December 11, 2014

International Ear Symposium Hosted by UAMS’ John Dornhoffer, M.D.

John Dornhoffer, MD, presenting the  gold medal award to Helge Rask-Andersen, MD, PhD

John Dornhoffer, MD, presenting the
gold medal award to
Helge Rask-Andersen, MD, PhD

The 2012 International Symposium and Workshop on Inner Ear Medicine and Surgery was hosted by John Dornhoffer, MD, FACS, a Professor in the UAMS Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, and was held March 10-15, 2012, in Zell im Zillertal, Austria.

Named after the famous French otolaryngolgist Prosper Ménière (1799-1862), the Prosper Ménière Society was founded in 1981 by the International Meniere’s Disease Research Institute (IMDRI) of the Colorado Otologic Research Center (CORC).  In 1990, it was reorganized, set up as a separate not-for-profit corporation (501) (C) (3), and in 1999 moved to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where it is presently. The primary goal of the Prosper Ménière Society is to promote the academic dissemination and discussion of clinical research data on Ménière’s disease and all aspects of inner ear dysfunction, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. John Dornhoffer, MD, FACS, a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, has been the Executive Director since 1999, assisted by a Board of Directors representing 13 different countries.

The Prosper Ménière Society regularly sponsors the International Symposium and Workshops on Inner Ear Medicine and Surgery. The 15th such meeting was held March 10-15, 2012, in Zell im Zillertal, Austria. It is a long-standing tradition at this meeting to choose an individual to be the Gold Medal Award recipient for furthering the goals of the Prosper Meniere Society through research excellence, scientific innovation, and far-reaching contributions to the investigation of inner ear disorders. This year’s recipient, nominated and chosen by his peers, was Professor Helge Rask-Andersen. Helge Rask-Andersen MD, PhD is an internationally renowned Professor of Otology at the Department of Otolaryngology Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden, where he directs the Uppsala cochlear implant and auditory brainstem implant programs as well as the Uppsala Inner Ear Research Unit. Currently, he is involved in the European commission concerted action on nanoparticle targeted drug and gene delivery to the inner ear. He has well over a hundred peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has been awarded the 2006 Franz Escher Medal, by the Swiss Society of Otolaryngology, and the 2007 Gordon Smyth Medal, by the British Society of Otolaryngology.

The International Symposium and Workshops included 24 CME hours of high-quality presentations covering a wide range of topics relevant to otolaryngology, from speakers representing 15 different counties. Hot topics this year included several papers on video head impulse testing (vHIT), a technique which is revolutionizing diagnosis of the dizzy patient, 9 papers related to local drug delivery to the inner ear, and 6 papers on recent advances in cochlear implant technology. Other topics included superior canal dehiscence, tinnitus, noise, aging, middle ear implants, BPV, acute mastoiditis, and microtia.

As at past meetings of the society, the format encouraged detailed and frank discussion of all controversial areas, discussions that commonly continued over dinner. This meeting has become well known for  its deviation for the traditional starchy, polite discussion typical of the larger clinical and scientific meeting, but, rather, it emphasizes how science and medicine should be discussed—in detail and at length.