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Douglas Keefe, Ph.D.

​​Position Title

Senior Research Scientist
Physical Acoustics Laboratory
Boys Town National Research Hospital


Boys Town National Research Hospital
Physical Acoustics Laboratory
555 N. 30th St., Omaha, NE 68131


(402) 498-6733 Office


Personal Statement

I devised a method for clinical ear-canal reflectance measurements, and performed reflectance measurements comparing infant and adult ears. These results have found application to assessing conductive influences on outcomes in newborn hearing screening programs to detect hearing loss. A new approach to measuring evoked otoacoustic emissions extended the ability to measure responses to much higher frequencies. For example, we showed that suppression of stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions provide a non-invasive measure of cochlear nonlinearity. These experimental studies were supported by parallel modeling efforts to better understand maturational changes in ear-canal and middle-ear function, to explain how middle-ear function affects the interpretation of measures of cochlear function, and to construct more accurate models of human middle-ear mechanics. My current research involves collaborations between basic and clinical trained researchers to advance the clinical diagnosis and monitoring of middle-ear and cochlear function. I have served as PI on multiple NIH and other grants. I have advised four doctoral students during completion of their dissertations, and have mentored five postdoctoral fellows. I am currently chair of the BTNRH training committee and PI of our institutional training grant.

  1. Keefe DH, Bulen JC, Arehart KH, Burns EM. Ear-canal impedance and reflection coefficient in human infants and adults. J Acoust Soc Am. 1993 Nov;94(5):2617-38. PubMed PMID: 8270739.
  2. Keefe DH, Ellison JC, Fitzpatrick DF, Gorga MP. Two-tone suppression of stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions. J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 Mar;123(3):1479-94. PubMed PMID: 18345837; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2517244.
  3. Sanford CA, Keefe DH, Liu YW, Fitzpatrick D, McCreery RW, Lewis DE, Gorga MP. Sound-conduction effects on distortion-product otoacoustic emission screening outcomes in newborn infants: test performance of wideband acoustic transfer functions and 1-kHz tympanometry. Ear Hear. 2009 Dec;30(6):635-52. PubMed PMID: 19701089; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3519360.
  4. Keefe DH. Human middle-ear model with compound eardrum and airway branching in mastoid air cells. J Acoust Soc Am. 2015 May;137(5):2698-725. PubMed PMID: 25994701; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4570511.

Positions and Employment

  • 1995 - Senior Staff Scientist, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 1978 - Member, Chair, Tech. Comm. Musical Acoustics, Acoustical Society of America.
  • 1993 - Member, Association for Research in Otolaryngology
  • 1998 - President, Sonicom, Inc.
  • 2000 - Member, American Auditory Society


  • 1991 - Invited Professor, Universite du Maine, Le Mans, France
  • 1996 - Fellow, Acoustical Society of America
  • 2001 - Editor's Award, Ear and Hearing
  • 2013 - Technology transfer & commercialization, middle-ear diagnostic device

Detailed Information

Full NIH Biographical Sketch

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography