Our Research Team


Gabrielle R. Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D.


Gabrielle Merchant 
Gabrielle Merchant is a hearing scientist and audiologist with interdisciplinary training in audiology, engineering, psychoacoustics, biology, and auditory neuroscience.  She completed her undergraduate degree at Smith College, where she self-designed an interdisciplinary major in Speech and Hearing Science.  There, she had an opportunity to work with both Dr. Susan Voss and Dr. Jill de Villiers.  She then went on to the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program, working with Dr. Heidi Nakajima and Dr. John Rosowski, earning her PhD in 2014.  Gabrielle always had a strong desire to combine clinical work with research, so upon graduation from SHBT in 2014, she entered the clinical doctoral training program in Audiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she spent three years training as an audiologist and working in the laboratories of Dr. Karen Helfer and Dr. Richard Freyman.  Gabrielle came to Boys Town National Research Hospital in 2018, first completing her fourth-year clinical externship, and then transitioning to her role as the Director of the TAPP Lab.

Sarah Al-Salim, Au.D.

Research Audiologist

Sarah Al-Salim is a Research Audiologist in the Translational Auditory Physiology and Perception Lab and in the Clinical Measurement Program at Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH). She completed her Au.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, during which time she worked in the Human Sensory Physiology Lab at BTNRH with Drs. Michael Gorga and Steve Neely. She completed her clinical externship in audiology in Chicago, Illinois and spent 4 years working with adults and children with hearing loss in a multidisciplinary clinic prior to returning to Omaha and BTNRH. Currently, her primary research interest lies in the development of communication in children with hearing loss. Of particular interest are clinical assessment tools and intervention strategies used to promote language development leading to improved academic and social outcomes in this population.

Richard Tempero, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard Tempero 
Richard Tempero is a physician-scientist at Boys Town National Research Hospital and formerly directed the Lymphatic Research Laboratory.  He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin Madison and his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  Dr. Tempero closely collaborates on our project on the Differential Diagnosis of Otitis Media, providing expertise​ on the otologic care and treatment of otitis media and the collection and analysis of middle-ear fluid samples.