Investing in the next generation of scientists to find treatments for deafness

Action_on_Hearing_LossToday world-leader in hearing loss solutions, Cochlear, launches a partnership with the UK’s largest deaf charity, Action on Hearing Loss, to fund science-graduates’ PhD research into cures and treatments for hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a growing public health issue, affecting 1 in 6 people in the UK. Yet, for every person affected by this condition, only £1.34 per year was spent on hearing loss research by the UK’s main funders in 2007 – less than a tenth of the equivalent figure spent on sight loss research.

The Cochlear/Action on Hearing Loss PhD Studentship scheme will help increase the number of scientists working in this important, but neglected area of medical research. The joint scheme will enable the most talented students in the UK to undertake research projects focused on improving the quality of hearing experienced when using cochlear implants or bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA).

Dr Ralph Holme Action on Hearing Loss’ Head of Biomedical Research says: ‘It’s fantastic to be working with Cochlear, investing in the next generation of scientists whose future research could lead to implants better able to faithfully replicate natural hearing.

‘This is a huge opportunity for young researchers to embark on a career to improve the lives of people who use cochlear implants. We were instrumental in the development of cochlear implantation in the UK from the very beginning and our research programmes have been responsible for many important advances that have helped improve the way cochlear implants process speech.’

Lisa Aubert, Regional Director Northern Europe for Cochlear Europe Limited says: ‘We are delighted to form a partnership with the UK’s only charity that is dedicated to funding research into hearing loss. Supporting the training of talented auditory researchers is one way we are helping to strengthen research in the UK, to ultimately improve the quality of life for people who are deaf.’

Twenty one applications have been made from across the UK to the studentship scheme, for pioneering projects covering all areas of hearing research, from genetics to hearing aid technology. Applicants will learn whether they have been successful in the new year.

Action on Hearing Loss is the charity working for a world where hearing loss doesn’t limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced – and where people value and look after their hearing. Our vision is to find a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. For more information about Action on Hearing Loss’s Biomedical Research programme, visit, www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/biomedicalresearch

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