US NIDCD appoints Duke University professor Debara Tucci as its new director


Debara Tucci Md., M.S., M.B.A
© National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Dr. Debara L. Tucci will take over in September this year as the next director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), in charge of its annual budget for the nation's hearing matters of around $459m.

As a faculty member since 1993 at North Carolina's private research centre, Duke University, Dr. Tucci became the director of the cochlear implant program in the Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences. At Duke, she has received continuous funding from her new employer, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), setting up a network of academic and community-based research sites to conduct clinical research in hearing and balance disorders.

The former long-time director of the NIDCD, James F. Battey, retired from the post in May, 2018, since when Judith Cooper has looked after the seat. Dr. Cooper will continue in the capacity of deputy director.

In her new role, Dr. Tucci will wield immense influence over the hearing health of the USA, not least as co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Hearing Loss, overseeing the handling of hearing loss as a global public health problem. She brings vast experience to the role, among which is her time serving on the AAO-HNS Research Advisory Board, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and numerous sub-committees. She has served as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the American Otological Society and the American Neurotology Society, and is active in numerous other professional societies.

“Dr. Tucci’s rich experience melds basic and clinical research in communication disorders with an impressive clinical and surgical practice in otology and neurotology,” said National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins.

Source: NIH