Research Group

Principal Investigator:
Linda J. Hood, Ph.D.

Linda J. Hood, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and the Associate Director for Research at the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She received a master's degree in audiology from Kent State University and a Ph.D. in hearing science from the University of Maryland. Dr. Hood completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship and was a faculty member at the Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans for 23 years. Her research and clinical interests include auditory physiologic responses, efferent auditory function, hereditary hearing loss, auditory neuropathy/dys-synchrony, central auditory processing, development of hearing, aging of the auditory system, cochlear implants, and comparative hearing studies. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Hood has participated in several review and working groups for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, is a past president of the American Academy of Audiology, a trustee of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation, and a current member of the board of the American Auditory Society.

 

Research Audiologist:
Lauren Roberts, Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Lauren Roberts has been an audiologist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center since 2007. She received her B.A. from The Ohio State University and her Au.D. from the University of Akron.  Dr. Roberts specializes in newborn hearing screening, pediatric amplification, ototoxicity, and pediatric diagnostic testing with special interest in auditory brainstem response testing.  Dr. Roberts developed and coordinated the Ototoxicity Monitoring Program and served as the Assistant Director for Audiology at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.  She is a member of the Vanderbilt Auditory Neuropathy Team.  Dr. Roberts has presented at local, state, and national venues.  In December 2014, Dr. Roberts joined Dr. Hood in the Auditory Physiology Research Lab as a research audiologist.

 

Research Audiologist:
Sarah Powell, Au.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Powell is a research audiologist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center.  She received her B.A., Au.D., and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.  Dr. Powell's research interests include effects of environmental factors (i.e. noise exposure and auditory training) on behavioral and physiologic measures of auditory function, especially in individuals with clinically "normal" audiograms.  In 2016, she completed an NIH NIDCD T-35 Research Traineeship in Dr. Hood's Auditory Physiology Lab and has presented her research at several national conferences.  Dr. Powell completed her Au.D. externship at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Veteran Affairs Medical Center and her clinical interests include adult diagnostics and amplification. She has served on professional organization education committees, teaches as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, and enjoys mentoring students.  Dr. Powell returned to Vanderbilt to join the lab in October 2021 as a research audiologist.  

 

Research Audiologist:
Diana Kloiber, Au.D.

Dr. Diana Kloiber has been an audiologist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center since 2013. She received her Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Audiology from Purdue University. Dr. Kloiber specializes in pediatric amplification, pediatric diagnostic testing, and is lead amplification audiologist for the patients with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder.  Dr. Kloiber joined Dr. Hood in the Auditory Physiology Research Lab as a research audiologist in the summer of 2021.

 

Research Audiologist:
Jordan Racca, Au.D.

Dr. Racca is a research audiologist and Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his Au.D. in 2017 from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has been a member of the research lab since June of 2015 when he completed an NIH-NIDCD T-35 Research Traineeship under the mentorship of Dr. Hood. His research interests focus on the effects of pathological (e.g., noise exposure) and non-pathological (e.g., aging and development) processes on the physiological responses of the inner ear and peripheral neural pathway, affecting hearing and balance. Dr. Racca recently completed a study examining the effects of frequency-specific chirp stimuli in adults with sensorineural hearing loss. Additionally, he continues to work on several other lab projects.

 

Research Assistant:
Janice Creel

Janice moved to Nashville from Panama City, Florida in 2013.  She joined the Hood Lab in March of 2014.  She collects and enters data for research purposes with the goal of utilizing audiologic, genetic, and otolaryngologic information to study rare disorders affecting auditory and vestibular function.