Robert Frisina

Dr. Robert D. Frisina received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Neuroscience from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering in 1983. He pursued postdoctoral research as an NIH Fellow in Sensory Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Rochester (NY) Medical School. He is currently Professor and BME Director in the Chemical & Biomedical Engineering Dept. at the University of South Florida’s (USF) College of Engineering. He also serves as Director of USF’s newest intercollegiate research center: The Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research. Previously, he was Professor of Otolaryngology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, and Biomedical Engineering, and Associate Chair of Otolaryngology at the University of Rochester Medical School for the past 2 decades. He also holds a joint appointment as Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of two colleges for the Deaf in the world. Dr. Frisina’s main research support is currently a Program Project Grant from the National Institutes for Health – NIH, entitled “The Aging Auditory System: Presbycusis and Its Neural Bases”. Research program goals include developing improved diagnoses and therapeutic interventions for deafness and age-related hearing and balance problems using biomedical engineering techniques. A systems analysis approach is taken to understanding neurophysiological processing at different levels of the auditory system, from the cochlea (auditory portion of the inner ear) to the brain (central auditory system). For example, sensory processing problems occur in both the inner ear and the parts of the brain used for hearing in cases of age-related hearing loss. Major themes of these lines of neuroengineering research are aimed at developing novel therapies for diagnosing, preventing, delaying or treating cases of environmentally or hormone-induced hearing loss, and age-related hearing deficits.