ARO Member News

January 2014

In This Issue
Hotel Reservations
Letter from the Program Chair
Letter from the President
Ben M. Clopton

 Register Now for the MWM

Register now open for the 37th MidWinter Meeting. To register online, log onto ARO's member services website. Make sure to renew your membership first, so you receive the discounted rate.


Make Your Hotel Reservations for the 2014 MWM

Manchester Grand


The 2014 MidWinter Meeting will take place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel. The hotel is located at 1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101, USA.


The group rate for the ARO MidWinter Meeting is $199.


For reservations, call 619.232.1234 and mention the ARO group, or reserve your stay online through the reservation portal.


spARO Update:

spARO logo  


This year spARO is going to roll out the first Journal Club at the MidWinter Meeting in San Diego, where two high-profile papers published in the past year will be discussed over drinks and food. The Student Social will come to town as usual. Come and join your peers for a fun night out. Also, you will learn the tricks of the trade at the Young Investigator Award Lunch as well as the Mentoring Sessions, which spARO co-sponsors. Everyone is welcome to our Town Hall Meeting. For more information about spARO activities during the MidWinter Meeting, visit our Facebook page.



With the New Year comes a flurry of activity in finalizing plans for the 2014 Midwinter Meeting.  We are anticipating another great meeting, as you will see when you read the messages below from President Jay Rubinstein and Program Chair Larry Lustig.   A packed scientific program, special events, sunny days and warm sandy beaches make an enticing combination.  We hope to see you there!


Happy New Year! 


Linda J. Hood, Ph.D.

ARO Editor



Dear ARO members,
The Program Committee is quite excited about the upcoming mid-winter meeting in San Diego, and not just for the warm weather!  Overall the meeting continues to grow in size, with 11 symposia, 1 workshop, 29 podium sessions and 867 posters slated for presentation.  Responding to many of your suggestions, we have made a number of changes to the meeting format.    Perhaps the biggest change will be the new time format for Symposia, now scheduled for 2 hours each. These shorter format symposia are intended to be more generalized, representing a concise overview of current trends in auditory and vestibular  neuroscience and clinical research. While keeping the number and diversity of topics similar to prior years, this format will allow more free time to peruse posters , attend podium sessions, or socialize by the pool.  I'd like to highlight several exciting features of the meeting:  There will be a Young Investigator Symposium, featuring research on mechanotransduction on Tuesday afternoon.  There will also be a special event this year to celebrate the Lasker Award winners for their pioneering work on cochlear implants, which will segue into the Hair Ball on Tuesday evening.  Lastly I would like to acknowledge Ruth Litovsky in particular for her work organizing mentorship sessions, bringing together junior and senior faculty members during the meeting.  I would encourage all young faculty and post-docs to take advantage of this valuable opportunity.    On behalf of ARO we hope to see you in San Diego!


Larry Lustig, M.D.   

ARO Program Chair

Letter from the President


Research on the cochlear implant has played an important role in the history of the ARO.  We are fortunate to work in a field where research has had such a dramatic human impact.  However there are other inner ear and other sensory disorders that may well be amenable to management with a variety of neurotechnologies.  Such research faces significant challenges in translating from animals to humans and this symposium will directly address those challenges. Some of these technologies have received full FDA approval, some have begun human studies using Investigational Device Exemptions, and some are pending first human use.  Dr Jim Patrick from Cochlear, Ltd,an engineer central to the development of the first FDA approved multichannel cochlear implant will begin the session.  Dr Rob Greenberg from Second Sight,, a physician, engineer and founder of that company will discuss the research and regulatory process leading to the FDA approval of the first retinal prosthesis.  Dr Matthew Howard from the University of Iowa, a neurosurgeon, will discuss physiologic research in human auditory cortex.  Dr James Phillips from the University of Washington, a vestibular physiologist, will discuss human studies of the vestibular prosthesis.  Dr Steven Cheung from the University of California, San Francisco, a neurotologist, will discuss studies of deep brain stimulation for tinnitus.  The symposium will explore the unique challenges and promise of first-in-human studies of these neurotechnlogies.  


Jay T. Rubinstein, M.D., Ph.D.

ARO President

Ben M. Clopton 1942-2013


Ben M. Clopton was a neurophysiologist and long-time member of ARO. He had a long siege with cancer, dying surrounded by family on December 8, 2013.


Ben earned his doctorate at the University of Washington in 1970, and began a career studying the neurophysiology of hearing. He began his work investigating the detection and neural coding of acoustic signals in primates, and was an early investigator of electrical stimulation and its perception in the peripheral and central auditory systems.


 He was on the faculties of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of Washington, Seattle, and, after leaving the University of Washington, was a founder of Advanced Cochlear Systems, Snoqualmie, WA, where he worked on electrode design and the novel coding of electrical stimuli for cochlear prostheses. He retired to Georgetown, Texas, where he enjoyed woodworking, and traveled to pursue camping, outdoor activities and fly fishing.


He is survived by his wife, Darlene, children Brian and Heather, and his granddaughter, Caitlin, as well as by a brother and sister.