Assistant Professor Ani Manichaikul was awarded second year funding of an Emerging Research Grant from the Hearing Health Foundation. The goal of Dr. Manichaikul’s study, “Susceptibility to chronic otitis media: translating gene to function,” is to find genetic factors that increase risk for chronic otitis media with effusion and/or recurrent otitis media (COME/ROM) in children. The discovery of causal variants would increase knowledge of novel genes and pathways involved in COME/ROM pathogenesis. In the long term, the research findings are expected to improve the clinical prevention of chronic infections, thus decreasing pediatric antibiotic use, surgery, and deafness. Dr. Manichaikul is working on this study in collaboration with her colleagues in the Center, Associate Professor Michele Sale, and graduate student Kaity Allen.
The Hearing Health Foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss by advancing research efforts. Since being established in 1958, HHF has awarded almost $30 million to hearing and balance research with many of their grantees becoming leaders in the field.