Ekaterina Yukhnovich is an Action on Hearing Loss-funded PhD student in Dr Will Sedley’s laboratory at Newcastle University. In her project, Ekaterina is working to develop an objective test for tinnitus, to help speed up the development of treatments. Ekaterina is being supported through an Action on Hearing Loss/Masonic Charitable Foundation PhD studentship grant.
Ekaterina completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Sheffield – her favourite subjects were basic neuroscience and mental health. After completing her degree, she went on to study Systems Neuroscience as she was interested in the way that smaller components of the brain come together to create intricate neural networks that allow us to perceive our environment, and perform necessary everyday tasks.
During university, Ekaterina was involved in the Sign Language Society, led by a Deaf man who taught about his experiences and the history of the deaf community. She also became interested in the neuroscience that underlies what happens when a person’s hearing changes, including tinnitus. She met people with tinnitus who told her about some of the ways in which tinnitus affected their lives. Now, she is undertaking research into a tinnitus biomarker as part of the Auditory Cognition Group at Newcastle University.
You can find out more about Ekaterina’s work on the Auditory Cognition Group website.
What do you hope your research will achieve?
I first started studying Psychology and later Neuroscience because I believed that understanding these subjects would allow me to help others improve their lives. Tinnitus affects a large number of people in our society, with various people reacting to it in different ways. If we are able to understand the physiology of tinnitus, diagnosis and treatment research would be able to progress further, which could help ease the mental burden of tinnitus on people struggling with it more effectively.
What does the Action on Hearing Loss/Masonic Charitable Foundation studentship mean to you?
The Action on Hearing Loss/ Masonic Charitable Foundation studentship is allowing me to continue my academic journey, studying a subject that I am very interested in. It will allow me to link my work with the life experiences of people I care about.