UCL Ear Institute

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UCL Ear Institute
Established 2005
Director Professor David McAlpine
Location London, United Kingdom
Website UCL Ear Institute

The UCL Ear Institute is an academic department of the Faculty of Brain Sciences of University College London (UCL) located in London, United Kingdom. The Institute is based next to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, the UK's largest ear, nose and throat hospital, on Gray's Inn Road in the Bloomsbury district of Central London.[1]

Together with the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, the Institute constitutes the largest centre for audiological research in Europe.[2][3]

History[edit]

In 2000 an £11 million grant from the Wellcome Trust was awarded to UCL to fund the creation of a new Centre for Auditory Research bringing together auditory research scientists and clinicians from across the university. The new centre was linked to the long standing Institute of Laryngology and Otology (ILO) and its incorporated School of Audiology.[3] In order to provide this cross-faculty, multidisciplinary group with a unifying identity the ILO was disestablished and the UCL Ear Institute created on 1 January 2005. Prof Tony Wright was its first director, followed by Prof David McAlpine from June 2006.[3]

In December 2006 the results of tests carried out at the Institute were published which showed that many children's toys available that Christmas could damage a child's hearing.[4][5] In February 2007 the Widex Noise Report, a major survey of noise levels in 41 English towns and cities authored by Deepak Prasher of the UCL Ear Institute, was published.[6][7] In July 2008 the UCL Ear Institute participated in an architectural jelly competition, with the sound of the competing structures being recorded in one of the Institute's anechoic chambers.[8]

In March 2010 a team including Professor Martin Birchall of the UCL Ear Institute performed the first windpipe transplant using a whole tissue engineered windpipe organ crafted from a patient's own stem cells.[9][10] In the same month a team from the Institute began a major study to investigate the role of the brain in the auditory process.[11][12] In August 2010 Aura Satz, the UCL Ear Institute's artist-in-residence, exhibited the results of her work at the Institute in 'Location, location, location' at the Jerwood Space gallery in London.[13] In January 2011 a team including Professor Martin Birchall of the UCL Ear Institute performed the world's second voice box transplant.[14][15] In June 2011 it was reported that Professor Martin Birchall had been granted permission by the Royal College of Surgeons to carry out the first voicebox transplant trials in the UK.[16][17]

Education[edit]

The main portico of University College London

At undergraduate level the Institute currently offers the BSc in Audiology, a four-year degree course leading to qualification to practise as an audiologist in the NHS and elsewhere. The degree extends across the field to include acoustics; the understanding of normal hearing and balance function, the clinical diagnosis and rehabilitation of their disorders, speech perception and language development; paediatric clinical assessments; cochlear implants; tinnitus; and hearing therapy.[18]

At postgraduate level the Institute currently offers the following courses:[19]

  • MSc in Audiology for ENT practice
  • MSc in Audiological Science
  • MSc/PGDip Audiovestibular Medicine
  • MSc/PGDip in voice pathology
  • MSc in Advanced Audiology

Three- and four-year PhD programmes are available in a wide range of basic and clinical disciplines, including genetics, cell and molecular biology, auditory neuroscience and human auditory function.[19]

Library[edit]

The UCL Ear Institute and RNID Libraries are a collaborative venture between UCL, The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and the NHS.[20] The libraries are based at the Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital and together constitute the largest specialist collection for audiology, deaf studies, and otorhinolaryngologic medicine in Europe.[21][22] As well as providing services to staff and students at UCL, RNID, and the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, the libraries are open to the public and provide reference and enquiry services to anyone conducting relevant research.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hospital sites: Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital". Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Britain's best hospitals: A patients' guide". The Independent. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "About Us". UCL Ear Institute. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Christmas toys 'are hearing risk'". BBC News. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Ear-splitting presents 'could do permanent damage to children'". The Times. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Listen up, the traffic noise may damage your health". The Times. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Noisiest Place In The UK Revealed". Sky News. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sound of jelly wobbling recorded for architects' competition". The Telegraph. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Windpipe transplant success in UK child". BBC News. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Stem cell windpipe transplant in child is a success for a team including Prof Birchall". UCL Ear Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "'Brain plays role in hearing difficulties'". The Independent. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Pardon me? My brain can't quite hear you…". The Scotsman. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Art:Galleries: South Bank to Deptford". Time Out. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  14. ^ "Woman speaks after 11 years of silence following voice-box transplant". The Telegraph. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Professor Martin Birchall UCL carries out landmark Voicebox Transplant". UCL Ear Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Voicebox transplant trials in UK get go-ahead". The Guardian. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Controversial British voice box transplant given go-ahead". The Telegraph. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Undergraduate". UCL Ear Institute. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Postgraduate". UCL Ear Institute. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  20. ^ Gale, Cengage; Miskelly, Matthew (2010). Directory of special libraries and information centers, Volume 1, Part 5. Gale Research Co. p. 2827. 
  21. ^ a b "The UCL Ear Institute and RNID Libraries". UCL Library Services. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  22. ^ "RNID Library". Royal National Institute for Deaf People. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 

External links[edit]