Advancing the Future

Dec 16, 2021 | House Institute Foundation, Research

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By Christina Reaves, Director of Research Administration

Patient (right) participating in our ongoing study on cervical Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (cVEMP).

The House Institute Foundation’s (HIF’s) Research Program has always been integral to our vision—a world where “all may hear.” For decades, researchers at the House Clinic have made significant contributions to advancements in hearing science. These have included the first pediatric cochlear implant, the development of the auditory brain implant, and relentless work to improve the lives of patients living with Ménière’s disease.

The HIF Research Program is committed to honoring the storied history of firsts and seminal discoveries by supporting future innovation. Over the last few months, we have updated and strengthened our administrative infrastructure to expand our research portfolio. With the framework in place, we are looking ahead to the future with excitement.

The HIF research program includes Research Centers, a Hearing Science Accelerator Program, a Clinical Trials Program, and investigator-initiated studies.

The video head impulse test (vHIT) used in the vestibular department.

The HIF Research Centers each focus on a disorder or unique patient community. In the first half of 2022, we are reimagining the Centers, emphasizing multi-disciplinary research that supports the translation from laboratory-based science to clinical interventions and informs HIF’s advocacy for families and communities. In 2022, we will be opening a Center for Pediatric Hearing Health to complement the clinical work at the House Children’s Hearing Center.

Many hearing and neurological disorders have not seen advancement in decades. The Hearing Science Accelerator program is designed to address this. The program provides a venue for thought-leaders and experts globally to tackle the most challenging hearing and neurological diseases and conditions with a tangible outcome—a way forward. Our first cycle of the Hearing Science Accelerator will be an international convention on the state of the science around vestibular schwannomas. The findings will be disseminated to the scientific and clinical community—and prioritize funding to the most impactful and innovative new ideas.

The strength of the HIF Clinical Trials Program is the relationship between experienced physician-researchers and the unique patient communities we serve living with rare diseases and conditions. HIF has a track record of valuable partnered research with industry and external funding agencies.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, HIF funds investigator-initiated research that demonstrates the potential to serve as a foundation for future high-impact research studies. The grant-making process emulates the rigor of National Institutes of Health funding through an external review process. HIF-funded studies are vetted for their contribution to science and innovation. Recently funded studies are looking for improved treatment options for diseases of the inner ear, a better understanding of tumors that occur in the nervous system and brain, and the development of tests and measurements that yield information patients can use in planning their recovery following surgeries for hearing-related conditions.

The future of research at HIF is inspired and informed by past accomplishments and challenges. What motivates our research is simple—the patients and their families.

The House Institute Foundation’s (HIF’s) Research Program has always been integral to our vision—a world where “all may hear.”

Support future advancements in hearing science research today. Visit

Physician-researcher Kevin Peng, MD performing surgery

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