Duke Otolaryngologist Among 21 People Selected as a TED Fellow

Dr. Susan Emmett will make a presentation in Tanzania about reducing hearing health disparities across the globe

DURHAM, N.C. May 23, 2017 – Otolaryngologist Susan Emmett, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and assistant research professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, has been selected as a TED Fellow. Emmett, the first-ever otolaryngologist to be named a TED Fellow, joins 20 other change-makers from around the world who will each deliver a talk from the TEDGlobal stage this August in Arusha, Tanzania.

Her TED talk will be tied to her research efforts, which focus on reducing hearing health disparities across the globe. She has studied novel pathways for prevention, such as the role of undernutrition in hearing loss in the Gangetic floodplain of South Asia. She recently launched a community randomized trial in a remote region of Alaska to improve school hearing screening using mobile health technology and telemedicine.

Emmett is best known for her work to expand access to cochlear implants, a treatment for severe-to-profound hearing loss that is often unavailable in low- and middle-income countries. She has collaborated with researchers across 14 countries to demonstrate that cochlear implants can be a cost-effective treatment option in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Emmett’s interest in global hearing health extends back to her experience as a Duke medical student, when she spent a year doing research in Tanzania through the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the TED Fellows community. It will be a poignant moment to speak about global hearing health disparities from the TED stage in Tanzania, the very country where my commitment to global health began,” Emmett said.

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now has 435 fellows from 94 countries. Their talks have collectively been viewed more than 155 million times. In its eight-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network — made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and others — leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations. A complete list of all the new 2017 TED Fellows and TED Senior Fellows is available here.

“I congratulate the TED Fellows program for recognizing the importance of hearing loss as a major source of disability burden in the world, as well as the immense potential of Dr. Susan Emmett to be a transformative agent in reversing these unrelenting trends and their downstream consequences for families and communities”, said Howard Francis, M.D., chief of Duke’s Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences. “We are proud of Dr. Emmett’s achievement, and are hopeful that it will elevate her cause of advancing global hearing health shared by many collaborators across Duke”.

Emmett joined Duke’s Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences in 2017. She completed residency at Johns Hopkins and received Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

SOURCE: Duke Health