25+ years audiology/hearing science; 20 years NIH-funded research


René Gifford, Ph.D., CCC-A is a Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and holds the Fred H. Bess Chair in Audiology. She is the Director of the Implantables, Hearing Enhancement, & Amplification Research (I HEAR) Laboratory and Co-Director of research for the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication (NCCDFC) at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. Her research focuses on the study of auditory perception, spatial hearing, and binaural development for children and adults using combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS) via hearing aid and cochlear implant technology. Her primary professional goal is centered on improving auditory-based outcomes and ensuring that we are using data-driven recommendations for hearing and speech/language intervention for our patients. Dr. Gifford’s research has been NIH funded for over 20 years, she has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles, multiple book chapters, and she authored a book, now in its second edition, entitled “Cochlear Implant Patient Assessment: Evaluation of Candidacy, Performance, and Outcomes.” Dr. Gifford was a featured scientist on the National Public Radio, Science Friday broadcast entitled Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science—Hearing a Whole New World. Additionally, Dr. Gifford was awarded the 2015 Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the 2017 Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award for Research, as well as the 2021 Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology from the American Academy of Audiology.

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