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Our research strategy

Our strategy outlines the approach we’re taking to accelerate the discovery and development of treatments and cures. It highlights the areas of research we’ll fund and how we’ll support research in these areas.

We focus our research on:

Improving the diagnosis of hearing loss

We will fund research to develop diagnostic tests that can:

  • identify which parts of the auditory system are not working correctly and/or the cause of the hearing loss
  • predict outcomes, following intervention, to help select the most appropriate treatment
  • help set up devices to better meet an individual’s needs

Improving medical devices to help people hear

We will support research to:

  • improve approaches to fitting devices
  • develop new signal processing strategies
  • improve rehabilitation
  • improve the interface between the cochlear implant and the auditory nerve
  • catalyse the development of new medical devices

Preventing hearing loss

We will support research to:

  • identify the causes of hearing loss
  • improve our understanding of the molecular and cellular changes associated with different types of hearing loss
  • develop and evaluate new strategies to prevent hearing loss.

Restoring hearing

We will support research to:

  • develop cell-based therapies to repair damage to the auditory system
  • identify biological pathways that could be targeted to trigger the regeneration of damaged cell typesadvance drug- or gene-based approaches to activating biological pathways to restore function or trigger cell regeneration.

Silencing tinnitus

We will support research to:

  • identify the causes of tinnitus
  • improve our knowledge of the biological basis of tinnitus
  • develop and evaluate strategies to alleviate it.

Through a range of funding schemes and our Translational Research Initiative for Hearing (TRIH), we will:

  • increase the number of scientists working in hearing research
  • make scientific discoveries that may lead to new treatments
  • support translational research to move promising discoveries closer to the clinic.

Our position on the use of animals in research

We’re dedicated to supporting biomedical research into treatments and cures for hearing loss and tinnitus. Much of this research is carried out without using animals but, in certain areas, animal research remains essential if we are to understand hearing loss and tinnitus and develop new and effective treatments.

Research involving animals only takes place where there is no alternative available. We’re a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and we support the AMRC principles of using animals in research.

Download our Biomedical Research Strategy 2015-18