[Name]: Mehdi Abouzari
[Mentor]: Hamid Djalilian
Project Title: Clinical application of a novel hand-held diagnostic device for middle ear effusion in children with otitis mediaAbstract
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Otolaryngology working under Drs. Hamid Djalilian and Harrison Lin. In our research group, we strive to develop novel solutions for otologic problems using engineering/basic science approaches. The ultimate goal of our projects is to improve available treatment options in otologic diseases (i.e., tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular or cochlear migraine) by implementing clinical trials, cognitive behavioral therapy, sound therapy, and electrical stimulation devices in patients with drug-resistant conditions.
The difficulty of achieving accurate diagnosis of otitis media within the limits of currently available technology is well recognized. We are going to fill this diagnostic gap which has specifically requested by the American Academy of Pediatrics in their most recent clinical practice guideline. The project is directly translatable to the clinic, and the results would impact the care of children with otitis media. As part of this project, I will have the unique opportunity to immerse myself into the otolaryngology clinics and operating rooms, as well as learn how to conduct rigorous research as a neurotologist. This work is an invaluable experience that will expose me to a dynamic and stimulating hearing academic research environment, in which I ultimately hope to focus my career on. Translating scientific discoveries to the clinic is a true passion of mine, and working with Drs. Djalilian and Lin will be a critical step in my training. This will be a project that is an excellent extension of the works that I am currently undertaking at UCI otolaryngology, and will link my previous experience in basic research, with my newfound experience in otology and neurotology, which would be an important skillset for me to develop to be successful as a translational physician scientist.