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BRC Hearing Health Showcase attracts world-wide interest

World-wide representatives across research, industry and the NHS came together on Wednesday 11 October 2017 to learn about Manchester’s ground-breaking hearing health research.

The Hearing Health Showcase at The Manchester Museum was delivered in collaboration with the North West regional meeting of the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and the British Society of Audiology (BSA).

Hearing loss is the most prevalent untreated sensory disorder and, by focusing its hearing health research across the whole life span; Manchester is taking a unique approach.

Manchester’s Hearing Health research is benefiting as part of a £28.5m investment through the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).  The BRC’s Hearing Health research programme spans prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It will improve the lives of children and adults by preventing potentially devastating congenital and acquired deafness, diagnosing acquired deficits and developing new treatments.

As well as learning more about Manchester’s Hearing Health research programmes, delegates were able to explore opportunities for collaboration and help to shape Manchester’s development of the UK’s only Hearing Device Research Centre.

The event included presentations from eminent audiology and hearing research staff including Professor Harvey Dillon, Professor David Moore (former director of the MRC Institute of Hearing Research), Professor Cynthia Morton and Dr Michael Stone (formerly at University of Cambridge).

The BRC is also driving forward pioneering research in the areas of: musculoskeletal disease, respiratory disease, dermatology and three cancer themes (prevention, radiotherapy and precision medicine).

Professor Kevin J Munro, Director (research) of the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD) and Manchester BRC Hearing Health Lead said: “The Manchester BRC will help us to develop preventative strategies, and better ways of diagnosing and managing hearing problems, to deliver significant improvements for those affected.

“We realise our research is stronger if we include patients in the whole process so we’ve consulted with patients to identify what their urgent clinical needs are and they will be involved at every stage of the process.”

Julia Garlick, BRC Hearing Health, patient representative said: “The role of the patient representative is to contribute a patient’s perspective when the research is being designed and carried out. The hearing health programme will bring great benefits to people of all ages with hearing loss, directly improving the health and wellbeing and quality of life through world class research programmes. I feel privileged to be associated with this work.”

Manchester has a world leading reputation in discovery and in delivering research that leads to improve clinical outcomes. This is evident in the work we are leading in genomic sequencing for new-born hearing screening.

Professor Cynthia Morton, Developing Genetic and Genomic Solutions Programme Lead

Professor Harvey Dillon, keynote speaker and Professor of Auditory Science for the NHIR BRC Hearing Health said: “I’m delighted to join this incredibly important programme of work and to help develop the UK’s only Hearing Device Research Centre. This event has provided an invaluable opportunity to directly engage with the hearing aid industry and clinical users of our research. Our research will benefit patients in the North West and indeed, throughout the world.”

I travelled from the US to attend this event as I was particularly keen to engage with the BRC around the Hearing Device Research Centre. This has been an important and exciting opportunity to learn more about this world leading research.

Dave Fabry, Vice President, Global Medical Affairs