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National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)


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Our Staff

The NCRAR is cultivating a community of clinicians, research scientists, and scholars who can address the communicative, economic, psychosocial, and vocational issues associated with auditory disorders. The Center is unique because of the broad range of professionals who work together with a focus on delivering rehabilitative therapeutics within the lifetime of the Veteran, with the greatest effectiveness and in a way that promotes efficiency.

Currently, more than 40 professionals are engaged in a variety of research and development activities of the NCRAR. Working alongside auditory research scientists and audiologists, it is commonplace to find such other professionals as healthcare educators, immunologists, otolaryngologists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, oncologists, and speech-language pathologists.



M. Patrick Feeney, Ph.D. Director
Dawn Konrad-Martin, Ph.D. Associate Director
Patrick Helt, M.A. Deputy Director, Administrative Officer
Christine Kaelin, MBA Education and Outreach Manager; Financial Management
Bryan Shaw, B.S. Program Support Assistant

Core and Associate Investigators

Curtis Billings, Ph.D. Electrophysiology, auditory plasticity, and aging
Naomi Bramhall, Ph.D. Electrophysiology, “hidden” hearing loss
Kathleen Carlson, M.S., Ph.D. Epidemiology, Health Services research, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), tinnitus
Khaya Clark, Ph.D. Implementation science, Health Services research, tinnitus, ototoxicity
M. Patrick Feeney, Ph.D. Peripheral auditory function, hearing screening, and aging 
Robert Folmer, Ph.D. Hearing conservation, tinnitus
Frederick (Erick) Gallun, Ph.D. Psychoacoustics and cognitive processing
Angela Garinis, Ph.D. Ototoxicity, physiologic measures of peripheral and central auditory processing
James Henry, Ph.D. Tinnitus
Timothy Hullar, M.D. Vestibular disorders, multisensory integration, cochlear implantation
Tess Koerner, Ph.D., Au.D. Electrophysiology, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Dawn Konrad-Martin, Ph.D. Peripheral auditory function, aging, diabetes & ototoxicity 
Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D. TBI/PTSD, sleep, rehabilitation, multisensory sensitivity
Michelle Molis, Ph.D. Speech perception
Melissa Papesh, Ph.D. Au.D. Clinical auditory neuroscience 
Kelly Reavis, Ph.D., M.S., MPH Epidemiology, Population and Military Hearing Health, Infectious Disease
Robert Peterka, Ph.D. Balance control, sensory integration, vestibular disorders 
Sarah Theodoroff, Ph.D. Tinnitus, decreased sound tolerance disorders, psychoacoustics

 Research Support Staff

Serena Dann, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Melissa Frederick, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Leslie Grush, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Wendy Helt, M.A. Grants Administrator, Lead Research Audiologist
Andrea Hildebrand Research Assistant
Addison Hoagland Research Assistant
Michelle Hungerford, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Michele Hutter, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Sean Kampel, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Brandon Madsen, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Daniel McDermott, M.A. Research Audiologist
Joseph Nadeau, B.A. Research Assistant
Daniel Putterman, Au.D. Research Audiologist
Chandra Random, B.A. Research Assistant
Gregory Sebastian, B.A. Research Assistant
ShienPei Silverman, M.A. Research Coordinator
Brandon Smith, B.S. Research Assistant
Anneka Sunstroem, B.A. Research Assistant
Samrita Thapa, MPH Research Assistant
Emily Thielman, M.S. Research Coordinator & Statistician
Jay Vachhani, Au.D. Research Audiologist

Engineer and Technical Support Staff

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Laura Coco, Au,D., Ph.D.
  • Riley DeBacker, Au.D.
  • Ramesh Muralimanohar, Ph.D.

Au.D. 4th Year Externs (2022-2023)

  • Hunter Stuehm, BA
  • Haley Szabo, BS

T35/Summer Students (2022)

  • Lindee Alvarez, BA
  • Lauren Charney, BA
  • Kaylee Pigott, BS, BA
  • Jayden Sarabia, BS
  • Kassander Thompson, BA

Affiliate Investigators

  • Michelle Cameron, M.D., PT, MCR, Falls, imbalance and functional mobility in multiple sclerosis
  • Royce Clifford, MD, Otolaryngology, genetics of functional decline in the auditory and vestibular systems
  • Laurie King, Ph.D., PT, Traumatic brain injury, gait and balance, rehabilitation
  • M. Samantha Lewis, Ph.D.
  • Gabrielle Saunders, Ph.D., Hearing aid outcomes & hearing conservation 
  • Peter Steyger, Ph.D., Mechanisms and pre-clinical models of ototoxicity

Affiliate Clinicians

  • Tricia Milnes, MHA, AuD, CCC-A, AIB-VAM, Chief, Audiology and Speech Pathology Services, Charlie Norwood VAMC, Augusta, Georgia
  • Tara Zaugg, Au.D., Associate Director of Rehab/EC Consultant (RECC), VISN 20