ARO Member News

September 2012

In This Issue
Save the Date!
Call for Abstracts
Hotel Reservations
ARO Travel Awards
ARO Member Dues
Small Grant Support
Letter from the President
2013 MWM Program
HHF Emerging Research Grants
Gordon Research Seminar and Conference

Save the Date! 

Call for Abstracts

The Association for Research in Otolaryngology invites you to electronically submit an abstract for the 2013 MidWinter Meeting. Please visit the ARO Abstract Submission Site to submit your abstract electronically.


Please note, a structural formatting change has been made to the submission site. Review the new submission guidelines before submitting your abstract for consideration to present at the MidWinter Meeting. 


The abstract site will be open until October 1, 2012.   

Make Your Hotel Reservations for the 2013 MWM

The 2013 MidWinter Meeting will take place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The hotel is located at 700 Aliceanna Street Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.


The group rate for the ARO MidWinter Meeting is $209.


For reservations, call 1-800-228-9290 and mention the ARO group. The online reservation portal will open in September.  

ARO Travel Awards

 Minority Student / Scientist Awards  


Resident / Medical Student Awards  


Graduate Student / Postdoctoral Fellow Awards   


Audiologist Awards

Travel awards to attend the 2013 MidWinter Meeting are available.  The application deadline is October 15, 2012.  Vist the ARO website for details!

ARO Member Dues

Still need to renew your 2012-2013 membership year dues?  Login to the member services website to pay online.  If you need your login for this website, email the ARO Executive Office for assistance.


Reminder, you must be a current member to submit or sponsor an abstract for the 2013 MidWinter Meeting. 

Associate Members: Join spARO on Facebook

spARO logo  

 We encourage you to join the spARO Facebook group to keep tuned to the latest activities. spARO makes every effort to build a fun and supportive trainee community, and to facilitate your career development. Join your peer trainees on Facebook to view pictures from past events and to keep our community ties strong in cyberspace.


Wei Zhao

spARO representative 

ARO Small Grant Support  

The ARO invites proposals for funding of small grants (up to $1000) to support activities either in the US or internationally that would enhance our mission and visibility as the premier hearing research organization in the world. Some specific activities that could be considered include:

1. Sponsorship of an invited lecture for an ARO member at a meeting, either national or international, particularly one at which ARO does not typically have a presence.

2. Partial support of small 'local' research meetings that serve as a venue for members to meet to discuss focused topics; student participation may be targeted in these grants.

3. Partial support of symposium at an international meeting, for presentations by ARO members, on a topic of interest to members of that society and attendees of the meeting.

Requirements:  applicants must be ARO members, and lectures/events must include a slide and/or other materials that acknowledge ARO support. The ARO will fund up to three grants per year.

This year's deadline for submission of applications is October 1, 2012, for activities to take place in the 2013 calendar year.  Notification will take place by December 3, 2012.

Please send proposals to ARO headquarters at



We are pleased to provide you with the September 2012 issue of ARO Member News, and announce the opening of the abstract submission site for the 36th MidWinter Meeting. To be considered for presentation, all abstracts must be completed and submitted no later than October 1, 2012.


Visit the following URL link to submit your abstract today:


 2013 Abstract Submission Site 


Once on the site, click "New User" to begin the process. Submitters will be able to log onto the site and revise abstracts until October 1, 2012; after this date, abstract changes will not be permitted.


Please contact ARO headquarters at with any questions. 


Best regards, 

Linda J. Hood, Ph.D., Editor ARO
Letter from the President


I hope that you all have had a pleasant summer, whether your idea of a good time means a week at the lake house or some uninterrupted time in your lab. I'm already looking forward to the Midwinter Meeting, February 16-20, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. We have met there before, and know that it is a very accommodating venue for our group. Access is convenient, there are many local restaurant options, and meeting and sleeping rooms are comfortable. This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of ARO! There will be opportunities to remember the many contributions of founders and of past and present members. Also, we will whoop it up with a party following the Award of Merit symposium and ceremony. The party will run on two floors, with food and drink. There are no formal provisions for dancing or uproarious laughter, but don't feel that you need to hold yourself back.   


Abstract submission for the meeting opened September 1, and I urge you to submit your most interesting new work. Larry Lustig and the Program Committee have already announced Symposium and Workshop topics that cover a wide range of interests. New this year are two young-investigator symposia. These symposia consist of 15-minute talks. They differ from conventional podium sessions in that they are organized by one or more young investigators (e.g., post-docs and assistant professors), they are tied together by a theme, and most of the presentations will be by young investigators. The Presidential Symposium will be "Ears and Brains at the Cocktail Party". We will address issues of how we hear in a complex auditory scene (i.e., the "real world"). I hope to include topics of normal and electrical hearing, periphery and CNS, physiology and psychophysics. There should be something for everyone. Sorry, we're not serving drinks!   


We are expanding our young investigator/mentorship programs through a collaboration among Students and Post-docs in ARO (spARO), the ARO Council, and the Program Committee. At the MidWinter Meeting we will have a dedicated room that will be available for daily round-table discussions and focus groups led by various faculty and investigators during the lunch and/or late afternoon hours as well as one-on-one meetings between mentors and mentees. Plans for a spARO Social are in the works. 

I am grateful to those ARO members who serve on committees. New committee members are appointed shortly after the MidWinter Meeting by the new president, who will be Jay Rubinstein, with suggestions from committee chairs; terms are three years. If you are interested in joining a committee, indicate that on the meeting registration form. Also, you might consider speaking to or dropping an email to a committee chair.   


The ARO Council has for some time talked about increasing the value of membership by offering ARO-sponsored events at times and places remote from the MidWinter Meeting. We recently have taken a first, big, step by taking under our wing a well-established biennial conference, the Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses (CIAP). CIAP has met in the summer of odd-numbered years since 1983 and is arguably the premier conference on research on hearing and balance prostheses. Formerly based at the House Ear Institute, CIAP will now have its organizational home with the ARO. Benefits to the ARO include increased involvement of ARO in ENT research, increased international awareness of ARO, and growth of ARO membership. A specific value added to ARO membership will be discounts on registration fees for ARO members at the CIAP conference. The Council views this as a fairly safe experiment, with no cost to the ARO, that hopefully will lead to affiliations with other conferences in the future.


The ARO office (and President and Editor) receive a constant trickle of requests to use the ARO email list to send more-or-less critical email blasts. Generally, we try to minimize the load on members' in-boxes, but some of these announcements might be of genuine interest. We plan to try this new alternative to one-off blasts: Any announcement of a job opening, funding source, conference, etc. that seems reasonably relevant to ARO may be submitted to the ARO office with a request to place it on our website. Monthly, around the 15th of each month, the office will send out an "ARO Alert" that will contain links to all the new topics on the website. We hope that this will provide sufficiently timely information for those who want it without introducing too much spam. If it is too much for you, you know where the Delete button is.   


The Council has received the unwelcome news that Lisa Astorga, at Talley Management Group, has moved on to run the meetings department for a stand alone association. Lisa has worked closely with the ARO for the past 10 years as meeting manager and executive director. She has seen us through hurricane and flood and done so much to make things work easily for us all. We will miss her and we offer our best wishes for her new endeavors. Lisa's jobs now will be filled by Haley Brust as executive director and Kathy Baumer as meeting manager. Both are experienced Talley employees and are highly qualified. We look forward to working with them.   


I hope that you all are thinking about an abstract submission and, abstract or not, I look forward to seeing you all in Baltimore.  


John C. Middlebrooks, Ph.D.

ARO President

2013 MWM Program Highlights



  • Ears and Brains at the Cocktail Party  



  • Assessing Tinnitus in Animals: Progress and Pitfalls
  • Intercellular Signaling during Sensory System Development 
  • Prestin at 13 - Progress, Problems, and Prospects 
  • Optogenetics: Studying Hearing Under a New Light 
  • Supporting Cells: Lessons from Studies of Glia
  • Insulin-like Growth Factor Signaling in Development and Protection...
  • Optical Approaches for Studying Auditory Processing
  • Manganese Enhanced MRI (MEMRI): Advantages for Functional Imaging
  • Hyperacusis: What's the Impact?
  • Biologically Inspired Mechanisms of Parsing the Acoustic Scene
  • News about Tinnitus
  • Cognitive Factors Influencing Speech Understanding...
  • The Non-lemniscal Auditory Thalamus
  • Noise-induced Hearing Loss: Scientific Advances
  • Translating Science into Rehabilitation for People with Hearing Loss



  • The Neurophysiology of Human Auditory Processing
  • Short and Long-term Neural Plasticity in the Auditory Brainstem
Call for Applications: Hearing Health Foundation Emerging Research Grants


We'd like to inform you of the opening of the Call for Applications for the 2013  Hearing Health Foundation Emerging Research Grants program.  This program is designed for both new applicants and current Hearing Health Foundation awardees applying for a second year of funding, who are dedicated to exploring new avenues of hearing and balance science.     

Please review Hearing Health Foundation's announcement and  Policy on Emerging Research Grants prior to  submitting a Letter of Intent. 

If you are eligible to apply for this program, please complete a Letter of Intent by the deadlines noted below:



  • 1st Year Applicant Letter of Intent: October 31, 2012 by 5PM ET
  • 1st Year Full Application: December 14, 2012 by 5PM ET
  • 2nd Year Applicant Letter of Intent: November 30, 2012 by 5PM ET
  • 2nd Year Application: January 18, 2013 by 5PM ET

Following Letter of Intent submission deadlines, eligible applicants will be emailed instructions for completing a full application. 

Should you have any questions regarding this program or the process to apply, please feel free to contact  Phone calls will not be accepted. 

Please feel free to share this information with interested colleagues as well! 

The Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Conference (GRC)


What's the best-kept secret in the auditory research community? The Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Conference (GRC) on "The Auditory System"! The 2012 GRC took place July 8-12 at Bates College in Lewiston Maine, a picturesque, peaceful setting with plenty of sunshine. ARO members Dan Sanes (chair) and Ruth Anne Eatock (vice chair) organized a diverse meeting with 46 speakers from a variety of auditory fields, from molecular mechanisms of hair cell transduction to multisensory integration and auditory perception. GRC meetings are unique in that a relatively small group of scientists (~130 for this year's meeting) attend every talk, take their meals together, and socialize around posters for 5 days. Each talk is followed by a dedicated, often lively, discussion period. GRC scheduling provides an unusual balance of science sessions (both talks and posters) and unstructured time, where groups of attendees can get together for a soccer game, hike, or just to relax by the lake. Each GRC even includes a lobster dinner - truly a treat in Maine!   The small size, absence of concurrent sessions, and camp-like atmosphere foster a sense of community and mentorship, providing the perfect complement to the ARO MidWinter meeting.   


The GRC was preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS), a unique event dedicated to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. ARO members Allison Coffin (chair) and Sean Slee (associate chair) led 46 young scientists in a special one-day meeting for trainees only, with talks by students and postdocs, trainee-only poster sessions, networking opportunities, and even some time for socializing. Professor Thanos Tzounopoulos (University of Pittsburgh) delivered the keynote address, and served as a faculty mentor (and an inspiration!), offering up research and career advice for young investigators in the auditory community. Program Officer Janet Cyr from NIDCD was on hand the whole week to provide more targeted advice on seeking NIH funding.   


From senior investigators to graduate students, all concluded that the GRC was a highly valuable meeting, with some saying it was the best meeting they'd ever attended. Intrigued? Want to join the fun? The next Auditory GRS and GRC will be held in the summer of 2014. One myth that we would like to dispel is that GRC meetings are "by invitation only." The procedure is simply to apply on-line, including an abstract that you would like to present as a poster. Although space is limited, the previous chairs have been able to accept all those who applied.


The next GRS will be organized by Sean Slee (chair) and Catherine Weisz (associate chair), and the GRC by Ruth Anne Eatock (chair) and Stephen Lomber (vice chair). The location and date have not been finalized but the meeting will likely occur in July at a small New England college, perhaps returning to Bates. Check your inboxes and the GRC website for more information and join us in 2014.


Allison Coffin (GRS Chair)

Sean Slee (GRS Associate Chair)