The Joint Research Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology (VIANNA) of the Medical University Hannover (MHH) investigates possibilites of artificial stimulation of nervous tissue focused on the auditory system. The research topics include basic research on hearing loss and its consequences for the brain, as well as development of new stimulation strategies (prosthetic devices) in the peripheral and central nervous system. We work on improvements of cochlear implants using pulsed laser light, using biohybrid techniques, but we also focus on implantable prostheses in the middle ear and experiment with nanomaterials for stimulation purposes and test different techniques for delivering drugs into the inner ear. Furthermore, we explore how the brain adapts to hearing loss, particularly congenital deafness, and how neuroplasticity can be used for the optimal adaptation to prosthetic hearing.
In collaboration with several industrial partners we help to develop and test new stimulation strategies and new prototypes of auditory prostheses.
The institute was established in 2009 after Prof. Th. Lenarz, director of the ENT clinics, and the Medical University Hannover obtained the financial support from the State of Lower Saxony for founding the institute, for its basic equipment, and a new chaired professorship for the scientific leadership of the insitute. Prof. A. Kral, at that time Professor of Neurophysiology in Hamburg, followed the offer and was appointed Chaired Professor of Auditory Neuroscience and the scientific director of the Institute in August 2009.
The institute was officially opened by the Ministry of Education of Lower Saxony, Prof. J. Wanka, and the president of the MHH, Prof. D. Bitter-Suermann, on January 17, 2011. Since then the institute hosted many scientists from all continents, attracted funding from many prestigeous agencies and expanded both its research scope and its infrastracture. It moved to a newly-constructed building owned by the MHH (called “NIFE”) in spring 2016.
From the initial group of ~20 researches the institute has grown substantially. Currently, 65 researchers from different disciplines collaborate on prosthetic devices and hearing loss. Their expertise includes medicine, physics, engineering, neurophysiology, neurology and chemistry. We work on topics of biomechanics, electrical engineering and signal processing, electrophysiology and human imaging, neuroscience, robotics, histology and molecular biology.
The institute is a funding part of the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Hearing4All” with PIs T. Doll, A. Kral, Th. Lenarz, H. Maier, O. Majdani and A. Warnecke. We are part of several structured graduation programms, including the PhD Programm Auditory Sciences of the HBRS.
The institute receives funding from DFG, NIH (USA), BMBF, EU, DAAD and industrial partners (Cochlear Ltd., MED-EL, Advanced Bionics, Blackrock).
News: Press releases (in German):
||Prof. Dr. Dr. med. A. Kral, science
Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. med. T. Lenarz, translation
|Phone:||+49 (0)511 532 7272|
|Fax:||+49 (0)511 532 7274|
|E-Mail:||Secretary of Prof. Kral: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|PhD Programm Auditory Sciences|
|Zentrum für Systemische Neurowissenschaften Hannover, ZSN|
|Audiologie Initiative Niedersachsen - Auditory Valley|