Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD

Director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health

Core Faculty


Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD


Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD is the Director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health and a Professor of Otolaryngology, Medicine, Mental Health, and Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. As an otologic surgeon & epidemiologist, Lin has translated his clinical experiences caring for patients with hearing loss into foundational public health research and federal policy in the U.S.

His epidemiological research from 2010-2014 established the association of hearing loss with cognitive decline & dementia, and his research served as the direct basis for the Lancet Commission on Dementia conclusion that hearing loss is the leading modifiable risk factor for dementia. Based on this early research, he initiated the ACHIEVE study in 2014, and the results of this landmark randomized trial that were released in 2023 established that treating hearing loss reduces loss of thinking and memory abilities by 48% among older adults at increased risk for cognitive decline.

In parallel, Lin has collaborated with the National Academies, White House, and Congress to develop policies to ensure hearing loss can be effectively and sustainably addressed in society. These efforts directly resulted in bipartisan passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 which Lin testified on before Congress and final enactment of federal regulations for OTC hearing aids in the U.S. on October 17, 2022. Lin has subsequently collaborated with the Consumer Technology Association to develop the standard for a consumer-facing hearing metric based on the PTA4 (Hearing Number) to empower consumers to track, monitor, and act on their own hearing.

As the director of a public health research center, Lin’s academic efforts are focused on reshaping the rules and assumptions underlying the global hearing care market in order to ensure the market is optimized to advance public health.