD, NIH, as a postdoc in Dr. Andrew Griffith’s lab to study genetic hearing loss in humans and in mice models. She has been at UTMB since 2005 as a clinician-scientist splitting her efforts between patient care and research. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of hearing and balance disorders and uses a combination of molecular biology and auditory and vestibular behavioral analysis in humans and in mice models.

In recent years, her lab has been tackling various otolaryngologic sequelae of viral infections in collaboration with the Pathology Department and the high containment Galveston National Lab at UTMB. Currently her lab is working on characterizing hearing loss and balance dysfunction caused by Lassa virus in mice models as well as in human subjects through a collaboration with Jos University, Nigeria.

Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D.

Tejbeer Kaur, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University

Tejbeer Kaur, Ph.D.

Diversity and Function of Microphages in Normal and Damaged Ears

Dr. Tejbeer Kaur is an Indian immigrant and an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska. She obtained her PhD at the Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Illinois where she studied the role of inflammation and STAT transcription factors in cisplatin (cancer drug)-induced ototoxicity and hearing loss. She completed postdoctoral training at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. In the Kaur Lab, the research aims to understand the complex biology and interactions of immune cells and their effector molecules with the sensory cells in the cochlea of the inner ear and how these interactions influence hearing, hearing loss and sensory cell development, degeneration, repair, survival, and plasticity. Inner ear contains a resident population of macrophages (innate-immune cells). Importantly, sensorineural hearing loss due to ototoxic side effects of certain medications, noise trauma, infections or healthy aging is associated with inflammation and robust activation and increase in numbers of macrophages. However, the precise functions of macrophages and inflammation are unclear. Dr. Kaur’s early research demonstrated a critical role of macrophages in the survival of afferent neurons in the injured cochlea and identified a novel neuron-immune signaling axis, fractalkine signaling that regulate the spontaneous repair of ribbon synapses and long-term survival of neurons in the injured cochlea. Recently, she and her colleagues have delineated a new role for cochlear macrophages in ribbon synapse repair after noise-induced synaptopathy. Her ongoing work focuses on understanding the diversity and functions of macrophages and their effector molecules in normal and pathological ears and to develop novel immunotherapies to prevent and/or restore loss of hearing and sensory cells and to maximize hearing aids and cochlear implant technologies for treating sensorineural hearing loss.

Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D.

Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine

Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D.

Microglial Roles in Auditory Brainstem Development

Dr. Karina S. Cramer is a Professor at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. She obtained her Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, where she studied neuromuscular development. She completed postdoctoral training at MIT in visual system development, then shifted to auditory system development at the University of Washington. Her laboratory at UC Irvine investigates the developmental mechanisms that assemble auditory brainstem circuitry, particularly in regions that enable sound source localization. Her early research demonstrated roles for Eph family proteins in axon targeting and formation of tonotopy in auditory system development. She and her colleagues have identified new axon guidance roles for molecules in the apoptotic pathway. Her ongoing research also explores the functions of glial cells, including astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes, in the maturation of auditory brainstem circuitry.

Dr Keithley

Dr. Elizabeth M Keithley: Immune Mechanisms of the Inner Ear

Dr. Elizabeth M Keithley (Betsy) presented her talk entitled, "Immune Mechanisms of the Inner Ear" as part of the ARO Seminar Series.   Dr. Keithley is an emeritus professor at the University of California, San Diego Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.  She joined the faculty there in 1985.   She received her Ph.D. in anatomy from Boston University in 1980 where she investigated age-related changes in the inner ear.  She then completed post-doctoral training through Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory where she investigated the physiological activity of auditory neurons.  During her career at UCSD she studied both age-related mechanisms of cochlear degeneration as well as immune responses in the inner ear.  She trained numerous undergraduate and medical students and otology fellows.   She served the Association for Research in Otolaryngology as Chair of the Program Committee, a Council member in the 1990s and Secretary-Treasurer, 2002-2005.  She retired in 2010.  She now serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hearing Health Foundation and on The Escondido Creek Conservancy.

Dr. Thomas Friedman: 'Hereditary deafness conundrum: Is a noncoding variant naughty or nicely in disequilibrium'

Dr. Thomas Friedman's talk was titled, 'Hereditary deafness conundrum: Is a noncoding variant naughty or nicely in disequilibrium'.
Since 1996, Tom Friedman has been the Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics in the Intramural Program of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. For the past 26 years, the focus of his research lab at the NIDCD has been the identification of variants of genes associated with human deafness and syndromes that include deafness and mouse models to study inner ear pathophysiology. For the previous 18 years beginning in 1978, Tom was on the faculties of the Zoology Department, College of Natural Sciences and also the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State University (MSU). For four years, he also served as the Director of the Graduate Program in Genetics, an interdepartmental PhD granting program at MSU. Following completion of his PhD as a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Tom was a post-doctoral fellow in a biochemistry laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the NIH where he studied galactose metabolism in cells from galactosemic patients. His dream after completing his post-doctoral experience at the NIH was to one day return to the Bethesda Campus and focus 100% of his time on human and mouse genetic research and the training of a highly diverse group of upcoming scientists and future ARO members. This session was be moderated by Dr. Inna Belyantseva.

When: Wednesday, September 28th at 12:00 PM Eastern

Click here to view the webinar recording

Click here to view the presentation slides

Dr. Lisa Goodrich: 'Genetic Dissection of Cochlear Circuitry'

Dr. Lisa Goodrich's talk was titled 'Genetic Dissection of Cochlear Circuitry'. 


Dr. Lisa Goodrich received her undergraduate degree in Biology summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1991. After a year working as an electron microscopist at University College Dublin, she joined the PhD Program in Neuroscience at Stanford University School of Medicine. For her graduate work with Dr. Matthew Scott, she cloned Patched orthologs and demonstrated the importance of Patched signaling in the developing nervous system and its relevance to cancer in humans. She continued to study mechanisms of neural development as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, where she participated in a gene trap mutagenesis screen to identify novel axon guidance receptors. Since starting her own group in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in 2003, Dr. Goodrich has applied her knowledge of neural development and mouse genetics to the auditory system. Over the years, her laboratory has studied cellular and molecular mechanisms of circuit assembly in the spinal cord, hindbrain, retina, and inner ear. Currently, the primary focus is the formation of reciprocal connections between the cochlea and the auditory brainstem, with projects investigating the development and maturation of diverse spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) subtypes; heterogeneity among olivocochlear neurons and their interactions with SGNs; the influence of glia on cochlear wiring and function; and the organization and function of SGN inputs onto octopus cells in the cochlear nucleus complex. Dr. Goodrich was appointed Professor of Neurobiology in 2015 and has served as the Scientific Director for the Hearing Restoration Project at the Hearing Health Foundation since 2021.

When: Wednesday, October 26th at 4:00 PM Eastern

Click here to view the webainr recording

Dr. Ronna Hertzano : 'Illuminating Inner Ear Development, Function and Protection with a Multi-Omic Torch'

Dr. Ronna Hertzano's talk was titled 'Illuminating Inner Ear Development, Function and Protection with a Multi-Omic Torch'.


Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). Dr. Hertzano's clinical practice focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear, with an emphasis on hearing restoration. Translationally, her goal is to make significant contributions towards the treatment of congenital and acquired auditory and vestibular dysfunction ( Towards hearing restoration, she works to unravel the regulatory signaling cascades that lead to the proper development of the ear and specifically the hair cells. She leads a collaborative team that develops and applies a variety of approaches for cell type-specific multi-omic analyses of the ear followed by state-of-the art informatic analysis to identify key regulators of gene expression in hair cell development, and cell type-specific signaling cascades in acquired hearing loss (e.g., noise induced hearing loss). To facilitate dissemination, sharing and analysis of multi-omic data Dr. Hertzano is the founder of the gEAR portal –gene Expression Analysis Resource ( Finally, Dr. Hertzano has a strong interest in mentorship and training of the next generation of clinicians, scientists and clinician-scientists.

When: Wednesday, Novemeber 30th at 12:00 PM Eastern

Click here to view the webainr recording

Dr. William Brownell: 'From Sound to Action Potentials – A Tour of the Inner Ear'

Dr. William Brownell, Emeritus Professor at College of Medicine, speaks as the first presenter in the new ARO Seminar Series. His talk was titled 'From Sound to Action Potentials – A Tour of the Inner Ear'.

Dr. Bill Brownell is professor emeritus at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX where he held the Jake and Nina Kamin Chair of Otorhinolaryngology. Previously held appointments were at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. He spent two years (1965-1966) teaching science and mathematics in Nigeria with the United States Peace Corps between his undergraduate training in physics and graduate training in physiology at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a past president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. His research focus is on the electromechanics of hearing.

This session was moderated by ARO President-Elect, Dr. John Oghalai.

When: Thursday, September 17th at 5PM CT


Click here to view the webinar recording

Click here to view the presentation slides

Dr. Jenny Stone: 'Regeneration of Hair Cells After Damage: A Historical Perspective and an Update on Mammals'


Dr. Jenny Stone is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her research focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the development and regeneration of hair cells, the sensory receptors for hearing and balance. She studies both avian and mammalian animal models.

This session was moderated by, Dr. Mark Warchol.

When: Thursday, November 12th at 6:00 PM ET.


Click here to view the webinar recording

Dr. Anthony Peng: 'Observations During the Study of Hair Cell Mechanotransduction'

Dr. Anthony Peng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. His lab is focused on studying the mechanisms of how the auditory sensory hair cells, the fastest mechanoreceptors in the body, transduce sound into electrical signals for the brain to process and interpret. To study the fast-mechanical responses of hair cells, Dr. Peng developed high-speed stimulators and high-speed imaging techniques to capture the kinetics of these exquisitely fast mechanoreceptors. Prior to starting his lab, Dr. Peng trained at Stanford University and in the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program at Harvard and MIT.

This session was moderated by, Dr. Artur Indzhykulian.

When: Thursday, October 15th at 12:00 PM ET.

Click here to view the webinar recording

Click here to view the presentation slides