AHRF Awards Wiley H. Harrison Grant to Matthew Bush, M.D. to Study Vestibular Schwannomas

The American Hearing Research Foundation has awarded the Wiley H. Harrison, M.D. grant to Matthew Bush, M.D., of Ohio State University, Columbus for his research proposal entitled, “In vitro and in vivo response to HDAC inhibitors by vestibular schwannomas.” The grant is for $25,000 for one year.

Dr. Bush and colleagues will investigate the action of an antitumor drug called HDAC, developed at Ohio State University, on vestibular schwannomas. Vestibular schwannomas are benign tumors that grow on the auditory nerve. These tumors tend to grow very slowly, and can gradually lead to hearing loss and deafness. Because they occur on the auditory nerve, cochlear implants (which are implanted on the auditory nerve) are not effective in restoring hearing once it is lost. Patients with bilateral vestibular schwannomas must have auditory brainstem implants to restore hearing. These implants bypass the auditory nerve and directly stimulate the brainstem. Treatment for vestibular schwannomas involves microsurgery or radiosurgery/radiotherapy, which carry significant risks to the patient.

Dr. Bush hopes that if HDAC shows some success in shrinking vestibular schwannoma tissue culture and in mice, that clinical trials in humans could begin.

The Wiley H. Harrison, M.D. Grant is named after Wiley H. Harrison, M.D., who was the American Hearing Research Foundation’s President from 1998 to 2000, and Chairman of the Research Committee from 1978 to 2000.

The American Hearing Research Foundation gives a grant in honor of Dr. Harrison to support research in otology. Grant proposals are reviewed by CORE—the Centralized Otolaryngology Research Efforts—with final say in the project selected remaining with the AHRF.