Ms. Radha Kalluri and Ms. Jocelyn E. Songer receive Honorable Mention

The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announces that Mr. David E. O’Gorman has won the Helen Carr Peake Research Prize for 2006. In addition, Ms. Radha Kalluri and Ms. Jocelyn E. Songer will receive Honorable Mention recognition.

All three are doctoral students in the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), and all three conduct research at RLE’s affiliated Eaton-Peabody Laboratory (EPL), an inter-institutional research center of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), Harvard Medical School (HMS), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and MIT.

Mr. O’Gorman’s research has been supervised by Dr. Christopher Shera, Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology at HMS. Mr. O’Gorman has identified and solved a fundamental, and largely unrecognized, problem in the cochlear implant field: the biophysical basis for the irregular firing patterns of auditory neurons that are driven by high-rate electrical stimulation. Mr. O’Gorman’s work, presented at the 2006 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology and appears in an article to be submitted to the Journal of Neuroscience, has the potential for important applications to stimulus-encoding algorithms for cochlear implants.

Ms. Kalluri is also being supervised by Professor Shera. Her research rigorously tests existing models for the origin of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs). Ms. Songer’s research is being supervised by Dr. John J. Rosowski, Professor of Otology and Laryngology and Health Sciences and Technology at HMS and a former principal investigator in RLE. Her research deals with the consequences of a newly-described inner-ear pathology in which there is a hole in the bone that normally covers the superior semi-circular canal.

The Helen Carr Peake Research Prize was established through a donation of Dr. Sheldon Pang, an alumnus of RLE and EPL. It consists of an annual award of $2000 to an MIT student for bioengineering research performed in either RLE or EPL. This year is the fourth time the prize is being awarded, and only the second time that Honorable Mentions have been made. The prize presentation to Mr. O’Gorman and recognition of the Honorable Mentions for Ms. Kalluri and Ms. Songer will occur later this spring at an award luncheon.

The selection of Mr. O’Gorman, Ms. Kalluri, and Ms. Songer was done by a committee consisting of Professor Dennis M. Freeman (MIT/RLE), Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro (MIT, Director RLE), Professor M. Charles Liberman (HMS, Director EPL), Professor William T. Peake (MIT/RLE/EPL) and Professor John L. Wyatt (MIT/RLE).

Related Links:

Celebrating the Life of Helen Carr Peake 

Eaton-Peabody Laboratory (EPL)