UCL News


UCL Centre for Auditory Research's foundation plaque to be unveiled

2 February 2003

The foundation plaque of the new UCL Centre for Auditory Research was unveiled on 20 February 2003 by Sir Derek Roberts, Provost & President of UCL, and Mrs Pamela Chesters, Chair of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.

Professor Andrew Forge

A consortium of nine UCL academics from various departments were awarded a £9-million grant through the Joint Infrastructure Fund, supported by the UK's Department of Trade & Industry, the Wellcome Trust and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This was supplemented by £2 million from the Science Research Investment Fund.

When opened in February 2004, the centre will be the largest of its kind in the UK. Its location, adjacent to the Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital on Gray's Inn Road, will enhance the collaborative transfer of research into clinical practice.

UCL has the largest concentration of auditory researchers in the UK. The centre will unite their top-ranking research through cross-disciplinary collaborations to achieve a greater understanding of the workings and disorders of the auditory and vestibular systems.

Professor Andrew Forge (Institute of Laryngology & Otology), chair of the centre's coordination committee, said: "As the leading laboratory of its kind in the UK, the centre will enable UCL to develop further its internationally renowned research in this field. Programmes will be devoted to understanding how the ear works and how it goes wrong."

He continued: "The approaches used will be molecular, genetic, neuroscientific, biophysical and psychophysical, with an emphasis on collaboration. We will aim to understand the auditory system from the molecular level to the functioning of the auditory neural system as a whole."

Hearing disorders impact upon an individual's quality of life and are of major economic significance. Deafness is the second-most common disability in the UK, affecting around eight million people. Causes range from congenital deafness, to those whose hearing deteriorates as a result of environmental or industrial factors, or through the ageing process.

To find out more about the centre use the links below.


Professor Jonathan Ashmore

Dr Alf Linney