Shlomo Silman, Ph.D., is Presidential Professor, Broecklundian Professor, and Claire and Leonard Tow Professor, Speech Communication Arts and Sciences at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY); Professor of Audiology, Doctor of Audiology Program, and Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, CUNY. Dr. Silman has been with the AuD Program at the Graduate Center since its inception. His primary research interests have focused on medical treatment of middle-ear effusion (otitis media with effusion); auditory deprivation and brain plasticity; and binaural interference.
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He has authored and coauthored nearly 100 articles, books, and chapters. His articles have appeared in numerous hearing science, audiology, and medical journals such as Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, Ear and Hearing, Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, Acta Otolaryngologica, and Ear, Nose & Throat Journal. His most recent authored textbook, Instrumentation for Audiology and Hearing Science: Theory and Practice, with Dr. Michele B. Emmer as co-author, was published in 2012. His chapter on Diagnostic Audiology, with Dr. Carol A. Silverman as co-author, was published in Total Otolaryngology in 2015. He has given more than 100 presentations and workshops in the US and abroad, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
Dr. Shlomo Silman and his colleagues were the first to identify and document a new phenomenon: late-onset auditory deprivation associated with lack of amplification in adults with hearing impairment. Their findings on auditory deprivation and recovery were substantiated by investigators in this country and abroad. Identification of this phenomenon has led to profound changes in hearing-aid fitting practices, and to a proliferation of research on auditory brain plasticity in adults. In 1995, an international workshop, “International Eriksholm Workshop” was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Eriksholm Panel, composed only of invited scientists from across the world, concluded in the published proceedings in Ear and Hearing in 1996, that (a) auditory deprivation, as first identified and described by Dr. Silman and his co-authors, is clinically as well as theoretically significant; and that (b) clinical practice in management of hearing impairment should be modified to prevent auditory deprivation effects or to reverse already existing effects. Dr. Silman was the first recipient of the highest research award given by the American Academy of Audiology, the American Academy of Audiology Research Achievement Award. This award was bestowed for his outstanding research achievements on auditory deprivation and brain plasticity, with their ramifications for management of hearing impairment, cochlear implants, and amplification. The research achievements of Dr. Silman and his colleagues on auditory deprivation were featured in Audiology in the USA by James Jerger (Plural Publishing, 2009). Additionally, he and Dr. James Jerger were the first to report on binaural interference. Their journal publication on binaural interference also was published as a chapter in Clinical Audiology: The Jerger Perspective (edited by Bobby Alford and Susan Jerger, Singular Publishing, 1993).
The lack of efficacy of surgical and pharmaceutical treatments of otitis media with effusion, the absence of an effective procedure to alleviate the condition and to restore the hearing sensitivity to normal, and the existing health disparities in treatment of this condition have posed major challenges for scientists and health-care professionals. These challenges led Drs. Silman and Arick to invent the EarPopper™, a non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical medical prescriptive device which can be administered by parents in the home setting. Drs. Silman and Arick have two patents related to the EarPopper™. As a result of the success of feasibility and clinical trials conducted on the EarPopper™ at Brooklyn College, CUNY, more than 60,000 children and adults with otitis media with effusion have been spared ear surgery because of successful treatment with the EarPopper™. Dr. Silman also is a co-inventor with Michele B. Emmer, PhD on a device which provides a non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical treatment of otitis media with effusion in babies. As co-inventor of the EarPopper™, Dr. Silman has appeared on numerous television shows, radio stations, and newspapers across the country.
Dr. Silman’s funded research has been supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Silman also is co-recipient of the 2006 National Tibbetts Award, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and other agencies, for achievement related to the EarPopper™; recipient of a medal in 2001 from the Escola Paulista Medicina of the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil for humanitarian work with persons with hearing impairment and for scientific achievements relating to middle-ear effusion and auditory deprivation; and recipient of the 2002 Journal of the American Academy of Audiology Editor’s Award. He has served as reviewer, editorial consultant, and assistant editor for various acoustics, audiologic, communication sciences, medical, and psychology journals. Dr. Silman is the founder of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation James Jerger Awards for Excellence in Student Research. Each year, since 2003, four doctoral (AuD and PhD) students receive this award in recognition of their research shared during the Annual Poster Presentations and Reception at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Audiology. These awards have stimulated hundreds of students to present their research.