Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration and the Hearing Regeneration Initiative

 

http://www.starfishnetwork.org/video.aspx?id=11658

 

The Rotary Club of Clover Park in 2001 established the Hair Cell Regeneration committee. Two years later this committee applied to Rotary International to establish a Rotary International Fellowship. In 2006 the Fellowship under RI guidelines became Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration, a Rotarian Action Group. It is also a Washington State Non-Profit Corporation and an IRS approved 501c(3) Public Charity.

The group's purpose is to provide information of the physical, mental and social problems of those affected by hearing loss; assist in the prevention of hearing loss: and encourage research in regenerating hearing. The group will also participate in International projects regarding hearing loss.

A partnership was formed in 2003 with the VirginiaMerrillBloedelHearingResearchCenter at the University of Washington. We hope to raise major funding through our work to assist the Hearing Regeneration Initiative at the VMBHRC. Initially we produced a video, Hope for Hearing Loss, since updated that explains hearing loss and the possibilities of regeneration.

It is estimated that hearing loss affects as many as 500 million people worldwide. Those in any country below the poverty line have little hope in leading normal and productive lives as the only current remedy is expensive hearing devices.

Dr. Edwin Rubel, the senior scientist at the VirginiaMerrillBloedelHearingResearchCenter is credited with discovering that birds regenerate their hair cells after damage and regain their hearing in just 30 days or less. There has been subsequent success with Guinea Pigs. He and his team believe that there may be a possibility of humans doing the same. If so, one day in the future those with hearing loss might take a pill daily to prevent or regenerate hearing loss. He and Executive Director, Dr.Jay Rubinstein has begun to form a team of researchers from around the world to speed up the process of a possible permanent cure for hearing loss. Their needs are approximately $1.5 million dollars for 5 years and $1 Million for an additional 5 years.

We encourage visitors to this site to access the University of Washington, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center http://depts.washington.edu/hearing for more information on the current research for hair cell regeneration. There is also more information on Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration at www.hearingregeneration.org .