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Dr. Karen A. Gordon
Dr. Thomas Lenarz
Dr. Frank R. Lin
Dr. Amy McConkey Robbins
Prof. J. Thomas Roland
Dr. Mario Svirsky

Dr. Karen A. Gordon

Dr. Karen A. Gordon works at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) as a Senior Scientist in the Neurosciences & Mental Health program at the Research Institute and as Director of Research in Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory. She is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and a Graduate Faculty Member in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She is also affiliated with the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Gordon received her PhD (2005) and B.Sc. (1991) at the University of Toronto and her MA in Audiology (1993) at Northwestern University. She is a Registered Audiologist (Reg. CASLPO, CCC-A), a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and a member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) and the Society of Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC).

Dr. Gordon’s collaborative research focuses on auditory development in children who are deaf and use auditory prostheses including cochlear implants.   Her early work examined the role of a unilateral implant to promote development in the auditory brain stem, thalamus and cortex, supporting hearing.  Further work revealed abnormal strengthening through the auditory pathways from the one stimulated ear with relative weakening of input from the deprived ear, creating an “aural preference”. Importantly, these changes were avoided or reversed by providing bilateral hearing with limited delay. Present work seeks to translate treatments which provide bilateral hearing into improved spatial awareness in children with hearing and vestibular impairments. Dr. Gordon has been awarded grant funding for her work on binaural auditory development in children receiving bilateral cochlear implants from both of the Canadian Institute's for Health Research, the Hearing Foundation of Canada, and the SickKids Foundation.

Dr. Thomas Lenarz

He studied medicine and biochemistry at the universities of Tübingen, Erlangen, Heidelberg and London from 1975 until 1981 and received his doctoral degree in medicine. Ph.D. in pharmacology of the auditory system in 1987.

Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California in San Francisco in 1989.

Since 1993 Chairman and Professor at the Department of Otolaryngology, Hannover Medical School.

Since 2013 co-director of the Cluster of Excellence Hearing4All Hannover-Oldenburg.

Director of the German Hearing Centre and the Research Institute of Audio- and Neurotechnology in Hannover.

Member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and the German Academy of Technology (acatech).

Past President of the German Society of Biomedical Technology.

Research interests in the area of auditory implants, biomaterials for medical implants, audiology and neurotology.

Dr. Frank R. Lin

Is the Director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health and a Professor of Otolaryngology, Medicine, Mental Health, and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University.

As an otologic surgeon & epidemiologist, Dr. Lin has translated his clinical experiences caring for patients with hearing loss into foundational public health research and federal policy in the U.S. His epidemiological research from 2010-2014 established the association of hearing loss with cognitive decline & dementia, and his research served as the direct basis for the 2017 and 2020 Lancet Commission on Dementia conclusion that hearing loss is the leading modifiable risk factor for dementia.

Based on this early research, he now leads ongoing NIH-funded randomized trials that are investigating the efficacy of hearing interventions for mitigating cognitive decline and other functional outcomes in older adults.

In parallel, Dr. Lin has collaborated with the National Academies, White House, and Congress to develop policies to ensure hearing loss can be effectively and sustainably addressed in society. These efforts directly resulted in bipartisan passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 on which Dr. Lin testified before Congress.

Dr. Amy McConkey Robbins

A speech-language pathologist and LSLS Cert-AVT in Indianapolis, Amy is the author or co-author of the MAIS, IT-MAIS, Common Phrases Task, Mr. Potato Head Task, Red Flags Procedure, TuneUps and the Bilingual Family Interview or BIFI.

Along with Chris Barton, she published an integrated speech and music therapy curriculum, TuneUps, which was voted the MVP “Most Valuable Product” by readers of Barton and McConkey Robbins also co-created Auditunes, a video-based LSL music resource for parents and professionals. Her chapter, "Music and Singing in Auditory-Verbal Therapy" (Plural Publishing, 2020) is part of the new book, "Auditory-Verbal Therapy Science, Research, and Practice" (Estabrooks, Morrison, MacIver-Lux, Eds.).She lectures internationally on children with hearing technologies and on preventing burnout for those in serving professions.

Ms. Robbins has published over 100 articles or chapters in professional journals and textbooks. She served on the board of directors of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance and was a co-author of ACIA’s position paper on Habilitation Guidelines for children with CIs.

In 2013, Indiana’s governor appointed her board-of-director Vice President of Healthy Hoosiers Foundation. Amy received the Richard Miyamoto Award for LSL service and was named a Distinguished Alumna of Purdue University.

She worked previously at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and as a consultant for 3M-International in Brussels, Belgium.

Ms. Robbins received a BA in psychology from Hollins College, Virginia, a Diploma in Phonetics and Linguistics from Leeds University, Yorkshire UK, and a Master of Science in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Purdue University.

Prof. J. Thomas Roland

Is the Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Professor of Neurosurgery, Co-Director of the NYU Langone Health Cochlear Implant Center and Co-Director of the Neurofibromatosis Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.

His clinical work over the past 25 years has been in the management of lateral skull base tumors including an interest in hearing management in the patient with NF2. Additionally he has performed more than 3000 cochlear implants with special interest and expertise in the complicated cases. The NYU group is also one of the largest Auditory Brainstem Implant teams in the United States.

The bulk of Dr. Roland’s research is related to cochlear implant electrode design and implementation, auditory brainstem implant in children with cochlear nerve deficiency, outcomes with skull base tumors and facial nerve reanimation. He has published over 200 manuscripts, is the editor of three textbooks and has numerous textbook chapters. Lastly, Professor Roland has a keen interest in teaching, has performed surgery in over 12 countries, and has continuing hearing health projects in Uganda and Israel.

Dr. Mario Svirsky

Mario Svirsky is the first Noel L. Cohen Professor of Hearing Science and Vice-Chairman of Research at the Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine.

He got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University in 1988.  He was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT’s Speech Communication Group, where he stayed as a Research Scientist until 1995.  From 1995 to 2005 he was at the Department of Otolaryngology, Indiana University School of Medicine, with a joint appointment at Purdue University’s Departments of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering.  Dr. Svirsky joined NYU in 2005.

He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, a member of the Collegium Otolaryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum, as well as a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  He has been an elected Co-Chairman of the Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses.  He is Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus, of the journal Ear and Hearing and he also serves on the editorial boards of other international journals. Svirsky’s research has been funded since 1992 by grants from the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and the Uruguayan government.  It has also received support from cochlear implant and hearing aid companies as well as from Sun Microsystems. Dr. Svirsky is a co-founder of the Uruguayan Cochlear Implant Program as part of a scientific and clinical collaboration that dates back to 1984.

His research interests, shared in over one hundred articles, editorials, and book chapters, include basic research in speech perception and auditory psychophysics, the development of mathematical models of speech perception, the study of speech production and language development, the study of communication outcomes after cochlear implantation, and the development of software/hardware based fitting tools to optimize cochlear implant fitting.

He is interested in both the clinical and scientific aspects of cochlear implantation, and what the study of this clinical population can tell us about more general phenomena such as speech perception in normal hearing listeners, integration of acoustically- and electrically delivered auditory information, critical periods for the development of speech and language skills, and adaptation to a distorted or degraded sensory input.