House Ear Institute

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The House Ear Institute (HEI), now known as House Research Institute, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, based in Los Angeles, California, and dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life. Established in 1946 by Howard P. House, M.D.,[1] as the Los Angeles Foundation of Otology, and later renamed for its founder, the House Research Institute has been engaged in the scientific exploration of the auditory system from the ear canal to the cortex of the brain for over 62 years.

Institute scientists investigate hearing loss and ear disease at the cellular and molecular level, as well as the complex neurological interactions between the auditory system and the brain. They are also working to improve hearing aids and auditory implants, diagnostics, clinical treatments, and intervention methods. House researchers work with House Clinic physicians to integrate medicine and science through clinical and research trials that may directly benefit patients.

The Institute shares its knowledge with the scientific and medical communities as well as the general public through its education and outreach programs. Previously House Clinic physicians volunteered their time to teach specialty courses in the House Ear Institute's professional education programs, attended by more than 22,000 doctors and research fellows since 1946. Through one and two week surgical temporal bone courses, thousands of doctors from every continent have come to study ear surgery. To date, over 22,000 doctors have received training in their facilities.[citation needed]

At its height, the House Research Institute's five-story facility accommodated more than 180 researchers and administrators within 22 departments. The growth of its research studies led to the construction of the Institute's new Wallis Annenberg Research Center that was completed in 2007.

Since 1946, the House Research Institute has led the way in defining the causes of hearing and balance disorders, improving medical/surgical procedures and prosthetic devices. The Institute's discoveries have helped millions of people receive successful treatments.

In 1969, William F. House, M.D.—brother of Howard—implanted the first three patients with the cochlear implant at House Ear Institute. Since then, the Los Angeles-based House Research Institute had grown into the world's foremost private research institute for otology and hearing science.[citation needed]

House Research Institute's historical advancements in hearing sciences include the development of the first clinically useful cochlear implant and auditory brainstem implant as well as the introduction of the first the middle cranial fossa and then the translabyrinthine approach for removal of acoustic neuromas. The translabyrinthine approach uses the operating microscope and reduced mortality rates from 40% (in California) to less than 1%. It has also developed a variety of diagnostic tests, including the Hearing In Noise Test (HINT), the first hearing test that measures an individual's functional hearing ability in everyday environments where background noise is present (see also: King-Kopetzky syndrome), the ABaer screening device for detecting hearing loss in infants, and the Stacked ABR, a highly accurate screening device to detect the presence or absence of acoustic neuromas.

The House Research Institute has closed as of June 2014.


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (December 12, 2012). "Dr. William F. House dies at 89; championed cochlear implant". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 

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Coordinates: 34°03′45″N 118°16′25″W / 34.0626°N 118.2736°W / 34.0626; -118.2736