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Kresge Hearing Research Institute

The Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute in the Department of Otolaryngology is a shining example of the University of Michigan’s history of excellence. What began at U-M five decades ago with two giants in the field of hearing – Merle Lawrence and Joseph Hawkins, Jr. – continues to this day with impressive progress in the basic and clinical aspects of hearing and balance. In the last decade, KHRI researchers demonstrated that inner-ear hair cells can be regenerated in animals and conducted the first successful clinical trial demonstrating that it is possible to prevent acquired hearing loss. Today, KHRI is one of the leading hearing research institutes in the world with a breadth of disciplines and research areas that is unmatched.

The Kresge Hearing Research Institute was established by the Regents of the University of Michigan in 1960 to investigate basic questions of hearing and of deafness. The original Kresge Hearing building opened its doors in 1963. Under the directorship of Dr. Merle Lawrence, the staff of 22 persons included a faculty of four Ph.D.'s (Merle Lawrence, Nathan Gross, Joseph Hawkins, and William Stebbins) as well as Walter Work, M.D., Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and other clinicians. In 1976, the Institute was administratively integrated into the Department of Otolaryngology (Current Chair: Carol R. Bradford, M.D.). The Institute moved from its old building to new quarters in the Medical Sciences complex in 2008 and now houses a staff of approximately 100, divided between the laboratories of 14 faculty and primary research scientists, administration and technical cores. Josef Miller, Ph.D., succeeded Merle Lawrence in 1984, and Jochen Schacht, Ph.D., was appointed as Director in 2000.

(UM Website)

First University Research Institute

on Hearing and Deafness