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Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery contribute regularly to the creation of new knowledge, understanding and treatments surrounding diseases of the ear, nose and throat. Faculty members in this department study various challenges in this area of medicine, such as understanding how hearing loss affects a child’s developing brain, or how cachexia or unintentional weight loss affects cancer patients.

An area of research affecting both adults and children, otolaryngology provides wide and varied research interests. Scientists in this department are currently researching regenerative medicine, cancer cachexia, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, inner ear disorders, neurofibromatosis, pediatric airway abnormalities, pediatric cochlear implants, and peripheral nerve regeneration.

Department researchers are employing innovative methods, such as using stem cells to create 3D organoids containing functional inner ear hair cells to better understand the common pathways that lead to hair cell degeneration and potentially find ways to prevent degeneration and hearing loss in the future.

Research Updates

To stay current on the medical research work at IU School of Medicine, follow the IU School of Medicine newsroom, where investigators throughout the school’s academic departments statewide post updates about their work.


a student works in a hood in the Hashino Lab

3D Stem Cell Biology Research Group

Researchers investigate the restoration of hearing and promotion of hair cell regeneration, studying how chemical compounds can trigger hair cell regeneration after damage.
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Dr. Thomas O'Connell

O'Connell Lab

The O’Connell Lab is part of the Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy, an international multidisciplinary research effort dedicated to prevent muscle wasting due to cancer and chemotherapy. 
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Doctor speaking to young patient and parent

DeVault Otologic Research Lab

For more than three decades, DeVault Otologic researchers have been investigating an explanation for why cochlear implants, while providing access to sound, do not provide the same benefit for all patients, both children and adults.
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Ramakrishnan Lab

The laboratory of Vijay Ramakrishnan, MD focuses on the outcomes of airway inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis.  His lab researches the dynamics of the sinus microbiome, detection and clearance of airborne irritants, and inflammation that results from these processes. 
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Dr. Zhao at work in the lab

Laboratory of Molecular Mechanisms of Auditory Perception and Deafness  

Investigators in this laboratory are studying the functions of genes that are linked to sensorineural hearing loss and how to develop novel treatments for hearing loss.
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1st research lab in world to generate inner ear tissue from stem cells
30+ years of cochlear implant outcomes research
90+ published peer-reviewed articles each year


Stacey L. Halum, MD

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Eri Hashino, PhD

Ruth C. Holton Professor of Otology

William G. Kronenberger, MA, PhD

Arthur B. Richter Professor of Child Psychiatry

Rick F. Nelson, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Thomas M. O'Connell, PhD

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

David B. Pisoni, PhD

Distinguished Professor

Vijay R. Ramakrishnan, MD

Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Xue Yuan, PhD

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Bo Zhao, PhD

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery