CI2024 John Niparko Memorial Lecture

CI2024 John Niparko Memorial Lecture - Successful Pathways to Outcomes in Bilateral Cochlear Implantation

Thursday, July 11 | 9:20 AM - 9:50 AM

Dr. Ruth Litovsky Selected as Niparko Memorial Lecturer

Ruth Litovsky, PhD has been selected to deliver the annual Niparko Memorial Lecture at CI2024 Vancouver, on “Successful Pathways to Outcomes in Bilateral Cochlear Implantation.” The Niparko lecture was established to recognize Dr. John K. Niparko’s enduring commitment to cochlear implant research and clinical care and honor his significant contributions to the field.

Dr. Litovsky is the Oros Family chair in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has a joint appointment in the Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery, and serves as the Academic Associate Dean for the Division of Natural, Physical & Mathematical Sciences in the College of Letters & Science.

Dr. Litovsky’s research focuses on how people are able to hear in complex, noisy environments, and the contributions of the binaural auditory system (having two ears). The work has several main themes: 1) How we hear speech in noise (the “cocktail party” effect); 2) How we localize sounds; 3) How people with cochlear implants can operate in these conditions, and whether bilateral implants provide benefits beyond unilateral implants. Most of this research takes place at the Waisman Center, where she directs the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab, working closely with children from the Waisman Center Early Childhood Progarm. She also collaborates with numerous clinics nation-wide that provide cochlear implants to children and adults.


Keynote Speaker

Keynote: "Cochlear Implantation of Individuals with Asymmetric Hearing Loss and Single Sided Deafness: Results, Expectations and Gaps in Knowledge"

Keynote Speaker: Jill Firszt, PhD

Thursday, July 12 | 2:40 PM - 3:10 PM

Dr. Firszt is a Professor and the Director, Cochlear Implant Program at Washington University School of Medicine's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Firszt’s clinical and research interests include bilateral and unilateral cochlear implants in adults and children, asymmetric hearing and unilateral haring loss, speech recognition, behavioral and electrophysiologic measures with electrical stimulation and optimization of speech processor mapping.

The Firszt Lab is under the direction of Dr. Jill Firszt, Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Washington University School of Medicine. The lab is engaged in ongoing research with adults and children who have hearing loss in one or both ears and may use a cochlear implant or hearing aid. As treatment options continue to evolve it is critical that best patient care is founded in scientific research. Current research objectives include investigating physiological changes that arise from hearing loss and exploring how those changes, along with other factors, interact and effect behavioral or functional outcomes with various interventions, e.g. bilateral cochlear implantation or bimodal device use.


Keynote Speaker

Keynote: "Maturation of the auditory system requires auditory experience within an early critical period"

Keynote Speaker: Andrej Kral, MD, PhD

Friday, July 12 | 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Dr. Andrej Kral is Chair of Auditory Neuroscience at the Clinics of Otolaryngology, Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Hannover, Germany and heads the Dept. of Experimental Otology. Since 2018 he has also been Professor of Systems Neuroscience at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Dr. Kral specializes in auditory neurophysiology in animals (rodents, cats) and humans (EEG). His research interests include hearing loss, central effects of deafness, brain development and plasticity, neuroscience of cochlear implants and technology of neuroprosthetics (

Dr. Kral’s lecture will discuss the deficits that the auditory system demonstrates in the absence of hearing and that cochlear implants allow appropriate maturation of the cortex.  He will further discuss the normal development of a child in the first 2 years of life and explore why active hearing experience is important for establishing brain representations. Early intervention and access to sound, possibly within the first year of life, is key to this process of auditory development.





Closing Plenary Speaker

Keynote: "Cochlear Implants and the Future of Hearing Health Care"

Keynote Speaker: Debara Tucci, MD, MS, MBA

Saturday, July 13 | 8:40 AM - 9:00 AM

Dr. Debara Tucci, is Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health. In her work at NIH, she oversees the development and implementation of strategic priorities to advance science and population health related to the mission areas of hearing, balance, voice, speech, language, taste and smell. In addition, Dr. Tucci's current work as co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Hearing Loss allows her to pursue her passion for understanding and impacting hearing loss disability in diverse and underserved populations worldwide.

Prior to joining the NIH in 2019, Dr. Tucci was a longtime faculty member at Duke University, in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences.  Dr. Tucci’s research has focused on understanding the biological effects of hearing loss in animal models, on treatment of otologic disease, and on accessibility and affordability of hearing health care.  She partnered with the Duke Clinical Research Institute and colleagues at Duke to develop a national practice-based research network and led a research team that implemented and studied outcomes and cost-benefit of adult hearing screening in primary care clinics at Duke.