Laura Westermann


Laura Westermann received her Bachelor degree in Organizational Communication and her Master’s degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of South Florida. She currently works as a research program coordinator for the Cochlear Center and as an audiology assistant at the Washington County field site for the ACHIEVE trial. ​

Laura Westermann

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Lechi Nwanegwo


Lechi Nwanegwo, graduate of Morgan State University, is a research program assistant for the Baltimore HEARS Study. Her interests include increasing health equity in underserved communities and prevention medicine. She is currently preparing for medical school.

Lechi Nwanegwo

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Simo Du


Simo Du, MD MHS, received her medical training from Xiangya Medical School, Central South University in China. She then pursued a MHS degree in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with a focus on cognitive aging. She currently serves as a biostatistician at the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health and primarily assists trainees in analyzing hearing data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC). She has also developed interests in the area of auditory neuroscience, neuroplasticity, sensory substitution etc.

Simo Du

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Emily Pedersen


Emily Pedersen, MS.Ed., MPH, is a research coordinator with the Cochlear Center and a recruitment committee member in ACHIEVE. Pedersen was a teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools before earning her Master of Public Health in health policy and a certificate in health inequities from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. In the future, she is interested in attending medical school.

Emily Pedersen

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Kevin DeMario


Kevin DeMario is a research program assistant who works on the HEARS clinical trial. He has his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins and is interested in going to medical school in the future.

Kevin DeMario

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Jami Cheng-Trumbo


Jami Cheng-Trumbo, MSPH, is a research coordinator for the Baltimore HEARS Study and a recruitment committee member in ACHIEVE. Cheng received her master of science in public health in health education and health communication from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She currently leads the coordination of the HEARS study and other Center-related activities.

Jami Cheng-Trumbo

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Laura Sherry


Laura Sherry, AUD, is a research audiologist with the Cochlear Center where she is currently the lead audiologist for the Washington County field site of the ACHIEVE trial.

Laura Sherry

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Mengru Liao


Mengru Liao received her bachelor’s in applied art design from Renmin University of China (RUC) and master’s in social design from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She currently works in Baltimore City as a designer and artist devoted to creating social impact.

Mengru Liao

Departmental affiliation (Primary)

Shannon Smitherman


Shannon Smitherman received her Bachelor degree in Human Services from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.  She currently works as the academic program coordinator for the Cochlear Center where she coordinates and helps advise Center trainees, oversees all administrative and operational aspects of Center activities and assists the director.

Shannon Smitherman

Departmental affiliation (Primary)
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