ARO Member News

April 2012 

In This Issue
Post Meeting Questionnaire
MWM Photos
MWM Attendance
Save the Date
ARO Member Dues
Letter from the Past President
spARO Update


Post Meeting




Thank you to everyone who participated in our Post Meeting Questionnaire regarding the 35th MWM. We received an overwhelming number of responses. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and helpful as we plan the 36th MWM.

Congratulations to Christian Keine
for winning the raffle for a complimentary full-registration to attend the 2013 meeting in Baltimore, MD!

2012 MWM Photos  

Incoming President, John Middlebrooks presented a service award to outgoing President, Debara Tucci

Visit the  Photo Gallery under the Meeting section of the ARO website for photos from the 2012 MWM!  Our thanks to the ARO Historian, David Lim, for taking these photos!   

ARO MWM Attendance

There were 1551 attendees at the 2012 MidWinter Meeting.  Visit the ARO website to see how this compares to prior years and where attendees
were from!  

Save the Date 

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.



We are pleased to provide you with this April 2012 issue of the ARO member news update.
Do you have information you would like ARO to consider including in future e-news updates?  If yes, please email your content suggestions to


Linda Hood, Ph.D., Editor ARO
Past President Message:

The 2012 ARO MidWinter Meeting

The 35th Annual ARO MidWinter meeting convened on February 25-29, in a new location - San Diego, California. By any measure, the meeting was a great success. The Manchester Grand Hyatt proved to be an excellent location, providing good facilities in a location accessible to a variety of activities. Attendance was on par with previous years, at 1551, with 31 countries represented. An early highlight of the meeting was the Presidential Symposium, "Listening with the Brain: Cochlear Implants and Central Auditory System Plasticity." Larry Lustig and the Program Committee masterfully organized an excellent program from 1081 submitted and invited presentations. The post meeting questionnaire which many of you completed gave positive feedback about both the location and the content of the meeting. We plan to return the meeting to San Diego in 2014.

Other meeting highlights included:

At the Annual Business Meeting, George Gates and Robert Ruben received Presidential Citations for their significant contributions to the field. Peter Santi was recognized for his 12 years of dedicated service as ARO Editor.

A large audience heard an outstanding lecture delivered by Award of Merit winner David Corey, "Molecular Mechanics of the Transduction Apparatus in Hair Cells." This was preceded by a memorable introduction by Jeffrey Holt.

Council member Ruth Litovsky organized the first Mentorship & Diversity Session for young investigators, post-docs, residents, medical students, and junior faculty. Other participating faculty included Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Howard Francis, Lisa Hunter, Deb Hall, Monita Chatterjee, and Zach Smith. The session, which focused on issues of career development and work-life balance included presentations and break-out sessions. The program was very well received and will become a regular feature at ARO meetings. spARO, representing students and postdoctoral fellows, continues to grow and contribute to the organization in new and exciting ways.

I would like to close out my year as president by thanking the membership of ARO for the opportunity to serve in this role. I have appreciated the support of the ARO Council and many hard working committee chairs and members during the past year and look forward to the development of new initiatives for the organization over the coming years. Congratulations to Paul Manis, JARO Editor in Chief for another successful year for the journal. Many thanks to Lisa Astorga and the staff at Talley Management for their expert management of the organization. And, as always the support of the NIDCD is greatly appreciated. See you in Baltimore in February 2013!

Debara L. Tucci, M.D.

ARO Past President

spARO Update from the 2012 MWM


Dear students, postdocs and medical residents,


Are you looking for guidance on your career development? Do you want to expand your network in the ARO community? The Student, PostDoc and Medical Resident Chapter of ARO (spARO, pronounced 'sparrow') is here for you. Run by your peer trainees, we make every effort to build a fun and supportive trainee community, and to facilitate your career development. Chances are you were among us at one of the spARO events at this year's MidWinter Meeting in San Diego.


The spARO Social Event took place on Saturday evening at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in downtown San Diego. The biggest social event in the history of spARO, attracting over 200 attendees, provided free food and a complimentary drink to the first 150 people to arrive. The two-story place was packed with attendees. It provided a perfect venue for students, postdocs and residents to mingle with peers outside their laboratories, departments, and schools.


(Above) Social Event at Rock Bottom.

On Sunday 20 students, postdocs, and residents joined an informal discussion led by Professor Konstantina Stankovic, MD/PhD, from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School. Winner of the 2011 Burt Evans Young Investigator Award, Konstantina shared her path from a high-school exchange student to an established researcher and clinician, her moments of excitement and fulfillment from her research and clinical practice, advice for career development and selecting research direction, as well as secrets for work-life balance. She graciously answered questions raised by the attendees. This event offered a great opportunity for trainees to learn from a successful junior scientist.

(Above) Dr. Konstantina Stankovic in discussion with students, postdocs and residents

In other news, this year spARO and ARO both organized mentorship programs. With a total of 15 mentors, the spARO program fosters long-term one-to-one mentoring relationships, pairing a junior faculty member with a postdoc, a postdoc with a PhD student, or a PhD student with a potential PhD applicant. Six mentees were matched to mentors. The ARO program organized focus groups for drop-in mentoring, with around eight faculty mentors and forty mentees. Next year, the two mentoring programs will combine their effort to present a single, integrated mentoring program to facilitate organization, publicity, and participation.


Next year, spARO will organize the writing of a two-page, journalistic-style review of highlights at the 2013 ARO MidWinter Meeting to be published in JARO. Written entirely by trainees, this commentary will cover the themes and discussions of various symposia without disclosing unpublished data. It will voice a unique perspective of the exciting research presented at the 2013 ARO MidWinter Meeting. We welcome all trainee-attendees' input into this effort.


To view photos from the 2012 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego and to keep tuned to the latest spARO activity, please join our Facebook group (, to keep our community ties strong, at least in cyber space!


Finally, many thanks to last year's ex officio Jazz Grimsley, steering committee members Will McLean, Jeffrey Mellott, and Erol Ozmeral, all the representatives that attended seven ARO committee meetings, as well as the ARO council. The current members of the spARO steering committee are Kate Dunckley, Will Hamlet, Jane Jenson, Eric Larson, Will McLean, and Erol Ozmeral.


Shoot us an email at ( if you have questions, suggestions, requests or would like to join our effort.


Yours sincerely,

Wei Zhao

ex officio, spARO