20Q: Ototoxicity and Audiology – Insights from an Innovator

From the Desk of Gus Mueller

Ototoxicity and otoprotective agents. Related topics that probably don’t come up too often for the average audiologist, but when they do, you certainly want a good source for reliable information. We thought that we could help you out here at 20Q. Of course, our Question Man needed an expert on the topic, and that was the easy part—we selected the same person that you all would have picked too: Dr. Kathleen Campbell of Southern Illinois University.  Because Dr. Campbell has devoted her career to this unique aspect of audiology and hearing science, we also asked her to give us a little background regarding the path she has taken.

Kathleen Campbell, Ph.D., is Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology. Her research contributions over the years are exemplary. She has received over 60 grants from National Institutes of Health, US Department of Defense and other agencies for her research on otoprotective agents. She is the sole inventor for the protective agent D-methionine patents, and has received 5 US and 33 foreign patents for her inventions for pharmacologic otoprotective agents. She is the author of Pharmacology and Ototoxicity for Audiologists.

Dr. Campbell is a Fellow of the ASHA and has received the Honors of this Association. She also has received the Honors of the Illinois Academy of Audiology and was named the Inventor of the Year for the Illinois University System. She has served on the American Academy of Audiology Board of Directors and has received the AAA Presidential Citation.

One award not listed above dates back to 1969 when Dr. Campbell was crowned her hometown Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year. In the decades that have followed, she clearly has blended this childhood skill with her ever-increasing scientific knowledge, which no doubt led to her award-winning recipe “Pharmacologic Otoprotection Smoothie,” which can be found in the infamous cookbook How To Eat Like an Audiologist.

Fifteen years ago or so, Kathy wrote a 20 Questions article for me, and after all the scientific stuff was finished, we thought we’d add a Bonus Question. It went like this: Is it true that audiologists who study basic science aren’t any fun at all? Her response: Nonsense. For example, we like to tell about the two molecules walking down the street. One molecule says to the other, “I just lost an electron” The other asks, “Are you sure?” and the first replies, “I’m positive!”

I’m also positive that you’ll enjoy the information that Kathy provides in her excellent 20Q article.

Gus Mueller, PhD
Contributing Editor

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