July 13, 2022

9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference

Innovation and advancements in auditory and vestibular research on display at the 9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference.

The 9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference (MARC) was held June 23-25 at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Complex Palmer Commons. The conference brought together 170 principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows and student trainees from across the auditory science field to discuss cutting-edge auditory and vestibular research. 

Group photo of attendees at the Midwest Auditory Research Conference
Attendees at the 9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference

Over the course of the three-day conference, seven keynote speakers headlined presentation sessions on a range of topics including auditory systems synapses, genetics of hearing loss and gene therapy, cortical processing, and auditory and vestibular system development. An eighth presentation session, entitled Found in Translation featured four invited speakers who discussed efforts to translate bench research into clinical applications. An additional 30 podium talks and 64 poster presentations were given, selected from submitted abstracts.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Ruth Anne Eatock, Ph.D, University of Chicago
  • Maria Neimark Geffen, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Gwenaelle Geleoc, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
  • Elisabeth Glowatzki, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Matthew Kelley, Ph.D., National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health
  • Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
  • Larry Trussell, Ph.D., Oregon Research Center-Oregon Health and Science University

Found in Translation speakers included:

  • Didier Depireux, Ph.D., Otolith Labs
  • Marlan Hansen, M.D., University of Iowa
  • Orion Keifer, M.D., Ph.D., Decibel Therapeutics
  • Susan Shore, Ph.D., University of Michigan

On Friday evening, those in attendance were invited to a dinner reception held at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The focus of the evening was a panel discussion on enhancing diversity in hearing and balance research led by Dr. David Brown, associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion and clinical associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at U-M. The reception also provided an opportunity for attendees to network and view the museum’s extensive art collection. 

This year’s MARC is an indicator of the high quality of work happening in the auditory science field says Michael Roberts, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and co-associate director of admissions and recruitment, neuroscience graduate program at U-M.

“The MARC was a tremendous success. The talks and poster sessions showcased the innovative work taking place in our field and stimulated numerous thought-provoking discussions and new collaborations. We are especially proud that the MARC highlighted the work of dozens of talented trainees representing a diverse array of backgrounds and identities, proving that the future of auditory and vestibular research is in excellent hands.”

The 10th Midwest Auditory Research Conference will be held at Northeast Ohio Medical University.