On November 18, 3 personalities were rewarded by the Fondation Pour l'Audition for their audiology's works.
A digital scientific prizes ceremony
This year, given the health context, our Scientific Prizes Ceremony was held by videoconference with our laureates.
Our 3 Prizes were awarded for innovative research, both in fundamental and clinical research, on the cochlear implant, post-cochlear implant and on the unconventional auditory pathways.
We invite you to discover them below without further delay!
The scientific prize for clinical research 2020
Professor Frédéric Venail, an otolaryngologist and head of the Otology and Neurotology medical team at the Montpellier University Hospital, has been studying the mechanisms of cochlear fibrosis for more than 10 years. This is a dreaded adverse effect after the insertion of a cochlear implant because it compromises the patient's residual hearing and undermines implant effectiveness.
Cochlear fibrosis, which may occur following the insertion of the implant into the inner ear, results from abnormal tissue healing. Using rodent models that reproduce this process, Prof. Venail's team has elucidated the mechanisms of chronic inflammation leading to fibrosis. The scientists have thus uncovered the molecular factors that lead to the proliferation of cells at the origin of fibrous scar tissue. Finally, they were able to show in these animals the effectiveness of antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory molecules, such as dexamethasone, capable of stopping this process.
If these results are confirmed in humans, Prof. Venail's work could greatly improve the benefits of cochlear implants.
The scientific prize for FUNDAMENTAL research 2020
Luc Arnal, a researcher at the Institut de l'Audition in Paris, has discovered that some sounds, known as "rough" or unpleasant sounds such as baby cries, emitted at particular frequencies, are processed by the brain differently than language: in addition to the classic auditory canal, they follow an unconventional circuit to reach archaic areas of the brain involved in emotions, pain and reaction to danger.
The scientific grand prize 2020
Professor Tobias Moser is an ENT Doctor, Professor of Auditory Neuroscience and Founder of the Institute for Auditory Neuroscience and InnerEarLab at the Göttingen University Medical Center in Germany. He also heads up research teams at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine and the German Primate Center in Göttingen.
His award is for his pioneering work combining optics and genetics (optogenetics) paving the way for the development of innovative cochlear implants for the deaf people. The main advantage of the optical implant is its resolution, which is significantly higher than that of the electric cochlear implant.