Assistant professor Charles Pudrith is hoping to identify why some people lose more of their hearing as they age than others do.
Pudrith, who teaches in the College of Health and Human Science's audiology department and has been tasked with running the NIU Hearing Conservation Center and Human Cochlear Genetics Lab, is working to find what creates a genetic predisposition to hearing loss.
His goal is to identify molecular markers that could shed some light on the disparity in hearing loss, and eventually help prevent it from happening. He hopes the Human Cochlear Genetic Lab on campus will help him recruit research participants to identify these biological signs.
The hearing conservation center doubles as a research lab and university service project where any student, faculty and staff member can get their hearing tested, even if they do not want to participate in research.
“It is important to measure your hearing because in our facilities, we can identify early signs of hearing loss,” Pudrith said. “We are also trained in discussing techniques to prevent further hearing loss.”
The planned genetics lab will add not just to the college, but to NIU’s overall offerings as a powerhouse researcher.
“Our hope is that with time, we can turn the facility into a genetic sample preparation core facility so that any researcher in the university can determine how genetics affects their population of interest,” Pudrith said.