Goal of the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss (SICHL)

The inner ear has two parts: the cochlea for hearing and the semicircular canals for balance.  Both contain specialized cells (hair cells) whose purpose is to sense sound and movement.  When hair cells become damaged or die, hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or vertigo may result.  Today’s medical science offers no solutions for the vast majority of inner ear diseases.  Once a hair cell dies, our bodies cannot regenerate it.  The goal of SICHL is to devise treatments that repair the damaged inner ear and restore lost hearing, quiet tinnitus, and improve balance. We have over 100 faculty, scientists, and technicians currently working to reach this goal and bring a cure into clinical trials.

Conquering Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, and Vertigo

Hearing loss, tinnitus, and imbalance are major causes of human disability which, we believe, could be conquered in the coming years.  Rapid advances in bioscience and technology, many of which originated at Stanford, make it realistic to envision a cure within the foreseeable future.  In laboratory animals, we can now regenerate inner ear hair cells, a tantalizing discovery, which we are working hard to adapt for human benefit.

Accelerating Our Quest for a Cure

We are now seeking philanthropic partners to help accelerate our progress. Donor support will allow us to recruit the best and brightest researchers, to acquire more cutting-edge laboratory technology, and to pursue high risk/high reward investigations. These strategies will enable us to arrive at a cure in the shortest possible time.