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Speech and hearing association honors VUMC’s Rousseau

Dec. 11, 2014, 9:37 AM

A Vanderbilt otolaryngology researcher has been elected a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), one of the highest honors the professional association bestows.

Bernard Rousseau, Ph.D.

Bernard Rousseau, Ph.D., accepted his honor during ASHA’s annual meeting, held in November in Orlando. Having been named an associate fellow of the American Laryngological Association (ALA) last year, he has now received top honors from both of the major professional associations in his field. He is one of only six people to do so.

“It’s a remarkable award and speaks to his ability and his talent,” said Stephen Camarata, Ph.D., professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences, who nominated him for the fellowship.

Rousseau directs the Laryngeal Biology Laboratory at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and has appointments in the Departments of Otolaryngology, Hearing and Speech Sciences and Mechanical Engineering.

“Dr. Rousseau continues on an amazing trajectory to discover the intricacies of the micro-world of the voice — our primary means of communication,” said Ron Eavey, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of Otolaryngology. “At the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center we value him as a special colleague and special person and we are delighted that ever more external organizations appreciate his unique contributions.”

The ASHA fellowship is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.

“To be acknowledged by my peers as having achieved fellow at this stage of my career is very special,” Rousseau said. “It’s especially meaningful because I will be receiving fellowship of ASHA in Orlando, which is where it all started for me.”

Rousseau earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida in Orlando before receiving his Ph.D. in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He came to Vanderbilt as a fellow in 2004 and joined the faculty in 2005, where he has mentored nearly 50 research trainees. In his lab, he studies how vocal folds respond to excessive vibration exposure. Collaborating with Haoxiang Luo, Ph.D., associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, Rousseau and his colleagues have developed biological and computational models to quantify stresses on vocal folds.

“In his short career, Dr. Rousseau has emerged as a leader in the area of molecular pathophysiology of acute phonotrauma and management of patients with benign vocal fold disease,” said Anne Marie Tharpe, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. “He has the unique ability to investigate the cellular and molecular events underlying phonotrauma with an eye toward the application of effective treatments for patients with voice disorders.”

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