H E A R
The Hereditary equilibrium & Auditory research Group
V.M. Bloedel Hearing Research Center
Seattle, Washington 98195-7926
The Western Hereditary Equilibrium and Auditory Research (HEAR) Group within the Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Department and V.M. Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington is working to identify and characterize the genetic elements (genes) involved in controlling our ability to hear and maintain normal balance. The human genome project has identified approximately 25,000 genes that regulate the function of a human body. However, only a subset of those will be involved in the regulation of hearing and balance. In an effort to determine which genetic elements fall into this subset, we are looking for individuals or families that are particularly susceptible or resistant to hearing loss and/or balance problems, including tinnitus, and vertigo. We hope our research will result in a better understanding of the mechanisms of normal hearing and balance. Our findings may be used someday to develop better screening protocols, diagnostic tools and treatments for people who suffer from hearing and/or balance difficulties.