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Debara Lyn Tucci

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences
Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences
Box 3805 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
1559 Hosp South, Blue Zone, Durham, NC 27710


The focus of current research efforts is in defining the effects of conductive hearing impairment on the development and function of the central auditory system. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the impact of hearing loss, such as that associated with otitis media, on the development of auditory function in children. Experiments are currently being performed in which central auditory system activity is studied using the 2-deoxyglucose method following unilateral neonatal conductive hearing loss. Future experiments will examine changes in cell structure and interneuronal connections following acute and chronic conductive hearing loss in both neonatal and adult animals.

A second research program is focused on issues related to the cochlear implant. The cochlear implant is a device which allows for electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve in profoundly deaf patients. It has previously been demonstrated in animal studies as well as in human tissue histopathology that degeneration of central auditory pathways occurs following severe damage to the inner ear. It has been suggested that the introduction of electrical stimulation via a cochlear implant may prevent or reverse some of these degenerative changes. Experiments conducted previously examined this issue in the neonatally and adult deafened rat. Tissue analysis is currently undergoing completion.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences · 2019 - Present Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Clinical Science Departments
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute · 2009 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences · 2011 - Present Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Virginia · 1985 M.D.