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Congressional staff and hearing advocates tour research labs

The Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (FCHHC) hosted a tour of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Porter Neuroscience Research Center in Bethesda, MD, on August 18.  The visit was attended by 25 Congressional staffers and hearing health advocates. 

Dr. James Battey Jr., NIDCD Director, opened the tour by reviewing NIDCD operations and the recently released Nat’l Academy of Sciences (NAS) Hearing Study, and Dr. Andrew Griffith, NIDCD Scientific Director, discussed the Institute's cutting-edge intramural research program.  Visitors also toured the labs and spoke with researchers including Dr. Doris Wu, Chief of NIDCD’s Section on Sensory Cell Regeneration and Development, who reviewed her studies using mice to identify molecular events related to inner ear development, and Dr. Griffith who reviewed his clinical studies of families with hereditary hearing loss and treatment via precision medicine.

NIDCD is an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH invests nearly $32 billion in medical research. More than 80% of the NIH's funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world. About 10% of the NIH's budget supports projects conducted by nearly 6,000 scientists in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2016, NIDCD’s budget is approximately $423 million with about half of the budget supporting research on hearing and balance.

Hearing Industries Association (HIA) handles the administrative requirements for FCHHC which hosts events in support of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC). The CHHC is Co-chaired by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).  Contact Andy Bopp for more information about the FCHHC, 202-712-9041.