Clinical Center News
Summer 2022

Sharing music with the hearing-impaired

Dr. Charles Limb presents first in-person Grand Rounds lecture since 2020

Presenter receives certificate of appreciation after his lecture
Dr. Charles J. Limb, (left) the NIH Clinical Center's 2022 Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Research receives a certificate of appreciation from Dr. Richard Childs, a Rear Admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Division of Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Health.

On May 11, Dr. Charles J. Limb was recognized as the 2022 Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Research (DCRSER). Dr. Limb is a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, the Director of the Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center in San Francisco and the Medical Director of Cochlear Implantation at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

As the 2022 NIH Clinical Center's DCRSER honoree, Dr. Limb gave a "Great Teachers Lecture," a special session of the weekly Clinical Center Grand Rounds program.

The Great Teachers lectures allow speakers to address a topic they are passionate about while informing and inspiring principal investigators, staff clinicians, clinical researchers and research trainees.

Titled Music for Deaf Ears: Cochlear Implant-Mediated Perception of Music, this was a subject Dr. Limb cares about passionately.

Dr. Limb is a scientist and musician who has conducted pioneering research using neuroimaging. His research examines the hearing and language function of the brain in the creation and perception of music by musicians and listeners with normal or impaired hearing, including those with cochlear implants (CIs). He is known for involving musicians and music in presenting these discoveries to broad scientific and lay audiences.

Dr. Limb published a first-author paper in 2008 of a study at the NIH Clinical Center that examined "improvisation in professional jazz pianists using functional MRI," which has been cited over 830 times. As an independent investigator, Dr. Limb continued this line of research and in 2014, published a paper as that examined the interactive nature of improvisation between two musicians.

Beyond the examination of the neural basis of music production, Dr. Limb also studies music perception in cochlear users. This is critical to the field because, despite effective language perception in many CI users, music perception remains poor, negatively affecting the quality of life of those who rely on the implants to hear.

This was the first live scientific lecture at Lipsett Amphitheater since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the lecture, Dr. Richard Childs, Senior Investigator at the Laboratory of Transplantation Immunotherapy, presented a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Limb.

The lecture is archived and available for viewing on NIH Videocast.

- Debbie Accame

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