Noise-Induced Cochlear Synaptopathy: Basic Studies Informing Potential Therapies (R01)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites research applications that will further our understanding of the cellular and subcellular basis of noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy.  Such studies will increase our basic understanding of noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy as well as inform potential therapies.

Deadlines:

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): November 3, 2016 and July 3, 2017

PAR-16-170 Expiration Date July 4, 2017

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

This FOA solicits applications focused on determining if noise exposures that typically result in a temporary noise-induced elevation of auditory thresholds cause cochlear synaptopathy in humans. Examples of research questions that would be responsive to this FOA include, but are not limited to:

  • Does cochlear synaptopathy occur in humans and if so, what is the extent of this type of damage?  Do existing animal models faithfully represent the damage detected in humans?
  • What is the most appropriate diagnostic test(s) for cochlear synaptopathy? What should be the “gold standard” measure of synaptopathy that can be used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests?
  • Are there perceptual consequences of noise-induced synaptopathy?  If so, what are they and how can they best be measured?
  • Does noise-induced synaptopathy underlie patient-reported difficulties in understanding speech in noise in the absence of hearing loss?
  • Does noise-induced synaptopathy contribute to patient-reported difficulties in understanding speech in noise when hearing loss is also present?
  • Is there a relationship between noise-induced synaptopathy and age-related hearing loss?  If so, how can it best be characterized and understood?
  • Is there a relationship between noise-induced synaptopathy and tinnitus?  If so, how can it best be characterized and understood?

Approaches may include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral tasks to detect cochlear synaptopathy including validation, sensitivity, specificity and test/retest reliability
  • Electrophysiological measures for detecting cochlear synaptopathy including validation, sensitivity, specificity, time efficiency and test/retest reliability
  • High-resolution, minimally invasive imaging of human auditory structures in vivo
  • Computational modeling to make testable predictions for behavioral and physiological responses in animals and humans with synaptopathy, including responses to speech and non-speech stimuli.

Amount

$2,500,000

Amount Description

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.  It is anticipated that projects supported by this FOA will require direct costs of less than $500,000 per year.

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period.  The maximum project period is 5 years.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Medical
Medical - Basic Science

External Deadline

July 3, 2017