Merri Rosen, Ph.D., has been elected as the new director of the Hearing Research Group, one of Northeast Ohio Medical University’s research focus areas. The researcher and tenured associate professor of neurobiology was named In a joint announcement by Steven Schmidt, Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies; and Jeff Wenstrup, Ph.D., associate dean of research, College of Medicine, and chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Drs. Schmidt and Wenstrup said the unanimous election of Dr. Rosen was pivotal to building on the excellence and continuing the success of the Hearing Research Group as it advances its basic science with collaborations and clinical studies.
With funding including support from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Rosen uses animal models to understand childhood hearing problems, particularly in stressful environments, as they affect one’s ability to optimally understand speech later in life. Her work with gerbils ― selected because they communicate at frequencies similar to those in human speech ― has enabled her to identify interventions to remediate perceptual deficits arising from early detrimental experiences.
Her public outreach – she’s the founder of Brains on Tap, a series of talks to educate the public on science and innovation while socializing over food and drinks ― and her collaborative work on pediatric hearing research with Akron Children’s Hospital and Kent State University’s Speech Pathology and Audiology program are just two examples of how her organizational skills, advocacy and eagerness to partner (both internally and externally) will make her a great new director of the Hearing Research Group, according to her predecessor and the group’s founding director, Dr. Wenstrup.
Adds Dr. Schmidt, “Dr. Rosen is a talented and productive researcher in the field of auditory perception/hearing loss and will be a strong leader for the Hearing Research Group.”
The group began as the Auditory Neuroscience Research Focus Area in July 2005. Through collaborations and increased grant support, it has grown from four faculty members to 11 ― including researchers from Kent State University’s Speech Pathology and Audiology program.
Dr. Rosen is the second director to lead the research group, succeeding Dr. Wenstrup.