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Dr. Barbara Bohne, PhD
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Dr. Barbara Bohne, PhD
(1944- 2017)

President of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 1980-81




Following a long illness, our field recently lost a leading cochlear morphologist, Barbara A Bohne, PhD. Barbara served as the first woman president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology for the 1980–81 term, and was appointed in 1984 as the first woman to the Editorial Board of Hearing Research, a post she kept until very recently. Barbara, who received her undergraduate and graduate-student education at Washington University, spent her entire career there in the Department of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. She was well-recognized for her quantitative morphological analyses of the inner ear, along with her studies of the mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss based on the histopathology of the noise-damaged cochlea. She developed a histological technique centered on the phase-contrast microscopic analysis of the plastic-embedded cochlea. After dissecting out flat surface preparations of the organ of Corti from the embedded specimens, its major structures including the inner and outer hair cells, myelinated nerve-fibers, and stria vascularis were quantified in the form of a cytocochleogram, which plotted the percentage of missing elements as a function of the percent distance from the apex as well as the species-specific frequency range in kilohertz. In addition to the counts of these cochlear components, other observations were noted such as counts of supporting cells, macrophages, and white-blood cells, along with details of stereocilia pathology, the condition of the endolymphatic sac including the presence of cellular debris and swollen, buckled, out-of-place, and shrunken supporting and sensory hair cells. Barbara was a long-time educator of graduate and medical students, resident physicians, and postgraduate fellows on inner-ear topics. Additionally, she provided lengthy service as a grant reviewer for federal agencies and private medical foundations, along with being a long-time member of a number of editorial boards and a reviewer/editor of submitted manuscripts to many hearing and otolaryngology journals. Dr. Bohne was a Senior Associate member of the American Otological Society, inducted in 1979.  She received a Life Achievement Award from The American Auditory Society in 2013. Barbara A Bohne, PhD, was the epitome of a dedicated, hardworking, meticulous, and ethical researcher. She will be greatly missed by her family, colleagues, and friends.


To view the obituary, please go here.

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