Studies Currently Recruiting

  • Help us learn about how children with hearing loss process sounds during sleep!

    The Auditory Development Lab at Vanderbilt University is recruiting children in the Mama Lere Hearing School (MLHS) to participate in a research study that examines how children with hearing loss process sounds while sleeping!

    We are looking for both normal hearing (NH) and children with cochlear implants (CIs) between 3 and 5 years of age. All parts of the study can be completed in one day while you child is attending the MLHS unless the behavioral, cognitive, and/or audiological testing is unable to be completed that morning. For participating, you will receive $20 (mailed check) and your child will receive one age-appropriate book.

    In this study, children will be asked to do the following:

    Wear a “watch” that will monitor movement
    Complete behavioral, cognitive, and/or audiological testing (lasting less than 1 hour) if the child has not been assessed by an employee of the MLHS in the last six months
    Listen to sounds (nonsense words) during naptime while asleep

    For children with CIs, the child will be asked to nap with his or her CI turned on

    Visit our EEG lab that afternoon – this is where we will be able to tell if your child processed the sounds played while sleeping

    Parents, you will be asked to meet with or speak with a researcher for 10-15 minutes in order to complete the consent and paperwork required for the study.

    If you are interested in participating, please email for more information!

  • How does wearing a cochlear implant(s) throughout the night impact the quality of sleep?

    We are interested in exploring the impact of wearing cochlear implants throughout the night on quality of sleep and next day functioning. You might qualify for this 35 day research study if you are an adult with hearing loss and wear one or two cochlear implants.

    What will you have to do?

    • Wear an “actigraphy watch” (watch-like device that monitors movement during sleep) • Wear your cochlear implant(s) when you sleep for 14 consecutive nights
    • Collect and submit saliva samples 3 days each week
    • Complete daily and weekly questionnaires sent through email

    The following materials will be provided to you:

    • Actigraphy watch
    • Saliva sample kits
    • Laptop computer for completing attention task • Rechargeable battery for your cochlear implant

    You will receive up to $175 upon the completion of this study.
    If you would like to participate, please contact Adrienne Roman at 615-343-7205 or at

  • The majority of NICU admissions in the US receive empiric treatment with the aminoglycoside antibiotics, (e.g., gentamicin) and ampicillin (a β-lactam, primarily for Gram-positive bacteria), until infection is ruled out 48-72 hours later.  During this time, there is a high risk of mortality if infection is present and untreated.  The easy availability of broad-spectrum aminoglycosides (for their efficacy in treating a wide range of Gram-positive and particularly Gram-negative microbial species) and their low cost contributes to their frequent use worldwide.  Yet, their clinical use is limited due to the risk of acute nephrotoxicity, as well as permanent hearing loss.  Hearing loss occurs in >10% of all aminoglycoside recipients.  Hearing loss delays speech acquisition, education and psychosocial development, reducing employability, income and tax revenues.  


    Aim 1: Is the risk of hearing loss in NICU graduates greater with higher cumulative gentamicin dosing?

    Aim 2: Does (suspected) sepsis increase the risk of hearing loss in NICU infants dosed with gentamicin?