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Note from President
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Note from the President

 

 

 

 

ARO President

(2017-2018) 
 
John P. Carey, MD

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Colleagues,


It is hard to believe that another summer has gone and that we are already in the midst of abstract submissions for the upcoming 2018 ARO MidWinter Meeting! I want to begin by thanking the Program Committee and Talley staff for graciously offering to extend the abstract deadline for everyone in light of the extreme disruptions that hurricanes and other natural disasters have presented to many of our members. We hope that everyone will be able to participate and present their best work without further disruptions.


Our 41st MidWinter Meeting promises to be an outstanding and rewarding one. I am excited to announce the Presidential Symposium, entitled: “From Bench to Boardroom: Perspectives on Commercializing Research in Otolaryngology.” I have been impressed by the number of ARO members who are now involved in companies - either their own startups or with existing industry partners - in efforts to bring bench research to marketable products. This is a broad trend that includes both devices and pharmaceuticals. There is no question that the world has taken notice: Otolaryngology research was featured in January 2015 in a front page article of the business section of the New York Times! Now that “we have arrived,” it seems a fitting moment for the ARO to take a serious look at how, when and why researchers get involved in commercialization, and to learn what lessons are there for us all.


We also look forward to the annual Awards Ceremony, in which we will congratulate, among others, our 2018 Award of Merit winner, Professor Christine Petit. Professor Petit is well known to our Association as a world leader in the genetics of hearing loss. She holds the Chair of “Genetics and Cellular Physiology” at the College de France, and she is currently the head of the “Genetics and Physiology of Hearing Laboratory” at the Institut Pasteur. In addition to a cutting-edge update on auditory genetics, we will hear personal reflections on Dr. Petit’s career from friends and colleagues.


Many thanks go to our hardworking Program Committee members as they sort through abstracts. They have already put together an exciting program of symposia based on applications from our members. These include:

 
  • Central gain control in auditory processing and hearing loss
  • Decision making in complex statistical environments: Neural representation and its correspondence with principles of decision making
  • A tribute to Barbara Bohne: Current basic and clinical observations of noise-induced hearing loss
  • Human aspects of cochlear synaptopathy
  • A Soxist guide to neurosensory development and repair of the ear
  • Vestibular susceptibility to insult: What’s lost and how do we assess it?
  • Activity-dependent development of the auditory brainstem
  • Auditory nerve impairment, preservation, and repair: Implications for cochlear implants
  • Ion channels in the inner ear
  • Linking theoretical and experimental approaches to understand auditory cortical processing
  • Understanding auditory salience
  • Hair cell injury and repair in hearing loss from mechanical trauma
  • Non-acoustic influences on speech perception in normal and impaired hearing

  

The program is also rich in formal sessions on publishing, grants and using shared Matlab tools for teaching and research, as well as training sessions for people to use gEAR. As always, there will be many informal gatherings and workshops organized by ARO members who wish to gather a group of colleagues with similar interests. Members are encouraged to contact Ruth Litovsky with ideas. Students and postdocs of ARO (spARO) have many activities that are ongoing throughout the meeting, including daily mentoring workshops, social events, one-on-one mentor pairing, and more.  ARO continues its commitment to provide support to members who need child care resources in order to attend the meeting. Child care subsidy information is available on the ARO website, www.aro.org.


All of this emphasizes that we want our meeting to attract scientists at every level of their careers. A key component to the attendance of junior investigators is our Travel Award Program, and we are very pleased and grateful to the family and colleagues of the late Dr. Don Henderson for their inception of a new fund in his memory that will be providing several Travel Awards this year. Dr. Henderson was a beloved member of our Association, and his wife, Terri, has worked very hard to ensure that his memory and tradition will be carried on through these Awards. Our sincere thanks go to the Henderson Family for this gracious outreach.


Finally, I would like to provide a brief update on other Council business. The Council voted to substantially expand the Program Committee and split its work into two parts. A dedicated group will continue the important task of abstract sorting and review to give us the critical framework for the Scientific Program. A separate group will be dedicated to the growing and equally important Mentorship Program. I would like to recognize and thank Ruth Litovsky for her tireless efforts to bring her vision for a robust mentoring program to reality. This has been such a successful effort that it clearly needs its own leadership, which Ruth will continue to provide while overseeing the efforts of Carolina Abdala and Chris Shera, who will take the lead on the Scientific Program. I am confident that this expanded structure will give us a robust overall program and distribute some of the heavy workload that has previously fallen on the Program Committee. I would also like to thank our Finance and Investment Committee, Past President Matt Kelley, former Secretary/Treasurer Elizabeth Olsen, and current Secretary/Treasurer Gabriel Corfas, as well as our dedicated Talley staff for finally securing our growing surplus in proper investments at Vanguard so that we can eventually look forward to returns that can be reinvested into our Mid-Winter Meeting while knowing that we are secure if we ever face another crisis as we did in Daytona. Lastly, we hope that all of you will find your membership renewal to be a bit easier now that it is tied to the abstract submission cycle.


Looking forward to seeing you all in San Diego!


John Carey


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