Her interest in providing people who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss with a richer music-listening experience has led a young Harvard researcher to the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and to a discovery that opens the door to exciting new avenues for the study and diagnosis of human inner ear diseases.
“Hearing loss is such a widespread problem and my hope is that our work will eventually help us better diagnose and treat it. People are just not aware of how sensitive the auditory system is to trauma, and how isolating and depressing it can be to lose one’s ability to communicate fluidly with others,” says Janani Iyer, a PhD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology program.
A musician herself, Iyer came to Saskatoon to tackle the problem of how to create detailed images of the delicate structures that allow humans to hear.
“Part of what drew me to this is that, despite its prevalence, hearing loss is incredibly understudied and incredibly underfunded,” she said.