Konstantina Stankovic, MD, PhD, associate professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School and associate surgeon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, finds it astounding that we don’t know more about what happens inside the inner ear.
Explore this issue:December 2015
Globally, hearing loss is the most common sensory loss, with 600 million people affected worldwide. And it is the most common congenital anomaly, with one in 500 newborns affected. Most sensorineural hearing loss starts in the inner ear.
“Given the magnitude of the problem, it’s mind-boggling that today, in the 21st century, we cannot biopsy the inner ear and we cannot see cells inside it to establish diagnosis,” said Dr. Stankovic, delivering the Howard P. House, MD Memorial Lecture for Advances in Otology during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, held in September in Dallas. She and colleagues at her laboratory are working to demonstrate what is possible when neuroscience and biotechnology are used imaginatively to tackle real-world clinical problems.