Medical Research Review Committee

With its research focus, The Hearing Foundation of Canada strongly encourages more highly qualified Canadian researchers to work in the area of hearing loss. We are confident that by investing energy and resources into hearing loss detection, assessment and treatments, those who are deaf, deafened and hard of hearing will have more opportunities for improved communication.

Our Medical Research Review Committee includes dedicated medical research scientists and doctors who volunteer to review grant proposals from across Canada for hearing research funding. The committee is chaired by Dr. Manohar Bance, Head of Otolaryngology at Dalhousie University, and the director of the EAR & SENSE labs.

We have also partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to further enable us to expand funding for medical research into hearing loss.

Our advisors have included:

Dr. Manohar Bance, MB, ChB, MSc, FRCS(C)

Professor Otology/Neurotology, Division of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS

Dr. Bance graduated in medicine from the University of Manchester, England. He did his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Toronto. During this time, he also obtained an M.Sc. degree. Following his residency, he completed a fellowship in skull base and neurotologic surgery at the University of Manchester, and returned to Toronto on Faculty in 1996. His clinical base was at the Toronto Hospital. He is a professor of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, and has cross-appointments as professor of Neurosurgery, the School of Communication Disorders, and of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is the primary researcher in the EAR Lab.

For more information, visit: Dalhousie University – Otolaryngology

Dr. Robert V. Harrison, PhD, DSc

Director, Auditory Science Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology, the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Dr. Harrison is the director of the Auditory Science Laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, as well as the chair of our Medical Research Review Committee. Over the past two decades, he has published numerous scientific studies related to hearing and deafness, including over 140 papers in scientific journals and 30 chapters in medical or scientific textbooks. His basic training is physiology, with a PhD and a D.Sc. in auditory communication and neuroscience. He has carried out research on hearing and deafness with groups in England, France, the Netherlands and the U.S., as well as with other teams in Canada. Dr. Harrison is also a professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Physiology. He is a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

For more information, visit: Sick Kids – Auditory Science Research

Dr. Julian Nedzelski, MD, FRCS(C)

Head of Otolaryngology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON

Dr. Nedzelski is a neurotologist and surgeon at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he oversees the Cochlear Implant Program and is, along with Dr. David Rowed, a surgeon with the auditory brainstem implant service. Since 1986, he has been the Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and is active with many professional and scholarly societies. In addition, Dr. Nedzelski is a professor in, and former chairman of, the Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto. He currently serves as the undergraduate director of the department. He sits on the medical advisory boards for both Cochlear Corporation and Advanced Bionics Corporation. Dr. Nedzelski is a graduate of the University of Ottawa medical school and the University of Toronto residency program. He studied with Dr. Ugo Fisch in Geneva, Switzerland, doing a Neurotology/Skull-Base Surgery Fellowship prior to joining Sunnybrook.

For more information, visit: Sunnybrook – Otolaryngology

Dr. Jos J. Eggermont

Professor, cross appointment with Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, AB

Dr. Eggermont’s research focuses on Cortical Representational Plasticity, Evoked Potentials, Development, and Tinnitus. Multi-electrode recordings are made simultaneously from three or more auditory cortical areas in response to complex, speech-like sound stimuli, to study the effects of plastic topographic map changes induced in auditory cortex by cochlear hearing loss. Evoked potentials are used to study maturational status of the auditory cortex and cortical temporal processing in children with learning disorders and language delay, and compared to a battery of behavioural tests. He also studies the long-term cortical changes occurring after sudden unilateral hearing loss.

For more information, visit: University of Calgary – Psychology Faculty 

Dr. Richard Seewald, PhD

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Childhood Hearing, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, and National Centre for Audiology, University of Western Ontario.

After earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees in audiology, and working for four years as a speech pathologist, Dr. Seewald enrolled at the University of Connecticut in 1976 to earn a PhD. During that time, he pioneered the development of what is now referred to as the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) method for pediatric hearing aid fitting. DSL matches hearing instruments to the specific needs of children with hearing loss. Dr. Seewald continued his research at Dalhousie University, and then the University of Western Ontario. In the early 1990s, Dr. Seewald and Prof. Don Jamieson, the scientific director of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet) at Western, developed the idea of a National Centre for Audiology. By 1999-2000 this idea was realized. Dr. Seewald’s research continues to focus on pediatric audiology.

For more information, visit:The University of Western Ontario – Audiology

Dr. Terry Picton

Professor of Medicine and Psychology, University of Toronto; Researcher at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto ON

Dr. Picton’s research investigates perception and cognition using the “event-related potentials,” small electrical changes that are generated in the brain in response to sensory stimuli or in association with behavioural responses, and recorded from the scalp using a computer. This work is published in over 50 chapters and over 130 journal articles. His research interests include investigating new techniques to determine the intracerebral sources for scalp-recorded electrical activity, evolving new procedures to evaluate the mental deterioration that occurs with aging and with dementia, and evaluating new electrophysiological tests of hearing.

For more information, visit: Rotman Research Institute – Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

Dr. David Stapells, PhD

Professor and Director, School of Audiology & Speech Sciences, Hamber Professor of Clinical Audiology, Associate Member, Department of Psychology, Faculty, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Stapells earned his PhD from the University of Ottawa, and did his post-doctoral studies as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, and Children’s Hospital Research Center, San Diego, CA. His research interests include the development, refinement and assessment of physiologic tests of hearing, specifically in children. This includes the physiologic measures (EOAE, ABR, ASSR) for infant hearing screening.

For more information, visit: University of British Columbia – Audiology & Speech Sciences