Event Details

The Potential for Restorative Treatments for Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss


An Investor Event with Leading Otolaryngology and Audiology Key Opinion Leaders

Jan 19, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST

Supporting Materials

Frequency recently hosted a virtual event for investors on the potential of restorative treatments for acquired sensorineural hearing loss, with presentations and a live Q&A session with leading otolaryngology and audiology key opinion leaders.

Learn more about the presenters below.


Robert S. Langer, ScD

Robert S. Langer, ScD
Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert S. Langer is a scientific co-founder and director of Frequency Therapeutics and one of 11 Institute Professors at MIT – the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member. Dr. Langer has written more than 1,500 articles. He also has over 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 281 with over 326,000 citations according to Google Scholar).

He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995 - 2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002.

Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards. He is one of three living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He also received the 1996 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, the 2013 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2014 Kyoto Prize. In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. Among numerous other awards Langer has received are the Dickson Prize for Science (2002), the Heinz Award for Technology, Economy and Employment (2003), the Harvey Prize (2003), the John Fritz Award (2003) (given previously to inventors such as Thomas Edison and Orville Wright), the General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research (2004), the Dan David Prize in Materials Science (2005), the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2005), the largest prize in the U.S. for medical research, induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2006), the Max Planck Research Award (2008), the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (2008), the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2011), the Terumo International Prize (2012), the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science (2016), the Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine (2017), the Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Science (2019) and the Medal of Science (Portugal’s highest honor, 2020). In 1998, he received the Lemelson-MIT prize, the world’s largest prize for invention for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” In 1989 Dr. Langer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, in 1992 he was elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and to the National Academy of Sciences and in 2012 he was elected to the National Academy of Inventors.

Forbes (1999) and BioWorld (1990) have named Dr. Langer as one of the 25 most important individuals in biotechnology in the world. Discover Magazine (2002) named him as one of the 20 most important people in this area. Forbes (2002) selected Dr. Langer as one of the 15 innovators worldwide who will reinvent our future. Time and CNN (2001) named Dr. Langer as one of the 100 most important people in America and one of the 18 top people in science or medicine in America (America’s Best).  Parade (2004) selected Dr. Langer as one of 6 “Heroes whose research may save your life.” Dr. Langer has received 34 honorary doctorates. They include degrees from Harvard University, the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Yale University, Columbia University, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Gerstner Graduate School, the University of Maryland, the University of Western Ontario (Canada), ETH (Switzerland), the Technion (Israel), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Willamette University, the University of Liverpool (England), Bates College, the University of Nottingham (England), Albany Medical College, Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, Uppsala University (Sweden), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Boston University, Ben Gurion University (Israel), the University of Laval (Canada), Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Hanyang University (South Korea), the University of New South Wales (Australia), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong),  the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (Mexico), the University of Limerick (Ireland), the University of Illinois and the University of California – San Francisco Medal.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in Chemical Engineering.

Lawrence R. Lustig, MD

Lawrence R. Lustig, MD
Chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

One of the nation's leading experts in hearing loss, Lawrence Lustig, MD, currently serves as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and otolaryngologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Lustig treats the full spectrum of ear disorders in adults and children, as well as skull base disease. His specialties include skull base surgery, cochlear implants, the genetics of hearing loss, cochlear gene therapy, balance disorders and hair cell physiology. He has led several NIH-funded research projects examining the underlying causes of hearing loss, including a recently completed a two-year $550,000 grant to explore cochlear gene therapy as a potential approach to treating children born with genetic forms of hearing loss.

Dr. Lustig has published more than 125 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as book chapters. He co-edited a textbook, “Clinical Neurotology: Diagnosing and Managing Disorders of Hearing, Balance and the Facial Nerve.” In 2004, Dr. Lustig joined UCSF, where he has served as chief of the Division of Otology and Neurotology at both UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital, director of the Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center, clinical chief of the otolaryngology service on the Parnassus campus and co-director of the Center for Balance and Falls.

Before joining UCSF, Dr. Lustig served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of the Johns Hopkins Listening Center and cochlear implant team. He also completed a fellowship in otology, neurotology and skull base surgery at Hopkins. Dr. Lustig is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Otologic Society, the American Auditory Society, the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the American Neurotology Society and the North American Skull Base Society. He earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and his medical degree at UCSF, where he also completed a residency in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery.

Dr. Lustig's research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of inner ear function and gene therapy approaches for hearing loss. In his lab he has several animal models of inherited deafness for which they are using gene therapy to correct the hearing loss. The overall goal of these studies is to translate these research advances into human therapy that will one day cure genetic deafness. These research studies have been supported by the National Institutes of Health and a number of private research foundations.

René H. Gifford, PhD, CCC-A

René H. Gifford, PhD, CCC-A
Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

René H. Gifford, PhD, CCC-A, is a professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is currently the Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. Her current research interests include combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS) with cochlear implantation, hearing preservation with cochlear implantation, auditory and speech perception for adults and children with hearing loss and spatial hearing abilities of individuals combining hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Dr. Gifford currently is the principal investigator (PI) on two large NIH R01 grants centered on cochlear implant outcomes for adults and children. Her research has been NIH funded for nearly 20 years, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, multiple book chapters and is the author of two books entitled Cochlear Implant Patient Assessment: Evaluation of Candidacy, Performance, and Outcomes and Cochlear Implants: From Principle to Practice.

Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD

Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Frank R. Lin, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health and a Professor of Otolaryngology, Medicine, Mental Health and Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Lin completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Brown University and his medical education, residency in otolaryngology and Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins. He completed further otologic fellowship training in Switzerland. Dr. Lin joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2010 and is a practicing otologist with expertise in the medical and surgical management of hearing loss. His epidemiologic research established the impact of hearing loss on the risk of cognitive decline, dementia and brain aging in older adults and served as the basis of the 2017 Lancet Commission on dementia conclusion that hearing loss was the single largest potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia. He now currently leads the ACHIEVE study which is a $20M NIH-funded randomized trial investigating if treating hearing loss can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. As the founder and inaugural director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, Dr. Lin leads a first-in-kind research center resulting from an academic-industry collaboration that is dedicated to training a generation of clinicians and researchers to understand and address the impact of hearing loss on older adults and public health.

Dr. Lin has worked extensively with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to address the need for more accessible and affordable hearing care for adults in the United States. From 2014-2016, Dr. Lin served on sequential NASEM committees investigating this issue and concurrently advised the White House President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on their report. Recommendations from these groups led to the subsequent introduction and bipartisan passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 which Dr. Lin testified on before Congress. This law overturns 40 years of established regulatory precedent in the U.S. and reflects the direct result of Dr. Lin’s prior research and broader policy work on hearing loss and public health. Dr. Lin currently serves as a member of the Board on Health Sciences Policy at the National Academies.