Our History and Name
The Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health is based in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Center launched in 2018, with more than $20 million in existing grant funding from the National Institutes of Health focused on Center-mission areas, a $10 million gift from Cochlear Ltd., and other philanthropic funding. The Center draws on the expertise of faculty members, research staff, and trainees from a broad array of disciplines to advance the mission areas of the Center in the U.S. and globally.
The Cochlear Center takes part of its name from Cochlear Ltd., an Australian company that exclusively develops cochlear implants and other implantable hearing technologies. Cochlear Ltd. and the Center share the belief that hearing and effective communication are fundamental to human health and functioning but that hearing loss, particularly among older adults, remains poorly addressed in society. Cochlear Ltd.’s $10 million gift to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to help create this Center reflects this shared vision. This gift provides important support, but it’s only a fraction of the Center’s overall funding - the vast majority of which comes from the NIH.
To preserve scientific integrity and avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest, the Center does not have any programmatic areas of research related to the kinds of implantable hearing technologies produced by Cochlear Ltd. Of the millions of people in the world with hearing loss, 95% have mild to moderate forms for which cochlear implants are not clinically indicated. These individuals are the focus of the Center’s mission.