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Two Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences faculty awarded esteemed Shapiro Prize


The College of Fine Arts and Communication is pleased to announce Vinaya Manchaiah, Jo Mayo Endowed Professor and associate professor of audiology, and Eldre Beukes, post-doctoral researcher, both in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, as recipients of the prestigious Marie and Jack Shapiro Prize by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) for the second consecutive year.

“We are delighted to now have been awarded this for the second time. It’s a huge honor and privilege,” said Beukes. “Seeing the positive effect this research has had on those distressed by tinnitus has been very encouraging. It has inspired us to start further research on internet-based tinnitus treatment in the United States.”

The Marie & Jack Shapiro Prize is given each year at the BTA Conference to the piece of published research, by a United Kingdom based author, "most likely to result in improved treatment or public awareness of tinnitus," that was published in the last calendar year. The prize is named after the late Jack Shapiro, the founder of the BTA, and his wife Marie, who both played an important role in the establishment of the charity and in raising awareness of tinnitus.

eldre-beukes.jpgPsychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are a proven intervention for reducing tinnitus distress. Beukes and her colleagues assessed an internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) intervention for those experiencing tinnitus in the United Kingdom.

“As there are so many people with troublesome tinnitus, creative approaches are needed to help them. Using the internet has many advantages due to the ease of access to information,” said Beukes. “This has been a really exciting avenue to develop and has huge potential to improve the quality of life for those with tinnitus.

The award was presented at the BTA's 25th Annual Conference in Birmingham, England, which was attended by audiologists, hearing professionals, researchers and BTA members.

Manchaiah and Beukes’ work on tinnitus will be extended to the United States through the NIH grant that was awarded to Manchaiah last academic year.