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Research

On this page: Auditory Mechanics | McGill Auditory Sciences Laboratory | Microsurgical Research |Pediatric Basic Science/Clinical Research Centre | Pediatric Speech and Voice Laboratory | OTL Laboratory |Clinical Rhinology Research | Basic Rhinology Research | (Neuro) Otology Research | Facial Nerve Research |Electromagnetic Interference and Health Care Delivery | Research in Head and Neck Oncology | Voice Laboratory

Auditory Mechanics

Research Lab: Auditory Mechanics Laboratory

Site: Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Lyman Duff Medical Sciences Bldg.

Director: W. Robert J. Funnell, PhD Eng., Assoc. Professor

The overall objectives of the research in this laboratory are improved diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders based on a quantitative understanding of the mechanical behaviour of the middle ear. Our approach involves the development and analysis of three-dimensional computer-based finite-element models. The goal is to enhance:

  • the design of techniques and prostheses for middle ear surgery and
  • the non-invasive clinical evaluation of middle ear and inner ear function.

The theoretical work in this lab is done in close collaboration with the experimental work of Willem Decraemer in Antwerp and Syham Khanna in New York, providing state-of-the-art measurements of middle ear shapes, displacements and vibrations. The 3-D models are built using very high-resolution MRI data (from UNC and Duke) and CT data (from Antwerp).

We are also involved in developing the use of a 3-D model in medical education, in conjunction with the McGill Medical Informatics Project.

McGill Auditory Sciences Laboratory

Research Lab: McGill Auditory Sciences Laboratory

Site: Montreal Children's Hospital

Director: Dr. Sam J. Daniel

This research unit is equipped with the latest research technology in Laser Doppler Vibrometry, ABR, and OAE measurements. There is a sound-proof room, as well as two animal operating rooms, a computer modeling unit, and four state of the art drilling stations with video recording capacity. The laboratory currently supervises one PhD, two graduate students, and three research fellows. We also have a visiting professorship program.

For a visit to the laboratory or enquiry about projects please contact the lab manager: M Akache at 514-412-4400 ext. 23060.

Past and present areas of research:

  • Ototoxicity
  • Middle-ear mechanics
  • Hearing development
  • Hearing diagnostics
  • Middle ear model as a research project in collaboration with Dr. Robert Funnell, Biomedical Engineering, Lyman Duff Medical Sciences Building.

Microsurgical Research

Research Lab: Microsurgical Research Laboratory facilities

Site: Royal Victoria Hospital, L4.53

Director: Dr. Lucie Lessard

This research unit has been in place for 15 years at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the microsurgical research laboratory facilities and represents about 1,500 sq. ft. of space including two small offices for residents and medical students involved in the projects.

Past and Present research:

  • Laryngeal transplant project: The first clinical laryngeal transplant was done recently in the U.S. (January 1997). We have several branches to this project including the assessment of several immunosuppression protocols using a rat model. This project is progressing nicely and we are now successful at proceeding with a heterotopic laryngeal transplant in this animal model. This will be ongoing for several years. The reinnervation of the larynx is another portion of the project.
  • Ultrasound assessment of the maxilla: We have been studying the maxilla with the ultrasound system to assess the thickness of the maxilla in preparation for implant surgery. This has been completed as well with the B-mode ultrasound and will be submitted for publication soon. This is in collaboration with biomedical engineering. Dr. Shuren Wang has been our fellow working full-time on this project.
  • Ultrasound: A non-invasive in-vivo assessment of the skull — A new modality: We have been working at establishing a clinical tool to assess the skull thickness to harvest cranial bone graft safely. This research was completed and received eight prizes, American, Canadian, and Provincial. It was also the winning clinical research at the Fraser Gurd Day in Surgery in 1997. This research has brought about many presentations as well as one article published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. Another article has been accepted by the Annals of Plastic Surgery. This ultrasound technology has been submitted for U.S. patent using A-mode ultrasound for skull assessment. This project is now complete.

Pediatric Otolaryngology Research

Site: Montreal Children's Hospital

Supervisors: Dr. S. J. Daniel, Dr. J. Manoukian, Dr. L. Nguyen, Dr. M. D. Schloss, Dr. T. Tewfik

Tel.: 514-412-4304

Fax: 514-934-4342

Responsibilities of the resident:

Prior to the start date of research project, the resident must:

  • choose a research project with the supervisor (clinical and/or basic science research);
  • choose co-supervisors from other departments that will be involved;
  • do literature review to ensure that project is relevant and original;
  • estimate the cost of the project;
  • provide grant proposal and/or request financial support from the OTL Department;
  • choose the location of work and verify the availability of facilities (animal lab, research lab, clinic, OR, etc.);
  • verify and ensure the availability of supervision and/or assistance during research work (coordination of departments involved);
  • think of potential research pitfalls in advance;
  • consider that this research project can be part of a master's degree in Otolaryngology and discuss this with the supervisor.
  • verify that the study can be undertaken and completed in the allocated time period;
  • do a trial run of the research project (when possible);
  • write and submit a research proposal to the hospital's research institute;
  • write and submit a research proposal to the hospital's ethics committee;
  • if applicable, get approval from the animal protection committee as well as the infectious diseases committee;
  • ensure that an epidemiologist and/or biostatistician is involved.

During the research project, the resident must:

  • collect all data and perform data analysis with the biostatistics department;
  • review work and pitfalls with research supervisor and co-supervisor;
  • write up a manuscript;
  • write up and article to be published in an OTL or international journal.

Upon termination of the research project, the resident must:

  • present the research project at a national or international meeting.

Pediatric Speech and Voice Laboratory

(Gustav Levinschi Laboratory)

Site: Montreal Children's Hospital

Tel.: 514-934-4342

Fax: 514-934-4342

The laboratory is situated at the Montreal Children's Hospital, B-240 (Departmental Clinic). The research deals with pediatric voice and speech problems. This computer-based laboratory is the only pediatric facility in Canada. Equipment includes CSL (Computerized Speech Lab) with its various components: MDVP (Multi-Dimensional Voice Program) and nasometer.

The different types of voice pathology are studied and include:

  • vocal cord nodules and polyps
  • vocal cord paralysis
  • subglottic and glottic stenosis
  • all other congenital and acquired laryngeal problems

Patients with speech defects also benefit from the expertise of the lab. Defects include:

  • velopharyngeal insufficiency
  • cleft palate (including submucous clefts)
  • hyponasality
  • hypernasality

The clinical work is shared by otolaryngologists (fellows, residents, medical students, and staff) and speech therapists, and the patient data base covers the province of Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and various New England states. Different speech pathologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, gastroenterologists, and respirologists refer their patients to the laboratory.

OTL Laboratory

Site: Royal Victoria Hospital (E4)

Supervisors: Dr. A. Katsarkas, Dr. H. Galiana (PhD)

Tel.: 842-1231 ext. 4974

In the OTL Research Laboratory, under the directorship of Drs. A. Katsarkas and H. Galiana, the main research thrust is in the function and dysfunction of the vestibular system in humans. The Laboratory is equipped with a rotating chair, computer-driven, and a rigid platform. The computer facilities of the Department of Biomedical Engineering are also available for this type of work. In addition, we have a fully-equipped routine ENG Laboratory and facilities for the study of otolith function using auditory-evoked stimuli (VEMP).

Any project involving human experimentation in the area of the function and dysfunction of the vestibular system can be supported by our facilities. Projects involving mathematical modelling of the vestibular and related functions can also be supported.

Clinical Rhinology Research

Location: SMBD — Jewish General Hospital

Supervisors: Drs. S. Frenkiel and B. Segal

A large volume of patient material is available for research into the epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and outcome analysis of chronic sinusitis. A rhinomanometry laboratory using head-out body plethysmography is available at the SMBD — Jewish General Hospital for additional nasal airflow studies. This clinical unit has produced many presentations and publications related to chronic sinusitis and nasal physiology.

Basic Rhinology Research

Location: Meakins-Christie Laboratories

Supervisors: Drs. Q. Hamid and S. Frenkiel

This laboratory works with ongoing basic research projects dealing with the molecular biology of chronic rhinosinusitis. Patient material is coordinated through the nasal and sinus unit of the Jewish General Hospital. The resident is involved with all aspects of tissue sampling and analysis. The resident is also enrolled as a clinical fellow of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories for the duration of the project. The laboratory is well-established and has produced numerous publications of international stature.

(Neuro) Otology Research

Location: SMBD — Jewish General Hospital

Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Rappaport

Opportunities are available for basic science and/or clinical neurotology research. Resources include a computerized system for auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and distortion product oto-acoustic emission (DPOAE) measurements in both animals and humans. A computerized electronystagmography (ENG) laboratory is also available.

The Jewish General Hospital is a major center for acoustic neuroma management in Quebec and a database is available for patients managed for this condition. Previous projects have examined hearing preservation and vestibular findings in this patient population. Other potential areas of interest include sudden sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, facial paralysis and rehabilitation, and vestibular rehabilitation.

Facial Nerve Research

Location: SMBD — Jewish General Hospital

Clinical Director: Dr. Jamie Rappaport

Scientific Director: Bernard Segal, PhD

Therapist/Researcher: Iolanda Zompa, MSc, B.Phys. Ther.

The objectives of this multidisciplinary (otolaryngology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, neurology, radiology, psychology) research are:

  • to provide individualized advice and treatment of chronic facial paralysis;
  • to explore and critically evaluate all means of improving facial functional improvement;
  • to better understand factors contributing to facial nerve injury and recovery, and to discover ways to modify them.

Electromagnetic Interference and Health Care Delivery

Location: SMBD — Jewish General Hospital

Director: Bernard Segal, PhD

Co-investigators: Tom Pavlasek, PhD

André Dascal, MD, FRCS(I)

This highly interdisciplinary group was established in response to concerns that radio waves (due to walkie-talkies, cellular phones, wireless LANs, etc.) can cause life-supporting medical equipment to malfunction. Both industry and NSERC fund the study. A new component of this study will examine how to best integrate wireless communication (including mobile access to patient information) into health care.

Research in Head and Neck Oncology

Physiology Department (Dr. John White's Lab)

Location: McIntyre Medical Sciences Bldg.

Investigators: Dr. John White, Dr. Martin J. Black

Voice Laboratory

Dr. M. Black, Dr. F. Chagnon, Dr. K. Kost

The Voice Laboratory, situated at the Montreal General Hospital (Room C2.125) is a clinical and research unit for voice and laryngeal disorders. Technology available includes video-laryngostroboscopy and spectrography.

The Voice Lab supports multi-disciplinary endeavours between laryngologists, speech-language pathologists, voice scientists, and vocal pedagogues.

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