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Research Projects

Audiology

Dr. Newman is a recipient of the Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology by the American Academy of Audiology. This award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to audiology literature. Both Drs. Newman and Sandridge are recipients of the Research Award given by the Ohio Academy of Audiology. The latter award is received by individuals who have made significant contributions to audiology research and for mentoring other colleagues and students in conducting research.

Following is a brief summary highlighting some of the research completed or currently underway in the Audiology Research Laboratory.

  • Longitudinal benefits from and satisfaction with the BAHA hearing system for patients with acquired unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Relationship between expectations and satisfaction for Baha implant system in patients with single-sided deafness. 
  • Development of cochlear implant test materials: Application of reverberation treatments simulating everyday listening environments.
  • The Tinnitus Functional Index: A new clinical measure for chronic, bothersome tinnitus.
  • The reliability and validity of a screening tool to identify otologic functional impairments in the elderly (SOFIE).
  • Self-efficacy and hearing aid satisfaction: Age and gender effects.
  • Spoken language outcomes in children with cochlear implants.
  • Multi-center Neuromonics study evaluating long-term benefits for patients with tinnitus.
  • Pediatric cochlear implant listening and spoken language outcomes.
  • Benefits associated with pediatric bilateral cochlear implants.
  • Reduced hearing handicap following cochlear implantation in adults.
Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  1. Novel tyramine linked hyaluronic acid (HA) derivatives in facial soft tissue reconstruction

    Collaborator: Anthony Calabro, PhD Dept of BME. CCF Lerner Institute

    Current research is ongoing on the use of cross-linked HA as a long tern soft tissue replacement. This is presently funded by an RPC grant (# 7550, P.I. Daniel S. Alam, MD). Based on preliminary in vitro and in vivo data, the findings of this project could represent a new paradigm in soft tissue reconstruction. We have submitted for a resident research award for long-term study and funding for our research resident who plans to dedicate his research year to this project. The initial data has been received with enormous interest from our national academy which published the abstract not only at the national meeting but because of it’s potential merit, included it into a newsletter sent to all of the members of the society of facial plastic surgeons nationally.

  2. Three-dimensional flow analysis of the nasal valve based on fine cut CT data.

    Collaborator: Marc Goodin, PhD Dept of BME. CCF Lerner Institute.

    With the utilization of flow dynamics models used presently in cardiology to study vessel flow, the section is pursuing the development of a model of flow limitation in nasal respiration. This will allow preoperative CT scans to predict and guide surgery for the improvement of nasal breathing. Compilation of data from presently existing CT scans from sinus patients has allowed the construction of a preliminary model.

  3. Novel surgical techniques

    Application of novel techniques to longstanding surgical problems in facial plastic surgery:

    • TMJ reconstruction in patients with composite reconstructions of the jaw: First reported use of alloderm based TMJ reconstruction with a fibula free flap bony construct.
    • Midfacial Suspension for patients with long standing facial paralysis: Use of a minimally invasive novel suture suspension technique to rehabilitate patients with long standing facial paralysis and facial droop.
    • Intranasal microplating for correction of cartilaginous nasal deformities: Novel approach to the management of posttraumatic nasal deformities
    • Serratus/Rib free flap reconstruction of head and neck defects: largest clinical series and report of the long term success of this flap in head and neck reconstruction
Head & Neck

Research remains a vital pillar in the Head and Neck Section’s activities. Staff members have published 10 peer-reviewed articles in the past year, and have eight articles or book chapters in press. Dr. Strome’s laboratory has developed promising advances in understanding mechanisms to improve tolerance and new drugs that may reduce the immunosuppression needed for laryngeal and parathyroid transplantation. We continue with IRB approved clinical trials in several areas:

  1. Human parathyroid allograft transplantation
  2. Development of squamous cell carcinoma cell lines as a first step in developing an active immunotherapy protocol. Dr. Shu has successfully generated two human SCCa cell lines in the past year.
  3. NIH funded, multi-institutional study comparing thyroplasty and reinnervation for management of a unilateral vocal fold immobility. We have begun to enter patients on this trial with success.
  4. Management of otolaryngologic manifestations of patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis.
  5. The effect of adjuvant Iressa therapy on patients with advanced head and neck cancer. This trial continues to accrue patients and it's to early to report results.
  6. In conjunction with the Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, we are collaborating in efforts to identify a blood marker for thyroid cancer using molecular detection of TSHr by peripheral blood RT-PCR analysis.

In clinical research, we have reported and published our success in:

  1. Applying selective neck dissection in patients with irradiated neck, which has minimized the surgical morbidity of these patients.
  2. The indications and utility of postoperative irradiation for patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma of salivary glands.
Otology

The Otology Section also is recognized for excellence in clinical and basic science research in adult sensorineural hearing loss (SHL). Dr. Hughes is Cleveland Clinic's principal investigator in a NIH-funded, five-year, multicenter study of intratympanic steroid treatment for sudden SHL. In autoimmune SHL, Dr. Hughes is co-investigator in an NIH grant submitted March 1st by Vincent Tuohy PhD of the Lerner Research Institute.

Research Fellow Hyun-Min Park MD from Seoul, Korea assists Dr. Tuohy in the laboratory this year. Dr. Tuohy’s and Dr. Hughes’ combined work exemplifies the type of translational research encouraged by Cleveland Clinic.

Pediatric ENT

Dr. Krakovitz has taken the helm from Dr. Koltai for the subcontract on the grant awarded to the BIOMEC Corporation on ultrasonic detection of middle ear effusion. This project has received continued support through the NIH through a small business innovation research grant totaling $1,420,922 of direct costs.

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