Washington University at St. Louis

Jill Firszt, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Washington University School of Medicine. She is also Adjunct Professor in the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences at Central Institute for the Deaf at Washington University. She earned her BS in Speech and Hearing Science, MA in Educational Audiology, and PhD in Speech and Hearing Science from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been working with cochlear implant adult and pediatric patients in clinical and research studies since 1985. Dr. Firszt’s current research interests include studies of asymmetry in hearing, including cochlear implant recipients who receive a second implant and individuals with unilateral hearing loss. She is the recipient of a 5-year R01 grant from the NIH/NIDCD. Her previous research has been supported by the NIDCD, the Deafness Research Foundation, the American Hearing Research Foundation, and the McDonnell Center for Systems Neurosciences. Dr. Firszt has numerous publications in the area of speech recognition performance and electrophysiology measures in cochlear implant participants.

Laura Holden, AuD, CCC-A graduated in 1986 with a Master of Arts degree in Audiology from the University of Illinois and obtained her Doctor of Audiology degree (AuD) from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2008. She began working with cochlear implant patients when she joined Washington University School of Medicine in 1986 as a clinical audiologist when the cochlear implant program was just beginning. Laura is primarily involved in research activities; her area of interest involves optimizing patient benefit from a cochlear implant, especially improving patients’ speech understanding in difficult listening situations such as in background noise. Laura is on the Audiology Advisory Board for Cochlear Americas and Advanced Bionics Corporation. She has over 30 research publications related to cochlear implants.