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Core Center for Communication Disorders

​​​A grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) provides core support for researchers funded by the NIDCD or related divisions of the National Institutes of Health. The Core Center for Communication Disorders is based at BTNRH, but includes faculty members at Creighton University, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Walt Jesteadt serves as Program Director. The Core Center provides support in three areas.

Laboratory Computing and Biostatistics

This core, directed by Dr. Stephen Neely, provides support for real-time data collection, development of software for data analyses, and acoustic calibrations for research laboratories. Support for experimental design and statistical analyses is provided through a subcontract with the Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at UNMC. Software developed by members of the core staff and others at BTNRH is available at

Research Synergy

This core, directed by Drs. Barbara Morley and Mary Pat Moeller, will organize workshops, colloquia and other activities to facilitate interactions among interested individuals from the more than 30 potential collaborators at BTNRH, Creighton, UNMC and UNL.

Human Research Subjects

This core, directed by Dr. Michael Gorga, provides support for subject recruitment and compliance with best practices regarding research involving human subjects. The core maintains a database of individuals in the greater Omaha area who have expressed an interest in participating in research studies related to hearing and communication disorders. It also provides other support services related to IRB and NIH applications and progress reports, along with quality-assurance measures related to consent and assent processes. If you would like more information, please contact the Research Subjects Core Coordinator at 402 498-6705.

Participating Faculty

The Core Center for Communication Disorders provides support for NIDCD grants held by Drs. Dominic Cosgrove, Michael Gorga, Michelle Hughes, Douglas Keefe, Yesha Lundberg, Mary Pat Moeller, Stephen Neely, and Patricia Stelmachowicz at BTNRH, David He at Creighton, and Jordan Green and Tiffany Hogan at UNL/UNMC. We have a much larger group of faculty members who have the potential to receive NIDCD support. Contact information and a summary of current or recent funding for the current and potential research base are given in the following table.

Name InstitutionEmail/PhoneWeb siteCurrent/Recent Funding
Monita Chatterjee, PhD BTNRH Monita.Chatterjee@boystown.org402-452-5069

Complex Auditory Processing with Cochlear Implants

Voice Pitch Processing by Normally-Hearing and Cochlear-Implanted Children

Dominic Cosgrove, PhD BTNRH Dominic.Cosgrove@boystown.org402-498-6334 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC004844; Usherin: Structural and Functional Analysis

NIH-NIDDK/ 2R01DK055000; Molecular Aspects of Alport Renal Disease Progression

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC006442 (Subaward); Matrix Otopathology FFB/NNRI; NNPC-GT-0710-0054-BTNRH-FR; Efficacy of UshStat Vectors in Shaker1 Mice

Anna Dunaevsky, PhD UNMC adunaevsky@unmc.edu402-559-1071 Web site NIH-/5R01NS057667; Dynamics of Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Dendrites
Michael Gorga, PhD BTNRH Michael.Gorga@boystown.org402-498-6604 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC002251; Cochlear Nonlinearity and Auditory Function in Humans

NIH-NIDCD/3R01DC002251; Cochlear Nonlinearity and Auditory Function in Humans (Diversity Supplement)

NIH-NIDCD/5P30DC004662; Human Research Subject Core

Jordan Green, PhD UNL jgreen4@unl.edu402-617-7064 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC009890; Bulbar Motor Deterioration in ALS

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC006463; Early Speech Motor Development

Richard Hallworth, PhD CUMC Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R21DC008995; Determination of Metabolic State of Hair Cell Mitochondria by FLIM
David He, MD, PhD CUMC davidhe@creighton.edu402-280-1409 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC004696; Biophysics and Development of Cochlear Hair Cells

NIH-NIDCD/5R21DC009908; Regeneration of Stereocilia of Cochlear Hair Cells

Tiffany Hogan, PhD UNL thogan2@unl.edu402-472-3911 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R03DC009667; The Lexicon and Phoneme Awareness
Michelle Hughes, PhD BTNRH Michelle.Hughes@boystown.org402-452-5038 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC009595; Physiology as a Potential Predictor of Perception in Cochlear Implants
Kristen Janky, PhD BTNRH Kristen.Janky@boystown.org402-498-6535 Web site
Walt Jesteadt, PhD BTNRH Walt.Jesteadt@boystown.org402-498-6704 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5P30DC004662; Core Center: Administration Core

NIH-NIDCD/5T32DC000013; Research in Human Communication and Its Disorders

NIH-NIDCD/5T35DC008757; Short-Term Research Training for AUD Students

Sherri Jones, PhD UNL Sherri.Jones@unl.edu402-472-5496 Web site NIH-NIDCD/R01DC006443;
Genetic Basis of Gravity Receptor Dysfunction in Mice; ECU-DoD Partnership: Operation Re-entry North Carolina; Sensory Reweighting in Trauma or Blast Induced Dizziness
Timothy Jones, PhD UNL Tjones13@unl.edu402-472-5100 Web site
Douglas Keefe, PhD BTNRH Douglas.Keefe@boystown.org402-498-6733 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC010202; Wideband Clinical Diagnosis and Monitoring of Middle-Ear and Cochlear Function
William Kimberling, PhD BTNRH William.Kimberling@boystown.org402-498-6713 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC003544; Autosomal Dominant Non-Syndromic Hearing Loss
Siu-Kit (Eddie) Lau, PhD UNL slau3@unl.edu402-554-3861 Web site
Ken L. Kramer, PhD CUMC KenKramer@creighton.edu402.280.2763 Web site
Christopher Kratochvil, MD UNMC ckratoch@unmc.edu402-552-6006 NIH-NIMH/5K23MH066127; Pharmacological Treatment of ADHD in Young Children
Dawna Lewis, PhD BTNRH Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R03DC009675; The Impact of Minimal Hearing Loss on Functional Auditory Skills in Children
Yesha Lundberg, PhD BTNRH Yesha.Lundberg@boystown.org402-498-6607 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC008603; Otoconia Development and Maintenance
Ryan McCreery, PhD BTNRH Ryan.McCreery@boystown.org402-498-6668 Web site
Mary Pat Moeller, PhD BTNRH MaryPat.Moeller@boystown.org402-452-5068 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC006681; Word Learning in Infants with Hearing Loss

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC009560; Moderators and Outcomes in Children With Mild to Severe Hearing Impairment

Dennis Molfese, PhD UNL dmolfese2@unl.edu402-472-7976 Web site

NIH-NICHD 1R43 HD062072: Integration of High-Density EEG and Hemodynamic Measures to Investigate Neural Functioning.

NIH-NIBIB 1R01EB007684: NEMO: Robust Methods For Knowledge Representation, Data Mining And Integration

Barbara Morley, PhD BTNRH Barbara.Morley@boystown.org402-498-6584 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC006907; Transient Expression of Cholinergic Markers in the PVCN
Stephen Neely, DSc BTNRH Stephen.Neely@boystown.org402-498-6751 Web site

NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC008318-05; Cochlear Mechanics, Wave Propagation, and Compression

NIH-NIDCD/5P30DC004662; Core Center: Lab Computing Core

Kanae Nishi, PhD BTNRH Kanae.Nishi@boystown.org402-498-6354 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R03DC009334; Auditory Training for Persons with Difficulty Understanding Speech in Noise
You-Wei Peng, PhD BTNRH You-Wei.Peng@boystown.org402-498-6523 Web site NIH-NCRR/5P20RR018788; The Molecular Biology of Neurosurgery Systems: COBRE Proj
Kayla Pope, JD, MD BTNRH Kayla.Pope@boystown.org402-498-1449 Web site
Sonia Rocha-Sanchez, PhD CUMC ssanchez@creighton.edu402-280-5098 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R03DC009989; Role of Supporting Cells in Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration
Nicholas Smith, PhD BTNRH Nicholas.Smith@boystown.org402-452-5070 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R03DC009884; Hearing Status and Prosody in Mother-Child Speech
Shelley Smith, PhD UNMC ssmith@unmc.edu402-559-5314 Web site NIH-NCRR/5P20RR018788; The Molecular Biology of Neurosurgery Systems
Garrett Soukup, PhD CUMC garrettsoukup@creighton.edu402-280-5754 Web site NIH-NIDCD/5R01DC009025; Role of Micrornas in Mammalian Ear Development and Neurosensory Specification
Nick Stergiou, PhD UNO nstergiou@unomaha.edu402-554-3247 Web site NIH-NICHHD/5K25HD047194; Nonlinear Analysis of Postural Function in Infants
Ronald Thompson, PhD BTNRH Ronald.Thompson@boystown.org402-498-1254 Web site
Wallace Thoreson, PhD UNMC wbthores@unmc.edu402-559-2019 Web site NIH-NEI/5R01EY010542; Regulation of Photoreceptor Neurotransmission
Edward Walsh, PhD BTNRH Edward.Walsh@boystown.org402-498-6701 Web site NIH-NCRR/5P20RR018788; The Molecular Biology of Neurosurgery Systems NSF/IOS-0823417; Auditory Performance in Tigers
Lily Wang, PhD UNL LwWang4@UNL.edu402-554-2065 Web site
Michael Weston, PhD CUMC michaelweston@creighton.edu402-280-5030 Web site NIH-NCRR/5P20RR018788; The Molecular Biology of Neurosurgery Systems: Project 6
Tony Wilson, PhD UNMC tony.w.wilson@gmail.com402-552-6431 Web site
Marisa Zallocchi, PhD BTNRH Marisa.Zallocchi@boystown.org402-498-6374 Web site