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Hough Ear Institute is proud to announce new funding from OCAST,  the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology. The grants will benefit projects that target restoration of synaptic connections in the cochlea and cochlear hair cell regeneration. These are exciting studies because we anticipate results that will lead us toward a possible cure for people suffering from hearing loss.

A major frustration of hearing loss due to acute acoustic trauma and aging is the fact that the sensory cells in the inner ear are irreversibly lost. It has been only a dream of otologists that the cells and hearing could be restored; there is now hope that this dream could come true. HEI researchers have demonstrated that by turning off key proteins in the cochlea, cells can be made to change their role as support cells to become the sensory hair cells that are essential for hearing.

OCAST is helping the research move forward in earnest as they seek to help hundreds of thousands of people. Across all OCAST programs, the research and development being conducted will attract further public and private investment, create new technologies, new patents and new jobs and will ultimately benefit the citizens of Oklahoma. “The awards made today reflect the continued commitment of Oklahoma to the diversification and expansion of our economy,” according to C. Michael Carolina, executive director of OCAST. “In order for states to compete in the knowledge-based economy, it is imperative to make early stage investments in the development of new technologies and innovations.”

Hough Ear Institute appreciates the work of OCAST  in promoting Oklahoma science and technology and their support in our endeavors to cure deafness worldwide, one patient, one disease at a time.

Thank you OCAST!